Behind The Mike Newsletter TOCs

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-01-13

Barry Wonson edits an Australian caller newsletter called Behind The Mike. It consistently presents a wealth of useful information for callers and dance leaders. You can subscribe to have editions emailed to you, or you can view past editions on their website at https://www.behindthemikewebsite.com

The purpose of this summary article is to provide a searchable index of the table of contents entries for past Behind The Mike issues. This will make it easier to zero in on editions that have material of particular interest to you. The list of entries shown has been edited to remove time sensitive material that is no longer relevant. Clicking on the edition title will take you directly to the edition you are interested in.

To search for a particular text string use your browser’s Find function to search this page. Do not use the search box to the right. It searches the entire KnowledgeBase, not just this page. Before searching, click on the button below to display all the text. Then enter Ctrl-F to find text on the page.

Article Title Link to Edition
OUR QUEENSLAND ADVENTURE
THE ACF CONFERENCE
NATIONAL CONVENTION
DISASTER TIME (or A Great Way to Cue a Round Dance)
2016 EVENTS to COME
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
CHOREO TIME – COUPLES HINGE
ROUND DANCE – GENERAL INFORMATION (by Ed Coleman)
HISTORY TIME
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY
BREAKDOWN
BARRY’S PET PEEVES
COMMITMENT
SARDANSW
ASK Dr. Al LeMANDER
I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME Cue Sheet

July 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
EDITORIAL COMMENTS
REPORTS
DATE CLAIMS
2016 EVENTS to COME
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
CHOREO TIME – CROSSFIRE from a 3/4 Tag – legal or not
MORE THAN JUST WORDS by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY
SPOTLIGHT ON MAINSTREAM Split & Box Circulate
ROUND DANCE NOTES & COMMENTS
SARDANSW
ASK Dr. AL LeMANDER
WORDS OF WISDOM

August 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
WELCOME
STATE CONVENTION REPORT
COMMENTS & CORRECTIONS
DATES TO REMEMBER
SOUND ARCHIVE UPDATE
SARDANSW CALLER ASSESSMENTS
PROGRAM COMMITTEE REPORT
MAINSTREAM CHOREO SPOTLIGHT: Split & Box Circulates
BUILDING CHOREOGRAPHY by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES
LESS IS MORE by Gary Petersen
FUN WITH NUMBERS
SARDANSW
September 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE Cover page
2016 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE
TOOLS AND HOW TO USE THEM CORRECTLY
BEHIND THE MIC: MEL’S MEANDERINGS
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
ON PROGRAMMING
FUN WITH NUMBERS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (by Ed Foote)

October 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE Cover Page .
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH Table of contents.
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME.
SOUND ARCHIVE.
THE STEVE TURNER CLINIC.
CHOREO TIME with Mel Wilkerson.
MEL’S MEANDERINGS.
QUOTABLE QUOTES …well, sort of.
PRINCIPLES INVOLVED in the TEACHING/LEARNING PROCESS .
THE OPEN FIREPLACE SAVINGS PLAN.
January 28-29 2017 SARDANSW Callers Weekend – Registration Information.
Editor’s Final Words … well at least for now .

November 2016
Article Title Link to Edition
COMMENTS regarding the November Issue:
SOUND ARCHIVE The library of Sound Recordings is as follows:
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
PROGRAMMING GENERAL OVERVIEW – Why Is It So Important?
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
Mel’s Meanderings – The mighty module – making of a focus movement module
On Caller Leadership…
SHORTHAND IDEAS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED…
Ask Dr
CHOREO CORNER
Closing Comments

December 2016

Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
Editorial Comment from Barry Wonson
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SARDA President’s Report
QUOTABLE QUOTES …well, sort of
January 28-29 2017 S
Editor’s final words … well at least for 2016

December 2016 Part 2
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S CO-OPERATIVE
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
CHANGE – The Administrative Side
CHANGE – Communication
THE LEARNERS CLASS
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE -Library of Sound Recordings
Mel’s Meanderings – Presentation is an Art
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
CHOREO CORNER – Walk and Dodge
All Things Considered….by Ed Foote
CHANGE – The MUSIC We Use
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER

January 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WELCOME
WHAT’S BEEN A-HAPPENING HERE
Mel’s Meanderings – Presentation is an Art (part 2)
POET’S CORNER
ONCE UPON A TIME – by Bill Peters
SOUND ARCHIVE
4 callers – it is 2:00 AM – what else – More Choreographic ideas
Caller Education Workshop – Choreographic ideas by “New Callers”
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
GENERAL CHOREOGRAPHY: (Plus) – Working with Acey Deucey
COURTESY
All Things Considered….by Ed Foote

February 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME
COMMENTS FROM THE READERSHIP
2017 EVENTS STILL TO COME
SOUND ARCHIVE
MEL’S MEANDERINGS
QUOTABLE QUOTES (WELL, SORT OF)
KEEP YOUR ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FRESH
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER
ROUND DANCING – WE PROTEST!!!
THINK BIG: STEP SMALL (FROM NEBRASKA REPORTER)
THINGS ARE CHANGING
CHOREO CORNER
POETS CORNER
IT’S A SEX THING – LOOKING AT SLIDE THRU
ADVANCED MODULES
MAKING ADVANCES
CHOREO WITH A TWIST
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS … well at least for now

