Saturday, March 5, 2016


Paul Adams
Part (a).
Now that you know you can successfully Call a guest Tip, and you have completed your self-analyses on that guest Tip at the local Club, it’s time to move to the next step in learning to create smooth flowing choreography.
Observation: Did you see that when you Called, (Heads: Square Thru 4) in Fig.#1, in Lesson 1. That #1 Man was facing his Corner, and #3 Lady was beside him as his Partner of the moment, facing her Corner, also that the Side Couple, Couple #4, were standing in their Home position, with their original Partner, both facing into the Square. The mirror image of this is on the other side of the Square, where Couple #2 is standing with their original Partner in their Home Position, facing into the Square. On the inside of the set, #3 Man and #1 Lady were facing #2 Couple in other words everyone is facing their original Corner.  This Position, is Named, Zero Box, it use to be called a (Box 1-4) which is still used by many Callers today, to identify this Position. The Correct Name (Zero Box) is a more precise name because if #2 Man and #4 Lady were facing #1 Couple standing in #1 Couples Home Position and facing into the Square, it will still be a (Zero Box) but it is not a (Box 1-4).
Please Note: this Position as well as any other arrangement of Dancers in this box type Position, is called an Eight Chain Thru Formation.
Keep in mind that in a Zero Box, one couple will be a Matched Couple and one couple will be Un-matched. Example: Following the Call, Heads: Square Thru 4, the Side Couple are the Matched Couple and the Heads, (#1 Man & #3 Lady), are the Un-matched Couple. You would be wise to remember this for future use.
I have given you 2 sequences that will take the Dancers, from a Static Square to end in an Eight Chain Formation, Zero Box.
1.   Heads/ Sides: Square Thru 4 = ZB
2.   Heads/Sides: Touch 1/4 / Boy Run = ZB
To the best of my knowledge and not including the 2 mentioned above, there are approximately 25 short, simple sequences, using only the only the Calls from Callerlab Basic 51 List, which will take the dancers from a Static Square to an Eight Chain Thru Formation, Zero Box.
Many potential (want to be) Callers, get lost or overwhelmed while trying to memorize, invent, create or write, reams of Choreography. I believe moving you dolls or checkers through short sequences will be much easier than pushing them through a 10, 20 or 30 Call sequence, writing these short sequences out on paper (preferably a book) as you proceed, will provide you with an everlasting hard copy of your efforts, which in time you will memorize and which will always be available to you throughout your Calling career. Working your dolls through this exercise along with the Callerlab Definitions for the Basic Mainstream Program will help to develop your skill and knowledge of how each call works.
        Before going on any further in this lesson, get your dolls or checkers, plus the Callerlab Basic and Mainstream Program List, approved September 3, 2015, as well as the Callerlab Basic and Mainstream Definitions (Revised May 31 2013), and using only the Calls from Callerlab Basic 51, part of this list, create and write out at least 20 more (of these approximately 25) short sequences, which will take the Dancers from a Static Square to a Zero Box.
You may e-mail your list to me, I will check them and/or correct them, and e-mail it back to you, adding any which you might have missed.

Part (b), of Lesson #2
In lesson one, following Fig. #3. I made reference to a Zero Line, Having the (Heads/Sides: Lead Right / Circle to a Line), will create a Lines Facing Formation sometimes named Facing Lines Formation. However the Position is known as a Zero Line, meaning #1 Couple on the left end of a line of 4, with #2 Couple on the right end of the same Line, #1 Couple is facing #4 Couple and #2 Couple is facing #3 Couple across the set. This was called a 1p2p Line, but the correct and more precise name is a Zero Line. From a Zero Line all can Join Hands and Circle Left to Home, all with Partner and all Couples in sequence.
Any Line arrangement of Dancers who are Facing In, and/or are looking at one another across the set, is called Facing Lines, or Lines Facing, if everyone is a normal couple (man on Left Lady on his Right) and standing with their original partner, this may also be called Normal Lines, however, these Lines may or may not be in Sequence.
The Zero Line is an easily recognizable Position which is also most useful when learning to use Sight Resolution, meaning how to resolve the choreography you have chosen or written to an Allemande Left.  
Get out your pencil, paper, your Callerlab Definitions and with your dolls/checkers and write out 6 more short Sequences, which will take the Dancers from a Static Square to a Zero Line. I will only allow one Conversion. A conversion is when you take the Dancers to a Zero Box first, and from that Zero Box to a Zero Line.
You may e-mail your list to me, I will check them and/or correct them, and e-mail it back to you, adding any which you might have missed.
Do not rush this process and have fun

This is the end of Lesson #2

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Paul Adams
 I think one of the best ways to start learning how to create smooth flowing choreography is to learn and memorize short routines of written choreography, Push your Dolls through this routines, then watch your dancers while you are calling these routines, observing their nonstop smoothness in step, and the direction of the body flow will carrying them from one call into another. If they have to stop the motion while you think of the next Call then the flow is broken, you, the Caller are the only one creating this dance, and therefore you are responsible for its failure as well.

Situation: You are a newer Caller trying to learn how to Call over the past few months and you have called a singing Call at one or two Open Dances during The Callers Showcase. You are attending a Club Dance Night in your area where you anticipate that this Clubs Caller will ask you to Call a guest Tip. Before you attend you run through what you might Call if he does ask, and maybe push your Dolls through the Routines below. Fortunately the Club Caller asks and you accept his offer, now it’s time to open your tool-box and get to work.
You quickly think of the routine which you had already prepared and which is, “a smooth, easy introduction, some smooth, flowing Choreography, where there isn’t any chance for a train wreck, and a nice ending”.

