Square Dance Quick Tutorial

Peel the Top

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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.

Peel the Top is a combination of Peel Off and Fan the Top. The peeling action is done only by the leaders, while the trailers just move forward as necessary to be in the center. Starting from a box, this puts everyone as if they were in a wave. Then they all do a Fan the Top.

But the dancers don't actually stop and form a wave -- they blend the two actions together.

Starting from a right-handed box, the leaders will be peeling to the left, while the trailers will be meeting with right hands for their Cast Off 3/4. From a left-handed box, the trailers would be meeting with left hands, while the leaders would be peeling to the right.

As with Peel Off, it is not necessary that the dancers start in an actual box, as long as the leader/trailer relationship makes sense. Peel the Top is very commonly done from "Z" formations, such as after Ends Fold from a wave.

Note that, whatever the starting formation, every dancer ends up turning a total of 3/4 (270 degrees). The original trailers move forward as necessary without turning, and then turn 3/4 as their part of Fan the Top. The original leaders first turn back (180 degrees) as part of their Peel Off, and then turn another 1/4 (90 degrees) as their part of Fan the Top. So if everybody starts facing head walls, they will end facing side walls, and vice versa.