March 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
Caller Schools vs Caller Workshops — Mel Wilkerson March 2017 Part 2
Article Title Link to Edition
CALLER’S COOPERATIVE NEWSLETTER COVER PAGE
ON THE INSIDE TRACK – Table of contents
WELCOME
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
MEL’S MEANDERINGS…by Mel Wilkerson
QUOTABLE QUOTES (WELL, SORT OF)
ASK DR. ALLEMANDER
CHOREO CORNER: RESOLVES TO HOME
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE… by Mike R. O’phone
SLIDE THRU: 9 TIMES
POET’S CORNER
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED…by Ed Foote
HINTS AND TECHNIQUES FOR SQUARE DANCE CALLERS – Chinook Records
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
WHICH CAME FIRST? … bt Ken Ritucci
FOOD FOR THOUGHT – Use it but don’t abuse it….by Mel Wilkerson
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS … WELL AT LEAST FOR NOW

April 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME by Barry Wonson
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
Mel’s Meanderings Understanding the Singing Call
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
Ask Dr. Allemander
CHOREO CORNER: General Mainstream by new callers
FOR NEW DANCERS: THE FINAL EXAM
WE NEED EACH OTHER By Ken Ritucci
DEFINITIONS
POSITIVE PLUS. – PEEL OFF. by Mel Wilkerson
All Things Considered…. by Ed Foote
LITTLE WHEELS & BIG WHEELS By Barry Wonson
POET’S CORNER
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED Fun Modules and different Concepts
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED General choreography for variety
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

May 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
WELCOME
Australian Callers Federation Updates
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
GETTING BY WITH TRADE BY? By Mel Wilkerson
HOW TO BE A WELL-KNOWN SQUARE DANCER (AND CALLER) by George Pollock and Barry Wonson
MEL’S MEANDERINGS Tools of the Trade by Mel Wilkerson
Wit AND Wisdom with Jeff Garbutt
THE SQUARE DANCER’S CLOSET by Clifford Schartzer
QUOTABLE QUOTES
THE CALLER’S REWARD by Dick and Carol Mannin g
CHOREO CORNER: General Mainstream
DEFINITIONS
Positive Plus
Timing is everything by Jim Mayo
All Things Considered by Ed Foot e
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words … well at least for now.

June 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
2017 SPECIAL EVENT – Red Barons TRIPPLE EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
MID-YEAR RESOLUTION TIME by Andy Finch via Nick Turner
DOING IT DIXIE STYLE by Mel Wilkerson
Three Types of Calls and their Combinations by Paul Adams
NON DESTRUCTIVE TESTING by Don Beck
Mel’s Meanderings ½ SASHAYED OR REVERSED – JUST WHAT IS A REVERSED CALL?
CLASS TIME by Barry Wonson
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
POSITIVE PLUS
THINKING SKILLS Proactive vs reactive thinking: How to be proactive
DEFINITIONS
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED by Ed Foote HINTS FOR DANCING: SPIN CHAIN AND EXCHANGE THE GEARS
CHOREO CORNER : ADVANCED
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

July 2017
Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH…
On the Inside Track
AUSTRALIAN CALLERS’ FEDERATION UPDATE …
GENERAL NEWS …
Reader Feedback
2017 SPECIAL EVENT …
SOUND ARCHIVE
A CALLER’S VIEW: TOUCHING HANDS By Skip Brown
WHAT’S IN A NAME? New Formation /position naming conventions …
Square Recovery by Tim Marriner
NUTS AND BOLTS by Kip Garvey
LOOKING AT CROSS FOLD by Mel Wilkerson
Letter to Barry from one of his dancers
Mel’s Meanderings – The caller’s toolbox – Mechanics of Choreography THE CALLERS TOOLBOX:
LAMENT OF A SQUARE DANCER
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
Bowling Alone A book report by Jim Mayo
THROUGHLY PLUSSED
Editor’s final words – well at least for now
August 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
2017 SPECIAL EVENT
SOUND ARCHIVE
Modules – Creating Interesting Square Dance Choreography by Shaun Werkele
HEADS WILL ROLL – HALF SASHAY DOESN’T by Mel Wilkerson
The Voice By Barry Wonson
Controlled Resolution and Manipulation System (CRaMS) an overview by Jerry Story
QUOTABLE QUOTES (well, sort of)
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED (a focus on Grand Swing thru)
Editor’s final words … well at least for now

September 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Understanding the movements
New Caller Training – ANALYSING A CALL
What the heck is F.A.S.R and why is it important?
Methods of Choreographic Management
editor’s final words (well at least for this issue)

September Supplement 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS
– 2018 Australian National Convention – Update
– Australian Caller Federation (ACF) Update
– Red Barons Triple Celebration Weekend Update
– SARDANSW Caller Training Weekend Update
– 2020 National Convention & ACF Caller Conference Update
COURTESY TURNS By John Goodwin (from New England Dancer Magazine – 1990’s) …
SOUND ARCHIVE
THE WORKSHOP: Belligerent but Beautiful Basic
MEL’S MEANDERINGS: Preparing And Practicing The Patter Premiere
A BIT OF HISTORY by Merv Sharpe
SINGING CALLS By Paul Adams
THE RIGHT LADY by Steve Turner
THE SQUARE DANCE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Ken Ritucci
QUOTABLE QUOTES
MOVIN’ DOWN TO MAINSTREAM with Barry Wonson
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED with Barry Wonson
EDITOR’S FINAL WORDS
October/November 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS
2018 Australian National Convention – Update
SARDANSW Caller Training Weekend – Update
Australian Caller Federation (ACF) – Update
2020 National Convention & ACF Caller Conference
TYPOS – More pleasing Poetry
MORE ON CIRCULATES
What Makes Choreography Difficult and Why Should We Care by Don Beck
ASK Dr. ALLEMANDER
QUOTABLE QUOTES
REFLECTIONS OF A BEGINNER or ROUND DANCING IS FUN?
Movin Down to Mainstream by Barry Wonson…
ON RECORDING YOURSELF by Barry Wonson
How old is New – Choreographic Aiglets from the archives of Don Beck…
THOROUGHLY PLUSSED
Buliding Blocks for the PLUS PROGRAM
JIM’S JOTTINGS by Jim Mayo
Editor’s Final Words
Decembruary 2017

