Sets In Order (SIO) Yearbooks

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-25

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

The Sets In Order magazine published monthly. The Sets In Order Yearbooks each compile a year’s worth of the technical information about calls, choreography, and round dances into a single document. They differ from the monthly magazine editions in not containing social information, cartoons, sewing tips, advertising, etc.

Some of the pdfs below can be slow to load in your browser. Be patient. Or download them and view them on your computer.

Five Year Yearbook Searchable (16.2 MiB)
Number 1 Yearbook Searchable (20.1 MiB)
Number 2 Yearbook Searchable (11.9 MiB)
Number 3 Yearbook Searchable (10.2 MiB)
Number 4 Yearbook Searchable (11.8 MiB)
Number 5 Yearbook Searchable (10.6 MiB)
Number 6 Yearbook Searchable (13.0 MiB)
Number 7 Yearbook Searchable (13.2 MiB)
Yearbook 1964 (14.4 MiB)
Yearbook 1965 (28.1 MiB)
Yearbook 1966 (27.1 MiB)
Yearbook 1968 (18.1 MiB)
Yearbook 1970 (37.5 MiB)
Yearbook 1972 (18.1 MiB)
Yearbook 1974 (20.3 MiB)
Yearbook 1976 (18.2 MiB)
Yearbook 1978 (27.3 MiB)
Yearbook 1980 (25.4 MiB)
Yearbook 1982 (24.9 MiB)


The How & Why of New Basics

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Paul Hartman 1974 How & Why of New Basics

This paper by Paul Hartman appeared in American Square Dance magazine in 1974. It describes how square dancing evolved to become what we now call Modern Western Square Dancing during the period from just after World War II to the early seventies. This period was marked by changes in the style and philosophy of square dancing and the influx of many new calls. These new calls were called new “basics”, hence the title of the paper. The paper describes how the process of introducing these new calls shaped the dance we know and culminated in the formation of CALLERLAB with the explicit mission to provide some management and control of the process.


all8.com

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Rich Reel Website

Rich started all8.com as a place to keep his notes as he was learning to call. It has grown into a useful resource for all callers and includes singing call figures, modules, articles on sight calling, and other miscellaneous information on learning to call.

Caller Tutorial and Discussion Sessions

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Orange County Callers Assoc

Session Videos

During the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Zoom caller groups emerged. These sessions typically provide tutorials and/or discussion on topics of interest to callers. The Orange County Callers Association website is hosting a collection of recordings of such sessions. A wide variety of topics and speakers are covered.

See also the KnowledgeBase article on the CLASS seminars here


Two-Person (Minimal Phantoms) Square Dancing

Article Type Submitter Date Story Abstract
Winning Ways Story Bob & Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love, Nanaimo, BC 2020-08-14

Bob & Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love, in Nanaimo, BC created a whole series of videos they titled “Dancing In The Garage”. They are aimed at people who can’t assemble an entire square – or maybe not even another couple. This story explains how they went about creating the series and designing their choreography to provide a dance experience for one couple – or even individual people. Their objective was to minimize the use of phantoms, which differs somewhat from many other offerings that assume at least 4 real people. You can find pointers to their videos in this article.

Read More …


SSD Documentation and Support Materials


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2020-09-07 15:17:27

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system called Sustainable Square Dance (SSD). Earlier versions of this system had been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

In July, 2020 CALLERLAB announced this system and the supporting Committee were renamed Social Square Dance (SSD). Only the name changed. All existing supporting materials still apply. At the same time, the CALLERLAB Board of Governors formally endorsed the use of SSD as a recommended vehicle for a rapid restart of square dancing after the COVID pandemic subsides.

SSD is designed to provide a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 20-25 hours of instruction, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to SSD, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers happy in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

This article collects in one place documentation and materials that support the use of the SSD system. Some were created by the CALLERLAB SSD Committee while others were created by people using the system in the field. These are presented in two separate groups below. Click on the buttons below to view the respective tables.

Item Title (link) Description
Social Square Dance (SSD) Teaching Guide This comprehensive document provides a lesson plan, teaching tips, and sample choreography to jump-start callers on implementing the SSD lesson system.
Press Release announcing Board Of Governors endorsement Board Of Governors endorsement for using SSD as an approach for rapid restart of square dancing after COVID-19.
COVID-19 Information Page This page collects CALLERLAB information related to COVID-19.

The table below has two sections. The first contains materials of direct assistance to callers/dancers working with SSD – lists, videos, call definitions, etc. The second contains stories and experiences contributed by users of SSD.

Item Title (link) Description
Supporting Documentation and Materials  
SSD Teaching Videos North Shore Squares in Evanston, ILL created a series of teaching videos that demonstrate the calls in the SSD 50-call lesson plan.
Flash cards for SSD calls. Each card has the name of the call on one side and a dancer-friendly description of the call on the other. These sets of cards can be distributed to dancers as a teaching aid.
SSD Call Booklets North Shore Squares of Evanston, IL created definition booklets as an SSD teaching aid. The booklets contain a concise and easily read definition for each call, many including color diagrams to illustrate the action.
SSD Alphabetical Call List A single page that alphabetically lists the calls used in the SSD lesson system. The sheet highlights the calls from the Mainstream list that are used in SSD and also lists separately the Mainstream calls that are NOT used..
Stories and Experiences
North Shore Squares – 0 to 50 in 18 months An inspiring personal narrative that charts a journey through the process of using the Social Square Dance (SSD – formerly named Sustainable Square Dance) system as a tool to dig their club out of an all-too-common hole.
Stories from Facebook Some stories posted in Facebook about experiences using SSD.
Teaching an SSD Class This Winning Ways story from a newer caller explains how she is using the SSD program to teach new dancers.
Save Square Dancing With SSD Jerry Story and Deborah Carroll-Jones outline the philosophy and approach of SSD and how it can be used to solve square dancing’s biggest problem: recruitment and retention.

Jack Lasry’s Notes For Callers

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-06-20

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of Jack Lasry’s Notes For Callers note service. This publication had a focus on choreography and teaching tips. The list below covers editions from 1969 to 1990. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are not full-text searchable.


Notes For European Callers Note Service

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-26

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of Notes For European Callers originally produced by Al Stevens and later taken over by Lorenz Kuhlee. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to European callers. The list below covers editions from 1988 to 2001. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. Pdfs prior to 1996 are not full-text searchable but subsequent ones are.


