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Top Cats

Square Dance Club

Saratoga, California

 
Call list for review during weekly Zoom meetings, by date of introduction.
(descriptions are alphabetically below)
22 JuneCatch n, Mini Chase, Peel/Trail to a Diamond
29 JuneCriss Cross Your Neighbor, Kick Off
6 JulyRecoil, Split Swap
13 JulyShazam, Wheel the Ocean/Sea
20 JulyCross Back, Touch By fraction by fraction
27 JulyCircle to a Wave, Couple Up, Turn to a Line
3 AugustDrop direction, tag Your Neighbor, Travel Thru
10 AugustHop, Like a call, Stack the Line, Vertical call
17 AugustCatch call n, Rotate fraction, Single Rotate fraction
24 AugustBounce somebody, the Hinge/Lock/Top, Reverse Cut/Flip the Diamond
31 Augustthe K, Ripple n, Single call
7 SeptemberSingle File call, Split Trade Circulate, Swap the Wave
14 SeptemberCross and Wheel, Patch somebody, Perk Up
21 September1/4 (or 3/4) Mix, Chisel Thru, Single Cross Trade and Wheel

1/4 (or 3/4) Mix

This is a three-part call, usually starting from a box:
  • Those who can turn 1/4 by the right.
  • New centers Cross Run.
  • New centers Trade.

Note that although this is very similar to Swing and Mix, for this call the first turn is defined to be by the right. (Of course this can be changed by the addition of "Left" or "Any Hand".) There is also 3/4 Mix, which is the same except that the first turn is 3/4.

References:

Bounce somebody

This is a two-part call, starting from a two-faced line:
  • Veer Left/Right (to make back-to-back couples)
  • the designated dancers U-Turn Back in the veering direction

Note that
  • The veering direction is not specified directly, as it is already determined by the handedness of the line (e.g., from a right-handed two-faced line it will be a Veer Right).
  • Who should u-turn back is evaluated at the start of the action, before the veer, even though the turning doesn't happen until after the veer. This can make a difference, e.g., for "Bounce the Leads" from parallel two-faced lines.
  • The direction of the u-turn back is in the "same direction" as the veer. That means if the veering is to the right (clockwise around the center of the line), those dancers who u-turn back will be turning to their own right (clockwise).

The result will be some kind of 2x2 box, with the facing directions depending on which dancers were designated.

References:

Catch n

This is a three-part call, starting with facing couples:
  • Square Thru n to a Wave
  • Centers Trade
  • Step and Fold

You should expect to find yourself in a mini-wave box, right- or left-handed depending on whether n was even or odd.

References:

Catch call n

This is a three-part call, starting with facing couples:
  • Square Thru n to a Wave
  • do the named call
  • Step and Fold

This is a generalization of "Catch n", with the Centers Trade replaced by a different call. For example, "Catch Spin the Top 3" means Square Thru 3 to a Wave, then Spin the Top, then Step and Fold. The ending formation will be some kind of box, but what kind will depend on the call. It could even be a t-boned box, e.g., "Catch Switch to a Diamond 2".

References:

Chisel Thru

This is a three-part call, starting from facing lines:
  • Concentric Pass In
  • ends Pass In while centers Pass Out
  • all Pass In

References:

Circle fraction to a Wave

This is a two-part call, starting with facing couples:
  • Circle Left the fraction
  • Beaus Walk while Belles Dodge

The result is a right-handed box. The default fraction is 1/4, and in that case it is almost always omitted, i.e, the caller just says "Circle to a Wave".

Note that although the name of this call is very similar to "Single Circle to a Wave", they differ in two important ways: (1) The circling action is done by four dancers (facing couples) rather than two dancers, and (2) the default turning amount is 1/4, rather than 1/2.

References:

Couple Up

This is Split (or Box) Circulate followed by the leads U-Turn Back. If you are already a trailer after the circulate, you don't do anything more. So at the end, everybody is a trailer. Most commonly this means you will be in facing couples, but if the starting formation is t-boned then the ending formation will be t-boned as well.

