Welcome to Brian’s Square Dance Blog


You may be asking why a Square Dance blog for the Mississippi Squares?

Good Question! My intention for this forum is so I can communicate with anyone who wants to learn about Modern Square Dancing as well as our experience of learning the moves that make up the dance we share together at the Mississippi Squares.

Through this medium I can post ahead of time my projected teaching for a specific session / evening as well as give YOU a forum to ask questions when you have time.  I also feel that this site will help us stay in touch if we ever have a winter like the one we just experienced where we miss so many evenings.

I have learned from my many years in management that the more communication we have the better a team is built.

You can check this Blog anytime you would like or if you wish you can get an email notification when a new post is published.

I will also be able to share pertinent documents and or upcoming events.

(Click on thumbnail below to see “Helpful Hints Document”)

grand square logo


Night 6 Recap

Thank you all for making the Mainatream DBD Workshop a sucess and a ton of fun!

The reason that I call is to see the enthusasm for Modern Square Dancing that you all showed, the reciprocation of eneregy was special and we all worked together to prove the square dance motto to be very true…

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 7.38.03 AM



Done forget about our National Convension!

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 7.20.56 AM


Thank You and have a Safe and Happy Summer!!!

Brian and Amy 

Night 5 Recap

What a great night of dancing!!! Things are really coming together!

In night 5 we looked at the final call of the Mainstream program… Walk and Dodge.

As I briefly mentioned last week  we have looked at all of the Mainstream Program from many “non standard” positions / formations but there still is much more the Basic and Mainstream programs can offer. 

See you all Tuesday for our final evening. 



Starting formation – box circulate or facing couples. From box circulate formation, each dancer facing into the box walks forward to take the place of the dancer who was directly in front of him. Meanwhile, each dancer facing out of the box steps sideways (dodges) into the position vacated by the “walker” who was formerly beside him. Dancers end side by side, both facing out. If walk and dodge is called from facing couples, the caller must designate who is to walk and who is to dodge (e.g., “men walk, ladies dodge”). Ending is a box circulate formation.

STYLING: Arms in natural dance position. Skirt work for the ladies is optional. Hands should be ready to assume appropriate position for the next call.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM

Night 4 Recap

We are back at Brunton Hall this Tuesday at 7:30 





Starting formation – box circulate or quarter tag. From box circulate, dancers facing in step straight forward to join adjacent forearms, turn half (180°) and step forward to end in the position vacated by the dancer who was facing out. Meanwhile, each dancer facing out runs into the position vacated by the dancer who is doing the forearm turn. When done from right hand boxes, the dancers facing in turn by the right and the dancers facing out run right. When done from left hand boxes, the dancers facing in turn by the left and the dancers facing out run left. Finishes in a box circulate formation.

From quarter tag, dancers step ahead, join forearms (right if center wave was right handed or left if center wave was left handed), turn half (180°) and step straight forward. Those returning to the center step to a wave (using same hands as original wave); the others finish as a couple facing out. Ending formation is a 3/4 tag.

STYLING: Similar to that of turn thru and fold. .


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM


Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 4.55.07 PM


Starting formation – facing couples or facing tandems. From facing couples, the right hand dancer steps forward and to the left to become the lead dancer in a tandem. Lead dancers join right hands and pull by. Moving to the other trailing dancer, each extends a left hand and touches to a left hand mini wave and turns one quarter (90°). New center dancers join right hands and form a left hand ocean wave.

STYLING: Lead dancers initially pulling by in the center should use handshake hold as in right and left grand. When forming mini waves with trailing dancers, dancers must adjust to the right, using hands-up position and same styling as in swing thru.


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM

Night Three Recap

We looked at Cast Off 3/4 from Two Faces Lines 


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM




Starting formationEight Chain Thru

Command examplesEight Chain Thru

Eight Chain 3

Eight Chain 4

Eight Chain 1, Allemande Left

Dance actionComplete as many of these actions as appropriate:

  • All Right Pull By (Eight Chain 1 has been completed)
  • Centers Left Pull By while the ends Courtesy Turn (Eight Chain 2 has been completed)
  • All Right Pull By (Eight Chain 3 has been completed)
  • Centers Left Pull By while the ends Courtesy Turn (Eight Chain 4 has been completed)
  • All Right Pull By (Eight Chain 5 has been completed)
  • Centers Left Pull By while the ends Courtesy Turn (Eight Chain 6 has been completed)
  • All Right Pull By (Eight Chain 7 has been completed)
  • Centers Left Pull By while the ends Courtesy Turn (Eight Chain Thru has been completed)

