Dance Basics Recommended Teaching
General Styling, Steps & Handholds
Arches - In a couple arch, dancers standing side by side,
join their inside hands and raise them to form an arch. In a two hand arch,
dancers face and join both hands and raise them high enough to form an arch
of sufficient height for people to duck under.
in Natural Dance Position - Arms should be held slightly bent at
the elbow in comfortable position in anticipation of the next movement.
Bow to Partner or to Corner - Men turn slightly to face
their partner and make eye contact. The left hand should be placed behind
the back or at the left hip, palm out. Place the right foot in front of
left foot. The right foot should be pointed toward the lady with the toe
touching the floor. The lady's left hand is held by the man's right hand.
Both legs are straight, with weight on the back foot.
Ladies turn slightly to face their partner and make eye contact. The right
hand should be used to pick up the right side of the skirt or the hand held
out gracefully to the side. The left foot should be pointed forward with
toe touching floor, right foot in back. The man's right is held by the lady's
left hand. Both legs are straight with weight on back foot. [In an acceptable
traditional variation of styling, the men bow slightly from the waist as
the ladies acknowledge with a curtsy.]
Couple Handhold - Inside hands
joined. Men with palm up, ladies palm down. In the event of a same gender
couple, the left-hand dancer places their palm up, the right-hand dancer
places their palm down. Arms should be bent at the elbow with hands held
slightly higher than the elbow of the shorter person.
Dance Step - Should be smooth and gliding. The ball of
the foot should touch and then slide along the surface of the floor before
the heel touches the floor. The length of stride should be comfortable for
an average height lady. Dance steps should be in time with the musical beat.
The objective is smooth gliding steps where the dancers appear to float
around the floor with little or no bobbing up and down.
Forearm Grip - Dancers are
facing and holding the opposite person's arm midway between the wrist and
the elbow. Each dancer places their hand on the inside of the arm of the
opposite person. Firm support should be provided, but dancers should not
grip the arm tightly. The center of the turn will be where the arms are
joined. While turning, each dancer is moving equally around the other.
Handshake Hold-Use a comfortable handshake grip, i.e. firm, but not tight.
The thumb should overlap the back of the opposite dancer's hand. It is important
in a Right & Left Grand to release hand holds prior to passing shoulders.
Posture - Dancers should stand erect and tall, shoulders
back. The body weight should be forward on the balls of the feet with the
heels just touching the floor.
Promenade Ending Twirl-Square dancing - Man raises his
right hand holding the lady's right hand loosely as she turns clockwise
underneath, ending in a squared up couple position.
Sashay Step -A quick sliding step to the right or to the left. Basic action is a side, close, side, close, etc. The movement is used primarily in prompted
dances and mixers.
Skirt Work - With the free hand, pickup the skirt between
the thumb and index finger and roll the hand under the fabric. The thumb
should be on top of the fabric. Hold skirt in free hand about waist high
using very slight rhythmical flourishes to move skirt in front and back,
right hand moving with left foot, left hand moving with right foot.
Star (Box or Packsaddle)
- 4 to 6 dancers place the hand over the wrist of the person ahead of them
to form a box. The palm is down.
inside hands together with the other dancers with fingers pointing up and
thumbs closed gently over the back of the adjacent dancer's hand. Arms should
be bent slightly at the elbow so the height of the handgrip is at average
Step By - The movement brings two facing people past each
other. If hands are held, the handhold should be dropped before their bodies
cross a common plane.
Basic Square and Prompted Dance Movements
The basic dance movement definitions listed below are arranged in alphabetical
order. A suggested order for instruction is listed at the top of the page.
The same general teaching order is used for dances presented in other formations.
The goal is to provide a means to easily enable dance leaders to combine
squares, contras, quadrilles, trios, etc. into one program and to still
have a wide selection of dances available at each stage of the development
of the dancers.
