Call of the Month: June, 1994

There ought to be a name for that...

by Barry Leiba

Karl Jaeckel, of Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus, sent me a card pointing out an error in the April column, in my answer to the shape changer quiz. I said that PERCOLATE was not a shape changer from facing lines. It is. What I'd meant to say was that it's not a shape changer from lines facing out, but then I got tangled up with comparisons with TALLY HO and said the wrong thing. Thanks, Karl, for pointing out the mistake.

Last month I talked about changes to the Callerlab lists, and, in particular, the moving down of the call ACEY DEUCEY to the Plus program. ACEY DEUCEY was a particularly good call to move down, for a few reasons: it's an easy call from most starting positions, it's a choreographically useful call, and (largely as a consequence of its usefulness) it's very often called directionally, so we might as well move its name down to an earlier program. (Besides, it has a sound effect, and it's always fun to have more calls with sound effects. I almost wish they'd move TRIPLE PLAY down from C3 to Plus so the Plus dancers can reply "Hey, hey, hey!" when it's called. But I digress.) There are, of course, other calls that fit these three criteria, but that are on the Advanced and Challenge programs. We'll look at a few of those this month—my personal list of calls that I'd like to see moved down to Plus or Mainstream.

The first of these is actually a pair of calls from the Advanced program: ¼ IN and ¼ OUT. The definitions are extremely simple; for ¼ IN, turn ¼ to face your partner, or, if you have no partner (as in a diamond), turn ¼ to face the center of your half of the set. I'll let you figure out the definition of ¼ OUT. How often do you hear a caller say face your partner or "turn your back on your partner?" How many calls are defined based on ¼ IN or ¼ OUT but can't use those names because these calls aren't available in Mainstream or Plus (think about SQUARE THRU)? And if we taught these at Mainstream, dancers learning Advanced would be used to them and wouldn't have so much trouble distinguishing them from PASS IN and PASS OUT! Well, maybe not, anyway.

And now that we have ACEY DEUCEY on Plus, why not have TRADE THE DEUCEY on A1 or Plus? It's currently on C3A, and it's just ACEY DEUCEY AND SPREAD (actually, the definition is "centers TRADE AND SPREAD while the ends CROSSOVER CIRCULATE"). It's my opinion that Plus callers could do more interesting things with SPREAD than most of them now do, so I'd like to see more of it.

The C2 modifier WITH THE FLOW is a nice one. It's often described as a "flowing WALK AND DODGE." It's legal any time that SWEEP ¼ is legal (most commonly after RECYCLE, FLUTTERWHEEL (and reverse), LINEAR CYCLE, and after WHEEL AND DEAL or BEND THE LINE from two-faced lines). The dancer who's leading the flow (who would be ahead of the other in SWEEP ¼) walks while the other dodges. Ron Libby and other callers often call the sequence WHEEL AND DEAL, girl WALK, boy DODGE. This is WHEEL AND DEAL WITH THE FLOW. The call is simple to learn, few dancers have trouble with it, and it really is easier to deal with than trying to figure out who the boys are and who the girls are!

Often the caller will want the leaders in each group of four to U-TURN BACK, making facing couples. You'll hear things like SPLIT CIRCULATE and the girls U-TURN BACK. Well, that's the C3A call COUPLE UP. By itself, it means SPLIT CIRCULATE and then the leaders U-TURN BACK. It can also be used to modify other calls, in which case the SPLIT CIRCULATE is replaced by the other call. So HINGE COUPLE UP means "all HINGE and the leaders U-TURN BACK," and ALL EIGHT COUPLE UP means "ALL EIGHT CIRCULATE and the leaders U-TURN BACK" (if the other call is a kind of CIRCULATE, the word circulate is omitted). Sometimes the phrase like a is inserted to avoid confusion, as in TRADE LIKE A COUPLE UPTRADE, then the leaders U-TURN BACK. This is a good call to help practice identifying leaders and trailers (it's always the leaders after the first part of the call who do the U-TURN BACK), and it's a nice way to make facing lines (or eight-chain formation, as in TOUCH ¼ LIKE A COUPLE UP from facing lines). My favourite Plus combination is SPIN CHAIN AND EXCHANGE THE GEARS LIKE A COUPLE UP (and it flows very nicely, too).

Let's finish the list with DROP IN (from diamonds only, at Plus, perhaps). This is a C2 call that's commonly called directionally at Plus: the points ¼ IN while the centers EXTEND THE TAG. This ends in right-handed waves if the centers started in a right-handed wave, and left-handed waves if the centers started in a left-handed wave. It's a popular way to get out of diamonds, and, again, it's an easy call with good dancer success. The call can also be called from ¼ tag and ¾ tag, and IN can be replaced by OUT, LEFT, RIGHT, or BACK. Let's leave those variations on the Challenge program, since some of them can be quite tricky. But the basic DROP IN from diamonds would be a nice addition to the Plus program.

So that's my list. Do any of you have favourite calls that you know about on the Advanced or Challenge lists that you'd like to see on the Mainstream or Plus lists? Drop me a card and let me know; I'm interested to hear what people think.

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