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
A Special Present for Subscribers
Event and Activities Updates
Update
ACF Conference 2020
BTM Website Update
From Our Readers
For The Dancers: Your attitude is showing
2018 SARDA NSW Education Clinic
Commandments For Square Dancers
Sound Archive
Nuts and Bolts by Kip Garvey
Breaking the Circle
Circle 4 VS Circle to a Line
Mel’s Meanderings – An Unpopular Opinion
ASK Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler (with Barry Wonson)
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – The Chicken Plucker
Throughly Plussed with Barry Wonson
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
February 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
 ACF Update
 ACF CONFERENCE 2020
 BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Comments from our Readers
For The Dancers: Callers Are Human Too….
Poetry Corner – Ode To The Square Dance Caller
A BASIC OVERVIEW OF TECHNICAL ZEROS – by Paul Bristow (UK)
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
What is Success – Square Dance “The Movie” vs Square Dance the Board game
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
EMPHASIS CALLS
 B/MS: Emphasis Call(s): PASS THE OCEAN and PASS TO THE CENTRE
 PLUS – Emphasis Call: – ANYTHING AND ROLL
 A1 – emphasis call: RIGHT/ LEFT ROLL TO A WAVE
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM with Barry
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
March 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
2018 59 th NATIONAL CONVENTION UPDATE
ACF Update
ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Comments from our Readers
ASYMMETRICAL CONCEPTS
UNSYMMETRICAL SIGHT CALLING by Keith Lethbridge
INTO THE UNKNOWN AND RETURN – ASYMMETRIC Steve Turner
ASYMMETRIC PRIMER FOR CALLERS by Vic Ceder
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
Teaching Round Dancing for Square Dancers!
CHOREO CORNER
EMPHASIS CALLS OF THE MONTH
Playing with Circulates
Playing with Cross fire
Playing with ¼ THRU AND ¾ THRU
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM with Barry
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
April 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
ON TEACHING
New caller training – I See The Light!!!
o EXTEMPORANEOUS SIGHT
New Caller Training – Second Sight
o EXTEMPORANEOUS SIGHT FROM START TO RESOLUTION
o THE TWO SIMPLEST AND BASIC RESOLUTION TECHNIQUES
o Centre Box Resolution Technique – REFERENCE SHEET
o 2 Face LinelResolution Technique – REFERENCE SHEET
New Caller Training – Modular Living
o THE EVER SO MIGHTY MODULE
o The SINGING CALL Module
o UNDERSTANDING THE MODULE CONCEPT – Practical Example
o PREPARED AND PRACTICED PATTER PERFORMANCE
NEWS AND NOTES – AUSTRALIAN FOCUS
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC with Betsy Gotta
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
May Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
ustralian National Convention WENTWORTH FALLS 2020 Update
 BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
New Music Update
Sound Archive
Stretching The Friendship (Definition) – Steve Turner
Quotable Quotes (well, sort of)
What The Heck Is FASR? – Paul Bristow
 Analysing A Call Worksheet
Emphasis Calls Of The Month Mel Wilkerson
 Eight Chain Family…
 Peel the Top…
JIM’S JOTTINGS: Jim Mayo Speaks Out on MICRO-PROGRAMMING
Ten Ways for Dancers and Callers to Keep Dancers Square Dancing – Patrick Demerath …
Reverse Engineering Resolutions –- Mel Wilkerson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream – Barry Wonson
2018 SARDA NSW EDUCATION CLINIC
May 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
Thoughts On the Division of Time Devoted To Studying Patter Choreo vs Singing Calls

