Square Dancing: Interactive Mainstream Flash Cards

Definitions are intended to stimulate memory, not to be complete. Email me any comments or corrections.

Passing Rule

Two dancers.

Whenever two dancers are walking towards each other and would otherwise collide, they pass right shoulders and continue.

Same Position Rule

Two dancers.

Whenever two dancers are walking toward each other and would otherwise occupy the same position, they join right hands in a mini-wave at that position.

Facing Couples Rule

Facing couples.

Some calls which normally start from ocean waves can also be done when dancers are in facing couples. Step to right-hand waves (or left-hand waves for left calls) then do the call.

Ocean Wave Rule

Ocean waves.

Some calls which normally start from facing couples dancers can also be done when dancers are in ocean mini waves. Dancers have already done the step towards each other part of the call.

Circle Direction

Two or more dancers.

Join hands to form a circle.

Face slightly direction.

Move forward around the circle.

Forward & Back

Single dancer.

Take some steps forward.

Take some steps back.


Facing dancers.

Highland fling.

Dancers advance.

Pass right shoulders.

Move right, passing in back of the other dancer.

Back up, passing left shoulders, returning to starting position.


Facing dancers, man and lady.

Twirl together.

Promenade, Couples Promenade, Single File Promenade


Walk around the square.

Allemande Left

Where convenient to face someone.

Turn by left forearm.

Arm Turn

Facing dancers. Couples.

Turn by specified forearm and walk around the other dancer the distance specified.

Right & Left Grand, Weave The Ring, Wrong Way Grand

Right & Left Grand: Hands 1 & 3: Tug & Twirl. Weave The Ring: Person 1 & 3: Pat, Clap, Twirl, Bump.

Where convenient to face.

Right & Left Grand: Men walk counterclockwise. Women clockwise. Alternate pull by hands.

Weave The Ring: Right & Left Grand without hands.

Wrong Way Grand: Right & Left Grand in the opposite direction. Same hands.


Facing couples. Facing dancers. Square. Circle.

Put the specified hand in to form a plus sign.

Turn the star by walking forward in a circle around the center of the star.

Star Promenade

Star. Promenade.

Form a Star.

Put free arm around specified dancer.

Turn the star.

Left Pass Thru

Facing dancers.

Walk past other dancer, passing right left shoulders.

Split The Outside Couple

Facing couples.

Specified couple Move between the outside couple.

Other couple Get out of their way and then step back together.

½ Sashay, Rollaway


Partners exchange places without changing facing directions.

U-Turn Back, Backtrack

Single dancer.

Turn 180° in place. Turn direction: body flow, toward partner, or center of set.



Dancers turn back to back.

Walk forward around outside of square.

Courtesy Turn

Couples, man on left, woman on right. Facing dancers.

Man Takes lady's left hand in his left hand.

Man puts right hand in small of lady's back.

As a couple Turn around, man backs up, lady walks forward.

Stop when facing center of set or formation.


Facing couples. Square. Circle..

Ladies Step forward, pull by with right hand.

Men Step right.

Courtesy Turn.

Do Paso

Circle of two or more couples.

Left Arm Turn ½.

Right Arm Turn ½.

Courtesy Turn.



Couple step forward.

Turn direction 90° as a unit.

Move forward.

Right & Left Thru

2 Parts

Facing couples.

1 Right Pull By.

2 Courtesy Turn.

Grand Square


Basic 16 step pattern:

4 steps forward.

Turn 90° to face partner.

4 steps back.

Turn 90° to face original opposites.

4 steps back.

Turn 90° to face original partner.

4 steps forward.

Heads Do pattern forward. Do pattern backward.

Sides Face partner. Do pattern backward. Do pattern forward.

Star Thru

Facing dancers, man and lady.

Man's raises right palm to touch lady's left palm.

Lady Turn 90° left while walking under arch.

Man Turn 90° right while walking around lady.

Reverse Circle To A Line

Facing couples.

Circle Left ½.

Join outside hands to form a 4-dancer circle.

Rotate the circle.

Lead dancer in the couple who started on the inside, man's position, releases the left handhold.

Bend The Line

Any line with an even number of dancers, dancers in each half of the line facing same direction.

Center dancers Drop hands.

Each half of the line working a unit, until both halves of the line are facing.

Ends Move forward.

Centers Back up.

All Around The Corner

Square. Circle.

Walk around each other. Keep right shoulders adjacent. End facing partner.

See Saw

Square. Circle.

Walk around each other. Keep left shoulders adjacent. End facing corner.

Left Square Thru n

n Parts

Facing couples.

1 Right Pull By. ¼ In A1.

2 Left Pull By. ¼ In.


n Pull By.

Keep going until you hit n. n defaults to 4.

California Twirl

Couple, man and lady.

Man Raise right hand.

Lady Raise left hand.

Lady Walk under arch, turning 180° left.

Man Walk around lady in other direction 180°.

Dive Thru

Facing couples.

Couple with backs to the center Make an arch.