News ‘N Notes Caller Note Service (Advanced)

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-26

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of News ‘N Notes (Advanced) produced by Ed Foote. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to callers. The list below covers editions from 1984 to 1989. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are not full-text searchable.


News ‘N Notes Caller Note Service

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-26

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of News ‘N Notes produced by Al Brundage, Earl Johnston, and Ed Foote. This publication was a caller note service with a focus on choreography, but also containing other topics of interest to callers. The list below covers editions from 1984 to 1989. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are full-text searchable.


Choreo Breakdown Note Service

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-25

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of Choreo Breakdown. This caller note service was instituted by Bill Peters and was later taken over by Don Beck. As you can infer from the title, it dealt primarily with choreography and new calls. The list below covers editions from 1972 to 1992. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are not full-text searchable.


Mikeside Management Caller Note Service

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-25

Over the years there have been many excellent magazines and caller note service publications offering valuable information for callers and dancers. The Square Dance Foundation of New England has digitized editions from a number of them and made them available on their website. You can view their entire collection HERE. These publications form an important part of our square dance history, but they also contain much valuable information that is still pertinent today.

This article points to editions of Mikeside Management by Stan and Cathie Burdick. The list below covers editions from 1992 to 2001. Click on the title to view a pdf of the scanned edition. The pdfs are full-text searchable.

In the first edition they explain their objectives as follows:

We want this MM Note Service to be a smorgasbord for callers, with appeal to those of many different tastes. There’ll be many good solid tips to help every caller improve in some way, skill-wise and program-wise. There’ll be purposeful choreography, not just an endless array of stashed hash. We plan to discuss mechanics, tools, systems. We’ll keep you abreast of current trends of mikeside interest, Callerlab news, QS choreo as it appears.


Checker Cheats

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-05-24

Before the days of computers callers would write or work through choreography using “checkers” or “dolls”. The checkers were usually colored pieces of plastic to represent the 8 dancers. The caller would push them through the various call actions by hand. This procedure was tedious and error prone. Just imagine pushing 8 checkers through their respective actions for a call like Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears.

So most callers developed “checker cheats” to simplify moving the checkers and reduce errors. For example, Flutterwheel just exchanges the places of the left-hand dancers in each couple. Many might think the widespread use of computer checker movers has made this knowledge obsolete. But it still offers significant value, both for callers and dancers. First, almost by definition, the checker cheat makes it much easier to see what the ending position of each dancer will be. This is very helpful when sight calling. Often long and complicated calls have very simple results: for example, Relay The Deucey is exactly Circulate Twice (or a zero if you don’t care about geographic positioning). Second, when dancing complicated choreography or working with phantoms, knowing the checker cheat gives you a clue where you wind up (not how to get there, just where you finish).

The sources below are collections of some of these checker cheats.


CallerToolBox

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Gerhard Nanninga (gerhard@nanninga.me)

Website

CallerToolBox is a Windows program callers can use to organize their choreography and make it easy to find sequences for specific purposes. Callers can enter their singing call figures, modules, zeros, getins, getouts, or full patter sequences into the database. It is delivered with a database preloaded with many useful sequences. The program:

  • maintains sequences (a number of square dance calls) (singing, full sequences, zeros, getins, getouts)
  • has 2 document viewers for all kind of formats (PDF, MS Word, Web pages)
  • integrates the SD program (see: http://www.challengedance.org/sd/index.html)
  • Integrates other programs : Scan program, Shorthand utility, database editor


Corona Learning Assistance Seminar Series (CLASS)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Ted Lizotte (ted@tedlizotte.com)

Class Videos

During the COVID-19 pandemic all callers suddenly found themselves with lots of time on their hands. Jeremy Butler and Ted Lizotte decided to use some of that time productively and provide a series of online lectures to further caller education. A wide variety of topics and speakers were covered.

See also the KnowledgeBase article on the collection of tutorial videos hosted by the Orange County Callers Association here.


Virtual Square Dances and Recordings


Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-07 15:19:17

There have always been pockets of people who find themselves unable to assemble a whole square, or sometimes even another couple, but who want to dance anyway. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole square dance population into such people. As the pandemic wears on more and more of this sort of dancing is becoming available. To the point that guides and calendars are emerging to help sort through the offerings. The first three entries in the list below are such items. The first is the IAGSDC calendar of Virtual Dances (it’s the first item in the table below). The second is the Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide, which focuses on Advanced and Challenge dances. The third is a guide published by the Austin Square and Round Dance Association that includes all levels.

In addition to the pointers to the online calendar and guides, this article provides a collection of recordings specifically aimed at people dancing by themselves. Some are in the form of a “virtual dance” where you can see other couples dancing along with you in their living rooms. Others are more in form of a demo couple showing you the moves.

Click on the item heading to go to the recording. Some are video, others both audio and video.

