1.a. Case 1: 8 dancers
Starting formations: Squared Set, Infacing Circle Of 8
Circle to the Left
Join Hands, Circle Left
Circle Right, The Other Way Back
(while circling left) Reverse, and Circle Right the other way back
Dance action: Dancers join hands with adjacent dancers to form a circle and move the circle in the
indicated direction, or to the left if no direction was given. The amount to circle may be a specified
distance (e.g., Circle Left 1/2 Way) or until the next command is given (e.g., Circle Left ... Circle Right).
Ending formation: Infacing Circle Of 8. On the command "Stop At Home", the ending formation is a
Timing: 1/4: 4, 1/2: 8, 3/4: 12, Full: 16
Styling: As dancers join hands (couple handhold) to form a circle, they face slightly left or right as directed.
All dancers walk forward with joined hands, elbows bent comfortably so that hands are above the elbow.
Couple handhold in circles: In circles with alternating men and women, men's palms are up and
women's palms are down. In other circles (e.g., BBGG), everyone has the right-hand palm up and the
left-hand palm down.
Some regions dance 8-dancer circles with a walking step with no turning motion of the body. Other
regions dance 8-dancer circles with a grapevine step, with the body and arms turning left and right, in
synchrony with this step, allowing the dancers to make eye contact with their Corners and Partners
Comments: The command "Circle", without a direction, is a shorthand for Circle Left. It is mainly used
in Singing Calls when required by the timing of the lyrics.
When circling, "Reverse" or "Go The Other Way" can be used to tell the dancers to stop and circle in the
other direction. It is usually followed with a "Circle Right (or Left)".
1.b. Case 2: 4 dancers
Starting formation: Facing Couples
Circle Left 1/2 Way
Circle Four, 1/2 Way Around
Circle Right 3/4
In Groups of 4, Circle Left 3/4 of the Way Around
Dance action: Same as above. When dancing in a circle of 4, the dancers end as the same facing couples
rotated by the appropriate amount.
Ending formation: Facing Couples
Timing: 1/2: 4, 3/4: 6, Full: 8
Styling: Same as above. The grapevine step is not recommended in 4-dancer circles.
1.c. Case 3: 2 dancers
Starting formation: Facing Dancers
Join 2 Hands And Circle Left Halfway
Make Circles of 2 and Circle Left Halfway
With the person in front of you circle 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or full around
Allemande Left; Dosado; with your Partner Circle 1/2 and Star Thru
Head Ladies Step Into The Center and Circle 1/2 With Each Other
With the one you face, join both hands and circle 1/2, 3/4 or full around
Dance action: Same as above.
Ending formation: Facing Dancers
Timing: 1/2: 4, 3/4: 5
Styling: In a mixed sex circle, the men dance palms up and the women dance palms down. In a Same Sex
circle, dancers use right hand palm up, left hand palm down. Some regions always use the latter
Comments: While the concept of circling with 2 or more dancers is part of the Mainstream program, there
is no well established terminology. Callers wanting circles of 2 dancers must use terminology familiar
to their dancers.
Some callers use the phrase "Single Circle" for circles of 2 dancers (e.g., Single Circle 3/4 to A Star
Thru). The phrase "Single Circle" is not explicitly listed and taught at Mainstream so this usage may
cause communication problems. In addition, the phrase "Single Circle" is very similar to the call "Single
Circle To A Wave" which is part of another dance program. Some callers feel that the use of the term
"Single Circle" at Mainstream is improper.