Square Dance Quick Tutorial


Quick Tutorial Series
Acey Deucey
Alamo Rings
All 8 Circulate
All 8 Spin the Top
Allemande Left
Any Hand
As Couples
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Box Counter Rotate
Box the Gnat
Brace Thru
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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
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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
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Double Pass Thru
Double Star Thru
Ends Bend
Explode and ...
Explode the Line
Explode the Wave
Fan the Top
Ferris Wheel
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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
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Pass In
Pass the Ocean
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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
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Swap Around
Sweep 1/4
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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.

Spread is a suffix call. It is used after another call, usually connected using the word "and". It is used in a variety of ways, all related to one general idea -- some dancers who would normally not finish as ends of lines slide apart sideways to be ends of lines. The other dancers typically move somehow so that they become the centers of those lines.

But the most common uses of Spread differ enough that grouping them into three different cases is helpful in explaining them.

From a squared set...

When the caller asks the heads or the sides to do a call that has them turn 1/4, e.g., Slide Thru, they end up in the center of the formation, facing or back-to-back with the other dancers, the ones who were not doing the call. Adding Spread to this kind of call means that the dancers who were doing the call should move apart sideways, allowing the others to step forward to become the centers.

For example, after a Heads Slide Thru, the head dancers would be in the center, facing side walls. To do Heads Slide Thru and Spread, after they do their Slide Thru the heads move apart sideways, while the side dancers step forward.

Of course the same could apply to a call done by the sides, e.g., Sides Touch 1/4 and Spread. The heads will be stepping forward into the center, as the sides move apart sideways after doing their Touch 1/4.

Calls that end with one couple in front of another...

Adding Spread to a call that would normally end with one couple standing in front of another means that the dancers in front should move apart sideways, becoming the ends of a line, and let the ones behind step forward to become the centers of that line. For example, Wheel and Deal and Spread.

Calls that end in a wave...

When Spread is added to a call that would normally result in a wave, it means that the dancers who would have finished as the centers of that wave instead move to the end positions, and the dancers who would have finished in the end positions move to the center positions. For example, Swing Thru and Spread.

Note the the dancers finish as if they had done the first call and then moved past each other "nose to nose", but they don't actually do it that way. When possible, they blend the switching of places together with the last action of the first call. They anticipate their modified destination and move to that spot as part of finishing the first call.

Depending on the call, they may be able to do this without any separate sideways motion at all. For example, to do a Spin the Top and Spread, the end and center dancers can switch places as the same time as they are walking forward around the middle of the wave.