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International Association of Square Dance Callers

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Dance Programs   
CALLERLAB Square Dance Programs Minimize

Dancers have different degrees of interest.  To accommodate these varying interests, CALLERLAB has adopted several Programs of dancing.  These programs are recognized throughout the world as the standard.  Because of standardization, dancers are able to go anywhere and be assured of being able to dance the program(s) they have learned.  Each program is defined by the list of calls and concepts that dancers can expect to encounter at a dance.

CALLERLAB has also adopted an official CALLERLAB Program Policy.

In 2005, CALLERLAB adopted Program Policy Initiative. This initiative is intended to encourage callers, clubs, associations, and others to experiment with different ways to introduce square dancing to the general public, and report their results to the CALLERLAB office.

Why Programs and Lists? Minimize

CALLERLAB programs define a world-wide standard of square dance calls to be taught in square dance classes or workshops. Program lists outline the set of calls that may be called at a dance advertised to be a specific dance program e.g., Mainstream, Plus, etc. Dance promoters are encouraged to list the program to be danced on flyers, brochures, and other advertisements of open dances. Dancers should refer to the program designations to seek out dances that will consist of material with which they are familiar. Program lists are used by callers in programming an appropriate dance for a specific group of dancers. Including the desired program in the caller's confirmation agreement will provide programming guidance to the caller as well as protection for the sponsoring organization. Please click here for links to current program lists and definitions.

The programs are not intended to segregate dancers into exclusive groups or to indicate that one who chooses to dance at his or her own preferred program is any better, or any worse, than any other dancer. Dancing skill can be achieved at many programs, and the number of calls is not necessarily an indication of dancer proficiency. It is hoped that the program lists will be used to aid in a logical teaching progression and thorough coverage of basics in classes and to provide an enjoyable modern square dance for dancers of all inclinations. In addition, CALLERLAB's intent is that approved styling and timing of square dance movements will be an integral part of all classes and dance programs. It is also hoped that proper teaching, including timing and styling, will result in smooth dancing for the greater enjoyment of all.

What Next? Minimize

The CALLERLAB dance program committees want to encourage quality dancing at all CALLERLAB dance programs. The primary impediment to achieving this goal comes from dancers moving through dance programs too quickly.

Each of the CALLERLAB dance program committees recommends that dancers stay and enjoy each program for as long as possible. Moving on is not a recommended way to become proficient at one s current dance program. Also, moving on is not implied nor expected simply because subsequent programs exist.

Please take a look at Recommended Dance Time for CALLERLAB Dance Programs for more information about the recommendations for dance time for CALLERLAB dance programs.

There should be no pressure put on dancers to move from one program to another once they have graduated. Dancers should be encouraged to take their time, enjoy the fun and fellowship, and learn to dance well at that program before moving on to another program.