Angel: An experienced dancer who attends classes to fill out squares and help the caller demonstrate the proper way to perform various movements.

Banner stealing:The practice of a square or more (8+) of dancers from one club attending another club’s dance and receiving the other club’s banner until the visit (or raid) is reciprocated.

Beau: The dancer in the left-hand position, relative to his (or her) partner.

Belle: The dancer in the right-hand position, relative to her (or his) partner.

Caller: The person who directs dancers through a square dance.

Clogging: A dancing style originating in Appalachia with synchronized movements of the feet. Usually performed in shoes with taps on them.

Contra: Line dancing popularized in New England. Now done with traditional and square dance movements

Crash and burn: A term used when a square needs to return to home positions.

Cuer: The person who directs dancers through a round dance.

Mainstream: The beginning level of square dancing which consists of 68 calls. The following (more advanced) levels are Plus (32 additional calls), A-1 (advanced), A-2 (advanced), C-1 (challenge), C-2 (challenge) and C-3A (challenge).

Home position: a dancer’s position in the square dance formation at the beginning of a “tip” (session).

Hot hash: A special tip with no pauses between formations. The tempo of the music is increased, adding to the difficulty.

Mixers: Dances (usually simple circle dances) where partners change during the dance.

Patter call: A single tune, used by a caller as background for a series of calls, with no lyrics accompanying the music. Couples are moved into a variety of formations, but brought back to  their home positions before the next set of calls.

Round dancing: Couple dancing in a circle formation, using choreographed routines to a definite arrangement of music.

Singing call: A single call where the caller will mix square dance directions with singing. Belles rotate between beaus in the square during the song, usually in a counter-clockwise direction.

Square: A square consists of four couples. Each square consists of “two head couples” and two “side couples.” The person directly to a couple’s left in the formation is referred to as their “corner.”

Square ware: Preferred square dancing attire.

Square your sets: A call for dancers to return to home positions.

Stir the bucket: A call for each couple in the square to move to the next counter-clockwise position.

Taw: The caller’s partner who plays an important role in both classes and dances.

Tip: A square dance session consisting of two parts, a patter call and a singing call. The patter call consists of a rapid-fire sequence of spoken calls which lead the dancers through intricate and unpredictable patterns. There is usually background music to provide a basic beat, but the emphasis is on dance as an intellectual exercise. In the singing call, the moves are much more predictable. The caller usually sings a popular song with the calls interspersed between the phrases and the emphasis is on dancing to the music.

Yellowrock (also called “Stack the Wood”): A friendly hug.

-- Various online sources

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