IAGSDC Virtual Dance Calendar
As the pandemic wears on virtual dances have become increasingly numerous. The IAGSDC addressed this issue by putting up an online calendar of virtual dances. Virtual dance sponsors can enter their event on the calendar by filling out a form on the calendar page. It is not restricted to members of the IAGSDC. Some of the events are recorded and may be found after the dance date on YouTube or Facebook, or in one of the collections following below. Others are live Zoom sessions that allow you to interact with other dancers between tips.
wheresthedance.com
In response to the changed situation due to the pandemic, the wheresthedance website has updated their facility to include virtual dances. After following the link above, click on “Show all virtual: Square Dance” to see all dances registered with the site. This site has a separate KnowledgeBase article with additional details which you can view here.
Trailblazers A&C Virtual Square Dance Guide
The Trailblazers square dance club in LA has published a guide for virtual dances at Advanced and Challenge. It is available online and will be updated as new information is received. If you have information you would like added to the guide contact vsdeditor20@gmail.com. The link provided takes you to a page that appears to show two documents. Only the first one takes you to the PDF. The second has a title of the form “Updated {date}.pdf”, and is just a dummy to tell you when the last update to the first one was done.
ASRDA Virtual Square Dance List
The Austin Square And Round Dance Association is publishing a frequently updated list of Virtual Square Dances at all levels. The link takes you to a calendar, but the actual dance information for each week can be viewed by clicking on the document link in the Sunday of each week.
Intro to Virtual Dancing
The SquareDanceCalgary organization has put together this page explaining the basics of virtual dancing using Zoom. It includes pointers to several instructional videos that explain how the dancing works, and how to use the Zoom program to access dances.
Ett McAtee Virtual Advanced and Challenge dances and workshops.
Ett McAtee wished to keep her C1 class up and running after they had to shut down due to the pandemic. Her program has grown to a regular C1 workshop on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons, an A2 dance with C1 star tips on Friday evenings, a Sunday Challenge series, and a C3A workshop/review co-called with Linda Kendall on Tuesday evenings. Email Ett for more information and to get “on the list”. Her email address is available if you follow the link above.
Buddy Weaver One-Couple Dancing
Buddy Weaver has recorded several tips specifically choreographed for a single couple. The tips progress in difficulty with Part I being the easiest. All tips have an audio recording, and some have a video recording as well.
Mike Dusoe Virtual Dances
Mike Dusoe has hosted a number of virtual square dances over Zoom. He often has guest callers as well. The video screen shows a number of windows, each containing a couple (or a single) dancing the material in their own home. This page is an index to those dances.
Dancing In The Garage Series
Specifically designed for two person Square Dancing, the “Dancing in the Garage Series” is created by Bob and Dorothy Simpson and Darby Love from Vancouver Island. These are presented as dance along fun-shops and tutorials. There are currently over 200 videos available.
Mike Seastrom Connects With His Class via Zoom
During the pandemic Mike wanted to keep in touch with his dancers, so he called some dancing they could do in their own living rooms.
Darren Gallina Zoom Dances
Darren Gallina has posted several “Zoom” dances to his YouTube channel during the pandemic. Called by Darren and a variety of other callers.
Calgary Virtual Square Dance Videos
The Calgary & District Square & Round Dancers Association has held a number of Zoom dances aimed at single couples during the pandemic. They have posted the recordings on YouTube.
Challenge 2-Couple Zoom Virtual Square Dance Videos
During the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Challenge virtual dances were held over Zoom. Levels include C2 through C4. Keith Rubow recorded these dances and they are available for purchase on his site. Information on the scheduling of the live dances is available on the IAGSDC calendar.

Hints For Dancing Wheel Thru

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-05-13

Hints For Wheel Thru PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Wheel Thru successfully.


Hints For Dancing Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears successfully.


Hints For Dancing Peel Off

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Peel Off PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Peel Off successfully.


Hints For Dancing Load The Boat

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Hints For Load the Boat PDF

Ed Foote provides some hints about dancing Load The Boat successfully.


Bad Advanced Choreography

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Bad Advanced Choreo PDF

Ed Foote writes about some relatively common but nevertheless bad combinations to avoid when calling Advanced.


Using Dixie Grand

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Ed Foote (edcall@zoominternet.net)

2020-03-27

Dixie Grand PDF

Ed Foote describes the ins and outs of Dixie Grand along with a couple of pages of sequences that illustrate various ways a sight caller can use it.


Ed Foote – All Things Considered

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-06-15

Ed Foote is a well-known caller who has been calling since 1965. He was a founding father of Challenge dancing and served as Chairman of the CALLERLAB Advanced & Challenge Committee for 30 years. He created the National Advanced and Challenge Convention, which for decades was a highlight on the calendar of most Advanced and Challenge dancers. Yet half of his calling every year has always been for Mainstream and Plus clubs. He is a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach and has conducted hundreds of caller clinics and schools around the world. In 2008 he received the Milestone Award, one of CALLERLAB’S highest honors, for significant contribution to the square dance activity.

He writes prolifically and has had articles published in square dance magazines in all parts of the world. He has been writing a monthly column for American Square Dance magazine called All Things Considered for over 30 years. Below are pointers to a number of these articles as well as some education material from his caller schools.

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Articles for CallersArticles For Callers and DancersArticles About Advanced DancingThoughts and Opinions On Various Topics

Click on a sub-section heading below to see the articles it contains



ANSSRDT Newsletter

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Dottie Welch (dwelch@eastlink.ca)

ANSSRDT Newsletter Index

Association of Nova Scotia Square and Round Dance Teachers Newsletter. Published semi-annually in conjunction with each meeting.  Each issue includes handout material for the caller workshops. Digital issues available since 1992 with an index. Most issues contain lots of choreo examples. The link to the left points to the index, which allows you to search for subject matter of interest to you. There is link to the archive page on the index page. Once you have found an article of interest, you can use that link to find the pdf of the edition you want.


Buddy Weaver Square Dance Music Podcast

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Buddy Weaver (buddy@buddyweaver.com)

Archive Link

This podcast is for the purpose of square dance education.

These are audio files that have been digitally re-mastered from albums and videos previously released on the various music labels owned by Buddy Weaver.  Listeners are welcome to listen (stream) or download any of the podcasts.  Use the podcasts for dancing in your home or for research – it is provided to you at no charge.

Historically, square dance albums – 33 1/3 vinyl and the 78-rpm shellac before that – were created for dancers that didn’t have a caller in their home area.  Albums sales were incredible which gave rise to even more albums being produced.  Much of the growth of square dancing can be attributed to the production of square dancing on albums.  The albums were also a great resource for callers to learn new material by listening to the pros.

The callers featured on these recordings reads like a “who’s who” of square dancing from the sixties through the eighties.  You will find Marshall Flippo, Mike Sikorsky, Ernie Kinney, Johnnie Wykoff, Bob Fisk, Jerry Helt, Dave Taylor, Mike Seastrom, Ron Schneider, Buddy Weaver and many more.


Ocean Wave Resolves From Cal Campbell

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

2020-02-17

Ocean Wave Resolution Paper

This two-page document from Cal Campbell explains two different procedures for resolving a square from ocean waves.


Caller Training Materials

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-07 15:20:43

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, 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 protege. 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.

Call Analysis Sheets

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Various

Various

CALLERLAB (blank)
CALLERLAB (filled)

Canadian Callers College

From Greg Moore

In order to design choreography callers must have an intimate knowledge of the characteristics of each call they use. The purpose of a Call Analysis Sheet is to provide a format for analyzing each call and documenting that information. Three examples are provided in the links to the left. The first is the official CALLERLAB version, which has both a blank form and a sample that has been filled in with a call (Square Thru). The second is provided by Jeff Priest who owns the Canadian Caller College. The third was created by Greg Moore and shared at the Northeast Caller School in 2019.


