Class Newsletter #2 - 9/27/16

posted Sep 28, 2016, 1:20 PM by Jim Hunt   [ updated Sep 28, 2016, 1:20 PM ]

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Samena Squares! If Thursday was your first night, we are glad that you have joined us. It was great to see the rest of you.

What we are learning on Thursday nights is Modern Western Square Dancing. Square dancing is an American dance. Once you learn the set of calls in the first program, Basic and Mainstream, you can dance anywhere in the United States and many places around the world where there is an advertised square dance of that program. The definitions of the calls have been standardized so that you can dance anywhere. At one point in time there were 27 different Dosados. If you learned one version in Washington you would have trouble dancing on your vacation in New York because their version would be totally different. Like any new skill the more you practice it the better you are at it and the easier it becomes. Each week will build on the calls we learned the week before. We are learning the basics now and in a few weeks we will be learning calls that combine basic calls to make other calls. We will learn all of it by dancing.

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.

The first few weeks of class these newsletter may seem repetitious. They are. I am including all the calls that have been taught so far and will continue to do that for the next couple of weeks. By Week #5 or 6, I will include only the new calls on the list. You can always refer to previous newsletters on my website if you want to review a call. In a couple of weeks, you will be receiving a book with all the calls, definitions and pictures.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Happy dancing,


Week #2

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.

iv. Leaders, Trailers: In a tandem (one dancer behind another dancer) the one in front is the Leader, the one behind is the Trailer.

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 & RIGHT – 8 dancers full around, 16 steps; 4 dancers full around, 8 steps.

2 a. Forward & Back: Join hands in a line and move forward 1 step, touch and move back 1 step. FORWARD & BACK – 4 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.

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, offer left hand to next, walk by; 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 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.

10. Pass Thru: With person you are facing step ahead passing right shoulders. STOP as soon as you pass by. End back to back. Same as 1/2 DOSADO. PASS THRU – 2 steps.

11. Half Sashay Family:

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.

18. Lead Right: Directed couples (Heads, Sides), with a couple handhold, will walk forward as a couple to face the wall on their right. In the case of a squared set they will be facing the couple to their right. LEAD RIGHT – 4 steps

19. Veer Left/Right: Moving as a couple, slide left or right as directed, maintaining facing direction with a small forward motion as well. VEER LEFT/RIGHT – 2 steps.

20. Bend The Line: Couples, as a unit, turn 90 degrees to face center. Like folding a piece of paper. Each end moves forward to meet the other end. The centers need to back up a little to accommodate. This creates new lines facing in. As a couple, you will ALWAYS be facing the other couple that was in your line. BEND THE LINE – 4 steps.

36. Trade Family:

36 a. Trades: Boys, Girls, Ends, Centers: Directed dancers change places with the identified person. The person you are trading with may be next to you or somewhere in your line. Every TRADE includes a reversal of facing direction If you meet someone pass right shoulders. BOYS, GIRLS, ENDS, CENTERS – 4 steps;

36 b. Couples: Directed couples change places with the other couple. You may be facing opposite directions or you may be facing the same direction. Every TRADE includes a reversal of facing direction. COUPLES – 6 steps.


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

Women In Calling Committee, Callerlab, Vice-Chairwoman