Definitions of Square Dance Calls and Concepts

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The Crossfire Controversy -- []
(author unknown)
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### What does Interlocked mean?

The current CALLERLAB definition of Crossfire (November 1997, as taken from the CALLERLAB website) states: EN: 30

CROSSFIRE - Starting formation - Two faced line, Parallel lines of four,

Inverted Line(s). TIMING - 6

As the centers begin to Trade, the ends Cross Fold. Upon completing their Trade, the centers release hands and step straight forward forming an ocean wave or mini-wave with the dancers they are facing. If the Trade leaves the original centers facing no one, they step forward and remain facing out.

STYLING: If starting formation is a two-faced line, center dancers use hands up position for trading action and blend into normal mini wave styling. If starting formation is parallel lines of four that results in centers facing no one, that couple joins hands with a couple handhold.

 before Crossfire after Ends Cross Fold as Centers Trade after Centers Step Forward (done)

Note that the last part for the Centers, "Step Forward", is necessary so that the ending formation is centered, and not offset. The horizontal line shown in the above diagrams shows the original center of gravity. The "Step Forward" part of Crossfire is analogous to the definition of Peel Off, which contains a phrase such as "to end in a Line" (otherwise, Peel Off, when done from a "Z", would end in an Offset Line: that is, one couple offset from another couple). We believe that the CALLERLAB definition of Crossfire should contain a similar statement (e.g., "to end in a Box"). EN: 200

If the square contains two non-overlapping occurrences of the above 4-dancer formation (a One-Faced Line), then each group of 4 does the call independently of the other group of 4. It doesn't matter if the two starting formations are end-to-end, facing, back-to-back, or in some other configuration. So why does the CALLERLAB definition behave differently for the back-to-back case??? EN: 220

Many Plus-level callers have been calling Crossfire from Out-Facing Lines and ending in a 1/4 Tag for many years. I used to be one of them. In fact, as a Plus dancer myself, many years ago, I thought that the fact that Crossfire from Out-Facing Lines ends in a 1/4 Tag was "really cool". Nowadays, I think it's shoddy calling. EN: 230

Trying to effect change among the many callers who use Crossfire in this manner won't be easy. I am convinced, however, that this is the right thing to do, and that the future of Crossfire lies with it being a 4-dancer call. EN: 240

Suppose, for example, that Crossfire is an 8-dancer call. Let's take a look at this starting formation: EN: 250

From here, there are 3 possible interpretations for Crossfire: EN: 260

 before Crossfire
Case 1:

 after
Case 2:

 after
Case 3:

 after

• Case 1 uses the CALLERLAB definition and assumes that Crossfire is an 8-dancer call. Centers ( dancers) Trade and Step To A Wave as Ends ( dancers) Cross Fold. EN: 300
• Case 2: Assuming that you don't like case 1, perhaps because you think that the terms Ends and Centers refer to the 4-dancer formation instead of the 8-dancer formation, then this is the ending result using the CALLERLAB definition. The Crossfire is done in each group of 4, but, the two dancers ( and ) step to a Wave since they are facing! EN: 310
• Case 3 uses our definition, in which Crossfire is a 4-dancer call. EN: 320

If Crossfire has no restriction on it being a 4-dancer call done in your 4-dancer formation, then the following are also 'legal' (and potentially ambiguous): EN: 330

 before Crossfire after Ends Cross Fold as Centers Trade after Centers Step To A Wave (done)
In the above example, the caller would be required to say the words 'Each Side' if he/she didn't want the above-diagrammed movement to occur. EN: 340

 before Crossfire after Ends Cross Fold as Centers Trade after "Extend" (done)
In the above example, do the Ends go past each other for the Cross Fold, or not? A case could be made either way. EN: 350

 before Crossfire after (Oh, but look!Two Centers are facing each other,so, of course, they must Step To A Wave) EN: 360 (done)

Callers and dancers at the challenge levels want calls to be consistent and unambiguous. The 'challenge' is not in trying to figure out which interpretation this particular caller wants! Hence, challenge square dancing needs well-defined calls. Making Crossfire be a 4-dancer call gives us this consistency. The dancers know who they are working with, and can determine the ending formation. There are no surprises after we do the call a la "oh gee, it seems that I'm facing someone, therefore I must Step To A Wave, even if the other person was working in the other group of 4!". Rules such as these are nonsense. EN: 400

Also, at Challenge, we do calls using Phantom dancers. In general, the facing direction of the Phantom dancer is defined to be "whatever is necessary in order to do the call". Now suppose a caller calls Phantom Crossfire from here: EN: 410

Phantom Crossfire:

 before Phantom Crossfire
How do the dancers know whether to end in (Phantom) Columns or a (Phantom) 1/4 Tag? EN: 420

An example of Crossfire as an 8-dancer call: EN: 430

 before Crossfire
According to our definition: EN: 440

 after
According to the CALLERLAB definition: EN: 450

 after
We believe that Crossfire is legal from the above starting formation despite the fact that from that formation, Crossfire is an 8-dancer call. Many 4-dancer calls exhibit such a behavioral change when done from T-Bone setups. EN: 460

Our recommended "fix" for the CALLERLAB definition: EN: 470
1. Remove the phrase "step straight forward forming an ocean wave or mini-wave with the dancers they are facing. If the Trade leaves the original centers facing no one, they step forward and remain facing out." and replace it with something that makes sense such as "Step forward (if necessary) so that the ending formation is centered with respect to the starting formation." EN: 480
2. Add "Ends in a Box (2 x 2 formation)." EN: 490

Note on Roll: We believe that only the original Ends can Roll, and our definition, "Centers Trade and Step Forward as Ends Cross Fold" is worded such that it allows for the Ends to Roll, but not the Centers. EN: 500

This page reflects my personal opinions. If you have any comments, pro or con, I'd like to hear them. EN: 510

CALLERLAB definition for Crossfire