Lots Of Stuff About Modules

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper 2019-12-04

This summary article aggregates a great deal of material on the use of modules in square dance choreography. Modules provide a powerful mechanism for creating and presenting square dance choreography and they are a tool that all callers need to be familiar with. This article provides a brief overview of what modules are, an introduction to the terminology involved, and pointers to many other sources of information.

What Are Modules?

A module is a pre-written series of calls that performs some known transformation of the square. Perhaps the most familiar example is a singing call figure, which transforms a Static Square (SS) where everyone is at their original home position with their partner to Static Square where each man is at home with his original corner. Modules also can be used to achieve more granular changes in the square, for example: chaining the ladies, moving from one formation to another, changing sequence, etc.

A module will start from a specific square situation (Formation, Arrangement, Sequence, Relationship – FASR) and end in another specific square situation (FASR). The starting and ending FASRs may be the same or different, but the essential point is they are known ahead of time. In practice, most modules are designed around a few particular FASRs, which are described below. Some of the names given to these familiar FASRs have changed over time. In the titles below, the most current terminology is given first with its common abbreviation, but older terms for the same FASR are listed after it so that you can interpret documents written before the current terminology came into use.

Static Square (SS) / Zero Square (ZS)
All dancers standing in their home positions. Commonly SS means standing in their original home positions (as they squared up), but ZS can also be used for square that has been rotated, for example by a bucket stir module.
Corner Box (CB) / Zero Box (ZB) / Box 1-4
This FASR is the 8-chain formation obtained by having Heads (or Sides) Square Thru 4 from a Static Square (SS). You will often see the function of such a module indicated with something like “SS -> CB”.
Right-Hand Lady Box (RLB) / Across The Street Box
This is the 8-chain formation obtained by having Heads/Sides Square Thru 2 from SS.
Partner Line (PL) / Zero Line (ZL) / 1P2P
This FASR is facing lines of 4, normal arrangement, all with original partner, in sequence. It’s what you get from a SS when you have Heads/Sides Lead Right, Circle to a Line.

Types Of Modules

Modules are categorized according the nature of the transformation they apply to the square.

Conversion Modules
Conversion Modules transform the square from one FASR to another. They come in several flavors:

Getins/Setups
Getins move the square from its current FASR to the FASR required to start a particular module. Most common are Getins that do SS->CB or SS->PL transformations.
Getouts
A Getout moves the square from its current FASR to a resolved square. Commonly they start from CB or PL FASRs.
CB->PL
Converts a Corner Box to a Partner Line
PL->CB
Converts a Partner Line to a Corner Box
Rotation
Rotates the formation, typically 90 degrees. For example, from facing lines, Pass Thru, Bend the Line (note: this particular example also reverses the sequence).
Invert
Inverts the centers and ends. For example, from a CB created from SS by Heads Square Thru 4: Star Thru, Pass Thru, Bend The Line, Star Thru creates another CB but the Heads are now on the outside and the Sides in the center. This particular example also rotates the square, so this module is often termed an “Invert and Rotate”.
Zeros
A Zero is a module that returns the square to the same FASR it started with. As with Conversion modules, Zeros come in several types:

Geographic Zeros
Returns each dancer to the exact footprints they started in.
True Zeros
Returns the square to the same FASR, although dancers may not be in the same exact footprints. For example, from Ocean Waves, All 8 Circulate Twice results in the same FASR, but all dancers are on the other side of the formation from where they started.
Fractional Zeros
A module that becomes a zero after multiple repetitions. A module that becomes a zero after being executed twice is termed a “Half Zero”. A “One Third Zero” must be executed three times, a “Quarter Zero” 4 times, etc.
Technical Zeros
Are zeros only when certain conditions are met.
Equivalents
An Equivalent module is a series of calls that duplicates the action of a call or another module. For example, from any facing couples: Pass Thru and Partner Trade, is equivalent to Right and Left Thru.
Flow
One hopes that any module would exhibit good flow, but sight callers in particular often talk about Flow Modules. The term refers to a series of calls known to create a pleasurable dancing pattern and that may be inserted without having a complete understanding of the starting FASR. Typically, knowing the starting Formation and Arrangement is sufficient – often only the Formation. Similarly, the resulting FASR is not known completely either, usually only to the degree the starting FASR was understood.

Hanging Modules On a Framework

A Framework is merely another sort of module that is used to provide some structure to the use of other modules. It is a module which provides a number of opportunities for inserting other types of modules to create a wide variety of sequences. The most famous Framework is called “Chicken Plucker” and it is taught in most caller schools. Chicken Plucker is a Half Zero that starts in an Eight-Chain formation. Starting in the Eight-Chain formation, one version the module is: Right and Left Thru, Dive Thru, Centers Pass Thru. Repeating this a second time returns the dancers to their original starting position (hence it is a Half Zero). After the first repetition the center dancers are said to be “across the street” because they are now looking at the opposite outsides from where they started. The utility of this Framework lies in the opportunities it offers for inserting zeros, equivalents, and conversions in a controlled fashion. For example, from the original starting position a zero could be called before beginning the Framework module. Then after the first repetition of the Framework the same zero could be used in the “across the street” formation – or a different one, if desired. Equivalents can be applied for further variety. For example, Square Thru 3 and Trade By could be used to replace Right and Left Thru, Dive Thru, Centers Pass Thru.

The power of using a Framework is that it allows the caller map the modules they plan to use into an easily remembered structure. For example a caller could visualize a sequence like this:

  • SS->CB Getin module to a CB
  • CB->PL Convert CB to PL
  • PL->PL Apply a Zero that returns a PL
  • PL->CB Convert PL to CB
  • CP1 Chicken Plucker part 1 to create a Right-Hand Lady Box
  • RLB->RLB Zero that preserves the Right-Hand Lady Box
  • CP2 Second repetition of Chicken Plucker returns to a CB
  • CB->SS Getout from CB

The following table points to a variety of additional material on modules. Click on the item(s) in the Link column to view or download the material.

Item Type Author Link Description
Presentation Handout Paul Henze PDF

This handout contains many common modules and illustrates how they can be combined to create full sequences.

Presentation Handout Cal Campbell PDF

This sheet contains several useful Equivalent modules from Cal Campbell.

Presentation Handout Paul Henze PDF

This handout provides a general description of modules and their use as well as several tables showing different types of modules.

Presentation Handout Cal Campbell PDF

This handout is a 4-page primer on what modules are and how they work.

