Printer friendly version 
 Square Dance Resource Net  (Home)ArticlesCallers and CuersClubsEventsResourcesChoreographyMusicLyricsCeder Chest Definition BooksCeder Square Dance System  (CSDS)Square Rotation Program  (SQROT)Vic Ceder - Square Dance CallerDefinitions of square dance calls and conceptsMore square dance DefinitionsLists of square dance calls and conceptsFrequently Asked QuestionsSquare dance linksLos Olivos Honey BeesBande DéssineesChocolate BarsBeanie BabiesPokémon Trading CardsSend us feedback
 Master Index    Recent Changes    Find by Record ID    Help    Feedback    administrator         
 Find what: 
 Calls and Concepts    Miscellaneous Questions  

Miscellaneous Questions 
    #1 Dancer
    Top of page Bottom of page
    On your site for A1 I have seen "#1 dancer". What does that mean?

    There are two uses for this terminology.

    1. From Columns, dancers are numbered with respect to their position within the column.

      #1 is the Out-Facing End;
      #2 is the Out-Facing Center;
      #3 is the In-Facing Center;
      #4 is the In-Facing End;
    2. #1 dancer could also refer to any dancer who originally squared up as Couple #1. However, on our site, I believe we explicity refer to either the #1 Boy or the #1 Girl.

    last modified: 06-October-2007   
    1/4 and 3/4 Box
    Top of page Bottom of page
    In your C1 & C2 S/D manual, I came across a reference to both a 1/4 & 3/4 box setup (triple cross pp196). These are formations which I cannot find explicitly described either in your text or any other, such as Clark Baker's S/D Handbook. Could you provide any source for these formations, and some reasoning as to their naming. Any info you can provide would be most appreciated.

    These formations are (perhaps not well) described at the bottom of page 'x' and the top of page 'xi' in our C1/C2 book.

    The name of these formations derives from a 1/4 Tag formation, the formation obtained from a Squared Set after Heads Pass The Ocean.

    A 1/4 Tag is a Wave between Outside Couples Facing In.

    A 3/4 Tag is a Wave between Outside Couples Facing Out.

    A 1/4 Box is a Box between Outside Couples Facing In. (e.g., From a Squared Set after Heads Touch 1/4).

    A 3/4 Box is a Box between Outside Couples Facing Out.

    A 1/4 Line is a (Two-Faced) Line between Outside Couples Facing In. (e.g., From a Squared Set after Heads As Couples Touch 1/4).

    A 3/4 Line is a (Two-Faced) Line between Outside Couples Facing Out.

    And, a 1/4 Diamond is a Diamond between Outside Couples Facing In.

    And so on, and so on...

    Top of page Bottom of page
    What is a "clump"?

    A Clump is a 16-Matrix Offset 2x4. I.e., two boxes totally offset.



    Assuming 'X' represents a dancer, this formation is referred to as a clump.

    Occasionally, a clump can also be:





    Delimiters in calls/concepts requiring more than one argument
    Top of page Bottom of page
    How do you phrase it when calling Hinge By? Hinge By x BY...By etc. -- or Hinge By x AND...And etc?

    What about Interlace? Interlace a WITH b or Interlace a AND b?

    I don't use delimiters with "Hinge By".
    I say "Hinge By 1-2-2-1" or something of that nature.

    For Interlace, I use "With".

    As long as we're on the subject...


    TRACE a BY b
    OWN THE a BY b
    SLANT a BY b
    TOUCH BY a BY b


    a REPLACE b WITH c

    ANCHOR THE a FOR (A) b
    DRAG THE a FOR (A) b
    IGNORE THE a FOR (A) b
    PREFER THE a FOR (A) b

    Facing Stars
    Top of page Bottom of page
    In variations involving a "diamond-type" star (on unusual Motivates, Chain Reactions, etc.), which shoulders should people pass when turning the star?

    If I am the one hinged in, in turning the star 1/4 I prefer to keep outboard of those that did the Jaywalk so as to keep clear of those who will be finishing with the Cast Off 3/4.

    What do you feel is the correct way to dance the call in terms of the diamond-star traffic flow?

    I believe the correct answer is "right-shoulders", "right-shoulders", and "right-shoulders" when turning a facing star. I believe this is easier for the dancers to remember, and technically you're supposed to be in a Star not a Diamond (hence dancers are equidistant from the center of the star, and turning the star would have them collide, so the right-shoulder rule applies). I would also wonder what would happen if the star was to turn 1/2 and you wanted to pass left-shoulders once and then right-shoulders next.

