Square Dance Quick Tutorial

Cast a Shadow

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All 8 Circulate
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Any Hand
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Cast a Shadow
Cast Off 3/4
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Chain Down the Line
Chain Reaction
Chase Right
Clover and ...
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Pass the Ocean
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Track 2
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  This "quick tutorial" introduces the general idea of a call and explains the most common cases. It does not explain or illustrate all cases. For additional details and/or examples, refer to the links in the "MORE INFO" box.

Cast a Shadow is normally done from some sort of parallel lines (including parallel waves). The action of the ends and the action of the centers are most easily described separately.

The ends do 1/2 Zoom, then Cast Off 3/4, and then Spread.

  • To do the 1/2 Zoom, the lead end turns outward to face the opposite wall, and walks back to meet the trailing end. They meet with their original outside hands.
  • They then turn 3/4 by that hand.
  • The Spread leaves them far apart, as the ends of a new wave or line, allowing room for the centers to re-form a center box.

The centers do something different depending on whether they are leaders (facing out) or trailers (facing in), but either way they end up back in the center box.

Typically in the center there are two leaders and two trailers. The lead centers do a Cloverleaf, around the outside of the square, and after waiting for the ends to get out of the way come back in to be trailers. The trailing centers walk straight forward, without turning, to take hands with each other in the very center of the square, then they Hinge and step straight forward again to become leaders.

If the dancers start in parallel two-faced lines, they will end in parallel waves.

If they start in parallel waves, they will end in parallel two-faced lines.

If all the centers start as leaders, then they all do a Cloverleaf, and all come back in as trailers.

If all the centers start as trailers, they can't all do a Hinge in the center. So instead they all Pass Thru, Face In, and then Pass Thru again.

Note that, regardless of the starting formation:

  • The ends stay ends and the centers stay centers.
  • Dancers who start facing head walls end facing side walls, and vice versa.