Definitions of Square Dance Calls and Concepts
 
Definitions of Square Dance Calls and Concepts
 
 

From a Squared Set, after some dancers are instructed to face their partner.

Grand Square is a 32-beat figure that should be danced in time to the music.
Start moving on beat 1, and take a full 32 beats to complete the call.

Starting on beat #1 of an 8-beat phrase, proceed as follows:

Sides Face, Grand Square:

  • Heads' part:
    Beats 1-4: Forward 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face your partner;
    Beats 4-8: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face the dancer beside you;
    Beats 9-12: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 13-16: Forward 3 steps, then pause (do not turn). You may 'Patty-cake' with your partner if you'd like). We're 1/2 way through. Now reverse it...
    Beats 17-20: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 21-24: Forward 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 25-28: Forward 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 29-32:   Backup 3 steps and pause. You're done!
  • Side's part:
    Beats 1-4: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 5-8: Forward 3 steps (to meet someone), then turn 1/4 to face in (as a couple);
    Beats 9-12: Forward 3 steps to meet original partner, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 13-16: Backup 3 steps and pause (do not turn). Now reverse it...
    Beats 17-20: Forward 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 21-24: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 25-28: Backup 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in;
    Beats 29-32:   Forward 3 steps, then turn 1/4 to face in. You're done!

before
Grand Square
(after Sides Face)
 
     
after
beat 4
 after
beat 8
 after
beat 12
 after
beat 16
(half-way)
 
     
after
beat 20
 after
beat 24
 after
beat 28
 after
beat 32
(done)

Notes:
  • Usually cued as 'Sides Face, Grand Square', but could also be cued as 'Heads Face...', 'Girls (or Boys) Face...'.
  • Join hands whenever you become a couple (side by side with someone)
  • Each turn 1/4 is always toward the center of the set. You must turn 1/4 even if you think you are already facing the center of the set.
  • Do not turn on beat 16.
  • Grand Square ends in a Squared Set. Those who originally faced at the start need to turn 1/4 on beat 32 to end as a couple.
  • Dance to the beat of the music. Take the full 32 beats.
  • Turn precisely 1/4 (90°) in place on beats 4, 8, 12, 20, 24, 28, and, if necessary, 32.
  • Each dancers traces a small square pattern on the floor.
  • The caller often says 'Reverse' right before beat 17. At this point dancers reverse the traffic pattern to end back home.
  • The caller can fractionalize the call. For example, Sides Face Grand Square go 10 beats to end in Facing Lines.

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