    Formation: 1/4 <anything>
    Top of page Bottom of page
    I had an argument with someone who is studying to be a caller. I said that when you have a two faced line in the center and a couple facing in on the ends, that is called a quarter tag formation. He said that it is only a quarter tag formation if there is a wave in the center, not any other type of line.

    Also, what if you have a wave or some sort of a line in the center and miniwaves at the ends. That is not a quarter tag nor is it a three quarter tag formation. What is it called?

    A 1/4 Tag with a Wave in the middle and In-Facing Couples is called a "1/4 Tag". If the Wave is right-handed, it is a "R-H 1/4 Tag"; if left-handed, a "L-H 1/4 Tag".

    A 1/4 Tag with a 2FL and In-Facing Couples is a "1/4 Line". If there is a Diamond in the middle, it is a "1/4 Diamond".

    If the outsides are Out-Facing Couples, we have a "3/4 Tag", "3/4 Line", or "3/4 Diamond".

    If the outsides are in a Mini-Wave, we have a "Generalized 1/4 Tag, Line, or Diamond".

    That's all folks!

    Here Comes The Judge / Sock It To Me
    Top of page Bottom of page
    I am a Japanese sqaure-dancer and unfortunately a non-native speaker of English. I have a quaestion for you. There are some calls whose literal meaning does not convey what to do. For instance, on "sock it to me", I was wondering what the word "sock" means. ON this call, the leftmost dancer initiates an outroll circulate while the rightmost one on "here comes the judege". I wonder if there is a good clue to remembering "left" on "sock it to me". Thank you for your kind reply.

    I will answer your question first, and then I will explain the calls.
    The word "sock" has two meanings in American English:
      1) A garment for the foot and lower part of the leg
      2) A  hard blow or punch

    This call has a very curious history. It was developed during the time that a particular television show was popular (Laugh-In). Laugh-In was a comedy show and contained many different skits that became a part of American culture. One of these skits used a "tag-line" (a catchphrase or slogan, or the punchline of a joke) of "Sock It To Me" and this meant that something was about to happen to the person who said it, like maybe they get hit with a bucket of water, or fall through a trap-door, or knocked on the head with a soft rubber or inflated hammer. (This is the 拳パンチ usage of the word "sock"). Another popular skit used the tag-line of "Here Comes The Judge". So these two calls were developed and named after this popular television show.

    In America, dancers like to remember "Here Comes The Judge" by saying "The Judge is always RIGHT". This has meaning in America because a judge is the person that decides the penalty for crime, and the decisions made are deemed to be correct/right. In America, knowing that "Sock It To Me" is the opposite of "Here Comes The Judge" (because these two calls are so deeply related and ingrained in American culture), American dancers do not need to figure out a way to remember "Sock It To Me". They just know that it is the opposite of "Here Comes The Judge" (which is RIGHT), so "Sock It To Me" must be LEFT.

    Perhaps for Japanese dancers, who do not have this cultural connection to the television show, you might be able to remember the difference in this way:
    • SOCK has four letters, like LEFT
    • JUDGE has five letters, like RIGHT

    last modified: 19-February-2020   
    Left vs. Reverse
    Top of page Bottom of page
    This past weekend, you called Left Dixie Style to a Wave several times. I use this frequently (usually at Plus and above, rarely with poor Mainstreamers :-) ) as REVERSE Dixie Style to a Wave. I correlate the call as Flutterwheel/Reverse Flutterwheel, Dixie Style/Reverse Dixie Style.

    Any thoughts on what would be a more correct use?

    Being a challenge caller, I have an aversion to using the term 'Reverse' to mean 'do the mirror image of the call'.

    Lacking the technically proper term (i.e., 'Mirror'), I selected the next best term, 'Left'. 'Left' is consistent with 'Left Fan The Top', 'Left Touch 1/4', etc. I mean, would you ever say 'Reverse Touch 1/4'???

    'Reverse' has problems in that it has no precise meaning. 'Reverse' can mean any of the following: Mirror, In Reverse Order, Rewind, Leaders do the Trailers part and vice-versa, and a few other usages (e.g., Reverse The Diamond [Centers Trade the Wave as Others U-Turn Back, converts R-H Diamonds to L-H Diamonds and vice-versa]).

    Anyway, I cued the call as "Boys Lead Left Dixie Style to a Wave, Left Pull By then Right Touch 1/4 with the Girl, swing the Girl into the Center" (or something to that effect), so it was, in my most humble opinion, unambiguous what I wanted.

    New calls
    Top of page Bottom of page
    Is there any good place where new calls can be found?

    I answer questions about calls within my FAQ database at

    I allow people to submit new ideas to my Experimental Calls and Concepts database at

    Partners in Ocean Wave
    Top of page Bottom of page
    Who is your partner in an Ocean Wave?