June 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
Australian National Convention 2020
ACF Update
ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Comments: June Special Soapbox Edition
Sound Archive
Separating the Fly Poop from the Pepper
Importance of Vocal Warm Ups for Square Dance Callers by Lisa Lincol
for Square Dance Callers by Lisa Lincoln
Good Things about Square Dancing By Betsy and Roy Gotta
Encouraging new dancers to join. By Betsy and Roy Gotta
They’re in the door, now what? by Roy Gotta
Working as a Duet by Steve Turner
Movin’ Down The Mainstream
Playing with Wheel and Deal – Workshopping extended variants
Quotable Quotes
The Right Lady By Steve Turner
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out
From Our Side Of The Mike (Denver Caller Association Presentation)By Herb Egender
Footenotes: The 11th Commandment By Foote
You Have Never Thought About This – The caller thought process from Ed Foote
Mel’s Meanderings A commentary on “Star Thru, Veer Left”
Throughly Plussed – Story Time With Barry Wonson
Plus focus of the month – Chase Right / Left
2018 SARDA NSW Education Clinic
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
July/August 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
Music This Month
Event And Activities Updates
— Acf Update
— Acf Conference 2020
— Btm Website Update
Sound Archive
Square Dance History
Callerlab – Changes To The Mainstream Program
Comments From Our Readers
Talking Up Square Dancing By Roy Gotta
Easier Square Dancing (various)
Mel’s Meanderings – Focus Modules and Sight Calling
Quotable Quotes
Well Grounded By Jim Mayo
Moving Down The Mainstream By Barry Wonson
Positive Plus – Using ¾ Tag The Line
Is The Beat The Enemy Of The Phrasing – By Hal Rice
Using Music Well by Jim Mayo
Choreo Corner – Just A Little Bit More – Using Once And A Half
Editor’s Final Words …Well At Least For Now
September 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— Australian National Convention WENTWORTH FALLS 2020
— ACF Update
— SARDANSW
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020
BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
1958: Just what were they dancing way back then?
Mel’s Meanderings – Diamonds in the Rough by Mel Wilkerson
The Man With The Mike (Author Unknown)
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – Micro-programming
Not The Same Old Tag Line – ¼ And ¾ Tag The Line At Mainstream
Smooth Dancing By Paul Bristow
— TIMING AND BODY FLOW Part 1 – Overview and Timing (1)
— TIMING AND BODY FLOW Part 2 –Timing (2)
Body Flow by Brian Hotchkies
Movin’ Down The Mainstream – Out of Left Field by Barry Wonson
Ask Dr. Allemander By Barry Wonson
Micro-Tips For Dancers By Allen Conroy
Editor’s final words
October 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
Btm Website Update
Share And We All Succeed – A Caller’s Edict
Workshop Choreography.
Teaching Techniques By Jerry Reed .
Music, Beat Tempo By Paul Adams
Tools Of The Trade: Compilation Article – Various
Starter Tool Kit Zeros And Equivalents
— A. Simple Starting Zeros From Facing Lines Of Four:
— B. Zeros From Box:
— C. Zeros From Waves:
Starter Tool Kit Simple Equivalents
— A. Partners Trade Equivalents:
— B. Pass Thru (Pass By, Pull By) Equivalents:
— C. Right And Left Thru Equivalents:
— D. Star Thru Equivalents:
— E. Square Thru Two Equivalents:
— F. Square Thru Four Equivalents:
— G. Lead To The Right Equivalents:
— H. Lead To The Left Equivalents:
— I. Some Other Useful Equivalents:
Line Zeros
Box Zeros
Editor’s Final Words …Well At Least For Now
October Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF Conference 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter – Randy Doherty
— Special Update – Voice Coach for 2020 Conference – Arden Hopkin
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
Smooth Dancing – Caller Education Series by Paul Bristow
— Timing and Body Flow part 3 – Body Flow
— Timing and Body Flow Part 4 – Final Thoughts
Disposable Calls – A Commentary by Barry Wonson
— Cross the Ocean by Larry Letson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream
— Scoot Back Once & a Half by Barry Wonson
— Workshop Teaching – Dixie Style to a Wave / Uusing Left Hand Waves by Gary Dodds
Ask Dr. Allemander By Glenn Ickler
Jim’s Jottings: Jim Mayo Speaks Out – Square Dance History
Walk, Stretch or Dance? Dancing May Be Best for the Brain By Gretchen Reynolds
BTM Focus Move of the Month – Eight Chain Family
Showmanship by Paul Bristow
POSITIVE PLUS: Rolling Around by Barry Wonson
UNDERSTANDING BOXES by Ed Foote
WORDS OF WISDOM from Jeffrey Garbutt
MOVIN’ DOWN THE MAINSTREAM by Barry Wonson
Spinning the Top or Spinning Your Wheels? by Mel Wilkerson
POETS CORNER – THE POOR BEGINNER (author Unknown)
CALLING DUETS by Chris Froggatt
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
November/December 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
ON THE INSIDE TRACK
SOUND ARCHIVE
Mel’s Meanderings – Preparing for the Polished Performance
The Five Keys to Success by Mr Self Development
The Odd Couple – 7 couples – No Problem
Editor’s final words …well at least for now
November/December Supplement 2018