The following descriptions are detailed. It is usually not necessary for
all this detail to be orally communicated to the dancers. Demonstrations
and the correct choice of words should enable any basic (even Grand Square)
to be explained quickly. Be prepared to explain each basic using several
different choices of words. Using different selections of words will often
Allemande Left - Starting formation
- facing dancers. Dancers face their corner and turn by the left forearm
(Arm Turn). The corner for the man is always the lady in the first position
clockwise around the set. The corner for the lady is the man in the first
position counterclockwise around the set. Release arm holds and each person
step by and face his or her partner.
Styling: See Arm Turns (See next)
Timing: Square or Contra line with corner = 8 steps.
Teaching Tips: Point out that Allemande Left is really just a version
of an Arm Turn.
Arm Turn Right/Left - Starting
formation - dancers facing. Dancers join specified
forearms (left or right) and walk forward around each other the distance
specified; e.g. half (180°), three quarters (270°), full (360°),
Styling: The arms are held midway between the wrist
and the elbow. Each dancer places his hand on the inside of the arm of the
opposite person. The fingers and thumb are kept close together. The center
of the turn will be at the joined arms. While turning, each dancer moves
equally around the other.
Timing: Square or Prompted Dances-Full around = 8 steps; three
quarters = 6; one half = 4; one quarter = 2.
Teaching Tips: Teach from a big circle and change partners several
times. Encourage eye contact. This will assist in keeping the facing people
turning around a center point between the two dancers.
Bend the Line - Starting formation
- any line with an even number of dancers. Dancers in each half of the line
must be facing in the same direction. The center dancers in the line drop
hands with each other. With each half of the line working as a unit, the
ends move forward while the centers back up until both halves of the line
are facing each other.
Styling: As ends move forward, centers back up equally.
Use normal couple handhold and in the event a new line is formed, immediately
join hands in the new line.
Timing: Lines of four, six or eight = 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: In square dancing, Bend the Line results in the
formation of new lines. In contra dancing, Bend the Line usually results
in the formation of long lines. Have the dancers back away from the center
of the set on the last 2 steps to spread the long lines apart.
Circle Left/Right - Starting formation - two or more dancers.
Dancers join hands to form a circle. Face slightly left or right, as directed,
and move forward around the circle. When left or right is not specified,
then Circle Left.
Styling: All dancers walk (dance) with joined hands,
men's palms up and lady's palms down, elbows bent comfortably so that hands
can be held above the level of the elbow of the shortest person. When adjoining
dancers are the same sex, the right hand person in the pair should place
their hand palm down and the left hand person in the pair should place their
hand palm up.
Timing: Standing or static square of 8 people-Circle full around
= 16 steps; Circle three quarters = 12 steps; Circle one half = 8 steps;
Circle one quarter = 4 steps.
Square or Prompted Dance-sets of 4 Circle full around = 8 steps; Circle
one half = 4 steps; Circle 3/4 = 6 steps
Teaching Tips: Usually taught from a large circle. Try to avoid
the grapevine step action because it tends to throw off the balance of other
people in the circle.
Circle to a Line - Starting
formation - facing couples. The lead couple is on the inside of the set
facing the outside couple. Couples Circle Left one half (180°). The
lead dancer in the couple who started on the inside (man's position) release
the left handhold, but retain the handhold of the dancer on his right. This
lead dancer becomes the left end dancer of the line of four. The released
dancer (usually, but not always a lady) will move forward under the raised
arm arch formed by that dancer and the adjacent dancer to become the right
end dancer in the line of four.
Styling: The Circle portion of the movement is the
same styling as in Circle Left. As the man breaks with his left hand to
form a line, he should lead the line several steps before turning. After
the end lady has released her right hand, and while retaining the right
hand of the man beside her, together they will raise their joined hands
and make an arch. Then as the line begins to straighten out, the lady will
move forward under this arch, turning left face gradually under her own
left arm so that instead of backing up she is moving forward to the end
of the line.
Timing: 8 steps. (Circle Half takes 4 steps, make the line of four
takes 4 steps)
Teaching Tips: The end result will be two lines of four facing
across the set. In a square dance, the active man will be on the end of
the line closest to his home position .
