Class Newsletter #1 - 9/18/2016

posted Sep 21, 2016, 12:31 PM by Jim Hunt   [ updated Sep 28, 2016, 1:21 PM ]

Dear Friends,

Welcome! Welcome! We are so glad that you have joined us!

I will send an email newsletter after each class with a few tidbits about square dancing, history, styling, upcoming dances etc. The newsletters will also include a brief definition of each call that we learned that week. The definitions include the name of the call; a brief description of how to do the call and the number of steps in takes to do it. These are reminders of how you do a particular move. I would encourage you to give them a quick read before you come the following Thursday night.

This next week, September 19-25, is Square Dance Week as declared by Governor Jay Inslee. Modern Western Square Dancing has been the Washington State Dance for 37 years. Square dancing is an American dance. You become a square dancer with the first Bow to your Partner and Circle Left. Once you learn the calls on the Basic/Mainstream list (those are the calls we are learning now) you can dance anywhere in the world. Square dancing is always called in English.

Here are two dates that I want you to put on your calendar immediately –

Dates to note:

Friday, October 7, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., First Friday Fun Fest hosted by the Whirlybirds with Dave Harry, caller. The hall is The Hayloft, 15320 35th Ave W, Lynnwood. Cost is $7/person. This is a dance for new square dancers. It will be an opportunity to dance the calls that you know to another caller. It will be an opportunity to meet other new square dancers too.

Friday, October 28, 7:30 – 10:00 p.m., Masquerade Ball Halloween Level Dance hosted by the Samena Squares. I will be calling. The dance is in our hall, the Juanita Community Club. Cost is included with your lesson fee. This is a Halloween dance. Costumes are encouraged.


The Samena Squares have a great web site – Thank you to Jim Hunt, our Webmaster. There is a button “Just For Students.” There you will find these weekly newsletters as well as a list of dances that you can go to. I will share more information about these as we go along.

I also have a web page – There is a tab “Samena Squares,” where you will find these newsletters.

I will be sharing more resources in the coming weeks.

Below you will find the definitions of the calls we danced last Thursday. Don’t worry if you think you don’t remember how to do them. I will re-teach all of the calls that this Thursday night before we add any new ones.

This Thursday is another open enrollment week. Feel free to bring friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to class.

A quick reminder, there is a Jazzersize class using the hall before us. Their class gets out at 6:45. We should not be in the hall before then. As it gets darker, and colder and rainier either I, or one of the club officers will open the back door. Feel free to come in that way for quiet conversation until the Jazzersize class is finished.

You have started on a fun adventure that will bring you new friends and new places to visit to dance! See you Thursday night!

Happy dancing,


Week #1:

Dancer naming:

i, Couple: Two people standing side by side; for universal understanding of square dance commands the dancer on the left dances the boy/man part of commands, the dancer on the right dances the girl/lady part of commands.


ii. Heads, Sides, Couple Numbers: Head couples have their back to or face the caller/music; Sides are the other two couples; Couple numbers – #1 back to caller, #2 to their right, #3 to the right of #2 or face the caller, #4 to the right of #3.


iii. Boys, Girls: Actual Boys and Girls or those dancing the Boy/Girl part of the move.


1. Circle Left & Right: Join hands in a circle and move left or right as indicated; circles can be made with 2 or more people. CIRCLE LEFT or RIGHT – 8 dancers full around, 16 steps; 4 dancers full around, 8 steps.


2. Forward & Back: In a squared set for heads or sides, it is 3 steps and touch, then back 3 steps. FORWARD & BACK – 8 steps.


3 a. Dosado: With person you are facing, step slightly left, walk forward to pass right shoulders, slide back to back, back up past left shoulder, slide to face to face start position. DOSADO – with corner/partner 6 steps, across square – 8 steps.


5. Promenade Family:

5 a. Couples: With partner walk together counter-clockwise to home position; right hands joined over joined left hands. PROMENADE – couples full around 16 steps.

5 b. Single File Promenade:
Specified dancers walk single file counterclockwise inside the square or where indicated by the caller. SINGLE FILE PROMENADE – 4 dancers inside to home – 8 steps.

5 d. Star Promenade: Dancers in the star put their arm around (or join hands with) the indicated dancer and continue walking together until the next call. STAR PROMENADE – 4 couples full around 12 steps with back out at home – 16 steps.

6. Allemande Left: Turn toward corner, left arm turn 180 degrees, let go and step through, end back to back with corner, facing partner. ALLEMANDE LEFT – 8 steps.

7. Arm Turns: Turn designated dancer by the indicated arm to next call; let go. The turn is 180 to 360 degrees. ARM TURNS – same as ALLEMANDE LEFT.

8. Right and Left Grand Family:

8 a. Right & Left Grand: Start facing partner, take right hands, walk by, let go, offer left hand to next, walk by, let go; continue alternating hands to the 5th hand (should be the dancer you started with). Boys are going counterclockwise; girls are going clockwise. RIGHT & LEFT GRAND – 10 steps.


8 b. Weave the Ring: Same as RIGHT AND LEFT GRAND without hands. Hint: pass same shoulder as the hand you would be using. WEAVE THE RING – 10 steps.


9. Left/Right Hand Star: Indicated dancers step to the center of the formation to join the designated hand in a loose palm up star; walk forward to starting position of next call. It is often a full turn but can be fractionalized. LEFT/ RIGHT HAND STAR – 4 dancers full around 8 steps.


11 b. Rollaway: Dancer on right steps forward and rolls to face dancer on left and continues to roll to the left side of the other dancer, a 360-degree turn. Use your hands to steady the dancer doing the roll. In a circle, unless stated otherwise, the ladies do the ROLLAWAY. ROLLAWAY – 4 steps.

15. Courtesy Turn: Girls (or right hand dancer) sticks out left hand in front palm down, places right hand on hip or does skirt work; Boys (or left hand dancer) offers left hand palm up to girl, place right hand gently on back; gently guide her forward, while backing up, turning as a couple to face opposite direction or the center of the set. COURTESY TURN – 4 steps.

16. Ladies Chain Family:

16 a. Two & Four Ladies Chain: Two (or four) girls step toward the center to make a right hand star; turn 1/2 way; offer left hand to opposite boy for a COURTESY TURN; end as couple facing center of formation. While girls are staring the boys take a step to their right to be in correct position for COURTESY TURN. TWO & FOUR LADIES CHAIN – 8 steps.

16 b. Two & Four Ladies Chain 3/4: Same as above except the turn is 3/4. Can be called with other fractions. TWO & FOUR LADIES CHAIN 3/4 – 10 steps.


Susan Morris
Samena Squares, Mainstream
Cascade Crossfires, Plus
Greater Seattle area

Women In Calling Committee, Callerlab, Vice-Chairwoman