calls / figures / moves
of level mainstream

The individual calls or figures are the main components of square dance, just as are the formations: Any figure starts with some formation, and in some (generally different) formation it will end.

Aiming for the figures of the basic level? Generally (as with us) it will be schooled together with the basic level in a single class.

Note: Informations being contained within the followings are standardized by the CALLERLAB. (From there the always up-to-date definitions list document can be downloaded in PDF form.) Nevertheless those are contained accessably at several places, even within the web, (cf. e.g. the resources mentioned at links).

Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
completed double pass thru * The Leaders separate and move away from each other in a 3/4 circle (270°). When each lead dancer approaches another lead dancer from the other side of the square, they both reach with outside hands, blending into a couple handhold as they continue into the center of the square to become a couple facing in.   * The Trailers follow the dancer in front, and end directly behind that same dancer. Thereby they do the straight step first, and the 3/4 circle thereafter.

Note: Each dancer remains within his quadrant. Seen from above, the trail looks like the outline of a cloverleaf (hence the name) or like the ramps on a highway crossing. – Trailing dancers should follow footsteps of the lead dancers and not cut the corners!
double pass thru
Cloverleaf (addressed ones only)
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) Any formation, with 2 couples (at least) facing out,   B) Any formation, with the addressed couples facing out A) The outer couples (resp. the addressed ones) do the Leaders-part of a "normal" cloverleaf.   * If those would be all dancers (from an all-out static square), then the Passing Rule has to be adhered. Also, the final step towards the center will be omitted, ending in an all-in static square.   * That final step towards the center will be omitted likewise, whenever there would be already the inactive dancers.   * If only 2 couples are addressed, most often there will be a separate call for the other ones, which has be performed meanwhile. (Within the Advanced level that combination bears its own name: "Clover and ...".)

B) If the addressed dancers are in the center of the set, they will do the straight step before. Thereafter like A). If the inactive dancers thereby (i.e. hence being the outersides, e.g. starting from an Ends-in Centers-out 2 T-bones formation) would not get a separate call, then those will have to give place for the active dancers ("square breathing") by stepping into the center. Then a double pass thru formations would result, with the active dancers at the ends and the inactive ones in the center.
(depending on the starting formation resp. the secondary call for the inactive dancers)
Turn thru / Left turn thru
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
facing dancers, (corresponding) mini-wave Step to a wave (if not already there) → arm turn 1/2step thru

Note: unless told otherwise an arm turn by the right is to be understood.
dancers back-to-back
Eight chain thru  /  Eight chain 1 / 2 / 3 / etc.
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
eight chain thru (for Basic and Mainstream additionally: normal pairs only) An "eight chain thru" is equivalent to an "eight chain 8 (hands)". The number represents the count of alternatingly to be applied actions.   * Odd action: right pull by.   * Even action: center dancers perform a left pull by, end dancers perform a courtesy turn. Odd numbers: trade by,   even numbers: eight chain thru
Pass to the center
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
eight chain thru, right-handed parallel ocean waves All dancers: pass thru (resp. the remaining "step thru" only) into a momentary trade by formation. Then the end dancers only: partner trade. double pass thru
Single hinge
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) mini-wave,
B) left-handed mini-wave
A "hinge" allways is half of a trade: The mini-wave turns 1/4 (90°) around the handhold, every individual dancer thereby is stepping forward. A) mini-wave,
B) left-handed mini-wave
Couples hinge
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) line,
B) two-faced line
Here the "hinge" accordingly is half of a couples trade: the couples at either side are working as units. At A) additionally the passing rule for the couples trade has to be considered, i.e. the left dancers of each pair become the ends, the right ones become centers of the two-faced line. At B) the whole formation just turns 1/4 (90°) around its center. two-faced line
Centers in
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) completed double pass thru,
B) eight chain thru,
C) any 2 T-bones formation where the center dancers are facing the end dancers
The end dancers step apart, without changing their line of sight. The center dancers step in. In cases A) and B) they take hands as appropriate.

Note: This action creates momentarily some extra space in the center. Within the next call that space is to be eliminated again ("square breathing").
A) parallel lines facing out,
B) parallel inverted lines with ends facing in,
C) (depending on the T-bones)
Cast off 3/4
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) mini-wave,
B) any line or two-faced line,
C) any other line of 4
In A) the mini-wave turns 3/4 (270°) around the handhold, every individual dancer thereby is stepping forward.   Else the line would be devided in the middle. Each half works as a unit and turns likewise 3/4 (270°). Here the pivot point is (according to the latest definition:) the remaining handhold (formerly: the end dancer). Thereby the rotation direction is such that the center dancer steps ahead.

Notes: * In any tidal formation each half puts the call independently into action.   * It is improper to sweep a quarter after this call.

Variations: * In contrast to the note a line of 8 cast off 3/4 could be called out of a grand tidal line only. Then each half works as a unit and turns 3/4 (270°) as whole, resulting in parallel lines.   * Same applies accordingly to line of 6 cast off 3/4.   * Other variations may concern the called fraction. Esp. in case A) a "Cast of 1/4" would be equivalent to an Hinge, resp. a "Cast of 1/2" would be equivalent to a Trade.   * In B), in composition with the old definition (pivot = end dancer), esp. for male couples the normal handhold might be substituted by linked ellbows, so that the end dancer would be able to whirl around the center dancer.
A) mini-wave,
B) facing couples,
C) some box formation (depending on the starting formation)
Spin the top
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) ocean wave,
B) left-handed ocean wave,
C) facing couple
In C) the ocean-wave rule applies first. Then continue like A).   Else: Ends and adjacent centers: trade → centers: cast off 3/4, ends: move up (i.e. 1/4 around the others).