Turn - Starting formation - couple, facing dancers. The man (left hand
dancer) takes the lady's (right hand dancer) left hand (palm down) in his
left (palm up) and places his right hand in the small of the lady's back.
Moving as a unit, the couple turns around (180°) with the left hand
dancer backing up and right hand dancer walking forward. Unless otherwise
specified, the couple faces the center of the set or the center of the formation.
(Courtesy Turn is part of Ladies Chain and Right & Left Thru)
Styling: The man's extended left hand serves as a direction
indicator and the man uses his left hand to lead, not pull, the lady around.
The man should place his the right hand in the small of the lady's back
and push gently. Ladies use the right hand to work her skirt or she can
place her right hand in the middle of her back where she wants the man's
hand to be placed. The call Courtesy Turn is limited to turning a woman
on the man's right.
Timing: 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: The word 'courtesy' implies being gentle. Emphasize
this to the dancers. Tell them, "Ladies do not like to be pushed around.
Be gentle about it."
DoSaDo - Starting formation
- facing dancers. Dancers advance and pass right shoulders. Without turning
around, each dancer moves to their right passing in back of the other dancer
(slide back to back). Then step backwards, dancers pass left shoulders and
return to starting positions.
Styling: Men - arms are held in natural dance position,
right shoulders turned forward as right shoulders pass, left shoulders turned
forward as left shoulders pass. Ladies - both hands on skirt, moving her
skirt forward and back, right hand moving forward as right shoulders pass,
left hand moving forward as left shoulders pass.
Timing: Square and Prompted Dances-DoSaDo with corner = 6 steps;
DoSaDo with partner = 6 steps; DoSaDo from a box formation (couple facing
couple close enough to easily touch hands with the facing person) = 6 steps;
DoSaDo across the set = 8 steps.
Teaching Tips: A DoSaDo once around starts and ends with the participants
facing each other. Adding following calls that emphasize these positions
will help in keeping the dancers from developing sloppy positioning habits.
Forward & Back - Starting
formation - single dancer. Each dancer walks forward 3 steps. On the 4th
beat of music, bring the free foot forward and touch the toe to the floor
beside the weight bearing foot without transferring the weight. Each dancer
moves backward 3 steps beginning with the free foot. On the 4th beat of
music, touch the free foot beside the weight-bearing foot. From facing lines
of four or similar situations where 8 steps are not appropriate, each dancer
steps forward 1 step and pauses while bringing the other foot forward and
touching it to the floor without transferring weight. Each dancer then steps
back on the free foot and pauses while touching the other foot beside it.
This is often referred to as Balance Forward & Back.
Styling: Couples have inside hands joined. As couples
meet in the center, outside hands of the facing people may be touched palm
to palm. Eye contact with the opposite person is encouraged. As the foot
is brought to touch on the 8th count, it should remain on the floor and
weight returned to both feet.
Timing: Static Square or Contra lines- All Forward & Back =
8 steps, heads or sides or lines Forward & Back = 8 steps, rock Forward
& Back = 4 steps; balance Forward & Back = 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: Verbal cues are often helpful in perfecting the
timing. Have the dancers walk forward three steps and say "Whoa"
and then back up three steps and "Hey".
Grand Square - Starting formation
- square. In the dance movement the heads dance one part (1a & 1b) while
at the same time the sides dance another (2a & 2b).
Part 1a-Number of steps =16.
Heads move forward into the square (4 steps), turning one quarter (90°)
on the 4th step to face partners and back away to the sides of the square
(4 steps). Turn one quarter (90°) to face the original opposites. Back
away to the corners of the square (4 steps) and turn one quarter (90°)
to face original partners and walk forward to home (4 steps). Do not turn.
Part 1b-Number of steps =16.
From this point the action is reversed. Heads back away from their partners
(4 steps), turn one quarter (90°) on the 4th step and walk forward
to the opposites (4 steps). Turn one quarter and walk forward into the center
toward partners (4 steps). Turn one quarter (90°) to face opposites
and back up to home. Total steps 1a + 1b =32.