Follow these steps. Turn the Amp Volume controls down as far as possible. Plug in your Mic.  Start your music playing and increase the music volume control until you can just hear it. Check the music tempo, not too fast not too slow. Check the Mic volume, turn it up a little and say something like “Good Evening, what a pleasure it is to be here”. Check, is the Mic volume good, turn the Music volume up a little and go to work.

Bow to the Partner / Bow to the Corner / Circle to the Left / Allemande Left / Do Si Do / 4 Boys Star Left / Pick up your Partner / Star Promenade / Girls Backtrack / meet your Partner Do Si Do / Allemande Left / Right & Left Grand / Promenade Home.

Call, Fig. #1 and observed that it was a success, you can go on to Call Fig. #2. or Call Fig.#1 again starting with the Sides: Square Thru 4.

Fig. #1. Heads: Square Thru 4 (Zero Box)/ Do Si Do to a Wave / Swing Thru / Boy Run / Ferris Wheel / Centres: Pass Thru / (Zero Box) Allemande Left.

At this point you see the Dancers did very well and there weren’t any train wrecks, so we might want to increase the complexity just a little. From the Zero Box at the end of Fig.1 we can go right into Fig. 2 without Calling Allemande Left.

Fig. #2. (Zero Box) Right & Left Thru / Veer Left / Couples Circulate / Chain down The Line / Flutterwheel / Sweep 1/4 / Swing Thru / Boy Run / Ferris Wheel / Centres Square Thru 3 / Allemande Left / Right & Left Grand / Promenade.

During the time the dancers are dancing the Allemande, Right & Left Grand & Promenade, is when you evaluate their success. You now know (1). They can all dance the 16 Calls used in the 2 figures, (2). The Circulate ended in nice straight 2 Faced Lines. (3). Following the “Chain Down The Line”, the “Flutterwheel”, “Sweep 1/4”, they can “Swing Thru” without doing a “Do Si Do” to a Wave, and they can “Ferris Wheel” correctly. You can also evaluate your own success. Were your Calls delivered clearly, and in time with the Beat and the Dancers as they moved from Call to Call, or did they have to stop or did they have to rush or run.
Now you can Call this exact same sequence again for the Sides but you want to disguise it a little, but not take away from the flow of the Dance.

Fig. #1a. Sides: Promenade Half / Same Sides: Pass The Ocean / Extend (Zero Box Wave) / Swing Thru / Boy Run / Ferris Wheel / Centres: Pass Thru / (Zero Box) Allemande Left.
Fig. #2a. (Zero Box) Right & Left Thru / Veer Left / Couples Circulate / Chain down The Line / Flutterwheel / Sweep 1/4 / Swing Thru / Boy Run / Ferris Wheel / Centres: Star Thru / Pass Thru / Partner Trade / You should be Home.

What did we just learn? Having “The Sides: Promenade Half and the Pass The OceanExtend”, was the disguise for the “Heads: Square Thru 4”, The figures remained the same as for the Heads, and you disguised the ending after the Ferris Wheel, with a Star Thru / Pass Thru / Partner Trade” ending at Home.(a nice surprise for the Dancers).
Here is the time to give the dancers a little break, as well as yourself.

Call the following filler. Circle Left / Ladies Centre Men Sashay / Circle Left / Ladies Centre Men Sashay / Allemande Left: This Corner / Go forward 2, Right & Left to an Allemande Thar / Shoot the Star / Right & Left Grand / and Promenade Home.

Everything is going well, there are no issues, so let’s move on to the next set of Calls.

Fig. #3. Heads: Touch 1/4 / Boy Run / Swing Thru / Girls Circulate / Boys Trade / Boy Run / Bend the line / Star Thru / Square Thru 3 / Allemande Left.

What we learn in this little set of Calls is that we went from a Zero Box after the Heads: Touch 1/4, Boy Run, then by Calling, Swing Thru, Girls Circulate, Boy Trade, Boy Run, Bend The Line, we changed the formation from the Zero Box to a Zero Line,  all with Partner, all in Sequence. From this Zero Line, we learn that if we Call, Star Thru / Square Thru ¾, we resolve to an Allemande Left.
Now, if we start this next set of Calls in Fig. #4, following the Square Thru 3/4, just before the Allemande.

Fig. #4. Trade By/ Swing Thru / Girls Circulate / Boy Run / Ferris Wheel / Centres Pass Thru / Allemande Left.

We now learned how to go from a Zero Box to a Zero Line, omit the Allemande Left in Fig.#3, and go back to a Zero box in Fig. #4. for the Allemande. Time to finish off your Tip, with something easy and fun.

Sides Face: Grand Square / All 4 Ladies Chain / Chain the Ladies Home / Circle Left / Allemande Left Alamo Style / Swing Thru / Balance / Swing Thru / Right & Left Grand / Swing Your Partner / Promenade.

   Back at your home and time to reflect on everything you Called in your Guest Tip last evening.

  •  Was you music at a comfortable level for the Dancers to hear? 
  •  Was your Mic Volume at a comfortable level for the Dancers  to hear?
  •  Was your diction clear and concise?
  •  Were your Calls delivered smoothly and on time?
  •  Did you appear calm and relaxed?
  •  Did you breath before, during, and after calling?
  •  Did the choreography flow smoothly?
  •  Were there any train wrecks?
  •  Why were there train wrecks?
  •  Do you remember every word you said?
  • What will you do differently the next time?

This is the end of lesson one