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Points for Better Calling

Rich Reel   28 Sep 2014

This growing list highlights what I believe are the fundamental aspects of optimal square dance calling.   I refer to these points from time to time to help improve my sight calling and/or evaluate written material.

Understand that no human caller can keep track of everything listed here while they are calling.   Callers learn how to use aides, including notes and memorized material, to allow them to focus on a more manageable number of these items.   With experience, more and more of this becomes second nature.

Choreographic Flow

I've found that callers have widely differing views on what constitutes good flow.   Perhaps you may wish to consider the following points but if you disagree, and have reasonable justification in your mind for doing so, you may find dancers that will agree with your point of view.   If you ever get the chance, try dancing in a square to a recording of yourself!


Timing is a powerful tool that professional callers use to great effect.  Timing tricks can be so subtle that they go unnoticed to even those with many years of calling experience.


Judging the difficulty of a series of calls is crucial to your success.  It can also be the most daunting.  There are many factors that interplay to affect the overall difficulty.



As a dancer, I enjoy a dance with a distinguishable beginning, middle and end



Be aware of personal difficulties

It's a regular night, but dancers seem to be making more mistakes than usual, tempers are short, folks may simply not be as polite as you (or they!) are used to.  What's wrong?  Many things could be.  Consider...

If you find yourself getting upset at someone - Stop and consider...


Some Closing Thoughts



See more of my site! - click here   Richard Reel   Hayward California USA