While the head couples are doing the first 16 steps, the sides start by
facing their partners to back away and do the second 16 steps (Part 1b).
Then the sides do the first 16 steps (Part 1a), while the heads are doing
the last 16. The two parts interlock. The principle of walking 3 steps and
then turning (or reversing) on the 4th step is followed throughout. Total
steps = 32.
Styling: Mens' arms in natural
dance position; ladies work skirt with natural swinging action. When
moving forward and backward as a couple, normal
couple handholdis desired.
Timing: 32 steps.
Teaching Tips: Notice that dancers are either moving toward or
away from their partner or the opposite person. After each 90° turn
there is only one choice. If dancers are standing face to face, they must
back away 4 steps. If facing dancers are across the set, they walk forward
4 steps. This simple piece of logic usually enables a Grand Square to be
taught in a very short period of time. Grand Square may be broken into fractional
parts by the caller directing the number of steps required. The call may
also start with the heads, or other designated dancers, directed to face.
Ladies Chain - 2 Ladies Chain:
Starting formation - facing couples (man on the left, lady on the right).
The ladies step forward, extend right hands to each other and step by. Each
man should step slightly forward and to the right. The lady coming toward
the man extends a left hand to the man for a Courtesy
Turn. Couples finish facing each other. 4 Ladies Chain: Starting formation
- square or circle of 8 dancers. Similar to 2 Ladies Chain except that all
four ladies step to the center and form a Right
Hand (Palm) Star. They turn the Star halfway around to their opposite
men. All four couples Courtesy Turn to face the center of the set. Two (or
Four) Ladies Chain 3/4: Starting formation - facing couples, a square or
circle of 8 dancers. The directed ladies step to the center, form a Right
Hand Star and turn the star three quarters and Courtesy Turn to face the
center of the set.
Styling: Men release partner then turn right shoulder
slightly toward the center of the square to begin the Courtesy Turn portion
of the call, step back with the left foot. Ladies use handshake and step
by for 2 Ladies Chain. No skirt work except as part of the Courtesy Turn.
In 3/4 and 4 Ladies Chain, the ladies use the hands up palm star, touching
right hands in the star pattern. It is important that the man clear a path
for receiving the lady after the chain by moving slightly to the right and
starting the Courtesy Turn motion before the lady arrives.
Timing: Squares or Prompted dances, 2 Ladies Chain across set =
8 steps; Squares, Ladies Chain 3/4 = 10 steps; 4 Ladies Chain across the
set = 8; three quarters = 10 steps.
Teaching Tips: This movement is defined with terminology used in
other movements. Be sure the dancers are comfortable with Courtesy Turn
and with Right/Left Hand Stars before attempting to teach a Ladies Chain.
Lead Right/Left - Starting
formation - couple. The directed couple(s) take a step forward and, as a
unit, turn to the right 90° and move forward.
Styling: Normal couple handhold between the man and
lady, outside hands in normal dance position.
Pass Thru - Starting formation
- facing dancers. Dancers move forward, passing right shoulders with each
other. Each person ends in the opposite persons starting position (back
to back) but neither dancer changes facing direction.
Timing: 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: Most of the dances which feature Lead Right are
in the square dance formation. This means the active couples will end facing
the couple to the right.
Styling: The right shoulder should be turned slightly
forward as right shoulders pass. Arms are held in natural dance position
or ladies can work skirts with both hands, right hand leading as right shoulders
Timing: Square or facing lines, Pass Thru across the set = 4 steps;
Pass Thru from a box formation = 2 steps.
Teaching Tips: When dancers Pass Thru and face out, many dancers
will want to turn around and not remain facing away from the center of the
set. Use choreography that leave them facing out for 4-8 beats of music.
Promenade (Couple) - Starting
formation - two people side by side. Couples walk forward as a unit in the
direction indicated. Unless otherwise specified, Couples Promenade until
they reach the man's (left hand person's) home position. Square dance special
rules: The normal direction of movement is around the circle counterclockwise.