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track by Barry Wonson
Event And Activities Updates
— ACF Update January 2019
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 –
— • ACF 2020 Special guest profiles – Randy Doherty and Arden Hopkin
— • Why would you want to come?
— • The ACF 2020 Caller Conference Program
— • Administration
— • The post-conference wrap-up dinner cruise special
— • New ACF Conference Newsletter
— BTM WEBSITE UPDATE
Sound Archive
Learning the Tricks of The Trade: Good Timing by Chris Froggatt
Scooting Around The Issues by Mel Wilkerson
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Circle to a Line by the BTM Staff
Ask Dr. Allemander by Barry Wonson and Glenn Ickler
Movin’ Down The Mainstream By Barry Wonson
On Programming – Programming A Square Dance Convention by Jim Mayo
Positively Plussed by Barry Wonson
Understanding Leaders & Trailers By Ed Foote
An Oddity: for those who remember Pounds & Ounces by Tony Instone
A1 Fun – A Chain of Reactions – from our readers
Special Presentation: Music-Beat-Tempo. Calling & dancing by Paul Adams
Poets Corner – Dare to Be Square by Gershon Hepner
Quotable Quotes – Well…sort of anyway
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
January 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track
The Interview – Jack Luby Interviews Ed Gilmore 1961
Square Dancing Paradoxes By Jeff Garbutt
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
January Supplement 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track with Barry Wonson
From our readers
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— Voice coach for 2020 Conference
— The Post-Conference Wrap-Up Dinner Cruise Special
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
Body-flow in Square Dancing by Doren McBroom
Sight Resolution Logic Path unkown
Mel’s Meanderings: What is a gimmick? by Mel Wilkerson …
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month by Mel Wilkerson …
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Square Dance – Etiquette ?? from ASD Magazine circa 1970 (ish)
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
DIXIE GRAND Part 1 by Ed Foote
Caller Resources – CALLERAMA from Kip Garvey
Being Creative with Scoot Back by Guido Haas
Positively Plus: EXPLODE & (anything) with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
The Technical “I KNOW BETTER’ Caller an opinion by Mel Wilkerson
Dancing by Definition edited document by Joe Pryluck and the Unconventional Squares
A1 Fun – Moving up to Advanced or Challenge an opinioin by Allan Hurst
The Future of Square Dancing by Jim Mayo
Poets Corner
— Square dance Poem – Author unknown
— At a Cowboy Dance – from an 1898 collection by James Barton Adams
Where is my Corner?? By Susie Kelly
Editor’s Final Words — At Least For Now
February 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— ACF Update
— ACF CONFERENCE 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— BTM Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
Points for Better Calling by Rich Reel
Mainstream Resolutions – “Tag, You’re It” with Mel Wilkerson
Tourist Guide to Aussie English
Positively Plussed – more resolutions with Mel Wilkerson
1/2 SASHAY by Bill Peters
A Rose By Any Other Name: A question of Language by Mel Wilkerson
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Positive Plus with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
Square Dance Troubles 1995-1998 by Jim Mayo
A1 Fun with Mel Wilkerson
Dixie Grand (Continued) by Ed Foote – Addendum by Brian Hotchkies
Thoughts by Alan Eades
Hypocrisy Of The Roundalab Phase System by Ed Foote
You’re Starting a What? by Glenn Rogerson
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson
Poets Corner – FRIENDS by Norm Gifford
Mainstream: SIMPLY SINGING CALLS – by Chris Froggatt
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now from Barry Wonson
March 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
What’s Inside This Month
On The Inside Track with Barry Wonson
Event And Activities Updates
— Acf Update
— Acf Conference 2020 – Feature Caller/Presenter
— Voice Coach For 2020 Conference
— The Post-Conference Wrap-Up Dinner Cruise Special
— Btm Website Update
Sound Archive
— Educational Programs
— Dance Recordings
The Ear, The Mic, And The Music by Glenn Rogerson
Finding The Right Caller For Your Club by Debi Bliss
Finished Basic – What Happens Now? By Barry Wonson and Mel Wilkerson
Paul’s Five Call Guarantee by Paul Cote
Btm – Focus Movement Of The Month – Split Circulate
Movin’ Down The Mainstream with Barry Wonson
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin – Plus Stuff by Mel Wilkerson
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Pushing The Definitions – Working Offsets by Barry Wonson and Jeff Seidel
Death By Committee by Barry Wonson
Flow Sequencing by Mel Wilkerson
Improvising Singing Calls By Jim Mayo
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now
April 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS MONTH
On the Inside Track
Event and Activities Updates
— 2020 ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike – Caller Resources
— BTM Website Update
— Sound Archive – Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— o Educational Programs
— o Dance Recordings
— o Our Music
RE-VISIT – Working Off-sets from April 2019 – Response to readers
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Basic and Mainstream “Bend the Line”
BTM – Focus Movement of the Month – Plus “Fan the Top”
Poets Corner
— Square Dance Basic by Mary F. Halsey
— swing Your Partner by Dorothy Zimmerman
Finished basic – what happens now? – by Mel Wilkerson
Ask Dr. Allemander – with Glenn Ickler and Barry Wonson
Square Dance Patter Sequences – by Mel Wilkerson – inspired by Glenn Rogerson
Planning Your Dance (Night) – by Geoff Clarke
Changing Times: The Future of Yellow Rock – by Ed Foote
That’s Not My Corner – by Mel Wilkerson (various) a compillation article
Dancing with Fractions – inspired by a workshop by Wendy Vandermeulen
Calling A Dance Using “SKYPE” – information provided by Jerry Reed
Angeling for Tech Squares – with permission of Tech Squares
Circulated between friends – by Mel Wilkerson (various) a complillation article
Let them dance!! – Atricle inspired and approved by Deborah Carroll-Jones
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now – from Barry Wonson
May 2019

Article Title Link to Edition
On the Inside Track by Barry Wonson
Event and Activities Updates
— 2020 ACF Caller Conference
Behind the Mike – Caller Resources
— BTM Website Update
— Sound Archive – Caller Material Available From SARDANSW
— • Educational Programs
— • Dance Recordings
— • Our Music
Dancing Movement versus Spatial Orientation by Kip Garvey
Poet’s Corner – Friends by Norm Zech
Every Argument About Square Dancing Ever by Shaney Crawford
Focus Movement of the Month by Mel Wilkerson
The Technical “I Know Better” Caller by Mel Wilkerson and others – collated discussion article
POSITIVE PLUS with Barry Wonson and Jaden Frigo
Quality of Dancing by Jim Mayo
Why can’t they move to the beat? By Mel Wilkerson – inspired by Lee Meador
Ask Dr. Allemander by Glen Ickler and Barry Wonson
Gimmick Time from Barry Wonson
Promotion/Communication by Paul Bristow
T-Bones To Diamonds by Jeff Seidel
NOT THE SAME OLD TAG LINE By Mel Wilkerson and others ¼ and ¾ tag revisited
Editor’s Final Words….At Least For Now by Barry Wonson
June/July 2019

Caller Training Materials

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2019-12-15

Newer callers or people wondering what might be involved in learning to call are interested in what kind of educational material might be available. This article summarizes available caller training materials. The KnowledgeBase has many articles that are aimed at providing technical information to callers. The distinction between them and the materials listed here is that this article deals with items particularly aimed at people in the early stages of learning to call.

In the table below you can click on the title to view the material described (in most cases)

Title Description
So You Want To Be a Caller?

