You’ve already made the decision to explore the craft of calling, so congratulations, and welcome to this exclusive brand of insanity. Let’s face facts. With the state of the activity today, there are not many made to order opportunities for you to call – especially if your goal is to call for established clubs.

However, if you are ambitious and energetic, you can create your own opportunities. The Square Dance Party market holds the biggest opportunity for financial gain, although, it might not be where you want to play. You should give some thought to where you want to go with your calling, and set some reasonable goals. A competent, working caller can help you with this.

You will make a transition from thinking like a dancer to thinking like a caller. Eventually, your dancer friends will make a transition from seeing you as a dancer to seeing you as a caller. This will take a long time. In fact, you are probably better off starting as far away from where you currently dance as possible. When you are ready to show your stuff to your friends, make it a great showing. In other words, learn out of the sight of the people who know you as “the dancer.” Introduce yourself to them as “the caller” once you have sufficiently learned the basic skills. Of course, this advice doesn’t apply if you are only planning to perform at parties.

This document explores a few things you should know and begin to get comfortable with while you begin your journey to become a good caller.

Read more: Getting Started With Modern Western Square Dance Calling

One of the biggest hurdles new callers face is learning to put one call in front of the other. Anyone can learn to resolve a square, just as anyone can learn basic arithmetic. Wade Driver once quoted Marshal Flippo to me, saying, “There’s timing, there’s flow, and all that other @@@@.” This phrase stuck with me over the years, and the more I think of it the more I believe it. Resolution deals with the Science of the Square. The Art of Choreography is Timing and Flow. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at delivering smooth and danceable choreography with the CALLERLAB Basic Program.


It is painful for me to watch a new caller, who’s been studying and practicing for a while, struggle to present even the simplest of material. It’s sometimes shocking to learn how long a “new caller” has actually been at it while failing to develop skill. If you want to progress, you have to put in the effort. Go that extra mile. Don’t worry, though, they say, “There is very little traffic on the extra mile.”

Modules can be instructive and are probably a wise place for the total novice to begin. Yet, we all expect a moment when a module shifts from a list of calls on a page or in memory to deeper understanding. Why is one module better than another? Why can’t the dancers dance what I write? What is <your favorite caller’s> secret? Let’s look at a starting place to seek enlightenment so you can answer these and similar questions for yourself.

Read more: Basic Maneuvers

A newer caller has been doing his homework. Being an analytical sort of fellow, he began studying the permutations of facing couples and asked for a little help. That prompted the following discussion. It shows one way, dancers can be maneuvered through all the positions within a foursome.

Read more: Perms Untangled

I was asked for an example tip covering all the mainstream calls. Here it is, for your pleasure.

 

 

I was recently asked to explain the Relationship part of the term FASR. FASR, which, as a Star Trek fan, I prefer to pronounce “FAY-ZER,” is CALLERLAB’S Science of the Setup. FASR stands for, Formation-Arrangement-Sequence-Relationship – fancy term for the setup of the square.

CALLERLAB publishes the Formations & Arrangements document to get callers started, and it is filled with some basic formations along with the six symmetrical “arrangements” that can be created. Why they chose to use Numbers to describe the arrangement is a bigger mystery to me than the Relationship thing … but that’s just me.

Read more: The FASR Relationship Mystery

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