Square Dance Quick Tutorial

Load the Boat

Quick Tutorial Series
Acey Deucey
Alamo Rings
All 8 Circulate
All 8 Spin the Top
Allemande Left
Any Hand
As Couples
Bend the Line
Box Circulate
Box Counter Rotate
Box the Gnat
Brace Thru
California Twirl
Cast a Shadow
Cast Off 3/4
Centers In
Chain Down the Line
Chain Reaction
Chase Right
Clover and ...
Column Circulate
Couple Numbers
Couples Circulate
Couples Hinge
Couples Trade
Courtesy Turn
Cross Over Circulate
Cross Run
Cross Trail Thru
Cut the Diamond
Cut the Hourglass
Cycle and Wheel
Diamond Circulate
Dixie Grand
Dixie Style to a Wave
Dosado to a Wave
Double Pass Thru
Double Star Thru
Ends Bend
Explode and ...
Explode the Line
Explode the Wave
Fan the Top
Ferris Wheel
Flip the Diamond
Flip the Hourglass
Fold (and Cross Fold)
Follow Your Neighbor
fractional Tops
Grand Square
Grand Swing Thru
Half Sashay
Half Tag
Hourglass Circulate
Horseshoe Turn
In Roll Circulate
Ladies Chain
Ladies In Men Sashay
Left Swing Thru
Linear Cycle
Load the Boat
Out Roll Circulate
Pair Off
Partner Hinge
Partner Tag
Partner Trade
Pass and Roll
Pass In
Pass the Ocean
Pass the Sea
Pass Thru
Pass to the Center
Peel Off
Peel the Top
Ping Pong Circulate
Quarter In
Quarter Thru
Recycle (from a wave)
Recycle (from facing couples)
Right and Left Thru
Right Roll to a Wave
Scoot and Dodge
Scoot Back
Single Circle to a Wave
Single Wheel
Six by Two Acey Deucey
Slide Thru
Spin Chain & Exch. the Gears
Spin Chain the Gears
Spin Chain Thru
Spin the Top
Split Circulate
Split Counter Rotate
Split Square Thru
Square Chain Thru
Square Thru
Star Thru
Step and Slide
Step to a Wave
Swap Around
Sweep 1/4
Swing and Mix
Swing Thru
Tag the Line
Three Quarter Tag
Touch 1/4
Track 2
Trade By
Trade Circulate
Trade the Wave
Transfer the Column
Triple Scoot
Triple Star Thru
Triple Trade
Turn and Deal
Turn Thru
Walk and Dodge
Weave the Ring
Wheel and Deal
Wheel Around
Wheel Thru
Tutorials Home
  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.

The call Load the Boat usually starts in facing lines. There is one series of actions for the ends of the lines, and a different set of actions for the centers. Because the ends and centers are operating independently, it is easier to understand this call by looking at these actions separately.

The action for the ends consists of four parts: (1) start walking around the outside of the square passing another end dancer, (2) keep walking past another end dancer, (3) keep walking until they pass another end dancer (who will be the same person that they passed the first time), and (4) then immediately Face In (turn 1/4 toward the center of the square). This may sound complicated, but in practice it is really very simple. Basically the end dancers are all just walking around the outside of the square, passing right shoulders as necessary and counting the passes "1 ... 2 ... 3", and then facing in.

Meanwhile, the centers are also doing four things: (1) Pass Thru (with the other center that they are facing), (2) Face Out (turn 1/4 away from the center of the square), (3) Partner Trade (their partner at this point being the same person with whom they originally did the Pass Thru), and (4) Pass Thru (with the other centers). This sounds even more complicated -- and it is. But with practice most people don't find it difficult.

Again, an important aspect of this call is that the ends and centers are moving independently of each other. The ends should concentrate on walking around the outside, counting only other ends as they pass, and paying basically no attention to what the centers are doing. Similarly, the centers should concentrate on what they are doing with the other centers, and not allow themselves to be distracted by the ends.

The overall result, when the dancers all start in facing lines, is the formation known as "eight chain".