Ending formations

Eight Chain Thru ends in Eight Chain Thru (even calls ie: 2 / 4 / 6 

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.20.22 PM

Eight Chain 1, 3, 5, etc. ends in Trade By

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.20.34 PM

Eight Chain 2, 4, 6, etc. ends in Eight Chain Thru

TimingEight Chain Thru: 20

Eight Chain 1, 2, 3, etc.: each odd-numbered part: 2; each even-numbered part: 3

StylingSame as Right And Left Thru. Dancers doing the Left Pull By in the center move slowly so their action takes the same time as the Courtesy Turn on the outside.

Each part of this call ends in an Eight Chain Thru or Trade By formation. Dancers should not drift into a circular formation as in Wrong Way Grand (#8c).

CommentsThe Ocean Wave Rule applies to this call.

At Mainstream, Courtesy Turn (#15) is restricted to a man turning a woman. Therefore, at Mainstream, Eight Chain Thru is improper after Heads Square Thru 4, Sides Half Sashay. However, Eight Chain 3 would be proper.


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM




The general action of a Cloverleaf has the active dancers walking in a 3/4 circle, staying in their own quadrant of the set. A cloverleaf ramp at a highway intersection or the edge of one leaf of a four-leaf clover gives a good visual picture of the dance path.

Cloverleaf (Everyone Active)

Starting formationCompleted Double Pass Thru

Command examplesCloverleaf

Everyone Cloverleaf

Dance actionThe lead dancers separate and move away from each other in a three quarter (270 degrees) circle.

When each lead dancer approaches another lead dancer from the other side of the square, they both reach with outside hands, blending into a couple handhold as they continue into the center of the square to become a couple facing in.

Each trailing dancer follows the dancer in front, and ends directly behind that same dancer.

Ending formationDouble Pass Thru
Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM



Starting formation – ocean wave only. The ends of the wave cross fold as the centers of the wave fold in behind the ends and follow them around, then face in to end as two facing couples.

STYLING: All dancers, arms in natural dance position, hands ready to adjust for next call as quickly as possible.

Timing: 4 steps.


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM




Starting formationOcean Wave
Command examplesSpin The Top

Spin The Top; Spin It Again (i.e., go twice)

Spin Your Top

Spin Your Top, Do A Right and Left Thru

Dance actionEnd and adjacent center Turn 1/2. Centers Turn 3/4 while the ends move forward in a quarter circle around the formation to become ends of the final Ocean Wave.
Ending formationOcean Wave perpendicular to starting formation
Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM

Mississippi Squares DBD Workshop

Night 2 was a great workshop night!

and here is what we danced…



Starting formationMini-Wave, General Line

Command examplesCast Off 3/4

Pass The Ocean; Cast Off 3/4

Couples Circulate; Tag The Line; Put Centers In; Cast Off 3/4 — Boys Push

Center 4, Wheel And Deal; Outsides Cast Off 3/4 (from a Tidal Line)

Veer Left; Centers Trade; Cast Off 3/4

Dance actionFrom a Mini-Wave, Turn 3/4.

From a General Line, each half of the line works together: those in a Mini-Wave Turn 3/4 while those in a Couple turn, as a unit, away from the center of the line for 3/4 of a circle (270 degrees).

Ending formationsFrom a Mini-Wave, a Mini-Wave. From a One-Faced Line or a Two-Faced Line, Facing Couples. From a General Line, a General Box (centered on the same point).

I suggested that if we count 4 walls (including the wall we are looking at before we start the call) we will be golden! 

We did cast off 3/4 from 

  • Lines Facing out
  • Inverted lines
  • Ocean waves 
  • Mini Waves 
  • (we still have  few more to experience) 

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM



CENTERS IN          969148

Starting formationCompleted Double Pass Thru, Eight Chain Thru. More generally, a Couple with their backs to the center of the set, each center dancer directly looking at an outside dancer.

