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Caller Resources


  • A Love & Passion ⭐⭐⭐⭐  by Jerry Junck 1998  reprinted from USDA NEWS October – December 1998  cached

    Square dancing needs a resumption of caller leadership to teach new dancers and provide a choreographically easy enough dance environment for those new dancers to succeed. From our leadership, we must have a love and passion for square dancing. In addition, we need to restore a mutual respect for each other, as well. We need to be able to motivate dancers as to the importance of recruiting, and the necessity of being patient and understanding with the new dancers we do teach.
  • Alternative Music ⭐⭐⭐  by Vic Ceder  reprinted from Presented to Callerlab.

    Suggestions on using Alternative Music with examples.
  • Alternative Patter Music ⭐⭐⭐⭐  by Clark Baker 2003  cached

    Patter music can be less structured than singing call music, giving a much larger range of music from which to choose. Often our patter music is more drab and boring than our singing call music. Sometimes this is necessary so that the dancers won't get distracted by the music. However, sometimes it is nice to let accomplished dancers dance to a good piece of music. Music from outside the normal square dance arena is another way of providing variety, getting away from boom-chuck, certain instrumentation, and other constraints we impose upon ourselves.
  • Attitude Is Everything ⭐⭐⭐⭐  by Jerry Junck 2002  cached

    Today's square dance activity is suffering form a great many more negative opinions than positive attitudes. Jerry asks callers, dancers, and even organizations to do some hard thinking about their current attitudes and what positive changes we all can make for the good of square dancing.
  • Beat Math  by Clark Baker  reprinted from Clark Baker (A Workshop presented at Callerlab 2009)  cached

    This workshop will start with a brief review of timing. Next we will discuss a methodology for measuring how many beats a call takes and use this methodology on a few calls to see if it gets the same answer as our existing timing charts. Finally we will see if "beat math" really works. Can we simply stick calls together, adding up their beats, and expect the sequence to dance in that many beats? If not, how are we supposed to use our timing numbers?
  • Caller Judgment  by Clark Baker  reprinted from A Talk given at Callerlab 2012  cached

    A square dance caller makes many decisions while performing his job. Some of these decisions are easy and obvious, especially to experienced callers. Others are not so easy, and different callers may make different decisions when presented with identical situations. Usually the results of a decision are minor, or can be easily fixed. Occasionally the decision has far reaching consequences.
  • Creating A Teaching Order That Will Help Students Succeed  by Don Beck  cached

  • (cached) Dancing By Definition  by Barry Clasper  reprinted from Callerlab 2013 presentation  

    How the brain's memory and recall mechanisms work and how we can apply that to the way a dancer learns.
  • (cached) Do It Again and Again (part 1)  by Al Stevens  

    Repetition all over again.
  • (cached) Do It Again and Again (part 2)  by Al Stevens  

    Repetition all over again.
  • Extended Applications (for Callers)  by Vic Ceder  reprinted from Presented to Callerlab

    Standard applications are those combinations of calls and formations that are most frequently called, and which give a high dancer success rate. When a caller goes beyond this basic 'norm', dancers tend to break down because they are given unfamiliar positions from which to do the call. This article focuses on those Extended Applications, how and when to use them while keeping them fun and attainable.
  • (cached) Frequency Counts - Good or Bad?  by Al Stevens  

  • Gimmicks  by Clark Baker  cached

    I have always felt that there are more than a few types of gimmicks. However I have never taken the time to collect and analyze the various types. Making a presentation on this subject at the 2005 Callerlab meeting has forced me to collect my thoughts and write this paper.
  • (cached) Helpful Hints for Callers  by Al Stevens  

    Suggestions that have been made over the years at Al Steven's callers schools.
  • How I Get Square Dance Music  by Rich Reel  cached

    One way to obtain square dance records.
  • (cached) My First CALLERLAB  by Allan Hurst  

    There's a myth that attending CALLERLAB is only for professional callers. In reality, it's a wonderful opportunity to meet other callers, and to get to know the square dance community at large.
  • On The Rights of Call Authors  by Clark Baker  cached

    Following some discussion on the square dance caller's e-mail list regarding what rights the author of a square dance call may or may not have, Clark Baker's writes his opinion.
  • Phrase Craze  by Clark Baker  reprinted from Clark Baker (a workshop presented at the 2010 CALLERLAB Convention)  cached

    This workshop will explore the relationship of patter and singing calling to the musical phrase. We start with a brief definition of terms, and move into some dancing. Does a style of delivery in which the caller gives the dancers the first beat in a phrase better? How often can a skilled caller "hit the phrase"? How can you acquire this skill? What are some examples of strongly phrased music. This will be a laboratory in which we are counting on you, as dancers, to help determine which variables really matter.
  • Points for Better Calling  by Rich Reel  cached