Presentation Handout Tim Marriner PDF

This document is a 4-page overview of the principles of modular calling and an explanation of terminology.

Presentation Handout Doug Davis PDF

This handout has a short form overview of modular calling and usage.

Presentation Handout Tim Marriner PDF

Tim Marriner’s handout on how to work with Chicken Plucker.

Presentation Handout Doug Davis PDF

Many samples of various types of modules.

Presentation Handout Virgil Forbes PDF

Many samples of unusual Getout modules.

Presentation Handout Jon Jones PDF

Many samples of unusual Getout modules.

Website Vic and Debbie Ceder Website

Vic and Debbie Ceder maintain a choreo database on their ceder.net site. It contains hundreds of examples of modules of various sorts.

Document Barry Johnson PDF

Many people avoid technical zeros because they seem unpredictable. Barry Johnson explains what they are, how they work, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Forum Cal Campbell Website

This discussion forum on modules is moderated by Cal Campbell. It contains hundreds of articles relating to modules.

Book Cal Campbell Info

This comprehensive publication on modules is available for sale from Cal Campbell.


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.


Square Dance Modules Discussion Forum

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

Square Dance Modules Discussion Forum

This discussion forum moderated by Cal Campbell has a wealth of material about square dance modular choreography. The purpose of the group is education in the use of square dance modules and the sharing of modules.


MS Teaching Plan from Daryl Clendenin

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Daryl Clendenin (yloroc@comcast.net)

2019-03-24

Teaching Plan

Daryl Clendenin is a veteran caller who has taught scores of beginner classes. Follow the link to the left to see his detailed 20-lesson plan to teach his MS group for 2018-19. The 92-page document contains his teaching plan and sample choreography for each lesson.


Using Sicilian Circles for Square Dancing

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) Daryl Clendenin (daryl@clendenin.net)

2019-03-23

Dancing In Sicilian Circles (Cal Campbell)

Using Sicilian Circles for Teaching (Daryl Clendenin)

Cal Campbell and Daryl Clendenin discuss how to use the Sicilian Circle formation for teaching – and even as a “square dance” formation – in Modern Western Square Dancing. The Sicilian Circle is a series of facing couples arranged around the rim of a circle. Dancers can work in their own group of 4 or easily move on to another as part of the dance action. Most calls on the BMS list can be done with only four people, which makes Sicilian Circles an excellent teaching tool.


Becoming A Square Dance Caller 3rd Edition (Book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Bruce Holmes (Bruce@BruceTHolmes.com)

2020-02-02

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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why I Wrote This Book ……………….. 5
The Plan ………………… 6
The Circle Before The Square …………….. 8
Into The Square ………………….. 12
     Remembering The People In Your Square ………….. 13
     Modules ……………………. 13
     Equivalents ………………. 14
     Flow ………………….. 15
     Sight Calling Light …………… 18
     More Modules ………………….. 19
     The Loop ………………….. 21
Moving Around The Square ………………. 24
Your First Sequence …………… 28
Technical & Fractional Zeros …………… 29
Doppelgängers …………… 30
Partner Lines ………………. 31
     Converting From Boxes To Lines And Back Again ……… 34
Building Your Library ……………….. 36
     Set Sequences ………………….. 39
Standard Applications ………………. 41
Module calling versus Sight Calling, Part II …………… 43
How To Resolve …………… 44
     Don’t Always Use An Allemande Left ……………. 45
FASR …………….. 46
     sequence Practice …………… 47
Easy Calls Resolve ………………. 49
     First Objective, Get Everyone Into Lines Facing In …………….. 49
     Next Objective: Pair Up Your Primary Couple version 1 …………… 50
     Final Objective: Resolve …………………. 52
     When All The Couples Are Paired Up …………… 53
     When The Secondary Couple Is Not Paired Up …………… 55
     Easy Calls Resolve Summarized ……………. 58
Pairing Up Your Primary Couple version 2 ……………. 59
Classic Resolve …………… 61
Grand Resolve ……………. 64
Get-Ins …………………. 68
     To Corner Box ………………….. 68
     To Partner Lines ……………… 71
     Non-Standard Crossfire Get-Ins ……………. 73
Get-Outs ………………. 75
     Resolves From Partner Lines ………………… 75
     Resolves From Ocean Waves …………. 77
     Resolving Using Folds …………….. 79
     Partner Lines to an Allemande Left ……………… 81
     Resolves From Corner Box …………….. 82
     You’re Home From Corner Box ……………… 85
Little Pieces of the Puzzle …………. 87
Advanced Grand Resolve ………….. 89
     Getting To Partner Lines When The Couples Aren’t Paired ……… 91
     Box Resolves – Couples Facing Couples ……….. 92
     The Grand Resolve Summarized …………… 95
Home Resolves …………… 97
     Primary Couple Home Resolves ……………. 99
     Moving to a Quadrant ………….. 102
     The Tools At Hand ………………… 104
     Sweep ¼ to Home Get-Outs ………………… 105
     From Partner Lines to Sweep ¼ …………. 111
Cool Endings …………….. 112
     Flip The Diamond …………………. 112
     Using Scoot Back & Box The Gnat ………………. 112
     Spin Chain Thru ……………. 113
     Chase Right ……………. 113
     Follow Your Neighbor ………….. 116
     Half Tag ………………….. 117
In Praise Of Sight Calling, Part LXLVII ………….. 118
What Makes For Good Calling? ……………… 119
     Being A Delightful Host ……………….. 120
     When Teaching, Kindness Is Everything …………… 120
     Microphones …………………. 121
     Confidence …………….. 121
     When You Mess Up ………………. 122
Music For Patter ………………. 123
     Modifying The BPM ……………… 124
     Stringing Songs Together ……………. 124
Singing Calls …………….. 125
     Getting The Verse Sequence To Work ……….. 126
     Putting A Singing Call Together …………. 127
     Singing …………………… 130
Getting Started In Calling ………………. 131
Equipment ………………… 132
Intro Parties …………….. 135
The Talk ……………. 138
Lessons ……………… 140
     Why I Use Club50/SSD …………………. 141
     The Forgotten Calls ……………… 143
     Fixing Half-Out Squares ………………. 144
     Filling Out Squares ………………. 145
     Rectangles ………………… 145
Getting Up To Call ……………. 150
Conventions ……………… 151
Games Callers Play ………….. 153
Callerlab Definitions ……………….. 154
Lists …………………… 155
     Equivalents ……………. 155
     Corner Box Get-Ins ………………. 156
     Alternatives to Allemande Left from a Corner Box …………. 157
     Partner Line Get-Ins …………….. 158
     Partner Line Get-Outs ………….. 159
     A-Box Get-Outs ……………… 161
     D-Box Get-Outs ……………… 161
     Box To Line Conversions …………….. 162
     Chicken Pluckers ………………….. 163
     Get-Outs To Home ………………… 163
Resources ………………….. 165
Callerlab ……………. 168
FASR …………………… 169
Formations ……………….. 170
     Eight Chain Thru …………… 171
     Facing Lines (Lines Facing In) …………….. 172
     Lines Facing Out …………… 173
     Trade By ………………… 174
     Double Pass Thru …………………. 175
     Completed Double Pass Thru ……………… 175
     Parallel Two-Faced Lines ……………. 176
     Parallel Ocean Waves ………….. 177
     Columns (Right or Left) ……………….. 178
     Z Formations (Left & Right) ………………… 178
     Fractional Tags …………….. 179
     Point To Point Diamonds …………….. 180
     Facing Point To Point Diamonds ………… 180
     Tidal Wave …………….. 181
     Tidal Two-Faced Line ………….. 181
Arrangement ……………. 182
     Half Sashayed Solutions ………………. 182
     Waves …………….. 183
     How Circulates Change Arrangement ……….. 185
     Diamonds ………………. 185
Sequence …………………… 186
Alternative Resolve Methods ………….. 187
     Mental Image ………………… 187
     CRaMS ……………………. 187
Call List ……………… 188


