VEER LEFT/RIGHT

Square Dance
Choreography and Notes
by Judy Obee



 Introduction
 Resources
 Definition
 Common Usage
 Expanding the Usage
 Exercise
 Mainstream
 For Further Analysis
 

Introduction:

This dissertation is prompted by what appeared to be discomfort on the part of the dancers when I called a Veer Right recently to some Plus-level dancers.  The sequence that caused the trouble was a Basic sequence similar to:

 Heads Pass the Ocean
 Centers Swing Thru
 Center Boys Run
 Centers Veer Right (Zero Box)


It seemed as though a bunch of the dancers felt that since Veer Left is “move forward and to the left”, that Veer Right must be “move backward and to the right”.

This suggests that perhaps we are not calling it often enough.  I know that the only time that I call Veer Right is in situations similar to the following:

 (in Double Pass Thru position)
 Boring Option: Centers Pass Thru to your corner, LA
 Less Boring Option: Centers Veer Left, Centers Veer Right to your corner, LA


(Of course, having prepared some workshop material on this move, I will increase the variety of my Veers!)

Resources:

The way that I saw it, the problem was that Veer Right is somewhat unfamiliar to the typical B/M/P dancer.  In order to come up with some nifty new choreography, I decided to look in my vast library of callers notes - and I have a lot!  While many note service writers used the move, the only ones in my collection that actually featured it were those by  Norm Wilcox  and by  David Cox (I like David Cox's notes because they are in electronic form, so that it is easy to search for a particular move).

H. Orlo Hoadley’s book, “Callers Guidebook to Complete Choreography”, is also a valuable resource, especially if you are trying to think of something different to call before or after a particular move.

Definition:

VEER FAMILY: (a) LEFT (b) RIGHT - Starting formation - facing dancers, facing couples, mini waves or two-faced lines.

Two facing couples working as a unit, or two facing dancers move to the left (or right, as directed) and forward to end in a two-faced line or mini wave respectively.

From a mini wave or a two-faced line, the veering direction must be toward the center of the mini wave or line. Each dancer, or couple working as a unit, moves forward and inward to end back to back with the other dancer or couple respectively.

STYLING: All dancers use couple handhold. Outside hands in normal dance position. TIMING: Box, 2 steps; SS, heads or sides, 4 steps.
 

Common Veer Usage - Left:

In my dancing experience, I would say that 99% of the time that I hear the word “Veer”, it is a “Veer Left”, it is from facing couples only, and it is part of either:

 Right and Left Thru, Veer Left
 Heads Lead Right, Veer Left


Expanding the Usage:

Perhaps the easiest way to toss a Veer Right into the mix is with:

 Heads Lead LEFT, Veer RIGHT


The neat thing about this is that you now have left-handed two-faced lines, and you can do some lefty things.  For example:

 Heads Lead Left
 Everybody Veer Right (LH 2FL)
 Couples Circulate
 Ferris Wheel (it’s a lefty)
 Centers Veer Right
 Centers Veer Left
 All Veer Left (RH 2FL)
 Bend the Line
 Right and Left Thru
 (Zero Line)


Here’s another few sequences - they take advantage of existing Wheel and Deal flow, and you don’t stay in the LH 2FL for very long.
 

 (Zero Line)
 Pass Thru
 Wheel and Deal
 Centers Veer Right
 Centers Bend the Line
 LA


A cute getout:
 

 (Zero Line)
 Pass Thru
 Wheel and Deal
 Centers Veer Right
 All Promenade


A still cuter one, called the Drunken Sailor routine (This is from David Cox’s note service, where he credits Bill Pendlebury for this interesting segment):
 

 (Zero Line)
 Pass Thru
 Wheel and Deal
 Centers Veer Right
 Centers Veer Left
 All Veer Right
 All Promenade


Hoadley’s book includes an interesting set of sequences for the situation in which you have a two-faced line and you want the net effect of each couple doing a partner trade:
 

 (from RH 2FL)
 Ferris Wheel
 Centers Veer Left
 Centers Veer Right
 All Veer Right
 (LH 2FL)
or
 (from LH 2FL)
 Ferris Wheel
 Centers Veer Right
 Centers Veer Left
 All Veer Left
 (RH 2FL)

 

Another move that leads comfortably into a Veer Right is the Reverse Flutterwheel.  Try this:
 

 Heads Star Thru
 Heads Pass Thru
 Heads Partner Trade
 Heads Reverse Flutterwheel
 Heads Veer Right
 Heads Veer Left
 Right and Left Thru
 Swing Thru
 Turn Thru
 LA


And the logical extension:
 

 Heads Right and Left Thru
 Heads Pass Thru
 Heads Partner Trade
 Heads Reverse Flutterwheel
 Heads Sweep 1/4 More (to the right)
 Heads Veer Right
 Heads Veer Left
 (Zero box)


(And, remember, anything that you can do with just the heads to get to a Zero Box or LA, you can also do from Zero Lines to get to a LA - this sequence just might be interesting!)
 