    Fundamental aspects of optimal square dance calling.
  • (cached) Sight Calling  by Rob Scribner  reprinted from The Oregon Square Dancer Magazine  

    A sight-calling primer.
  • (cached) Sight Resolution  

    Several callers have submitted their methods for sight resolution.
  • Smooth Dancing  by Peter Höfelmeyer  cached

    Why should smooth dancing be one of our highest goals?
  • Some Thoughts about Body Flow  by Jens Harms  cached

  • Teaching Order Design Principles  by Dottie Welch and Clark Baker  reprinted from Callerlab Dance Program Documents  cached

  • Teaching Principles That Will Help Students Succeed ⭐⭐⭐  by Don Beck  cached

    Four phases to teaching, and goals of teaching.
  • Teaching Square Dancing to Grade 7  by Clark Baker  cached

    This talk will focus on my experiences in working with 7th graders, teaching a progressive series of classes, leading to a school-wide performance. Areas covered include crowd control, choreography, teaching techniques, handling reluctant dancers, dealing with attitude, a core vocabulary of calls and skills, teaching words, and learning speed. We end with a quick walkthru of calls that look good in exhibition (Stars, Allemande Thar, Grand Square, Dip And Dive, Heel & Toe, Star Promenade & Butterfly Whirl) which you could use in any ONS. Finally we dance the routine to phrased calling.
  • Teaching Techniques  by Jerry Reed  cached

    Teaching is one of the most important jobs of any caller. We should be prepared to undertake this task each time we pick up our microphone. Teaching can be as formal as a regular class or workshop situation or as informal as a discussion of a particular move or concept over coffee after a dance. Teaching people to dance is not only one of our most important skills, it is also one of the most difficult.
  • (cached) TrashDance (What A Feeling!)  by Allan Hurst  

    As a caller ... what do you do when only 6 dancers show up? Get trashy! This article, on how to choreograph and call for 6 dancers plus two wheeled garbage cans, first appeared in the GCA "Call Sheet" Newsletter.
  • What Makes Square Dancing Hard? -- Cognitive Psychology and Square Dancing (1982)  by John Sybalsky  reprinted from Square Dance Practice Vol. 1, No. 4  cached

    There are limits to what the human mind can do. Studying those limits---and how people cope with them---can tell us much about what makes square dancing easy or hard: The closer a call or sequence comes to pushing those limits. the harder it is to perform. Looking at how people cope with their limits can tell us much about how people learn square dancing. and thus provide guidance for setting up teaching orders and plateau progressions.
  • (cached) Working with Other Callers - Duets  by Al Stevens  

    Duets are a great tool to be used by callers, if two callers are compatible with each other, however a danger exists when two callers are non - compatible. Nothing sounds worse than to listen to two callers trying to work with each other - and can't.
  • Zeros ⭐⭐⭐  by Gero Teufert  cached

Specific Calls

Technical Papers



  • A Look At Ourselves ⭐⭐⭐⭐  by Bill Heimann 1998  cached

    Being a good dancer has nothing to do with level!
  • Challenge Dancer Responsibilities  by Charles Young  

    Because Challenge Square Dancing is more difficult and demanding it requires a high level of commitment to the art of Square Dancing and a high level of cooperation amongst the dancers in each square.
  • How Good Is Good  by Barry Clasper  reprinted from The Zipcoder  cached

    What makes a good dancer. (originally printed in Zip Coder Magazine)
  • How May I Help  by Barry Clasper  reprinted from The Zipcoder  cached

    To help or not to help? That is the question. (originally printed in Zip Coder Magazine)
  • Learning Calls  by Bill Heimann  cached

    Strategies for memorizing calls.
  • Tips on Becoming a Better Dancer  by Janet Neumann  cached

    Dancing, Teamwork, Definitions, Identification, Precision & Breathing, Study & Practice, Have Fun!


Technical Papers

  • Basic Positions and Movements for Challenge Dancers  by Charles Young

    Many Challenge dancers do not understand basic square dancing positions and movements. This paper is written to clarify dancer positions for Challenge dancers.
  • Choreographic Rules of Flow in Square Dancing  by Lynette Bellini  cached

    These are my rules of flow in square dancing.
  • Dancing the Matrix Concept  by Sue Curtis  cached

    This paper describes a method of thinking about the Matrix concept.
  • Disconnected Concept  by Charles Young

    This commentary has four sections. The first was written by Linda Kendall and was printed in Zip Coder in 1998. The second was written by Bill Ackerman and posted to Lynette Bellini's web site in September 2002. The third part is a summary of the rules developed in Linda's and Bill's articles and email discussions on the challenge-sd email service. Diagrams are provided to illustrate these rules. The fourth part provides additional diagrams about the Disconnected concept.
  • Jay Concept  by Charles Young  