At the end of the Promenade, the couple turns, as a unit, to face the center
of the set. If Promenading to the man's home position, the couple always
goes at least one quarter around the square. If need be, they continue past
the man's home position for another full time around. Contra dance special
rules: Dancers may be asked to Couple Promenade up or down the hall and
Half Promenade across the set. See individual dances for further description.
Styling: Both the man's
hands are palm up, right forearm above the lady's left arm. Lady's hands
are palm down in man's hand. Joined hands should be positioned equally between
partners and at a comfortable height for the lady. Discourage any pumping
Timing: Square Dances-Couples Promenade full around = 16 steps;
three quarters = 12 steps; one half = 8 steps; one quarter = 4 steps; Promenading
inside = 8 steps. Prompted dances-Promenade Half from facing lines or couples
= 8 steps.
Teaching Tips: Teach from a big circle. Use a Single File Promenade
preceding teaching the Couple Promenade. From a Single File Promenade position
have the men move to the inside of the circle and up beside their partner.
Shake right hands with their partner without facing them. Join left hands
under the joined right hands and walk forward. This can often be done while
people continue to walk forward. Point out that a Couple Promenade is one
of the few times during a dance where there is time to have a little conversation
with the other person. Smile and talk a while.
Promenade (Single File) - Starting
formation - 2 or more dancers in any line or circle. Dancers walk forward
in single file (one behind the other) in the direction indicated.
Styling: Man's arms are held in natural dance position;
lady's hands on skirt, working with the natural swinging motion.
Left Grand - Starting formation - square, circle, line or any position
where dancers can conveniently turn 90° or less (if needed) to face
opposite sex and men are facing counterclockwise and ladies are facing clockwise
around the circle. Join right hands (if not already joined) and step by
the facing dancer. Give a left hand to the next and step by, a right to
the next and step by, a left to the next, until each dancer meets the person
with whom they started. Wrong Way Grand: Like Right & Left Grand,
but men move clockwise and ladies move counterclockwise. (See Weave
the Ringas a variation of Right & Left Grand)
Timing: Square Dances-Promenade full around = 16 steps; three quarters
= 12; one half = 8; one quarter = 4; Four people Promenade inside as square
= 8 steps. Prompted dances- usually Promenade for 8 steps.
Teaching Tips: Teach from a big circle. If Circle Right is called
previous to teaching a Single File Promenade, people will all ready be traveling
in the correct direction. Ladies in the lead 'Indian style' is also a term
many people still recognize.
Styling: Alternating hands are used with alternating
step-by movements. Hand holds should be supportive, but not tight. Arms
should be held in natural dance position and the handhold should be released
just as dancers pass each other. Both men and women should stand tall and
resist the temptation to lean over and stretch out their hand to the next
person. Use just a comfortable extension of the arm and hand. Brief eye
contact should be made as they meet each dancer.
Timing: Until you meet your partner = 10 steps. This will be on
the far side of the square.
Teaching Tips: Counting the partner, each dancer in the square
must pass 4 people and touch 4 hands. The partner is then the 5th person.
Have the dancers count hands out loud as they proceed. Change partners frequently.
Right & Left Thru - Starting
formation - facing couples. Dancers step forward, join right hands with
the dancer directly ahead and step by. Each couple then does a Courtesy
Turn(180°) to face the other couple in the foursome.
Styling: Each dancer takes regular handshake hold (right
hands) with opposite person as they move by each other. They release hands
as they step by. For Courtesy Turn styling, refer to that basic.
Roll Away Half Sashay - Starting
formation - couple. The directed dancer (dancer on the right) rolls across
a full turn (360°) in front of the dancer on the left, as they sidestep
to the right. The two dancers exchange places. When dancers are momentarily
face to face they should join both hands. The ladies roll left face across
in front of the men unless otherwise directed.
