Call of the Month: October, 1992

Do your part...

by Barry Leiba

Some square dance calls are defined so that some dancers have one set of things to do as other dancers have a different set of things to do. For instance, in WALK AND DODGE, the trailers walk ahead while the leaders step sideways into the vacated spot. Sometimes a caller might want only some, but not all, of the dancers to do a call. This month, we'll look at how that works.

In the normal position for WALK AND DODGE, where the boys are trailers and the girls are leaders, if the boys are to walk ahead the girls must get out of the way. But suppose we want the girls to do something other than just step sideways—we want them to do a partner tag, for instance. We could say "boys DO YOUR PART of a WALK AND DODGE, girls DO YOUR PART of a PARTNER TAG". The girls would face their partners and step into their spots while the boys walked straight ahead into the opposite girls' spots, and we'd have an odd formation called a T-BONE.

Now, you wouldn't see that too often. One that does show up often involves the Plus call LOAD THE BOAT. If we have the heads LEAD RIGHT and CIRCLE TO A LINE, we could do LOAD THE BOAT from there. Instead, though, let's try two variations.

  • Centers do your part of LOAD THE BOAT, ends PASS OUT (pass thru and face out). In this case, the centers will do exactly what they do in LOAD THE BOAT (pass thru, face out, partner trade, pass thru), but the ends will not do LOAD THE BOAT. Instead, they'll PASS OUT, and we'll end incompleted DPT formation.
  • Ends do your part of LOAD THE BOAT, centers LEAD RIGHT (or one of the Advanced equivalents, WHEEL THRU or SQUARE CHAIN THRU). We end in the same EIGHT CHAINformation that we would if everyone had done the LOAD THE BOAT, but the centers did something different (so the people are in different places).

Now, this can get interesting, and a bit tricky. From a static square, let's have the heads LEAD RIGHT and VEER LEFT to make two-faced lines. Now have the leaders do your part of a WHEEL AND DEAL while the trailers do your part of a GIRLS WALK, BOYS DODGE. We end with the heads as couples on the ends, facing in, while the sides are holding right hands in the middle.

A variant of this is the Challenge CENTRAL concept. Let's go back to our facing lines where we started the LOAD THE BOAT. This time, we'll have each pair of facing couples do the centers' part of LOAD THE BOAT. So everyone passes thru, turns their backs on their partners, trades with a new partner, and passes thru—and we end in TRADE BY formation. At the C3 level, this would becalled a CENTRAL LOAD THE BOAT, and there are lots of other calls that can be done that way.

To do any of this, you have to be sure that you know what your part (or in this last case, the centers' part) of the call is. That means that you must know the definition of the call; it's not sufficient to remember that you sort of follow your partner or some such. Dancing by feel, colors, or karma no longer works.

For another variation, let's look at the START concept. Here, the designated dancers do the first part of the call, and then everyone finishes. So if we have a static square and have the heads SQUARE THRU THREE, they'll do it just among themselves. But if we have the heads START A SQUARE THRU THREE with the sides, then the heads will do a right pull by, face the sides, and then finish the second and third hands with them. This is the Advanced call SPLIT SQUARE THRU THREE.

We can also see the START concept at times when everyone could start the call, but that's not what the caller wants. If we're in boy-boy-girl-girl waves, for instance, we could do a SWING THRU. Instead, suppose the caller calls "girls start a SWING THRU". Only the girls will turn ½ by the right, and then the centers (one boy and one girl) will turn ½ by the left. The end boy will not have any part in the call in this case. If you want to play with it a bit, try "girls start a SPIN THE TOP" or "boys start a SPIN CHAIN THE GEARS" from that same boy-boy-girl-girl wave. Note that the ending formation doesn't change; some dancers just don't start working until the first part of the call is done.

Now let's go back to WALK AND DODGE to finish up. Let's do it from facing lines. Normally,you'd do BOY WALK, GIRL DODGE, or something like that, in this case. But here, we're just going to have everyone do your part of a WALK AND DODGE. Remember—the trailers walk, and in facing lines everyone is a trailer. So it amounts to the same thing as PASS THRU. Now we have lines facing out, and we can have everyone do your part of a WALK AND DODGE from there. Since everyone's a leader, everyone dodges, and it becomes a HALF SASHAY.

In the next column we'll take a look at the concepts ALL EIGHT and ALL FOUR COUPLES. In the meantime, if you already know them, you might want to think about the difference between ALL EIGHT SPIN THE TOP (Plus) and ALL FOUR COUPLES SPIN THE TOP (Advanced).

(Printable Version)

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