The same idea of the leads doing a U-Turn Back can be combined with other kinds of circulates. The convention is to give the name of the type of circulate (leaving out the word "circulate") followed by "Couple Up". For example, "Trade Couple Up" means do a Trade Circulate and then the leads U-Turn Back.

References:

Criss Cross Your Neighbor

From a mini-wave box, the trailers do a Cross Your Neighbor and Spread (ending as ends of a wave) while the leaders 1/2 Box Circulate and Cross Run (becoming centers of a wave). If you started in a right-handed box you should expect to find yourself in a left-handed wave, and vice versa.

References:

Cross and Wheel

From parallel lines consisting of couples (e.g, two-faced lines, lines back to back):
  • Couples Hinge
  • As Couples Step and Fold

"Single Cross and Wheel" is the same action done by individual dancers, starting from a box: Hinge followed by Step and Fold.

Note: These two calls are part of a larger family of calls, distinguished by the addition of the words "Grand" and "Trade".

References:

Cross Back

From a box, leaders U-Turn Back while the trailers pull by with the outside hand. If you started in a right-handed box you should expect to find yourself in a left-handed box, and vice versa.

References:

Drop direction

Normally called from a diamond, the centers walk forward as if they were doing an Extend from a 1/4 tag formation, becoming the leaders in a box. The others turn 1/4 in the named direction and move to occupy remaining spots of the box. Depending on the direction given, those dancers might end up as either leaders or trailers - they might also be t-boned to the original centers.

Note that the ending spot for the original points is determined entirely by the handedness of the original centers -- it does not depend on the named direction.

References:

the Hinge/Lock/Top

These are combining forms, with "Lock" being a short-hand for Lockit and "Top" being a short-hand for Fan the Top. They can be added to the end of many calls, and "Hinge" and "Lock" can also be used to start a combination. Examples: "Lock the Hinge", "Hinge the Top", "Beau Hop the Lock".

Note that there are many calls whose names end with "the Top" -- in some cases the action of the call ends with a Fan the Top, but in many other cases it doesn't (e.g., Relay the Top). A "the Top" at the end of a call should only be interpreted as meaning "add a Fan the Top" if the phrase doesn't have another meaning.

The short forms "Lock" and "Top" are also sometimes used with the "Catch call n" construct, e.g., "Catch Lock 3".

References:

somebody Hop

This is a two-part call:
  • designated dancers walk while the others dodge
  • Hinge
This is most commonly called from facing couples, e.g., Girl Hop, which means the girls walk while the boys dodge, or Beau Hop, which means the beaus walk while the belles dodge. However, sometimes it is used in other ways, with other designators like Leader, Trailer, or "everyone". For example, from facing couples "Everyone Hop" would mean everybody walks forward (like a Pass Thru) and then the hinge would be a partner hinge.

References:

the K

The centers Trade while the ends U-Turn Back away from the center. This can be applied to any four-person or eight-person formation that has centers and ends; if the eight-person formation consists of two four-person formations that themselves have centers and ends (e.g., a tidal wave), then it is done in each four-person formation.

Note: The turning direction for the ends matters if the call is fractionalized (1/2) or followed by Roll.

From facing lines, the combination "Cross the K" means Cross Trail Thru followed by the K.

References:

Kick Off

This is related to Run, and has the same feature that two dancers are involved but only one is designated. The designated dancer does a Run and Roll, while the person who wasn't mentioned does a Partner Tag. You should expect to find yourself in tandem with the other person, with the person who was designated ending up as the trailer.

References:

Like a call

"Like a" is a concept that means "do the last part of". So "Like a Shazam" means U-Turn Back. The most common usage is "Like a Couple Up", which means that just the leads U-Turn Back. Note that in general this is different from "Finish", which means "do all but the first part of", but in the case of a two-part call they would be the same.

Mini Chase

From a box with all leaders, the belles do their part of Shakedown while the beaus do their part of Partner Tag.

This is almost always done from back-to-back couples, in which case you will find yourself in a right-handed box, holding right hands with the person with whom you started as a couple (same as if you had done a Chase Right with that person).