Community/Party Dance Teaching Videos

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com)

Teaching Videos

Cal Campbell has put up over 200 teaching videos for Community Dance and party night dances. Sometimes the written description of a dance isn’t enough to figure out how it works if you’ve never seen it done. This resource let’s you see how the dances work and how to teach them. These videos are contained in the BDPLS Channel on YouTube.


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.

Social Square Dance Teaching Guide (formerly Sustainable Square Dance) New Edition


Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

CALLERLAB Sustainable Square Dance Committee (info@callerlab.org)

2020-07-21

SSD Teaching Guide V34

In 2016 CALLERLAB authorized the formation of the Sustainable Square Dance Committee and charged it with the task of developing materials to support callers interested in exploring the use of the experimental lesson system that has come to be known as Sustainable Square Dance. (Note: In July 2020 CALLERLAB announced this system and the supporting Committee were renamed Social Square Dance – SSD. Only the name has changed. All existing supporting materials still apply.) Earlier versions of this system have been in use in some areas for quite some time under the name Club 50.

This system is designed to create a 50 call entry program that can be taught quickly, roughly 12 weeks, and yet serve as a realistic destination program for long-term square dancers. While the idea of a shortened entry list is certainly not unique to this system, its design differs in providing a mechanism for keeping dancers in the entry program for at least 2 years, and in many cases, forever.

The publication of the SSD Teaching Guide represents the first deliverable to assist callers in using this system. It provides a lesson plan and sample choreography to help callers entertain dancers with a limited number of calls for a long period of time.

The link takes you to the most current edition of the guide – Version 34.


Ceder Square Dance System (CSDS)

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Vic Ceder (vic@ceder.net)

Website
Flyer

CSDS (Ceder Square Dance System) is a comprehensive program that incorporates under one roof all the facilities needed by square dance callers. The program allows the user to:

  • Write square dance choreography
  • Store and retrieve square dance sequences or modules
  • Store and retrieve getouts (resolves) and getins
  • Manipulate lists of square dance calls
  • Generate bitmap pictures of formations
  • Display sequences for calling from a laptop
  • Organize and play music files
  • Display cue sheets and lyrics for singing calls


SD – A Square Dance Caller’s Helper

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Bill Ackerman (wba@alum.mit.edu)

Website

Before computers, callers worked out choreography by moving “checkers”, sometimes termed “dolls”. A set of checkers had 8 pieces that represented the dancers, usually representing the gender and relationships of the dancers with shape and color coding. The caller then physically pushed the checkers through the motions of the calls to keep track of how the sequence worked. This process was time consuming and error prone. SD is a computer program that performs the same function which greatly speeds up the process of writing and dramatically reduces errors. The program is available free of charge from the website. It has both Windows and Linux versions.


Callarama

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Reinhold Roedig (support@callarama.com)

Website

Callarama is a “checker mover” program to help callers work out choreography by showing animated figures moving in response to calls entered by the caller. Callarama has defined the standard for animated Square Dance Choreography since its introduction in 2004. The New Callarama 2 has been totally redesigned on the basis of Microsoft .Net Framework, supported by all Windows operating systems since XP.

Callarama can also run on a Mac if a Windows emulator, as for instance Parallels Desktop, is installed.

Callarama covers the Basic, Mainstream, Plus and Advance dance programs. The already extensive repertoire of 35,000+ animations is constantly expanded through free upgrades for all users.

Calls can be entered by selecting from a Call List, by clicking on Call Labels, by typing Shortcuts and by Voice. Speech Recognition is included and currently pre-configured for English and German (a user on a German language computer, calling in English with a German accent).

Calls are recorded in a Routine list that can be played forward and backward, similar to a movie player. Beats are indicated at each step. Routines can be edited, printed and saved for future use.

The Speed Dial is calibrated very accurately in BPM. It possible to synchronize calling or the replay of a routine with music played on another device.


CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee (dwelch@eastlink.ca)

CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource

The Choreographic Applications Committee has created this resource site to assist those who are teaching square dancers. Its intent is to collect in one place all the information about each call that teachers might need to teach students successfully.

The site is organized into sections according to the CALLERLAB programs. It is still a work in progress. Basic Part 1 and Basic Part 2 are ready for use. Mainstream and eventually Plus are planned.

For each call there are seven sections of information:

  1. the call definition
  2. standard applications
  3. call analysis information
  4. modules
  5. teaching tips
  6. extended applications
  7. other


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.


Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource

Lloyd Shaw Foundation

Website

The Lloyd Shaw Foundation preserves and shares a diverse range of dance and music traditions with an inter-generational audience. We develop leadership in traditional dance and music forms, and sponsor events and scholarships to ensure their continuity. Through our archives housed at the University of Denver, and at our Dance Center in Albuquerque, NM, we retain important historical records that document the past and enable us to preserve the future of traditional American folk dance.


