Call Animations

Some dancers benefit from studying or reviewing animations of square dance calls.  There are quite a few web sites out there that have animations, but our favorite is TAMinations on the Tam Twirlers’ web site.  We've provided a link to them below.

The Tam Twirlers are a square dance club that dances in San Rafael, CA (just north of San Francisco).  The Animations on their web site were written by Brad Christie, the Tam Twirlers' web master.  When you get to the web site, click on the Mainstream tab at the top, and pick the call you would like to study from the drop-down list.  It will take a few seconds to load, and then you will be able to view the animations for a selected call alongside the CALLERLAB description.

TAMinations Website

Caller Lab Links and Downloads

The Caller Lab Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of square dancing.  They provide, among many other things, the leadership and a high level of standardization of calls that allows you to take what you learn at Swinging Saguaros here in Tucson and dance Mainstream anywhere in the world.  Here are some useful links and Caller Lab documents for download.

Basic/Mainstream Checklist– This PDF document lists all of the Basic/Mainstream moves in roughly the order in which they will be taught.  Download it, print it, and check off the moves as you learn them.  You can use it to prove to your partner that he really was taught the move even though he denies it.

Basic/Mainstream Definitions – These are the official descriptions of our dance moves.  If you are a “book learner” you will find this document very useful, though most people learn to square dance without even knowing that it exists.  It begins with definitions of all the basic terms you will hear your caller use.  Then each Basic/Mainstream move will be described including the starting formation, command examples, dance action,  ending formation, timing, styling details, and additional comments where needed. – This link will take you to Caller Lab’s Home Page where you can get access to all of their documentation and much more.


Basic Program – Part A

1. Circle Left / Circle Right
2. Forward and Back
3. Dosado
4. Swing
5. Promenade
6. Allemand Left
7. Arm Turns
8. Right and Left Grand Family
9. Left / Right Hand Star
10. Pass Through
11. Half Sashay
12. Turn Back Family
13. Separate Around 1 or 2
14. Split Two
15. Courtesy Turn
16. Ladies Chain
17. Do Paso
18. Lead Right
19. Veer Left / Right
20. Bend the Line
21. Circulate
22. Right and Left Thru
23. Grand Square
24. Star Through
25. Circle to a Line
26. Walk around the Corner
27. See Saw
28. Square Thru
29. California Twirl
30. Dive Through

Basic Program – Part B

31. Wheel Around
32. Thar Family
33. Shoot the Star
34. Slip the Clutch
35. Box the Gnat
36. Trade
37. Ocean Wave
38. Alamo Ring Formation
39. Swing Thru / Left Swing Through
40. Run / Cross Run
41. Pass the Ocean
42. Extend
43. Wheel and Deal
44. Double Pass Through
45. Go Left / Right
46. Zoom
47. Flutterwheel
48. Sweep a Quarter
49. Trade By
50. Touch 1/4
51. Ferris Wheel

Mainstream Program

52. Cloverleaf
53. Turn Thru
54. Eight Chain Thru
55. Pass to the Center
56. Single Hinge / Couples Hinge
57. Centers In
58. Cast off ¾
59. Spin the Top
60. Walk and Dodge
61. Slide Thru
62. Fold / Cross Fold
63. Dixie Style to an Ocean Wave
64. Spin Chain Thru
65. Tag the Line
66. Half Tag
67. Scoot Back
68. Recycle