References:

Patch somebody

This is a two-part call, starting from a couple or mini-wave:
  • Hinge
  • the designated dancers U-Turn Back (in the direction they turned for the hinge)

Note that
  • The hinge can be a partner hinge.
  • Who should u-turn back is evaluated at the start of the action, before the hinge, even though the turning doesn't happen until after the hinge. For example, starting from a couple one dancer is a beau and the other is a belle, but after the hinge they will both be beaus; in this case for "Patch the Beaus" only the original beaus would be turning around for the second part.

References:

Peel (or Trail) to a Diamond

From an appropriate box of four or Z, the leaders do their part of Peel Off (or Trail Off) while the trailers step forward and Hinge.

From a non-t-bone starting formation, you should expect to find yourself in some kind of diamond. From a mini-wave box, Peel to a Diamond ends in a facing diamond, while Trail to a Diamond ends in a regular diamond.

References:

Perk Up

From parallel lines (normally waves):
  • Circulate
  • 1/2 Split Circulate
  • then:
    • Those in the center Hinge, Box Circulate, Trade.
    • Those on the outside circulate twice.
From parallel waves, the original leaders will become the centers, while the original trailers will be on outside. Because the second part is 1/2 Split Circulate, those outside dancers will be doing their circulates in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, depending on the handedness of the original waves.

References:

Recoil

This is a simple two-part call, starting from facing couples or other appropriate box. The action is simply:
  • Box Recycle
  • Step and Fold
After the Box Recycle you will be in a wave, and then after the Step and Fold you will be back in a box again. You should expect to find yourself in a left-handed box if you started in a right-handed box or facing couples, or in a right-handed box if you started in a left-handed box.

References:

Reverse Cut/Flip the Diamond

From a diamond, "Reverse Cut the Diamond" means that the centers trade and spread, while "Reverse Flip the Diamond" means that the centers flip outward (like a phantom Run). In either case, the points do a Diamond Circulate to become centers of a line.

Note that the term "reverse" in these calls can be thought of as applying to the roles of the centers and points (which ones do the Diamond Circulate) and to the direction that the centers go (outward rather than inward).

References:

Ripple

Ripple consists of a series of trades along a wave (or other line), starting with the designated dancer and starting toward the center. "Ripple the Wave" means to continue the trading until the far end of the wave. "Ripple n" means to stop after n trades. In a tidal wave the action is done in each half, unless the modifier "Grand" is added or n is specified and would require crossing the very center.

References:

Rotate fraction

From a box with all dancers in couples, each couple turns 1/4 (as a couple) to have their left shoulder toward the center of the box, forming a left-handed two-faced line, then turn that line the given fraction (e.g., for 1/4 do a Couples Hinge, for 1/2 do a Couples Trade).

Other ways of thinking about the direction of the initial turn:

  • Face "promenade direction" within the box.
  • As Couples Zag Zig
At C-2 and C-3A this call is mostly used from parallel lines, in which case the action is done "split" (within each of the two side-by-side boxes), but it can also be applied to a single box, either named explicitly (e.g., "Centers Rotate 1/2") or implicitly through a concept (e.g., "Clover and Rotate 1/4").

References:

Shazam

This is a simple two-part call, normally starting from a mini-wave:
  • Arm Turn 1/4
  • U-Turn Back
If you start in a right-handed mini-wave you will end in a left-handed mini-wave. If you start in a left-handed mini-wave you will end in a right-handed mini-wave.