Variations: * Used rather seldomly, but this call could well be apply to ocean-waves of 3 dancers only. But then there has to be some additional advice which 2 dancers will have to start (e.g. "right (hand) spin the top" = "spin the top, starting with the right (hand)", "boys start spin the top", ...).   * Using danse by definition" it would be possible to use the Plus-level call "(all 8) spin the top" in its application to a thar starting figure within the Mainstream-level as well, because that one in fact is nothing but 2 crossed ocean-waves.
A)+C) ocean wave,
B) left-handed ocean wave
Walk and Dodge
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) box-circulate,
B) facing couple
In fact these are 2 separate actions: a "Walk", i.e. a stepping onto the position of the person in front, and a "Dodge", i.e. side step onto the neighbouring position. (If both actions take place to the same time, either position will become vacant, as required.) All have to keep their line of sight (cf. german rhyme: "Walk and Dodge: Umdrehn Quatsch!"). From A) each action will be self-evident. From B) there is an additional advice needed (e.g. "men walk, ladies dodge").

Variation: Occasional this call might be applied to couples back-to-back. Then not only the respective person, but also the supposed direction has to be mentioned explicitely ("men backward walk, ladies dodge").
A) couples back-to-back,
B) box-circulate
Slide thru
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
facing dancers, mini-wave Within a single smooth move: Pass thru → Men: turn 1/4 (90°) to the right, Ladies: turn 1/4 (90°) to the left. 2 men: (right-handed) mini-wave,
2 ladies: left-handed mini-wave,
mixed sexes: normal pair
Fold / Cross fold
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
cf.: run / cross run The movement is the same semi-circle as in run resp. cross run, just that the inactive dancers will not move apart. The active dancers (boys, ladies, ends, centers) will have to stop in front of their intended position, the same position rule here will not be applied. (depending on the starting formation and the activated dancers)
Dixie style to an ocean wave
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
facing tandems, facing couples If not already in a facing tandems formation, that one will be built first: the dancers at the right do small step to the forward-left, and the left dancers slide a bit to the right (as in a half of an half sachay). Now the lead dancers will perform a right pull by. Then they step to a left hand wave with the next and do a hinge. Finally the new centers connect to left-handed ocean-wave.

Note: If both starting figures are concurring (i.e. from a Double Pass Thru) and nothing else was explicitely told, then the tandem formations (on either side) has precedence over the facing couples formation (the centers)!

Variations: Facing couples here also could be heads or sides (to be addressed) in a static square. (Then ending in a quarter tag formation.) If there no one would be addressed, then an "all 8" concept is understood. All right-hand dancers (here: usually the girls) come in to a right-hand star and turn that half way around, while the outsides turn a quarter to the left in place. Then the central handhold will be released and instead those connect to the outsides. With those a final trade completes this figure (which then ends in a allemande thar).
left handed ocean wave
Spin chain thru
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) parallel ocean waves, B) eight chain thru In B) the ocean wave rule applies first. Then continue as for A):
  • Like every "Spin ..." figure it starts with "ends and adjacent centers trade".
  • Then the new centers of the ocean wave perform a cast off 3/4.
  • There the "very centers" (i.e. the center dancers of the single momentary ocean wave) trade.
  • Finally both mini-waves perform a further cast off 3/4.
Short: 1/2 → 3/4 → 1/2 → 3/4

Note: The 4 dancers at the centers of the starting waves will already be done after the first trade. They have to wait at those end positions until the other dancers will have finished as well – unless they are not explicitely addressed to do a separate call meanwhile (e.g. like "outsides circulate 1 / 2 / ... position(s)", "ends zoom", ...).
parallel ocean waves
Tag the line
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
Every line (with an even number of dancers) Every dancer turns one quarter (90°) towards the center of the line. Then all go ahead (passing at right shoulders, if not told otherwise) until the last dancers each will be back-to-back.

Variations: This call might be suplemented by informal advices for an additional final quarter turn: "... (and face) in", "... (and face) out", "... (and face) right", "... (and face) left".
back-to-back double track
Half tag
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
Every line (with an even number of dancers) This is a reduced form of tag the line, which already stops when each former center dancer meets the former opposite end dancer. There all pairs connect to mini-waves.

Variations: In case of a line of exactly 4 dancers other fractions are possible likewise: the then resulting end formations are part of the mainstream program as well: quarter tag (stops when both center dancers meet) resp. three quarter tag (stops when both end dancers meet).
box-circulate (resp. the corresponding count of mini-waves)
Scoot back
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
A) box circulate,
B) (right or left-handed) quarter tag
Those dancers, who are facing diagonaly somebody (within their formation – for "box circulate" these are 2, for "quarter tag" these are all 8), perform a turn thru using the inner forearm. (Within a right handed "quarter tag" this would be the right forearm, within a left handed one correspondingly the left one.)
Those dancers, who are facing out (of the starting formation), perform a run onto the vacated neighbouring place.
A) box-circulate,
B) quarter tag
(in either case of the same orientation as before)
Starting formationFigure definitionsEnding formation
(right or left handed) ocean wave End dancers perform a cross fold. – The centers first do a fold behind the corresponding end dancer, then follow them around (another 1/4 turn move), and finally face in (again 1/4) to adjust as a new couple. (Thus those have completed a full turn in total, esp. facing thereafter into the same direction as before, ending a tiny step behind their starting position.)

Note: Sadly it isn't to understand, that the Callerlab within the level Mainstream only has a "true" definition for the end dancers. But within the level C (in the context of fractions of this figure) even the Callerlab provides a "true" definition for all dancers, which would have been applicable already here as well: Single hingeBox circulate → "Face in".
facing couples
back to the Basic program continue with the environments, not being contained within CALLERLAB standard

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