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.


CALLERLAB Program Documents

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) 2020-09-18 16:21:52

This summary points to the primary program-related documents that have been officially published by CALLERLAB. This includes program lists, call definitions, timing charts, lesson checklists, teaching tips, formation charts, standard application documents, and other materials. Click on the appropriate button below to see a list of materials for the program indicated. Click on the name of the document to access it. The Alpha List button contains a sortable table showing all the documents in one place.

Program Document Tables (click to view)


Due to the large number of documents associated with the Basic and Mainstream programs, the table below is organized into sections:
Basic Documents that deal only with the Basic program
Mainstream Documents that deal only with the Mainstream program
BMS Documents that deal with both the Basic and Mainstream programs
Other Documents that are not specific to either program but are of interest to callers calling Basic/Mainstream

Document Name Revision Date
Basic Documents
Basic List 2019-03-06
Basic Definitions 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions Part 1 (German) 2020-07-24
Basic Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Mainstream Documents
Mainstream List 2019-03-06
Mainstream Definitions 2020-02-22
Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Mainstream Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Basic/Mainstream Documents
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish V2.01) 2010-01
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2018-06-22
Basic and Mainstream Checklists 2017-08-17
Basic and Mainstream Timing Charts 2017-08-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions 2014-09-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions (Japanese) 2014-09-15
Basic/Mainstream Standard Applications (Japanese) 2008-01-15
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips 2010-06-21
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-12
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide 2011-02-07
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide (Japanese) 2011-02-07
Other Documents
Formations Pictograms Chart 2010-12-14
Formations and Arrangements Charts 2008-01-15
Experimental Condensed Teaching Order 2015-03-01
Social Square Dance (SSD) Lesson System (formerly called Sustainable Square Dance) 2020-07-22
Social Square Dance (SSD) FAQ Document 2020-09-16
Non Program Teaching Items 2007-12-19
Lost Square Procedure 2004-11-19
Emergency Call For Medical Aid (ECMA) ????
Teaching Order Design Principles 2007-12-06

Document Name Revision Date
Advanced List 2019-10-30
Advanced Definitions 2020-02-25
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet 2014-09-15

Document Name Revision Date
C1 List 2019-05-16
C1 Definitions 2019-05-16
C2 List 2019-05-22
C2 Definitions 2019=03-29
C3A List 2019-06-13
C3A Definitions 2018-06-24
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10

Every three years the CALLERLAB program committees (Basic/Mainstream, Plus, Advanced, and Challenge) undertake a review of the current program lists and definitions. This review may result in additions or deletions of calls/concepts or a revision of definitions. The update of program documents may lag behind the initial public announcement of changes because after the results of the review are known, the committee may have additional work to do to redraft list or definition documents. This entry documents the raw results of the 2018 Triennial Review. Not all affected documents have been updated yet. Entries marked with an asterisk below indicate the changes are reflected in the officially published list.

2018 Triennial Review Results

Basic Results
The Thar Family and related calls are dropped, and as a result, are moved to the Mainstream Program list. This includes:

  • 32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • The Basic Teaching Order is modified as follows: Double Pass Thru, and First Couple Left/Right, Next Couple Left/Right are moved to follow Star Thru in the Basic Program teaching order.*

Mainstream Results
  • Moved to MS from Basic
    32. Thar Family*
    · Allemande Thar
    · Allemande Left to an Allemande Thar
    · Wrong Way Thar
    33. Slip the Clutch*
    34. Shoot the Star / Shoot the Star Full Around*
  • Added to MS
    • Fractional Tags (1/2 Tag, 3/4 Tag, 1/4 Tag)*

Plus Results
No Changes

Advanced Results
No Changes

C1 Results
  • Add Track 0-4
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Cross Neighbor
C2 Results
  • Add Grand Drop In/Out/Right/Left*
  • Add Pass and Roll Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
  • Add Any Tagging Call Your Criss Cross Neighbor*
C3A Results
  • Add Single Calls: Shakedown, Turn and Deal
  • Add Interlocked Extend
  • Add Hinge The Top to the family of Lock the Hinge/Hinge the Lock (variations include Lock The Hinge the Top, Beau/Belle Hop the Top

The rows in the table below may be sorted by clicking on the up/down chevron in the column header

Document Name (Link) Date
Basic List 2019-03-06
Basic Definitions 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Basic Definitions Part 1 (German) 2020-07-24
Basic Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Mainstream List 2019-03-06
Mainstream Definitions 2020-02-22
Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2020-02-22
Mainstream Standard Applications 2020-05-15
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish V2.01) 2010-01-01
Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Japanese) 2018-06-22
Basic and Mainstream Checklists 2017-08-17
Basic and Mainstream Timing Charts 2017-08-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions 2014-09-17
Basic/Mainstream Abbreviated Definitions (Japanese) 2014-09-15
Basic/Mainstream Standard Applications (Japanese) 2008-01-15
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips 2010-06-21
Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-12
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide 2011-02-07
Basic/Mainstream Definition Guide (Japanese) 2011-02-07
Formations Pictograms Chart 2010-12-14
Formations and Arrangements Charts 2008-01-15
Experimental Condensed Teaching Order 2015-03-01
Social Square Dance (SSD) Lesson System (formerly Sustainable Square Dance) 2020-07-22
Social Square Dance (SSD) FAQ Document 2020-09-16
Non Program Teaching Items 2007-12-19
Lost Square Procedure 2004-11-19
Emergency Call For Medical Aid ????
Teaching Order Design Principles 2007-12-06
Plus List 2018-09-22
Plus Definitions 2018-09-22
Plus Definitions (Japanese) 2018-09-22
Plus Checklist 2015-09-29
Plus Timing 2016-07-12
Plus Standard Applications 2006-10-09
Plus Standard Applications (Japanese) 2006-10-09
Plus Teaching Tips 2008-11-04
Plus Teaching Tips (Japanese) 2009-10-31
Advanced List 2019-10-30
Advanced Definitions 2020-02-25
A1 Checklist 2016-12-21
A2 Checklist 2012-09-13
Advanced Timing Chart 2015-12-15
What Is Advanced Dancing Booklet 2014-09-15
C1 List 2019-05-16
C1 Definitions 2019-05-16
C2 List 2019-05-22
C2 Definitions 2019-03-29
C3A List 2019-06-13
C3A Definitions 2018-06-24
Challenge Teaching Orders 2012-02-10
Community Dance List 2014-09-17
Community Dance Journal Index 2017-02-22
ARC Decision History (German) 2014-09-17
ARC Decision History (Japanese) 2018-01-31



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.