References:

Single call

Single is a concept that creates a "half-sized" version of a call, working with half as many dancers (2 instead of 4, or 4 instead of 8). The basic idea is already present at lower levels, and its general application can be very tricky so is reserved for C-4, but it is commonly applied to several specific calls at C-3A.

original call [# of dancers]single version [# of dancers]also known astypical starting formation
Bounce [4]Single Bounce [2] mini-wave
Checkmate the Column [8]Single Checkmate [4]Box Checkmate, Split Checkmateany box of four
Ferris Wheel [8]Single Ferris Wheel [4] mini-wave box
Polly Wally [8]Single Polly Wally [4] any column of four
Rotary Spin [8]Single Rotary Spin [4] single eight chain
Shakedown [4]Single Shakedown [2] back-to-back dancers
Transfer the Column [8]Single Transfer [4]Box Transfer, Split Transfermini-wave box
Turn to a Line [4]Single Turn to a Line [2] generalized tandem
Wheel and Deal [4]Single Wheel and Deal [2]Single Wheelcouple, mini-wave

Note that there are some calls whose names begin with the word "Single" that do not fit this pattern, e.g., Single Circle to a Wave, Single Rotate. In addition, the two-word phrase "Single File" has a different meaning.

References:

Single Cross Trade and Wheel

This is a three-part call, starting from a box:
  • Hinge
  • Centers Trade
  • As Couples Step and Fold

"Single Cross and Wheel" is the same but without the second part: Hinge followed by Step and Fold.

Note: These two calls are part of a larger family of calls, distinguished by the inclusion of the words "Grand", "Single", and "Trade".

References:

Single File call

Single File is a concept that can be applied to some calls which would normally be done from a box, to turn them into a call done instead from facing tandems. It is applied at C-3A to facing Recycle and Recoil.

From facing tandems, to do a Single File Recycle the leaders do the part that would normally be done by the beaus -- they step forward to meet each other, right-shoulder to right-shoulder, and U-Turn Back (to their right), ending up holding left hands with each other. Meanwhile, the trailers veer to their left to become the ends of the resulting wave.

Single File Recoil is Single File Recycle followed by Step and Fold.

Note: "Single File" is also applied with a similar meaning to Dixie Style to a Wave and its variations, to make clear that they are to be done by facing tandems, even though that starting formation is already allowed by those calls.

References:

Single Rotate fraction

From a box, each dancer turns 1/4 to have their left shoulder toward the center of the box, then box counter rotate the given fraction.

Other ways of thinking about the direction of the initial turn:

  • Individually face "promenade direction" within the box.
  • Zag Zig
At C-2 and C-3A this call is mostly used from parallel lines, in which case the action is done "split" (within each of the two side-by-side boxes), but it can also be applied to a single box, either named explicitly (e.g., "Centers Single Rotate 3/4") or implicitly through a concept (e.g., "Transfer and Single Rotate 1/2").

References:

Split Swap

This starts from facing couples and is related to Swap Around. Actually everybody goes to the same spot as for Swap Around -- the only difference is that they end facing a different direction. The beau does a 1/4 Right and Box Circulate while the belle does a Box Circulate and 1/4 Right. In either case, the action is considered to be one smooth motion, so it can't be fractionalized and everybody can Roll. You should expect to find yourself as a couple with the same person with whom you started, but half sashayed.

References:

Split Trade Circulate

From a box of four, the leaders do a Box Circulate while the trailers do a cross over circulate (within the box, to become leaders in the diagonally opposite spot).

This call is most commonly used from a box consisting of one right-handed mini-wave and one left-handed mini-wave. But it can also be done from certain other kinds of boxes, such as facing couples (in which case is it equivalent to Cross Trail Thru) and back-to-back couples (in which case it is equivalent to Partner Trade).

References:

Stack the Line

Normally from a left-handed box, a right-handed box, or tandem couples -- everybody does a 1/4 In, then the original leaders walk forward to become beaus, while the others slide over if necessary to become beaus (taking right hands with a person who walked forward). The result is normally a right-handed box.

It is important in following this definition that dancers take note of whether they are leaders or trailers before they do anything else. (After they have done the 1/4 In it is too late, as they are all then trailers.)

Another way of keeping track of what's going on is to note that dancers who start in tandem will end up in tandem, with the same person. Your tandem (and your place in it) will remain the same -- the whole tandem just occupies a different pair of spots in the box.

References:

Swap the Wave

Swap the Wave starts with a wave and results in back-to-back couples. The dancers whose left shoulders are toward the center of the wave step forward to become the belles. The other dancers walk to their right, around each other, turning to face the opposite wall, and step forward to become the beaus. This call is related to Swap Around, in that dancers end in the same positions they would for Swap Around, if they had started in facing couples that could have stepped forward to form the wave.

