DANCE STEP - Shuffle
your feet. Put your weight on the ball of your foot,
lift your heel off the floor and take short, smooth
gliding steps. Lifting your entire foot tires you more
rapidly and breaks the dance rhythm.
MUSIC - Be a dancer,
not a walker! Listen to the music, pick out the beat and
take a shuffle step with each beat of music. Walking a
call instead of dancing a call does not look good,
throws your timing off, affects the timing of the entire
square, and results in an uncomfortable dance feeling.
POSTURE - Stand
erect and tall with your shoulders back and knees
slightly bent. BE A PROUD DANCER. Do not lean forward
when dancing - this does not look good and will tire a
person quickly. Keep a loose relaxed feeling and enjoy
the music and calls.
TIGHT SQUARES - Keep
your squares tight, do not spread out. When dancers form
large squares they will be slow in executing the calls.
The reason is, they are forcing themselves to cover much
more ground. When the squares are small, you have ample
time to do the calls
BELIEVE THE CALLER -
No matter what the Caller calls, DO IT!!! Often dancers
will stop if the Caller tells them to do something and
they do not know why he told them to do it. This results
in a needless breakdown of the square. Donít worry about
the Ďwhyí - do as the Caller says. It is the Callerís
responsibility to guide you through a call.
DONíT RUSH A CALL -
Donít rush through the calls! Sometimes dancers seem
worried they will not make it through a call and they
rush, push and jerk. This disturbs others, can hurt a
person and many times causes the square to break down.
Just relax, move to the beat of the music and enjoy the
UNDERSTAND THE DEFINITION -
In learning a call, try to understand the
definition of the call rather than just memorizing a
position. If you understand the definition, you will be
able to do the call from any position. Be sure you have
your own personal dictionary of square dance terms and
ASK THE CALLER -
After a call is taught and if you are not sure of the
correct definition, ask the Caller to explain it again
without using the terms "boys" and "girlís.
ARM RESISTANCE - Any
time you use your arm to execute a call (e.g.. Allemande
Left, Star Thru, Swing Thru, Touch ľ, Turn Thru, etc.),
offer resistance with the arm you are using, stiffening
it slightly. This smoothes out the move and enables you
to exercise control of the call. DO NOT have limp
spaghetti arms. This causes you to lose your positioning
and result in the square executing the command
incorrectly and/or breaking down.
GENTLEMEN - The man
is always responsible for guiding the ladies to start a
call correctly. Men should always be gentle with the
ladies when holding their hands, turning them or guiding
them in the proper direction. Be firm, BUT NOT ROUGH!
Too much show of strength on the part of the man can be
painful to the ladies. MEN, always make an effort to be
gentle (the ladies do not care how strong you are!).
JOINING HANDS - At
the completion of any call, you should immediately join
hands with the dancer or dancers standing next to you.
This helps you to see the formation you are in (e.g.,
Lines, Waves, etc.) and aids you in doing the next call.
Hands should always be joined within one-half second
after the completion of any call. Failure to join hands
often results in sloppy lines or waves, confusion on
where you are, which in turn, causes the square to break
IDENTIFY YOUR POSITION -
Always be aware of the position you are in before you
start a call and right after you complete the execution
of a call (e.g., are you an end, center, couple, boy,
girl, etc.). This aids you in performing the next call
SKIRT WORK - Ladies,
hold your skirt in your free hand about waist high and
use a very slightly rhythmical flourish to move the
skirt in front and back. Your right hand moves with your
left foot, and your left hand moves with your right
COURTESY ON THE FLOOR -
Please DO NOT talk while the Caller is explaining
something to the dancers. You may not need help but
others may and you donít help the Caller or the square
by distracting people. If a Caller is walking the
dancers through a call, DO NOT get ahead of the Callerís
prompting even if you know what is going on. It is not
smart! It is inconsiderate of your fellow dancers who
want to learn what is being taught. If you deprive your
fellow dancers of a good understanding of the call and
they break down later, you will be standing right along
DANCE TO OTHER CALLERS -
Dance to as many different Callers as you can. This is
one of the best ways to sharpen your dancing skills.
Your Caller may advise you against going to a particular
dance because the level of material will be too high for
you. This is all right and you should follow the advice.
However, if your Caller advises against visiting ANY
clubs or ANY dances, then do not follow this advice.