1&3, 2&4

  1. Alternative designation for heads and sides, respectively. The couples in a square are numbered from 1 to 4 in promenade direction around the square (i.e., counter-clockwise as viewed from above), with #1 being the couple with their backs to the caller.


  1. A dancer participating in a class who already knows how to dance the level being taught.


  1. All Position Dancing. In many clubs, calls are only called from certain standard positions. For example, the caller keeps the gent on the lady's left most or all of the time. So if you are a man, you will always turn to your right during Square Thru,  which means you don't have to think as hard about where to go next. Other calls also have standard positions, and so most people only learn how to do half (or less) of the call. Some people think this makes it easier to learn, though to others it means you're only learning a lot of special cases, and you're developing bad habits that will plague you if you ever chose to dance a level higher than Plus. With APD, a couple may have the lady on the gent's left, or may consist of two gents or two ladies; any arrangement of sexes is a legal starting position for a call (except for some sex-linked calls, of course).  All Advanced and Challenge dancers are required to know APD, but it is optional at Mainstream and Plus.


  1.  Dancing as a gent if you are a female or a lady if you are a male.   Origin obscure
  2.  A concept used at the Challenge level: all the beaus dance the specified calls as if they were gents, while the belles dance as if they were ladies


  1. The left-side dancer of a couple.


  1. The right-side dancer of a couple.


  1. To schedule a tip in which you are committed to dancing with a particular partner or particular couple(s). When you book an entire square it is sometimes called stacking. Booking many tips in advance, "overstacking" squares, is generally frowned upon, although there are a few circumstances where it is approved, such as to help dancers brand new to the level.

Break Down

  1. What a square has done when so few dancers know where they are supposed to be that everyone is hopelessly lost.


  1. A set of moves that you do when the caller calls its name. Most are made up of simpler calls.
  2. A series of calls that traditionally starts and ends with "bow to your partner, bow to your corner."
  3. (Patter) A call that is spoken or chanted rather than sung, but is usually done to background music. Also called a hash call. You wind up with your original partner each time you promenade home.
  4. (Singing) A call that consists of a song (any song with a good beat will do, and it depends mostly on the caller's taste) with some of the lyrics replaced by square dance calls. The typical singing call has 7 sequences, in  the pattern ABBABBA; at the end of the B sequences you usually wind up with your (new) corner for the promenade home.


  1. The dance leader in square dancing that makes the calls that guide the dance.


  1. An arrangement of alternating squares (in a checkerboard pattern) on the dance floor  with the head and side designations reversed, so as to provide more effective dancing in a crowded hall.

Coffee Kitty

  1. A donation receptacle that some clubs use to accept help in offsetting the cost of providing refreshments at a dance.


  1. A call that doesn't by itself specify any action to take, but modifies the action of another call. There are no concepts at Plus; the first one at Advanced is As Couples Call, which means to perform Call with each couple acting as one dancer.


  1. Two side-by-side dancers facing the same direction.


  1. Directions the caller sometimes gives after a call that he or she thinks some dancers may have trouble with, giving the definition of the call ("Right and left Thru-Right Pull By, then a  courtesy Turn") or filling in who does what, given your current formation ("Flutterwheel men are in the lead"). A careful caller will mumble, so you don't think this is another call.
  2. The directions that a round dance cuer gives to round dancers.


  1. The dance leader in round dancing that gives the cues that guide the dance.


  1. Not meeting. Said of a night that a club would ordinarily meet, but this time doesn't.


  1. Dancing By Definition. This requires that dancers remember how each call is defined rather than what usually works. For example, Swing Thru is defined as Half by the Right if you can followed by Half by the Left if you can. In a non-DBD club, Swing Thru would probably be called only from a right-handed wave, and you could get away with thinking that you trade with the adjacent dancer, and then the centers trade. However, that is not the definition of the call, and it won't work from a left-handed wave. APD is a special case of DBD, but most people use the terms interchangeably.


  1. East Texas Caller Association.
  2. An organization of square dance callers and round dance cuers in the North East Texas area.


  1. East Texas Square and Round Dance Association, Inc.
  2. A group of North East Texas square dance clubs grouped together to form a member organization in the TSFSRD.

Floor level

  1. The level at which most or all of the tips of a dance are called.


  1. A fancy move that is added to or substituted for the standard way of doing a call that has the same effect but is more fun. Frills that involve other dancers usually have some built-in signal so that you only do it if both dancers are ready and both know the particular frill. Frills are normally not taught during classes as the dancers are concentrating on the new calls they are learning, but if a dancer sees an interesting frill during a non-teach tip then ask the dancer to work with you to learn this new fun movement.  Please refrain from frills during classes as dancers learning to dance a new level are concentrating on the new calls.


