> caller's notes > notation
Website Notation Overview
  Rich Reel   28 May 2005  

Reference to all website abbreviations in a frame... Easy Index Frame   (click "NOTATION")

Calls and Designators look like this...
H-Pr1/2 --SqTh4 --SwThr B-Run
Explanation of this notation

Formation / Arrangement notation looks like this...
[L] [C] [1W] [5D] [L.0W]
This is a subset of FASR setup notation

FASR setup notation is used to resolve the square and looks like this...
[L1p] [B1c] [1W2p] [L.F2p]
Diagrams of common FASRs   (text diagrams)

Something new!:  'bang' setup notation possibly a better method for describing setup...
[La] [Ba'] [1Wn] [L.Fn''']

See also - Punctuation

If you're new to, I can sympathize with you - My abbreviations can make reading the choreography more difficult at first.  If you invest a little time, it does get easier.  I'm always looking for better ways of doing things and this is an area that may change in time.  I'm planning GCI scripts that will allow customized output but don't expect me to get this feature working for a while.  Thank you for being patient.  I am working very hard to collect and organize the highest quality information that hopefully will make it worth your extra trouble to decipher and enjoy.


Why Use Abbreviations?

Abbreviations provide two key benefits:

For calls and designators, the 2+5 character format used is a compromise between 'easy to read' and 'see as much as you can on one line'.   The FASR setup notation used is based as much as possible on published Callerlab notation.   Whenever I've had a need to extend notation or create abbreviations, I've tried very hard to choose letter combinations that are easy to recognize and unlikely to be confused.   Yet some of them may still be difficult to figure out.   I can suggest trying to use the surrounding context to help guess.   Familiarity with common formations, designators, calls from the Callerlab list, and exposure to a few additional commonly used calls will help tremendously.


2+5 Format for Designators and Call Names

How To Read The Abbreviations

With very few exceptions, designator and call name abbreviations adhere to a uniform 2+5 character format:

              designator (2 characters)
             /   call name (5 characters)
            --  /
  Example:  G-SwThr  =  "Girls Swing Thru"
            G-       =  designator: "Girls" or "Ladies"
              SwThr  =  call name: "Swing Thru"
The first 2 character positions are the designator.   They specify who is to do the call.   List of Designator abbreviations
The last 5 character positions are for the call name.   They specify what call the designated dancers are to do.   List of Call abbreviations

In many cases the call has no specific designator.   Dashes hold the two places for the designator when no specific designator is required....

  Example:  --GrSwT   =  "(everyone) Grand Swing Thru"

In some cases the designator and call name run together....

  Example:  VCTrd     =  "Very Center Two Trade"
Notice that the call name does not always require all 5 characters.


Special Notation: Active Dancers

When a select group of dancers is designated to do a call, they become the "active dancers".   This means the caller can give more calls and these previously designated dancers know that these calls are only for them - the other dancers are not involved yet.   Single dash notation is used to clarify this.

In select cases you will see something like this:

            C-T1/4-  -Wk&Dg
The preceding call has a single dash tacked on at the end and the following call has a only single dash as the designator.   This indicates the second call keeps the designator of the preceding call. i.e. the same active dancers continue doing the second call.   This is meant to better mimic how a caller would actually call this.   "Centers Touch 1/4 and the same 4 Walk And Dodge"

Another case:

            H-T1/4-  -BRun
The preceding call has a single dash tacked on at the end and the following call has a single dash preceding the designator.   This indicates the active designated dancer works with the other active dancers, if possible, to do the call.   The above example might be called:  "Heads Touch 1/4 and that Boy Run"


Special Formatting: Quotes and Parentheses

Quotes " " are used to enclose literal words the caller may use.   Uses include directional calling, cues, comments, or special ways of delivering familiar calls.   These words are frequently mixed with calls throughout the choreography.   You should be aware that dancers whos native language is not English may be confused by these extra words.

Color (where color has been added) helps clarify how quoted words are used....

  • "black" is for required words that are necessary for choreography - i.e. not optional
  • "red" is for optional words including cues or comments.   These words are not required to get experienced dancers through the material.

    Parentheses ( ) enclose optional material and comments for the reader (caller)

    Color (where color has been added) helps clarify how words in parentheses are used....

  • (black) is for optional calls.  Calls in parentheses may be omitted
  • (green) is a note for the caller (not called)

    See punctuation for special uses of other characters.


    Special Formatting: Indented Call Sharing

    An important feature of the 2+5 format of the abbreviations is uniform width.   This allows calls to be lined up vertically (in columns).   Vertical alignment makes it much easier to compare calls with lines above and below.   It also allows common calls to be "shared" among adjacent lines....

    Call sharing is a way of removing the substantial clutter of call duplication allowing you to more easily see differences in similar choreography.   When a line of choreography (read across from left to right) has calls that are exactly the same as a line immediately above it, those calls on the lower line are omitted, leaving only blank space.   Call sharing is usually only done at the beginning (left hand side) of the line.   Often choreography is deliberately arranged to take maximum advantage of call sharing.   See Mainstream Singing Call Figures for a good example of call sharing.

    Here is an example of how call sharing works.   There are 7 complete figures below.   One is highlighted....

    H-SqTh4  --RLT--DivTh--PasTh--SqTh3--TrdBy--Sw&Pr
     --DoSaD  --SwThr  --SpTop--RLT--SqTh3--Sw&Pr
       B-RunR  --FerisC-PasTh--SldTh--SqTh3--Sw&Pr
        --Cpl.C    --ChDTL  --PsOcn  --A8Cir    --Sw&Pr  

    The highlighted figure...

    Can you read the other six figures?     ( Help: Call abbreviations )




    See more of - click here   Richard Reel   Hayward California USA