Timing: Squares or Prompted dances heads or sides across the set
= 8 steps; box formation (couples standing closer together) = 6 steps.
Teaching Tips: This movement has another movement as part of the
definition. Be sure the dancers are comfortable with Courtesy Turn before
teaching Right & Left Thru. Use Pass Thru and Courtesy Turn routines
to pre-teach correct styling. Once the dancers are comfortable dancing a
Pass Thru and Courtesy Turn, all that needs to be added, for a Right &
Left Thru, is a light touch with the right hands in the middle.
Styling: Hands are held in normal couple handhold.
The man and lady should each use a slight pulling motion toward each other
as they initiate the roll. The man should pull the lady slightly as both
man and lady reach to join hands and then continue the pulling motion with
the left hand. Man steps back with left foot, to the side and across.
Timing: 4 steps
Teaching Tips: The men should provide good support to the ladies
as they roll. Teach from a standing square before trying it from a Circle
Star Promenade - Starting formation
- varies. Directed dancers form a Star (left/right) and place the other
arm around the waist of another directed dancer. Turn the Star Promenade
the distance directed by the caller.
Styling: Men's inside hands joined the same as in a
standard Star. The outside arm is around the
lady's waist. Lady's inside arm is around man's waist under his arm. The
outside hand of the lady can be used to work the skirt.
Separate - Starting formation
- couple. Each dancer turns individually away from other person in the couple
until they are back to back with each other. Then each person moves forward
to the position designated by the caller. The distance traveled is determined
by the next instruction.
Timing: Squares, Four couples full around = 12 steps; three quarters
= 9 steps; one half = 6 steps; one quarter = 3 steps. Four couples full
around with a back out at home = 16 steps.
Teaching Tips: A Star Promenade is usually preceded by a Left Hand
Star. The ladies should anticipate the arrival of the men and face the direction
the Star will be traveling.
Styling: Men's arms in natural
dance position. Any skirt work by the ladies is optional.
Timing: 2 steps to stand back to back.
Teaching Tips: The caller or prompter must always provide immediate
directions on where the dancers are to proceed after they Separate.
Split the Couple/Ring - Starting
formation - facing couples. The active or directed couple move forward and
pass between the outside couple. The outside couple must spread apart adequately
to let them through then step back together again.
Styling: Men's arms held in natural dance position
(see above); ladies may work their skirts. The inactive couple that is Split
by the active couple simply moves out of the way with a couple of sidesteps
so that the active couple can walk between them. Once the active couple
has moved through and is out of the way, the inactive couple will move together
Star Left/Right - Starting
formation - facing dancers or facing couples. The directed dancers step
forward and extend designated hands to form a left or right hand palm star.
Dancers should be facing clockwise for a Right Hand Star and counterclockwise
for a Left Hand Star. The dancers walk forward, turning around the center
point of the star where the inside hands touch. Turning distance of the
star may be specified in fractions of one quarter, one half, three quarters,
or a complete revolution.
Timing: Squares, individual couples Split Two around one to a line
= 8 steps; around two to a line = 10 steps; to home = 12 steps. From a box
formation, the inside people Split outsides to a line = 4 steps; to home
position = 6 steps.
Teaching Tips: Dance as Split the Ring first. The outside couple
must counter dance and anticipate the need to slide apart, let the inside
pair through and then slide back together.
Styling: In a forward moving Star, inside hands should
be joined in a 'palm star' position (hands
of those making the star are held about average eye level - palms touching),
arms bent at the elbow. Men's outside arm in natural dance position, the
lady's outside hand can be used to work her skirt.
Timing: Four person Stars full around = 8 steps; three quarters
= 6 steps; one half = 4 steps; one quarter = 2 steps. Eight person Stars
full around = 16 steps; three quarters = 12 steps; one half = 8 steps; one
quarter = 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: Tell people to put their right hand in the Star
and walk the easiest direction. Only a very few will attempt to walk the
wrong way. Repeat using a left hand.
