Square Dance Tutorial

Dancer Identification

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Squared Set
Centers vs. Ends
Positions Within Pairs
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Within a squared set, the couples facing directly toward and away from the caller and music are called the Heads, and the dancers facing in the perpendicular direction are called the Sides. When referring to them as couples, the terms Head Couples and Side Couples are commonly used. In cases where the caller wants to refer to individual dancers, terms like Head Girls (the girls who are members of head couples) and Side Boys (the boys who are members of side couples) are also used.


Couples are also assigned Couple Numbers, starting from the couple with their backs to the caller/music and going in promenade direction. "Couples 1 and 3" means the same thing as "Head Couples". "Couples 2 and 4" means the same thing as "Side Couples".


Note: The simple notion of couples being identified by the position of the caller/music may, as a practical matter, be replaced by a different rule in certain circumstances. For example:

  • If the caller is standing close to a corner of the room, or speakers are located along a different wall than the caller, which direction should be used as the basis for identifying couples may be unclear. In these cases, the caller or somebody else in charge of the dance will normally announce the rule to be followed.
  • Sometimes when a hall is very crowded, in order to reduce problems with adjacent squares colliding with each other, some squares will be asked (or will decide on their own) to consider their head/side directions to be perpendicular to those of other squares. This is sometimes referred to as "checkerboarding".
But however couples in a particular square are identified at the start of a tip, they retain that identity for the entire tip.