The following sequence uses a move that doesn’t get used a whole lot, even though it’s the first move on the list!  Note that I have ensured that the center man’s left hand and the center lady’s right hand are both free so that they can do the Circle comfortably (Heads Square Thru 4 would not be a good get-in):
 

 Heads Star Thru
 Heads Right and Left Thru
 Heads Pass Thru
 (Zero Box)
 Circle RIGHT half way
 Veer Right
 Ferris Wheel (lefty again)
 Centers Pass Thru
 LA


I have often wondered why the sequence “Right and Left Thru, Veer Left” is called so often - from a body flow perspective, I think that a “Right and Left Thru, Veer Right” would be more comfortable - you would just “flow” to the new position, instead of “cranking around”.  Of course, that would put the dancers into LH 2FL (oh, no, not another lefty!).

So, how about these.  Note that the dancers are not in that LH 2FL for very long.
 

 (Zero Line)
 Right and Left Thru
 Pass Thru
 Wheel and Deal
 Centers Right and Left Thru
 Centers Veer RIGHT
 Centers Bend the Line
 LA


It is important, of course, to use good timing here, because the instant that they hear the word “Veer” after the Right and Left Thru, well, they’re going to go Left - it’s a habit!

The sequences above don’t include any veers from two-faced lines unless a veer was used to form the two-face line (i.e., centers Veer Left and then Veer Right).  My opening paragraph included one that was done “cold” from a two-faced line.  Here’s another, with an interesting Right and Left Thru variation (I had to work this one with my dancers a bit):
 

 Heads Star Thru
 Heads Pass Thru
 Right and Left Thru
 Swing Thru
 Centers Run
 Bend the Line
 Right and Left Thru and 1/4 More (RH 2FL) (Sides facing out)
 Veer Right
 Trade By
 LA
An exercise in variation:

We notice really quickly that in the following sequence, it doesn’t matter whether the Veer is to the left or to the right:
 

 (Zero Box)
 Right and Left Thru
 Veer LEFT or Veer RIGHT
 Ferris Wheel
 Centers Pass Thru
 (Zero Box)


So, let’s expand on this coincidence.  One of the things that we might try is to vary an existing common sequence.  For example, here is a common singing call figure:
 

 Heads Square Thru 4
 Right and Left Thru
 Veer Left (Note: men out of sequence, ladies in sequence)
 Couples Circulate
 Chain Down the Line (Note: both out of sequence)
 Star Thru
 Pass Thru
 Trade By
 Swing Corner, Promenade


Let us say that we want to change Veer LEFT to Veer RIGHT.  What else will have to change?

The first thing to notice is the sequence after the Veer: men in sequence, ladies out of sequence.

The next thing to notice is the the men are in the center, so calling Chain Down the Line could be really tricky, especially since they have left hands joined!  Fortunately, since that move is equivalent to Ladies Trade, Bend the Line, we can do a corresponding equivalent: Men Trade, Bend the Line.  The neat thing is that by having the men trade instead of the ladies, we are back to the correct sequence automatically.  Cool!

So, we now have:

 Heads Square Thru 4
 Right and Left Thru
 VEER RIGHT (Note: men in sequence, ladies out of sequence)
 Couples Circulate
 CENTERS (MEN) TRADE (Note: both out of sequence)
 BEND THE LINE
 Star Thru
 Pass Thru
 Trade By
 Swing Corner, Promenade


And it works!

Mainstream:

Let’s try to use it with a Mainstream move - Walk and Dodge.  The important thing here is that we want to veer in the direction that the dodger is dodging.
 

 Heads Touch 1/4
 Heads Walk and Dodge
 Everybody Veer Right
 Bend the Line
 (Zero Line)
There are some other things that could be done - the following example is based on suggestions in David Cox's notes - I leave the details as an exercise for the reader:
Right & Left Thru
 Ladies Lead Dixie Style to an Ocean Wave
 Men Trade
 Recycle (Ladies - help him out!)
 Veer Right
 ....


For further analysis:

I think that there could be more material for the Veer from a 2-faced line, and I haven’t talked at all about veering as individuals, not couples.
 
 



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