Struggling Up The Cliff
The first paper is by Paul Cote, who is a verteran caller, explains what is really involved in learning to call from the vantage point of 27 years experience. The second paper by Tom Gray is a report from a newer caller on what he is encountering as he is learning to call.
List of Schools If the papers above haven’t deterred you, here’s a current list of caller schools taught by CALLERLAB members.
Starter Kit for Newer Callers This 3-ring binder of materials was created by the CALLERLAB Caller Training Committee to start new callers on their way. Some caller schools provide it as part of their handout materials, or you can order it from the CALLERLAB Home Office for $25.
Scholarship Information The CALLERLAB Foundation provides funds for scholarships to caller schools. You can get information on how to apply on the linked page.
Mentoring Handbook This handbook was written by the CALLERLAB Caller Training Committee to help callers who are mentoring a protoge. However, the information it contains is extremely helpful to newer callers who don’t have access to a mentor in their area.
How To Call This handbook was written by Jim Mayo in 1966 but remains relevant today. The basic principles have not changed!
Modules Modules represent a great entry point into understanding choreography and how dance sequences are constructed. This article points to a long list of materials on the subject.
Sight and Module Resolution Systems This reference document, created by the CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee contains a wealth of information on resolving squares. It can seem overwhelming to beginners, but the introductory chapters contain valuable insights into fundamentals and an introduction to relevant terminology.
Tim Marriner Resource Pages The late Tim Marriner left a library of educational material available online. It contains many papers and handouts on topics relevant to a beginner caller.
Taminations Taminations is an online tool that allows you to view the official definitions of calls along with an animated display of the call action.
ceder.net The ceder.net website contains a huge repository of square dance information in a searchable form.
musicforcallers.com The CALLERLAB Square Dance Music Producers Committee has provided this website to aggregate their collective music offerings. It includes most of the currently active music producers. It provides a generalized search facility across labels and provides a listing of the most recent releases.
Online Teaching Resource The CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource provides a huge amount of information on the calls comprising the entry level programs: definitions, teaching tips, sample modules, standard applications, and much more.
CALLERLAB Program Documents Each CALLERLAB program has a number of documents associated with it: call lists, definitions, teaching checklists, standard applications, etc. This article collects them all together.
Books The KnowledgeBase points to a number of published books available for purchase, many of which are aimed at newer callers. The link shows a list of those articles.
Computer Aids The KnowledgeBase points to a number of computer programs designed to assist callers in tasks such as writing choreography, managing and playing music, and using computer numbers.

Dave Wilson’s Ocean Wave Resolution Method

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Clark Baker

“2007”

PDF File

This write-up by Clark Baker describes a sight resolution method presented at a 2007 caller school by Dave Wilson. Dave is a big fan of this method because it seems to be easier to learn, uses fewer calls, and is more forgiving when you make mistakes. It is the first method he teaches in his caller schools.

This method is described with some additional details in the CALLERAB Sight and Module Resolution Guide.


Technical Zeros

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com)

2019-04-20

Technical Zeros

Ever wonder what a “technical zero” is exactly? Or what use they actually are? Are you afraid of using them because the results seem unpredictable? In this paper Barry Johnson takes you through what they are, how they work, and how you can use them to benefit your choreography.


Becoming A Square Dance Caller 2nd Edition (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2019-07-22

Purchase Online

When Bruce Holmes was learning to call, he had no luck finding a textbook to help him through the process. Now that he is a caller, he has written the book he wished he had when he was first learning. You can read the table of contents by clicking on the button below. For purchase information click on the Purchase Online link to the left.

2nd Edition
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why I Wrote This Book ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
The Plan ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
The Circle Before The Square …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
Into The Square ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Remembering The People In Your Square ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Modules ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Equivalents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
Flow ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
More Modules ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
The Loop ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
Moving Around The Square ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22
Your First Sequence …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
Technical & Fractional Zeros …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
Doppelgangers …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27
Partner Lines ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
The Difference Between Corner Box and Partner Lines ……………………………………………………………………. 29
Converting From Boxes To Lines And Back Again …………………………………………………………………………. 31
Module calling versus Sight Calling, Part II …………………………………………………………………………………… 33
Advanced Resolve: Anything You Can Imagine ……………………………………………………………………………… 43
Box Resolves – Couples Facing Couples …………………………………………………………………………………………… 46
A-Box Resolves ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47
D-Box Resolves ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48
The Grand Resolve Summarized ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 49
Get-Outs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 52
Resolves From Partner Lines ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 52
Resolves From Ocean Waves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54
Resolving Using Folds …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56
Partner Lines to an Allemande Left ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 58
You’re Home From Partner Lines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 59
Putting on Your Big Girl Pants (Cool Endings) ……………………………………………………………………………………. 60
2
Spin Chain Thru ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
Chase Right ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
Follow Your Neighbor …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64
Resolves From Corner Box …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 65
You’re Home From Corner Box ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 68
Moving to a Quadrant ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
Little Pieces of the Puzzle …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 71
What Makes For Good Calling? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 72
Microphones ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73
Confidence ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73
When You Screw Up ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
Music For Patter ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75
Modifying The BPM ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 76
Stringing Songs Together ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 76
Singing Calls ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 77
Getting The Verse Sequence To Work ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
Putting A Singing Call Together …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 79
Singing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 82
Getting Started In Calling ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 83
Equipment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 84
Intro Parties ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 87
The Talk ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 90
Lessons ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 92
Why I Use Club50/SSD ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 93
The Forgotten Calls ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 95
Filling Out Squares …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 96
Rectangles ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 96
Standard Applications ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 101
Easy Calls Resolve ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 102
Creating Modules …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 112
Building Your Library …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 112
Getting Up To Call ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 117
Conventions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 118
Lists ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 120
Equivalents ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 120
Corner Box Get-Ins ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 121
3
Alternatives to Allemande Left from a Corner Box …………………………………………………………………………. 122
Partner Line Get-Ins …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 123
Partner Line Get-Outs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 124
A-Box Get-Outs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126
D-Box Get-Outs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126
Box To Line Conversions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 127
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 128
Callerlab …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 130
FASR ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 131
Formations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 132
Eight Chain Thru …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 133
Facing Lines (Lines Facing In) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 134
Lines Facing Out …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 135
Trade By ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 136
Double Pass Thru …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 137
Completed Double Pass Thru ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 137
Parallel Two-Faced Lines ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 138
Parallel Ocean Waves ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 139
Columns (Right or Left) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 140
Z Formations (Left & Right) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 140
Fractional Tags …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 141
Point To Point Diamonds ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 142
Facing Point To Point Diamonds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 142
Tidal Wave …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143
Tidal Two-Faced Line ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143
Arrangement ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 144
Half Sashayed Solutions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 144
Waves …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 145
How Circulates Change Arrangement ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 147
Diamonds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 147
Sequence …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 148
Alternative Resolve Methods …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 149
Mental Image ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 149
CRaMS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 149
Call List ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 150