Other couple Duck thru arch.

Archers California Twirl.

Wheel Around


As a couple, turn ½ in the direction of a Courtesy Turn.



Right hand Star with outside dancers holding the left forearm of the center dancer.

Shoot The Star


Release center handholds.

Arm Turn ½ Or Full.

Slip The Clutch


Centers Stop.

Release outside handholds.

Move forward.

Box The Gnat

Facing Dancers.

Step forward.

Join and raise right hands.

Lady Step forward doing a left U-Turn Back.

Man Step forward doing a right U-Turn Back.


Dancers holding adjacent hands with each dancer facing the opposite direction of the adjacent dancer.

Alamo Ring

A circle with men facing in, ladies facing out.

Pass The Ocean

3 Parts

Facing couples.

1 Pass Thru.

2 Turn to face partner.

3 Step to a right handed ocean wave.


¼ tag.

Release handholds.

Step forward to another wave.

Left Swing Thru

2 Parts

Ocean wave. Alamo.

1 Those who can Right Arm Turn ½.

2 Those who can Left Arm Turn ½.

Anyone Cross Run

Two shoulder to shoulder dancers.

Specified dancer Move forward in a semi circle around inactive dancer.

Other dancer Step sideways into vacated spot.


Wave. Line. Column.

Exchange places with specified dancer by walking forward in a semi-circle.

Wheel & Deal

Line of 4 facing same direction. 2-faced line.

Center dancer is pivot point. Right hand couple in front.

Double Pass Thru

Double pass thru.

Move forward, passing right shoulders with two other dancers.

Some Couple Go Left | Right

Completed double pass thru.

Couple, as a unit, walk forward in an arc in the given direction.


Where there is a leader and a trailer.

Lead Walk around in a full circle to end behind the trailer.

Trailer Step forward into spot vacated by lead.

Reverse Flutterwheel

Facing couples.

Right hand dancers Go into the center and turn by right forearm.

Same dancer Grab opposite dancer's right hand with left hand.

Continue around to original right hand dancer's starting position.

Sweep ¼

Facing couples in circling movement.

As a couple, dancers continue circling movement an extra 90°.

Veer Direction

Facing dancers. Facing couples. Mini waves. 2-faced lines.

Move to the direction and forward.

Trade By

Two couples facing in and two couples facing out.

Centers Pass Thru.

Ends Trade.

Touch ¼

Facing dancers.

Dancers touch and without stopping turn 90° to the right.



Follow circulate path to the next position.

Ferris Wheel

Parallel 2-faced lines.

Couples facing out Wheel & Deal.

Couples facing in Step forward and without stopping Wheel & Deal.


Couple facing out.

Lead Separate. Move away in a 270° arc. When meeting the other lead dancer, become partners and Face In.

Trailer Follow the lead.

Turn Thru

Facing dancers.

Step forward.

Turn ½ by the right.

Release handhold an step forward.

8 Chain Thru n

n Parts


1 Those Who Can Right Pull By.

2 Centers Left Pull By.

2 Ends Courtesy Turn.

n defaults to 8.

Pass To The Center

2 Parts

8 chain thru. Parallel waves.

1 Pass Thru.

2 Ends Trade.

Spin The Top

2 Parts

Ocean wave.

1 Ends Arm Turn ½.

2 Centers Arm Turn ¾.

2 Outsides Move up.

Centers In

Couple with backs to the center of the set facing or stading behind another couple.

Outsides Step apart.

Centers Step forward and between outsides to form a line.

Cast Off ¾


As a unit with adjoining dancer, rotate 270°.

Walk & Dodge

Box circulate. Facing couples.

Dancer facing in or specified dancer Walk forward to take place of other dancer.

Dancer facing out or other dancer Dodge sideways to take place of walking dancer.

Slide Thru

2 Parts

Facing dancers.

1 Pass Thru.

2 Man ¼ Right.

2 Lady ¼ Left.

Anyone Cross Fold

Any two dancer shoulder to shoulder formation.

Directed dancer step forward and move in a small semi-circle to face the other dancer or position.

Like a Run, but the other dancer does not get out of the way.

Dixie Style To An Ocean Wave

2 Parts

Facing couples or tandems.

1 Right dancers Step forward and left to become leads.

1 Lead dancers Right Pull By.

2 Left Touch ¼.

Fraction Tag The Line

Line with even number of dancers.

Turn to face center of line.

Walk past the specified number of dancers or all the way thru if unspecified.

Scoot Back

Box circulate. ¼ tag.

Facing in Extend. Trade. Extend.

Facing out Run.

Couples Hinge

As Trade.

½ a Trade.


Ocean wave.

Ends Cross Fold.

Centers Fold and follow.

Face In.

Spin Chain Thru

4 Parts

Parallel waves.

1 Arm Turn ½.

2 Centers Cast Off ¾.

3 Very centers Trade.

4 Outside pairs of center wave Cast Off ¾.

Last synchronization with CallerLab definitions: 2008-01-02.