Command examplesCenters In

Put Centers In

Dance actionWithout changing facing direction, the outside dancers step away from each other to make room for the center dancers, who step forward to end between them.
Ending formationVarious. From Completed Double Pass Thru, Lines Facing Out. From Eight Chain Thru, Inverted Lines with Ends Facing.
Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM



Starting formationGeneral Line

Command examplesTag The Line

Tag The Line All The Way

Tag The Line, Face Right

Tag The Line, Left

Tag The Line, Face In

Dance actionEach dancer turns 90 degrees, in place, to face the center of the line and then walks forward, passing right shoulders with all dancers in the other half of the line, until the last dancers in each half have passed each other. If a facing direction is given, each dancer then turns 90 degrees, in place, toward the specified direction.

Ending formation]Tag The Line ends in back-to-back Tandems.

Tag The Line, Face Right (or Left) ends in a Right-Hand (or Left-Hand) Two-Faced Line.


Tag The Line is a 4-dancer call. From a General Line of 8, the phrase “Each Side” (or “Each Four”) is helpful but not required.

After Tag The Line, the direction In (or Out) means to turn toward (or away from) the center of the set. From General Lines, Tag The Line, Face In (or Out) ends in Facing Lines (or Lines Back-to-Back).

The direction given does not have to be the same for all dancers, e.g., Tag The Line, Boys Face Left, Girls Face Right.

An extended application of Tag The Line begins from a General Line containing six or eight dancers. The caller must explicitly identify the line, e.g., “Line of Eight, Tag The Line”. The application from a line of two dancers is improper at Mainstream; it has a separate name and is in another program.


Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM




Starting formationFacing Dancers

Command examplesTurn Thru

Swing Thru; Turn Thru

Girls Turn Thru

Squared set: Heads Turn Thru; Separate, Around 1 To A Line

Heads Square Thru 4; Spin The Top; Turn Thru; Courtesy Turn

Dance actionIn one smooth motion, dancers Step To A Wave (but use forearm styling), Right Arm Turn 1/2, and Step Thru.
Ending formationBack-To-Back Dancers
Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.11.06 AM

Night One Recap


Hello Everyone, sorry for the delay in sending this post… It was a busy week as well as the power outage caused by the wind storm did not help my progress. 

What we did last week:

How to get back into the dance after a breakdown during a patter call.


A) Square up at home with your original partner.
B) Head ladies take you corners hand 
C) Head couples back up to align with the side couple to form lines at the sides

I will pick you up and get you back into the dance. 


Half Sashay

Definition: Dance action: Dancers exchange places without changing facing directions. Dancer on the right side steps to the left while the dancer on the left steps back, side steps to the right, then steps forward, ending as a couple.

Partner Trade

Dance action: Two dancers exchange places by walking forward in a semicircle, passing right shoulders if they start facing the same direction. (See “General: Conventions and Rules: Passing Rule”.) Dancers end facing the opposite direction from their original facing directions.

Pass The Ocean (from 1/2 Sashayed Couples 

Dance action: Pass Thru; Face your Partner; Step To A Wave

Swing Thru / Left Swing Thru 

Dance action: Swing Thru: Those who can turn 1/2 (180 degrees) by the right; then those who can turn 1/2 (180 degrees) by the left.

Left Swing Thru: Those who can turn 1/2 (180 degrees) by the left; then those who can turn 1/2 (180 degrees) by the right.

Here is a link to a great animated resource …

Click on Green Button to go to site 

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 6.43.59 PM


See you Tuesday ….   

Click on logo below to access the club website.

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 7.42.45 PM

2018 DBD Mainstream Workshop

Click on Mississippi Squares logo for. link to the workshop 


Welcome to the Mississippi Squares 2018 DBD Mainstream Workshop.



First thing First: What is DBD?

DBD is an acronym for Dance by Definition, I prefer the term Non Standard Position Dancing. My reasoning for this is best described by me first explaining that all calls we learn and perform are “by definition”. During this workshop we will be looking at calls by their definitions but from formations or arrangements that we do not “normally” start the call from.

Why a workshop like this?

A) The challenge

B) Become a more confident dancer

C) Because its fun!

Please take time to look a the Mainstraem Definitions at the link below.

Mainstream Definitions (17-12-18)

What is this BLOG?


I have created this blog (web log) to keep us all informed on what we have looked at and what is upcoming and a portal to allow you to ask me questions when you think of them.