Calling For Modern Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Jim Mayo (jmayo329@aol.com)

“1966”

Caller Text

This 79-page caller text was written in 1966 by Jim Mayo, a square dance calling icon and a founding father of CALLERLAB. Despite its original publication date, this is not a historical document. Most of the information and guidance provided is still applicable today. Even the section on Equipment, which you might imagine would be quite archaic after more than 50 years, offers valuable information to help you select appropriate equipment. This document is an invaluable reference for both new and experienced callers. The table of contents is shown below:

Chapter Page
Introduction 1
1. The Music and The Call 2
2. Choreography 11
3. Timing 34
4. Programming 41
5. Teaching 49
6. Equipment 57
7. Square Dance Club Administration 65


Relationship Sight Calling Simplified

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com)

2019-02-11

Relationship Sight Calling White Paper

This 14-page white paper by Kip Garvey explores how understanding the patterns of relationships that occur in normally arranged couples can enhance a caller’s control while sight calling and resolving.


Behind The Mike Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Barry Wonson (bjwonson@gmail.com)

Behind The Mike Newsletter Archive

Behind The Mike is a newsletter for callers and cuers published out of Australia by Barry Wonson. It typically contains lots of material on choreography, music, teaching and other topics of value to callers and cuers.

The Table of Contents entries for past BTM editions have been gathered together in a separate article to facilitate searching for specific topics. Click here to view that article.

Call Me Crazy (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com) 10 October, 2017 Book

This 178 page book presents a Step By Step Process For Calling And Teaching Modern Western Square Dances. if you’ve ever thought you might like to be a square dance caller, this is the place to start. As a prerequisite, you should have considerable experience with modern western square dancing and be a fluent dancer through the Plus dancing program. This book is packed with valuable information and detailed lesson plans for conducting One Night Stands and new dancer learning programs. The author Kip Garvey is a world class square dance caller with over 55 years experience teaching square dancing and teaching aspiring square dance callers.

Click on the “Book” link to the left to see more information and purchase online.


Sets In Order Archive

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bob Osgood

1948-1985

SIO Archive Page

Click on the link to view a page pointing to digitized copies of complete editions of the Sets In Order magazine.

This page is a tribute to Bob and Becky Osgood. The Sets In Order magazines are one of their legacys that comprise in these pages the history of modern square dancing. Bob began publishing SIO in 1948 and the last issue was issued in December 1985, 444 issues.

This material is Copyright (C) by Bob Osgood, and his heirs and may not be reproduced in any form including digital transmission for commercial purposes. Short articles may be reprinted using credit: “Reprinted from [magazine] and magazine year and month. magazine should be replaced by the appropriate magazine name such as SQUARE DANCING Magazine, official magazine of The Sets in Order American Square Dance Society” or just “Sets In Order” for earlier issues. Please credit by-lined authors.


Nuts And Bolts (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Kip Garvey (kip@kipgarvey.com) 5 March, 2017 Book

This 190 page book by one of the legendary figures in MWSD presents an analysis of choreographic structure for modern western square dance callers and dancers. With over 50 years experience as a professional square dance caller, Kip presents the principles of calling current day square dance for readers interested in understanding underlying concepts and technique with emphasis on the technical aspects of choreography. This deep dive into choreographic theory is loaded with graphic illustrations and many Getout, Conversion and Transition call modules. It is a text that should be in every caller’s library.

Click on the “Book” link to the left to see more information and purchase online.


Controlling Choreography With Relationships

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Barry Johnson (callerbear@gmail.com) 2014 Controlling Choreography With Relationships (PDF File)

This 78 page document is a detailed description of how callers can use dancer relationships as a tool for resolving squares. See the document abstract below for additional details.

From a choreographic point of view,callers describe the position of the dancers in a square by using four descriptive attributes: Formation, Arrangement, Sequence and Relationships.

  • Formation describes the spots on the floor in which dancers are standing,
  • Arrangement describes the way dancing genders are standing relative to one another,
  • Sequence describes whether or not dancers are in the original squared set order, and
  • Relationship describes which men and which women are near one another.

Together, these four attributes can be used to precisely define the choreographic state of a square, and a specific combination of these four values is called a “FASR” (pronounced “fah-zer”).