    An explanation of the Jay Concept.
  • Multiple Formations Working Everywhichway  by William B. Ackerman and J. Eric Brosius  cached

    These concepts generalize the existing concept Triple Boxes Working Together and also expand and clarify the Grand and Triple Lines concepts.
  • Once Removed Dance Strategies  by Charles Young  

    A discussion of the definition of Once Removed, problems with the Once Removed concept, and strategies which may be used to dance this concept. Many diagrams are included.
  • Once Removed Notes and Diagrams  by Charles Young  

    The Once Removed concept is one of the hardest and least understood concepts in Challenge square dancing. This paper provides an explanation of this concept for most of us. This will be done by showing sample calls with some discussions of the nuances of the examples including discussion of the strategy to be used for the call.
  • Parallelograms and Offset Lines | Columns  by Keith Rubow  

    How to successfully dance the more difficult Parallelogram and Offset Line/Column calls.
  • Parallelograms and Offsets Notes and Diagrams  by Charles Young  

    There are some basic facts about parallelograms that must be understood if you are to become competent in the use of the concept.
  • Positional Awareness in Challenge Square Dancing  by Charles Young

    Square dancers require a significant awareness of what is going on in their square at all times. "Positional Awareness" requires detailed knowledge of the following: 1) the starting formation for the call 2) the definition of the call and how the call is danced from the starting formation 3) how, when and where to move in the mechanics of the call 4) formation to end up in at the end of the call.
  • Rotates  by Jimmy Davis  

    This book on Rotates is a comprehensive study including directions, teaching hints, diagrams, and choreography by the author of the call/concept himself.
  • Split Phantom Lines / Columns  by Charles Young  

    A list of the things you must know when you do Split Phantom concept calls.
  • Square Breathing  by Charles Young

    Breathing is the expansion and decrease of the size of the formation as we execute a call. We breathe all the time while dancing but never think about it. It is important to successful dancing to be aware of breathing and to be able to do it well.
  • Square Breathing  by Barry Lieba

    A lot has been said over the past couple of years about square breathing and the importance of keeping it in mind when one is dancing. Still, I see two kinds of situations where dancers continue to have problems with it - and in the second situation many callers also have trouble.
  • Star Wars - When Meta-Concepts and Supercalls Collide  by Bill Heimann  cached

    Callers have begun combining meta-concepts with supercalls.
  • Star Wars ? The Sequel or When Meta-Concepts and Supercalls Collide  by Bill Klein  cached

    (after the original work of Bill Heimann see: )
  • Stretch Concepts For Most of Us  by Charles Young

    There are three Stretch concepts; Stretch itself, Stretched Box ans Stretched Line/Wave. Each of these concepts has its own rules and strategies for dancing. Some of the dancing strategies are applicable to more than one of these concepts.
  • Supercalls  by Lynette Bellini  cached

    A class of calls which fall in a currently undefined region between call and concept.
  • Supercalls: A new class of concepts  by Dan Neumann  cached

    Calls can become concepts!
  • The 3 by 1 Concept  by Sue Curtis  cached

    This definition accurately describes previously-used calls such as Checkmate (and even Transfer!) and allows the 3 by 1 concept to be applied to many other calls.
  • The 3 By 3 Concept  by Sue Curtis  cached

    The 3 by 3 concept clarifies the 12 Matrix concept since it provides a well-defined method of converting 8-person calls to 12-person calls.
  • The Challenge Dancing Handbook  by Clark Baker  cached

    Clark Baker's definitive work on Challenge Dancing written in 1978. Including discussions on Naming Conventions, Setups and Formations, Descriptive Terminology, Concepts, Extensions and Variations, Calls and more.
  • The Fractional Twosome Concept  by Scott Morton and Sue Curtis  cached

    The Fractional Twosome Concept is a new method of working jointly with another dancer.
  • The Rewind Concept  by J. Eric Brosius  cached

    You may have seen diagrams that explain calls using little pictures of dancers with arrows showing the paths one takes when dancing the calls. What if the arrows went in the opposite direction?
  • The Scatter Concept  by Dan Neumann  cached

    SCATTER is a motion-based concept where the leaders in a wave (or line) who would normally flip over into their partner's space, dance to the spot that the other lead would normally flip into and adopt the identity of that dancer.
  • (cached) The Single Concept  by J. Eric Brosius  

    A proposed definition of "Single".
  • (cached) The Straight Concept  by Dan Neumann  

    An extension of the call "Straight Fire".
  • The Twisted Concept  by Clark Baker  cached

    A concept that can be used with any call whose active's initial dance action contains a pass thru, pull by, touch, or single circling action.

Dancing Outside the U.S.

Dancing Outside the U.S.










Dancer Hints and Handouts

Health Benefits


What is Square Dancing?


by Bob Brundage




Newspaper Articles


Round Dance

Round Dance


18-June-2024 16:58:15
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