  1. A dancer who is in the beau position when squared up, even if she happens to be female. Also called man, gentleman, or boy.

Green Book

  1. The East Texas SRDA quarterly newsletter that is distributed to all its members.


  1. A large gathering held to square dance.

Half-sashayed couple

  1. A couple with a lady standing to the left of a gent.


  1. A dancer who is in the belle position when squared up, even if he happens to be male. Also called  gal or girl. Note that beau and belle designate the people in certain positions in a formation, and change from one call to the next, while the gent and lady designations are fixed for a whole tip, independent of positioning.

Leader, Trailer

  1. In any 1X2 setup (e.g. tandem, facing dancers, etc.), the dancers facing out of the setup are leaders, those facing in are trailers.

Level or Program

  1. A list of calls, including all the levels below it. The levels are: Basic, Mainstream, Plus, Advanced (A1-A2), and Challenge (C1-C4).


  1. National Executive Committee
  2. The governing body which oversees the NSDC's. Made up of past general chairmen of NSDC's

Normal Couple

  1. A couple with a gent standing to the left of a lady.


  1. National Square Dance Convention.
  2. An annual square dance convention held within the contenental United States, for the purpose of promoting square dance, round dance, contra dance, clogging, and other folk dance along with the education of new ideas within the activities.

One Night Stand

  1. A party where people  who are assumed to know nothing about square dancing learn just enough calls to dance for one night.


  1. An imaginary dancer. This comes in handy when you're desperate to dance and have fewer than 8 people, but they need a lot of help to execute the calls. At Challenge levels, callers deliberately add phantoms to the square to make things more interesting.


  1. Square Dance Club


  1. A series of calls that begins and ends with the dancers at home.

Sex-linked call

  1. A call that is performed differently by gents and ladies, regardless of position. There aren't nearly as many of these as some people think. Examples: Allemande Left, Star Thru, Slide Thru, Swing Your Partner.

Silent Auction

  1. A fund raising event where donated items are bid on with the item going to the highest bidder. Bidding is usually done by writing your bid on paper next to the item being bid on. Winners are usually announced at a point near the end of the dance and the winner is expected to settle his bid with the club before the dance is over.

Sight Calling

  1. Calling ad lib and then trying to untangle the square on the fly, rather like unscrambling a Rubik's cube.

Sight Square

  1. The square  a sight caller watches to see the effect of the calls. Also called pilot square.

Sound effect

  1. Something the dancers yell back, ideally in unison, in response to a call. Examples: Slide Thru-- "Whoosh!"  Spin the Top-- "Spin the Top?" Triple Scoot-- "Rooty-toot-toot!".

Split The Pot

  1. A fund raiser where tickets are normally sold at the sign-in table and a winning ticket drawn near the end of the dance with the winner receiving half of the funds collected.


  1. Square and Round Dance Association


  1. Square and Round Dance Council

Star Tip

  1. A tip that is at a more advanced level than the floor level. The name comes from the fact that these tips are marked with an asterisk at dances when there is a written list of tips.


  1. Anything about the way you do a call that is not mentioned in the definition. Usually the definition tells you how to get there, while styling tells you how to do it smoothly. Some calls have a standard styling that everyone has to know and is always correct, plus alternate styling, or frill, that you can add for fun


  1. Two dancers facing the same direction, one in front of the other.

Tin Can Auction

  1. A fund raising event where donated items are given away to the lucky ticket holder. Normally tickets are sold and one/half of the ticket is placed in a container next to the donated item and the other is retained for the drawing.
  2. Also know as a brown bag auction if brown paper bags are used as the containers for the tickets.


  1. The time you spend dancing in one square without a break. Typically this consists of a patter call and a singing call.  Origin obscure.


  1. Texas State Federation of Square and Round Dancers.
  2. A federation of member organizations united in the promotion of the square dance, round dance, clogging, and contra dance within the great state of Texas


  1. A class for people who already know one  level to learn the next level, or to gain more skill at their current level.

Yellow Rock

  1. A hug between square dancers, particularly corners
  2. (Red Rock) A hug between partners.


  1. A call that leaves you in the same place at the end of the call as you started. Examples: Grand Square, Tea Cup Chain, Eight Chain Thru.