Basic and Mainstream

Resources for the Basic and Mainstream Program

History

The Basic Dance Program was established in 1969 with 50 calls, as a result of codifying the Modern Western Square Dance movement following the work done by the Sets in Order American Square Dance Society in 1969. It was expanded in 1971 by publishing the Extended Basic program with an additional 25 calls, which laid the ground work for what would become Mainstream.

Starting in the late 1970’s, the Mainstream Definitions Committee undertook to define each of the calls in the Basic and Mainstream programs. Their work took several years and 13 drafts, and resulted in a set of definitions published by CALLERLAB that has received worldwide use and acceptance.

Two other committees, the Timing Committee and the Styling Committee, developed standards and guidelines for their aspects of Basic and Mainstream dancing. Once the definitions, styling, and timing were complete, the results were combined and published as the “CALLERLAB Basic & Mainstream Definitions”. The Basic Dance Program list now includes the first 51 calls, and the Mainstream Dance Program list contain the 17 calls that follow Basic.

In 1994 these definitions were made available on the Internet, which further encouraged dissemination, standardization, and discussion. By 1995 it became clear that the current definitions were not of sufficient detail and precision to decide some of the finer points of modern calling. In some cases, the definitions were confusing, poorly worded, or ambiguous. Using the existing definitions as a starting point, and considering numerous comments, suggestions, and complaints, a complete rewrite was undertaken starting in 1999. The revision of definitions continued, and in 2016, in conjunction with the Definitions Committee, the Mainstream Committee began moving this process forward at an increased pace.

In addition, in 2016, the Mainstream Committee voted to divide the Basic and Mainstream lists and number them separately. This was followed by a vote in 2017 to publish the two lists separately. This document contains the definitions for the Basic Dance Program calls. Please refer to the Mainstream Dance Program Definitions for information on those calls.

From the earliest days of codifying square dance calls and lists, the Basic and Mainstream Programs have had a shared evolution and developmental history. Because of this shared history and interrelationship both programs are overseen by the Mainstream Committee.

Basic / Mainstream

Basic and Mainstream Timing Charts

August 26, 2016 153.40 KB 429 downloads

Basic Checklist
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September 1, 2018 366.34 KB 518 downloads

Basic Definitions German
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November 1, 2020 930.06 KB 427 downloads

Basic Definitions translated in German 11-01-2020 v1.04

Basic List
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September 1, 2018 0 1696 downloads

Basic Program Definitions
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February 22, 2020 0 1976 downloads

As revised February 2, 2020 Update copyright; add change log to the table of contents

Basic Program Definitions (Japanese Translated) 20-02-22
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February 22, 2020 0 333 downloads

Revised 20-02-22 Update copyright; add change log to the table of contents

Basic Standard Applications
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May 1, 2020 0 1628 downloads

Basic Standard Applications updated May 2020

Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish Translation) (Version 2.01)(January 2010)
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January 6, 2010 0 279 downloads

Basic/Mainstream Definitions (Danish Translation) (Version 2.01)(January 2010)

Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) (October 12, 2009)
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October 12, 2009 0 307 downloads

Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (Japanese) (October 12, 2009)

Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (June 21, 2010)
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June 21, 2010 0 363 downloads

Basic/Mainstream Teaching Tips (June 21, 2010)

Definition Guide For Basic/Mainstream (February 7, 2011) (Posted 02/07/2011)
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February 7, 2011 0 1652 downloads

Definition Guide For Basic/Mainstream (February 7, 2011) (Posted 02/07/2011)

Definition Guide for Basic/Mainstreeam (Japanese Translation) (February 7, 2011)
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February 7, 2011 0 295 downloads

Definition Guide for Basic/Mainstreeam (Japanese Translation) (February 7, 2011)

Mainstream Checklist
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February 11, 2019 166.17 KB 452 downloads

Mainstream Dance Program Definitions (Japanese Translated) (20-02-22)
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February 22, 2020 0 333 downloads

Updated copyright; Added change log to table of contents; fixed minor typos in Spin Chain Thru

Mainstream Definitions German
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February 22, 2020 514.05 KB 374 downloads

2020-02-22 V 0.00

Mainstream Program Definitions
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February 22, 2020 0 519 downloads

Mainstream Program Definitions 20-02-22. Updated copyright; Added change log to table of contents; fixed minor typos in Spin Chain Thru

Mainstream Program List
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March 2, 2020 0 1677 downloads

Edited on March 5 for formatting improvements