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To a diagram
Allemande left
Starting Position

If you have read the overview, you will now know that around 70 calls exist. This sounds more horrible than it is. Many of those calls are simple.

On this page we will show you that it is simple, we will describe a call. Before we do this we will show you how to connect a diagram with the real persons. The page will end with a description of the starting position of a square.

To a diagram

Many people learned square dance without diagrams. So if you don't like this section you can just skip it. If you not only want to hear about square dance but also want to read about it, you will see more of such diagrams. A little introduction then will not harm.

swing These people are doing a "Swing". Usually you don't make a diagram of a Swing but the picture is suitable for an introduction.
todiagram Instead of a lady a circle is drawn. The angular man is represented with a square. A point represents the nose and therefore the looking direction. The whole is looked upon from above.
swing diagram And without noticing it, you have already almost learned a call: Swing.
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Allemande left

There is an Organization that guards the definitions of square dance, Callerlab. This organization does more than the guarding, but the rest you can read on their website. Parts of there documentation can be quoted if the note below is cited:

© Copyright 1994, 2001-2005 by CALLERLAB Inc., The International Association of SquareDance Callers. Permission to reprint,republish, and create derivative works without royalty is hereby granted, provided this notice appears. Publication on the Internet of derivative works without royalty is hereby granted provided this notice appears. Permission to quote parts or all of this document without royalty is hereby granted, provided this notice is included. Information contained herein shall not be changed nor revised in any derivation or publication.

After this note we can give the official definition of "Allemande Left":

ALLEMANDE LEFT: Dancers face their corners and turn by the left forearm. Releasing armholds and stepping forward, each dancer ends facing his partner.

"Corner" will be explained in the next section.

The words of the definition above are just dry words. More can be said in a picture:

allemande left The gentlemen turn a bit to the right, the ladies a bit to the left. You give the person you look at your left forearm. With these locked arms as a pivot point, you turn around this person until you can see your original partner. You release arms and step forward to face your partner.


It is also possible to see it in a movie. We have Allemande left in two formats. The larger format is meant for the people with a faster internet connection.


small film

large film


If you look at the film you will notice that during the dancing of Allemande Left, the next call was already given. As a dancer you won't have to stand still, if the caller is good. You can move within the beat of the music and without sudden direction changes. Thanks to the caller, the whole experience is not monotonous or boring. It is good fun.

This was the second call that you learned via this page. In a class the learning is even more simple.

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Starting Position

Everything has a beginning, also a dance like square dance. With four couples you position yourself in a square like the picture below.

static square

You greet the other people. If you have never seen them you introduce yourself.

At the beginning the man has his partner to his right. The lady diagonally on his left is his corner. The lady has her partner to her left. The man diagonally to her right is her corner.

The couple with their backs to the music is couple number one. Further numbering gives the other couples their number. Couples one and three are the heads, couples two and four are the sides.

static square diagram

It is the task of the caller to get the dancers back to their starting position at the end of the dance. This can of course only be done, if the dancers dance what he is calling.

After the dance the dancers thank each other. Square dance is, besides pleasure in dancing and music, also a social happening. There are no competitions in square dance.

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