Since the action feels slightly different from a right-handed vs. a left-handed wave, the action is often described separately for the two cases. From a right-handed wave, it is the centers who are stepping forward to become the belles, while the ends do what feels like a Tag the Line Right and then step forward to becme the beaus. From a left-handed wave, it is the ends who are stepping forward to become the belles, while the centers walk around each other by doing a Slip, and then step forward to become the beaus.

References:

tag Your Neighbor

A tagging call will be identified using its standard combining form:
  • "Tag" for "Tag the Line"
  • "Flip" for "Flip the Line"
  • "Vertical Tag" for "Vertical Tag the Line"
The action is:
  • Do the tagging call to the 1/2 tag position (resulting in a box)
  • Follow Your Neighbor
The most common combinations are: "Tag Your Neighbor", "Flip Your Neighbor", and "Vertical Tag Your Neighbor".

Note that this is just like "tag Back" except that the second part is a Follow Your Neighbor rather than a Scoot Back.

The variation "tag Your Cross Neighbor" means to replace the Follow Your Neighbor with a Cross Your Neighbor. The variation "tag Your Criss Cross Neighbor" means replace the Follow Your Neighbor with a Criss Cross Your Neighbor. So, for example, "Flip Your Criss Cross Neighbor" means do a Flip the Line 1/2, then from the resulting box do a Criss Cross Your Neighbor.

References:

Touch By fraction by fraction

Typically from a beginning double pass thru formation, those directly facing Touch (step to a right-handed mini-wave) and then Arm Turn the first fraction and Spread, then the others move in and Touch and Arm Turn the second fraction.

Instead of a second fraction, another call can be named to be done by those facing dancers, e.g. "Touch By 1/4 by Slide Thru". If only fractions are given, the ending position is normally either a two-faced line or a diamond.

References:

Travel Thru

This is a simple two-part call, normally starting from facing couples:
  • Pass Thru
  • As Couples 1/4 Right
The result is a right-handed two-faced line.

References:

Turn to a Line

This starts in a box of four and ends in a line of four. In one smooth motion, each leader faces right and each trailer faces left, forming a momentary tandem, they walk forward past the other two dancers and turn one more quarter in the same direction.

The turning and walking forward and turning again is basically the same action as for Turn and Deal; the difference is that here the action transforms a box into a line rather than a line into a box. As with Turn and Deal, each individual dancer ends up facing the opposite wall, so if you start as a couple you will end as a couple, and if you start in a mini-wave you will end in an opposite-handed mini-wave. If you start in a right-handed mini-wave box, you will end in a left-handed wave, and vice versa.

References:

Vertical call

"Vertical" is a concept that allows a call which would normally be done from facing tandems to instead be done from a box. The dancers in each pair (couple or mini-wave) all face toward the center (turning around 180 degrees as necessary) with one of them in the lead, according to the same rules used for Vertical Tag:
  • for a mini-wave, the trailer goes first, followed by the leader
  • for a couple, the belle goes first, followed by the beau
Another way of describing this is that everybody does a "Vertical 0/4 Tag", and then the named call.

A common application of this concept is "Vertical Dixie Style to a Wave". Note that if the dancers are already in facing couples, the "Vertical" is not normally needed since this call already has built into it the idea of the belle going in front for that case. But adding "Vertical" allows this call (and its variations, like Dixie Diamond) to also be done from back to back couples and other kinds of boxes.

References:

Wheel the Ocean/Sea

This starts with couples in a box -- normally either back-to-back couples or tandem couples. First, whichever couples are facing out do a Wheel Around (to their left) -- after which the couples will be facing regardless of how they started. Then, for "Ocean" the belles cross, resulting in a right-handed box. For "Sea", the belles walk while the beaus dodge, resulting in a left-handed box. Note that only the couples that were facing out do the Wheel Around. If a couple is already facing in, they only do the second part of this call.

References:

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