For decades, many callers have focused on Formation, Arrangement and Sequence while tracking dancers as they move through a sequence. Although formation and arrangement are fairly easy to see, sequence is not — especially “on the fly” since many calls will change the sequence of some or all dancers. There are specific techniques that can be used to resolve a square using just formation, arrangement and sequence, but these techniques may require several steps to reach the final desired result. The complexity of those techniques leads many callers to “hunt for corners”, trying one call after another until the dancers fall into a recognizable FASR.

With this focus on Formation, Arrangement and Sequence the fourth leg of the nomenclature system, Relationship, has generally been ignored.

But it turns out that the relationships of the dancers can actually be easier for many callers to understand and see while a square is in motion, and the principles of using relationships while calling can be learned in just a few minutes. Once relationships are recognizable, the state of the square is easily identified in almost any FASR at all. A few simple “cookbook” rules allow a caller to consciously change the relationships at will, giving the caller a great deal of control over the state of the square.

There are three main ways that callers can use relationships:

  • Finding their way out when they’re lost: being able to recognize the state of the square, then regaining control by consciously changing stations;
  • As a framework within which modules and desired choreographic sequences can be used. Put the dancers into a known station, dance them around as desired while preserving the station (or consciously changing it to a different one), and finally resolve without question because you know exactly where the dancers are.
  • As a launching pad for using memorized get-outs from many different starting positions.

We’ll discuss each of these areas in the pages that follow.

Relationships and CRaMS
For the last several years, some callers have been advocating a larger calling system named CRaMS, the “Controlled Relationship and Manipulation System.” Readers that are familiar with CRaMS will recognize much of the material in this book. CRaMS uses relationship choreographic control as just one of several tools and techniques to achieve the broader goal of helping callers to improve upon their craft. We’ll talk more about the larger system of CRaMS in Chapters 7 and 17.

Relationships and Mental Image
Astute readers may also notice several similarities to Don Beck’s Mental Image system, particularly in the way that calls are classified based on the way they affect the setup of the square. Both systems (Relationships and Mental Image) rely on the symmetries of the square as calls are executed — and therefore are likely to resemble one another, even while coming at the problem from very different directions and using completely different vocabularies.



Sight And Module Resolution Systems Document

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document CHOREOGRAPHIC APPLICATIONS COMMITTEE (CAC),
CALLER TRAINING COMMITTEE, and
CALLER COACH COMMITTEE
(edited by Dottie Welch)
2018-02-01 Full Document PDF

This document is a compendium describing dozens of known systems for resolving squares, including both sight and module based approaches. The objective was to document as many systems as possible that are currently in use by experienced callers. Experienced callers can use it to discover different approaches that may help them add variety. Newer callers can use it to select a method that would work best for them as they are learning to resolve smoothly.

The goal of this project is to help callers improve their ability to present smooth and danceable choreography by increasing their knowledge of efficient and interesting resolution systems. The name “Sight and Module Resolution Systems” has been chosen to indicate that the focus is on resolution systems in which the caller first uses sight, or a combination of modules and sight, to move the dancers into a recognizable FASR and then uses one or more modules to resolve the square. Perhaps the FASR will be one where the square will be resolved by simply calling “Allemande Left”, “Right and Left Grand”, “Promenade”, or “Back Out At Home”. The intention is to document as many different systems as possible that proficient sight callers are using. We are interested in what sight callers are thinking and what their intermediate goals are as they resolve the square. The hope is that such documentation will help other callers become aware of the possibilities. Every attempt has been made to write explanations of the systems that can be understood by the average Basic or Mainstream caller. The choreographic examples are sorted by CALLERLAB program, and always begin with Basic calls. They also include examples using Mainstream, Plus, Advanced and Challenge calls. There is no intent to recommend one system over another. The aim is to increase understanding about what other callers are thinking. Brains work in different ways, so over the years callers have developed different systems for comprehending the patterns of square dancing. Hopefully, at least one of the systems documented here will be a natural fit to each caller’s individual reasoning style. Also there is a need for different systems, or adjustments within a system, to accommodate differences in the vocabulary of the dancers. Some attention is given to sight calling for the whole spectrum; from new dancers with a very limited vocabulary to Challenge dancers with an extensive vocabulary.

This is primarily a reference tool. All readers will need to be familiar with the terminology and skills discussed in the second and fourth chapters. Each of the systems discussed in the remaining chapters can be studied individually. Chapter 14 contains a huge supply of useful Get-Outs. The hope is that appropriate parts of the document will be read by new sight callers, somewhat experienced sight callers, proficient sight callers, and teachers of sight callers. The expectation is that readers will come with differing needs and will be looking for various degrees of complexity. Some will be looking for clear explanations of the “old ways” which they hear being used by many experienced callers. Others will come looking for new ideas. The knowledge that there are “new ways” or “other ways” of thinking about sight calling is the underlying motivation for compiling all of this information into one document.

Thanks go to all those who have contributed directly or indirectly to the information contained here. The development of sight calling has been a long and complex process extending back at least to the 1960s. These systems reflect innumerable hours of pawn pushing, a great many discussions between callers, and more than 50 years of wonderful dancing.


Caller Drill Program

Article Type Submitter Date Links Description
Idea Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2015-05-29 Callarama Program

One of the most difficult parts of learning to call is finding opportunities to practice with live dancers. Today’s computer technologies could compensate for some of that by providing a program to drill callers that are in the process of learning choreographic techniques that require them to quickly see patterns and make decisions about how to manipulate the square. The most obvious use would be to practice sight resolution techniques, but there are lots of others. Callarama is a program which accepts voice command input and executes the call with a display of animated dancers. As it exists today it is too slow to serve as a drill program, but (presumably) it could be tweaked to allow for that use. Perhaps CALLERLAB could approach the owner and offer to fund a specialized version of the program aimed at caller training.