Beginner Dance Party Leaders Seminar – Presentations from 2014

Article Type Author Last Update Description
Summary

Presentation

Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca) January 2016

For many years, as a lead-in to the main convention, CALLERLAB has hosted a 1-1/2 day seminar focusing on how to call square dance parties for non-dancers. CALLERLAB has posted to YouTube videos of a number of the presentations from the 2014 BDPLS. These presentations constitute a wealth of information about how to make such events a success. They cover everything from dance material to promotion to preparations to contracts, and much more.

Presenter Topic and Link
Dottie Welch Variations on the Virginia Reel
Susan Morris Effective Use of Circles
Paul Moore Working With Kids
Bob Riggs Planning
Chris Pinkham Dance Programs
Cal Campbell Genderless Dancing


Introduction To Mental Image Choreography

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description

The following two entries show two versions of a presentation by Don Beck on his system for Mental Image choreographic management. The first is a complete presentation to a group of callers. The second is a shorter introduction aimed at caller coaches that provides a slightly different perspective.

Presentation 2013 Don Beck Video File

Handout PDF

In this 2-hour video, Don Beck provides an introduction to his mental image choreography system to an audience of callers. It provides a quick overview of how the system works and illustrates some of its power. If you’re interested in learning to use this system, you can find information about Don’s book “Out Of Sight” here.

Presentation CALLERLAB Convention 2013 Don Beck Video File

Handout PDF

Don Beck provides an introduction to his mental image choreography system to the Caller Coach committee at the 2013 CALLERLAB Convention. It provides a quick overview of how the system works and illustrates some of its power. If you’re interested in learning to use this system, you can find information about Don’s book “Out Of Sight” here.


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.



All About Modules (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) 2014 Book

This book covers all the bases starting with the new caller just learning how to call and on through the old hands looking for ways to expand their collection of modules and to learn new tricks on how to use square dance modules to improve their calling skills. It’s all there.

The new caller will find a comprehensive set of lessons to introduce them to the art of using modules to call square dances. You will be guided step by step through a learning process that will enable you to quickly select and memorize modules and then call them at a dance and be successful. It is a time proven successful way to learn how to call and to entertain square dancers. However, It’s not a magic. You will have to practice and you will have to study choreography.


Dancing For Busy People

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document

Resource

Cal Campbell (calcampbl@gmail.com) 2003 Book

Website

Blog

Dancing For Busy People was originally a book published in 2003. More recently, Cal has created a website that includes the book but also points to many additional resources and sources of information. The book is an excellent resource for someone planning a party night or beginner dance. “Dancing for Busy People” is a collection of over 400 dances using easy to teach dance movements. Most dances use only walking movements based on commonly used square dance terminology. Only 25 basics are used. The same basics are used for contra dances, trios, quadrilles, Sicilian circles, mescolanzas and many of the round dance mixers. Some special description of footwork is necessary for the no-partner dances.

D4BP is available in PDF form as well as hardcopy.


Out Of Sight (book)

Article Type Author Publication Date Links Description
Document Don Beck 2014 Book

Out of Sight is a book that teaches square dance callers how to manage choreography using a mental image system. Other common choreographic methods are reading, modules, and sight calling. Mental image calling allows a caller to create choreography on the fly, while calling, and then easily resolve the square. Unlike reading or modules, the choreography need not be pre-written, and allows the caller much more flexibility to improvise. Unlike sight calling, the caller does not have to memorize who started with whom, each tip, and s/he is not dependent on whether the dancers made any mistakes. This method does not require that a caller learn how to follow eight or even only four dancers, but basically only one dancer as s/he moves around the square.

The Second Printing is now available. It includes an additional 15 pages in the form of a Forward to the Second Printing, an Afterword, and an additional Appendix. There is additional advanced information about the system available on the authors website for callers who have fully learned the system as taught in the book.


Tim Marriner’s Caller Education Page

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Tim Marriner Website

Tim Marriner was a CALLERLAB Accredited Caller Coach who created and published a large quantity of caller educational material over the years. Tim generously made this wealth of informative articles available for free download in PDF format. Sadly, Tim died suddenly in 2016, depriving square dancing of one of its most knowledgeable and articulate advocates.


CALLERLAB Community Dance Resources

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Dottie Welch (dwelch@eastlink.ca) Website

This Dance Resource is a compilation of Beginner Party Dances, Community Dances, Contra Dances, and Traditional Square Dances. Dances are grouped by type and listed in HTML code for easy viewing. Each dance is also available to be downloaded as a Rich Text File. There is also a sortable and linked index to the Community Dance Journals. Supporting documents are being added and now include Formation Diagrams, Music Suggestions, and the Community Dance Program Plan.


ceder.net

Article Type Owner Links Description
Resource Vic & Debbie Ceder (debbie@ceder.net) Website

Ceder.net is a comprehensive collection of resources related to square dancing. It includes a number of sections:

  • A database of callers and cuers
  • A database of square dance clubs
  • An extensive database of choreography examples
  • A database containing upcoming events
  • (for the above 4 databases individuals can input and update their own entries to keep them current)

  • A large repository of documents and articles related to square dancing
  • A huge database of square dance music (for historical reference, not for purchase)
  • Links and lists of other square dance resources


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.


Extended But Not Extreme – Plus

Article Type Event Date Presenter Links Description
Presentation CALLERLAB Convention 2015 Barry Clasper, John Marshall Extended But Not Extreme – Plus (Clasper Handout)

There are many calls for which we have well known “standard” applications, and we have even documented many of them in the Standard Applications documents. “Standard”, however, does not mean “easier” — it really means “more common”. There are many infrequently used applications that are not hard, they’re just infrequent. Because they’re infrequent, dancers bobble when they hear them, so we avoid them, so they stay infrequent: vicious circle. Some examples: Peel The Top from LH Cols; Cut/Flip The Diamond, Girls as Centers; Ping Pong Circulate with same-sexes in center wave. If you are interested in enriching your dancers’ experience with usages that are not hard, just infrequently used, this session is for you.