Akk! The caller is still yacking out calls and you’ve just looked at the other side of the square, because part of your side seems to be missing. You realize your “square” is more of a blob, and dancers’ expressions, the looks in their eyes, or the occasional silly grin and chuckle signal a breakdown. Not to worry. What do you do?

Someone has to take the lead, so it might as well be you, right? Very politely say, “Let’s form facing lines,” or something to that effect, and gently take the nearest opposite sex to form a couple. Find another couple to face. Hopefully, the other two are following suit.

It’s a good idea to face either Head or Side walls rather than the corners of the hall. In fact, while dancing, it helps to always directly face one of the walls if you can. Once the caller sees that you are waiting patiently in facing lines, you’re likely to hear something like, “Here’s your line,” or “Lines, Forward and Back.” That’s your cue that you have been collected, and that you can continue on. Don’t worry if you get back home without your original partner. You can quickly fix that at the end of the sequence.

This Facing Line Trick doesn’t work for Singing Calls, though. During a Singing Call, when you realize you’ve broken down, take the next lady in the progression, men – that is, if you can find her – and go home. Wait for the next sequence. If you can’t find the proper gal, take one – they all work. Breakdowns happen. Try to have fun with them and avoid being so serious that a breakdown ruins your whole night. Just think – if you beat the caller home on a singing call sequence, you’ll have a little time left to see what you can get away with. Just a thought.