Call of the Month: Mayl, 1994

Changes to the Lists

by Barry Leiba

The Callerlab Mainstream and Plus committees recently proposed changes to the Mainstream and Plus lists, and those changes were accepted by the Callerlab membership. That means that these changes are now effective, and you need to know what they are. To that end, we'll talk about those changes this month. First, a summary.
  • CROSS TRAIL THRU was removed from the Basic program.
  • LEFT TURN THRU was removed from the Mainstream program.
  • PARTNER TAG was moved from the Mainstream to the Plus program.
  • ACEY DEUCEY was moved from the A1 to the Plus program.
  • CUT THE DIAMOND was moved from the A1 to the Plus program.
  • TRIPLE TRADE was removed from the Plus program.

The Mainstream committee recommended the removal of the calls CROSS TRAIL THRU, LEFT TURN THRU, and PARTNER TAG from the Basic/Mainstream program because the calls are seldom used, difficult for dancers at that level to do correctly, or both. Indeed, CROSS TRAIL THRU, which starts from facing couples and ends in couples back-to-back, is so often called and taught as CROSS TRAIL THRU TO YOUR CORNER that most dancers even at the A2 level will turn and will fail to end back-to-back as required. The Plus committee chose not to add that call to the Plus program. It also chose not to add LEFT TURN THRU, because that call can be cued directionally if needed ("with you left hand, TURN THRU" ; note that the right-handed version of TURN THRU was not affected and is still on the Mainstream list). There are a number of good choreographic equivalents to CROSS TRAIL THRU TO YOUR CORNER for an ALLEMANDE LEFT, so caller shouldn't have too much trouble reworking their material for that. My favorite replacement is LEFT SQUARE THRU 2 to your corner for an ALLEMANDE LEFT.

The addition of PARTNER TAG to the Plus list was a good thing, since the call is used more often at Plus and even more often at Advanced, since it's in the definition of an A1 call (HORSESHOE TURN), and since it fits well into the completion of the tag family at Plus (¼ and ¾ TAG THE LINE are on the Plus list).

TRIPLE TRADE was the subject of a recent Call of the Month column. As I pointed out then, it's a tricky call, and it's not been used much by Plus callers. It's been on and off the Plus list a couple of times in recent years, and now it's off again. Note that calls that have been dropped from a program will almost certainly still be called for a while afterwards. It takes a couple of years for a call to leave completely, since callers are used to calling it and those who prepare material in advance have the calls on their cards. It takes some time to change habits and to rework old cards. So don't completely forget these dropped calls yet.

Finally, let's look at the two calls that were moved down from A1. Both were the subjects of Call of the Month columns in the past, and, in fact, CUT THE DIAMOND was in the inaugural column when it was a Plus quarterly selection three years ago (I can't believe that I've been doing this column for three years!). Let's take a brief look at them again; current Plus classes should teach these calls, and many callers will workshop them for a while, assuming that Plus dancers might not know them yet, but it's still but it's still better to have a look and avoid surprises ("Acey what?) at the dance.

You've done ACEY DEUCEY for years, directionally. From waves with boys in the middle, when the caller would call "girls CIRCULATE while the boys TRADE," that was an ACEY DEUCEY. The definition is ends CIRCULATE while the centers TRADE, and it may be done from any formation where there are four ends and four centers and the ends can CIRCULATE without becoming centers. That includes any kind of parallel lines, some kinds of columns (with all the ends facing out), some t-bone setups, and (though this is rarely used) diamonds and ¾ tag. It's an easy call and should cause you little trouble. Remember that there must always be four ends and four centers, decide whether you're an end or a center, and either CIRCULATE or TRADE. Some people traditionally say quack in response to the call, a sound which comes from the mangling of the name to ACEY DUCKY. (And for those who are interested, ACEY DEUCEY AND SPREAD is the C3 call TRADE THE DEUCEY.)

CUT THE DIAMOND is related to FLIP THE DIAMOND, which was already on the Plus list. In FLIP THE DIAMOND, the centers DIAMOND CIRCULATE (to the points' positions) while the points RUN (flip in). In CUT THE DIAMOND, the centers also DIAMOND CIRCULATE, but the points slide together and TRADE. The important thing here is that the points must not turn while they're sliding together—they must slide sideways until they touch hands, and then they TRADE, sometimes with an arm turn and sometimes with a PARTNER TRADE. If you face in, rather than sliding sideways, you're likely to make an error on the TRADE and end up facing the wrong way. We like to extend the inside hand (the one you're going to trade by) in a karate chop motion and shout "Hi-ya!" That adds another sound effect, which is always fun, and it also reminds you to slide in sideways with that chopping hand, so it's less likely that you'll make a mistake. For dancers who might later learn Advanced or Challenge levels, it's good to master flip and cut because you can flip and cut other formations, (but the C1 call FLIP THE LINE is unrelated).

So what's left now? Well, the Advanced committee needs to decide what to recommend for the calls (CROSS TRAIL THRU, LEFT TURN THRU, and TRIPLE TRADE) that still have no home. Then the Challenge committee will have a look. Any of them that aren't picked up by then will probably wind up being used at C4. Calls do eventually die, and not everything is used at C4, but none of these calls are likely to die (though LEFT TURN THRU might not retain the status of a separate call, since it's just the left-handed version of TURN THRU). CROSS TRAIL THRU, in particular, needs to go somewhere, since the C2 call CROSS THE K is defined in terms of CROSS TRAIL THRU—so either CROSS TRAIL THRU will get picked up by one of the programs, or CROSS THE K will go away. We'll see what happens when the remaining committees make their recommendations.

(Printable Version)

The columns are copyright ©1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994 by Barry Leiba; for permission to reprint them, please contact the author. No request has been refused yet. Of course, you may print a copy for personal use without specific permission. You may contact the author by e-mail at "".

These columns were originally sponsored on the web by the IAGSDC on space provided by Glyphic Technology. In 2006, Tech Squares took over hosting. Some information in the articles might be out-of-date: remember that Callerlab continues to tweak the program lists and definitions.