Star Thru - Starting formation
- facing dancers (man and lady). Man's right hand is placed against the
lady's left, palm to palm with fingers up, to make an arch. As the dancers
move forward the lady moves under the arch and does a one quarter (90°)
left face turn, while the man does a one quarter (90°) turn to the
right moving behind the lady. They end side by side with the lady on the
Styling: Hands are touched in the arch, palm to palm,
fingers pointed up. The hand grip should be readjusted to couple handhold
after the movement is completed. Join hands in raised position approximately
eye level. It is important that hands not be joined before that point. Man's
hand should be used to stabilize as the lady provides her own momentum.
It is equally important that the man's arm remain well above the lady's
Swing - Starting formation
- facing dancers (man and lady). Dancers move forward and to the left until
they are right hip to right hip with the adjacent dancer. Move around each
other turning in a clockwise direction for 4 to 8 beats of music. To break
out of the Swing, the man relaxes the tension on the waist hand, while still
providing some support, and the lady continues turning to her right until
she is facing the same direction as the man. The lady should be on the man's
right hand side and the couple facing the direction indicated by the caller.
Timing: 4 steps from point of contact.
Teaching Tips: Some people have physical problems raising their
arms above shoulder height. If this is true the same motion can be done
without the hand/arm action.
Styling: Men - left arm bent at the elbow, palm slightly
up. Right hand on lady's back slightly above the waist. Posture should be
erect. Ladies - right hand palm down on man's left hand. Left hand on man's
right shoulder, arm resting on man's right arm. Footwork: Walk Around Swing
- use short walking or shuffling steps around a central point. Buzz Step
- right foot moves in small steps around the pivot point between the two
dancers while the left foot pushes, as in a scooter motion (similar to pushing
a skate board). Ending position: Lady rolls off man's right arm blending
smoothly to position for the next call or twirls (to a Promenade position
only - lady's option). To twirl, the man raises his left hand over the lady's
head, holding lady's right hand loosely. Her hand should revolve around
his for stability as she turns clockwise moving down line of dance three
steps, into a Promenade position, joining inside hands on the 4th step.
While the lady turns, the man will move forward down the line of dance to
be in position for the Promenade.
Timing: Square Dancing-usually 4 to 8 beats of music. Prompted
dances- Swing for 8 beats of music or longer if directed.
Teaching Tips: Make sure couples are standing right side to right
side. If the lady leans back lightly into the man's right arm around her
waist and the man counter balances the weight, the Swing action is much
easier and smoother. It also helps if people maintain eye contact as they
Swing. This helps control dizziness and improves the appearance of coordinated
U-turn Back - Starting formation
- single dancer. Each directed dancer does an in-place about-face turn (180°),
turning toward their partner unless the body flow dictates otherwise. If
alone (i.e. no partner), the dancer turns toward the center of the set.
If the dancer is facing directly toward or away from the center of the set,
they may turn in either direction.
Styling: Arms in natural dance
Weave The Ring - A Right
& Left Grand without touching hands. You can also Weave the Ring
the wrong way around with men traveling clockwise and ladies traveling counterclockwise.
Timing: 2 steps.
Teaching Tips: Use a memory jogger to help people remember which
way to turn such as, "It's not polite to turn your back on a lady."
Styling: As you meet each person, turn slightly to
face them and make eye contact. A nod and a smile are also nice touches.
Ladies can work both sides of their skirt. Men can Weave the Ring with both
hands behind their back or hanging naturally at their sides.
Wheel Around - Starting formation
- couple. The couple, moving as a unit, turns halfway around (180°).
The left hand dancer backs up while the right hand dancer moves forward.
The pivot point is the handhold between the two dancers.
Timing: Same as Grand Right & Left.
Teaching Tips: Always teach Right & Left Grand first.Weave
the Ring can be substituted for Right & Left Grand in many figures.
Styling: Same as in Couple
Timing: 4 steps.
Teaching Tips: Wheel Around is used mainly in prompted dances or
from a Promenade in square dancing. The man (left hand person of the pair)
will frequently need to be reminded that they back up.