    This (sometimes controversial) issue pops up every so often.

    From any general line (one-faced, two-faced, 3&1, or a WAVE), Partners are generally defined as the Ends and Adjacent Centers. This holds true for calls such as PARTNER HINGE, PARTNER TRADE, and PARTNER TAG.

    This is the "Formation"-relative Partner, who may or may not be your original Partner, and could even be dancing the same Role (i.e., Boy or Girl).

    For the purposes of call such as RIGHT AND LEFT GRAND, and LEFT ALLEMANDE, you need to look at the 8-dancer formation as a "Circle", and the Boy's partner is the lady counter-clockwise around the circular formation.

    And, of course, not all callers may subscribe to this, nor understand it. So, bottom line, do what your caller wants. :-)

    last modified: 06-November-2019   
    Same spot crashing with a "Left" call
    Top of page Bottom of page
    When two dancers "crash" to the same spot, do they always step to right hands? What if the call is Left <anything>? Thank you.

    If the call is "Mirror <anything>", dancers definitely crash with left hands.

    On "Left <anything>", it is not clear what happens. E.g., from Tandem Couples: Left Pitch 1/2 Circulate.

    last modified: 04-January-2007   
    Square Breathing
    Top of page Bottom of page
    From Parallel Waves e.g. Heads Square Thru + all Swing Thru, do you train the dancers to close up the formation so that there is no space between the two waves?

    At Plus and below, I don't worry much about it. I tell my Plus dancers to keep their squares tight, but it usually doesn't do much good.

    At Challenge, I expect dancers to dance this way. If you ever get a chance to watch a C4 floor, you will notice that they close up the spaces after each call. Challenge dancers need to close up the gap or they might breakdown on the next call.

    I'm going to start an A1 class in January or February, and I expect to drill the dancers on keeping their squares tight. I will try to train them to close up their formations.

    On a recent trip to England, I was impressed when I called Promenade Home. Most squares had all the Boys in a very tight (good looking) Star. The Boys were all sticking their left-elbows up, trying to touch the points to make a Star. I asked them later why their Promenade looked so sharp, and they explained that one of their callers teaches the Boys to touch elbows. The dancers in this particular club were, in jest, trying to over-emphasize the elbows-up part, and in doing so, made some very nice looking tight Stars.

    As long as I'm on the 'European-styling' soap box, here's another thing about the European dancers that impressed me:

    The dancers can actually do the call Circle To A Line! There is no such thing as 'slide out to a line'. When you call 'Heads Lead Right, Circle To A Line', they do something similar to what I'm about to describe (I don't know exactly how they do it, but someday I intend to find out)

    On the call Circle To A Line, they join hands in the group of 4,
    On beat 1, they raise their hands in the air on beat 1 and start circling;
    On beat 2 they lower their hands and continue circling;
    On beat 3 they raise their hands and continue circling;
    On beat 4 they lower their hands and the appropriate (Head) man breaks;
    On beat 5 the Sides raise their hands; and
    On beat 6, the (Side) Girl twirls under.

    This styling looks very sharp.

    Unusual Uses at Challenge
    Top of page Bottom of page
    There are probably a lot of mainstream calls in which unusual uses don't come up until the challenge level. Are there any generally recognized written resources for resolving questions like the foregoing?

    Unusual uses of calls is often discussed on the Challenge-Sd mailing list. To subscribe send a message to with the line subscribe challenge-sd in the body.

    Clark Baker is working with Callerlab, trying to write a set of technical definitions.

    We're also slowly working on a set of web-based definitions. A few have been completed so far.

    Who is a Neighbor?
    Top of page Bottom of page
    The term "Neighbor" is used in several square dance references, but I can't find a precise definition of "Neighbor".

    By inference - one possible definition extracted from "Follow Your Neighbor" is "the Person next to you before you started to a particular move". This would be a good enough definition for my needs. But I'm curious to find out if there is an agreed definition.

    As I recall, there was an attempt 30 years ago or so to define Neighbors as the two adjacent dancers in a Wave, because, ???of course???, those facing the same direction were clearly Partners.

    This notion has definitely fallen out of use today. In my opinion, all challenge dancers/callers, and most advanced dancers/callers are taught that from a Wave, the ends and adjacent dancers are Partners (in the formation). This is necessary for calls such as Partner Tag.

    These URLs (old definitions) mention "Neighbors":

    last modified: 15-May-2016   

If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to E-mail Vic at
31-January-2023 08:01:29
Copyright © 2023 Vic Ceder.  All Rights Reserved.