Call of the Month: September, 1993

Triple Trade

by Barry Leiba

TRIPLE TRADE is a call that's been off the Plus list and then back on again. It's a surprisingly difficult call, with a deceptively simple definition: The two end dancers remain in place as the three adjacent pairs of dancers (the six in the center) TRADE with each other. Easy, no?

Well, from some positions, yes, it's easy. By far the most common way you'll encounter TRIPLE TRADE is as part of the Plus call COORDINATE. In that call, we start in a column and CIRCULATE 1½. [Diagram: CIRCULATE 1-1/2 from RH column] After the ½ CIRCULATE, the formation looks as it does in the diagram, with a column of six in the middle and a wayward dancer out on each end. When we do the next part of COORDINATE, the TRIPLE TRADE, it's pretty clear who trades, since the dancers out on the ends (head girls in this example) have no one they could possibly trade with. So the end dancers stay put and the center six (three pairs) do the TRIPLE TRADE. To finish the COORDINATEthe girls would now move up to become ends of lines (no, that was not the usual arrangement of boys and girls for COORDINATE, and yes, I did that on purpose). Since the end dancers move up as part of the COORDINATE, they don't actually stand still during the TRIPLE TRADE part, but if we were to call TRIPLE TRADE all by itself from this formation, they would have to do so. That can actually be the hardest part of the call!

Consider this: in the arrangement above, the head girls would not participate in the TRIPLE TRADE regardless of where they were around the outside. So if they COUNTER ROTATE ¼ (move around the outside to meet the side girls in a line) the TRIPLE TRADE would still not involve them. Well, there are two other formations we know at Plus that look like that: ¼ TAG and ¾ TAG. [Diagram: 3/4 TAG] The diagram with this paragraph shows a ¾ TAG formation. We again have a column of six in the middle and two dancers on the ends (this time it's the side boys), but this time it's not immediately clear that the dancers on the ends of the wave aren't involved. Everyone has someone to trade with (his or her original partner in the diagram), so how do we decide who trades with whom? Well the key, as in all TRIPLE TRADEs, is to determine who the end two are. There must be exactly two, and the remaining six must be able to trade. That eliminates the heads, because if we pick the boys, then the girls will have no one to trade with, and vice versa. Another way to look at it is to find the very center two. In this case that's the side girls. Now, of those left, start pairing them from the center out and see who's left. Well, once we eliminate the very center two from this picture it's clear that the side boys are out in the cold. So the side girls will trade by the left while the heads will PARTNER TRADE.

[Diagram: TIDAL formations]

Now we'll look at the second most common way we do TRIPLE TRADE, and the way we nearly always see it when it's called by itself: tidal lines. You'll often hear TRIPLE TRADE called from a right-handed tidal wave, and the three pairs who TRADE will do so by the left hands. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Have a look at the first part of the third diagram, where we have a tidal two-faced line (heads LEAD RIGHT, VEER LEFT, couples HINGE). So let's work from the center out. The very center two are the side boys. The pairs of girls are next out, and the head boys are left alone on the ends. Note that the girls are trading by the right hands, while the side boys are trading by the left hands. Suppose we have the ends COUNTER ROTATE ¼ (walk around the outside) to put the boys in a facing diamond in the middle. Since the side boys still have the handhold in the center, they're still the very center two; the head boys are the points of the diamond, and they're still hanging out on the end. The same six trade as before. Go back to the original line and have the very center two HINGE. What now? We have something that looks very much like the previous formation, with a diamond in the center. Does that mean that the side boys are now the ends? No; the side boys have a handhold, just as they did in the other diamond, so they're still the centers. And again, it's the same six trading, even though we've changed the formation around.

So we have a general rule that will get us through any TRIPLE TRADE: find the very center two and pair them with each other, then make pairs from the center out until there are two dancers left on the ends. Sometimes it might surprise you where the ends wind up being, but if you've done the pairing right it will always work. And remember that if you're one of the ends, stay there and don't try to find something to do. In particular, if you're in a tidal wave and you're one of the ends, drop hands and don't move; that will help the others find their pairs properly. Now think about who trades here: from a column, SPLIT CIRCULATE 1½ (remember to do it split), then TRIPLE TRADE. Chew on that one a bit; it's not tough.

(Printable Version)

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