Sometimes new(er) callers or dancers will ask me how I prepare for a dance. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes. My club dances have different requirements than my guest appearances. Both dances get something special. Each gets a unique treatment.
First off, at no time do I ever completely “wing it.” I’ve been calling long enough that I can do a lot with minimal preparation. However, minimal is different than “none.”
For a club dance, I’m in a position to know what calls haven’t been used in a while or might be a little rusty for some people. So, I’ll pick a call or two that need some TLC and figure out how to present them in such a way that makes them feel new.
For example, say I want to review Touch 1/4. This is not super hard. However, to make it feel “new” maybe I’ll use Left Touch 1/4.
I’ll ask myself, “What an easy way to set up Left Touch 1/4?” The easy answer is “Left Square Thru 4.” The easy answer is also the wrong answer.
I want to set up success and avoid frustration. An easy set up that makes a Left hand free is “Square Thru 3.” It will keep anxiety/frustration levels low, so that becomes my “go to” call as part of the set up.
From a Static Square, “Square Thru 3” is equivalent to a Partner Trade. So, that won’t work. I want dancers looking at their Corners. A “Star Thru” would do the trick *but* it would make the Men have to use the Right Hand twice. Square Dancing is the “Art of Dancing with Hands.” A better choice is “Slide Thru.”
I train dancers to touch hands as quickly as possible. The sequence looks like:
- Slide Thru [Touch]
- Square Thru 3 (Prompt: “Here comes a Left Hand”)
- Left Touch 1/4
100% success with lots of confidence!
What comes next? I’ll save that for later. Here’s a hint, it involves preparation.