Call out steps to keep the dance floor moving.
What does a Square Dance Caller do?
Some Dancers memorize the steps of each dance, and when the music starts, they perform from memory. Square Dancers prefer a less formal, more surprising dancing method. They memorize specific dance steps, and a Square Dance Caller shouts out those steps in unexpected ways.
If you’re a Square Dance Caller, you choose a series of songs before the dancing begins. If you’re feeling traditional, you pick country music. If you’re feeling spunky and a bit hip, you choose jazz or rock music. If you’re really lucky, you work as a Square Dance Caller with a live band, and you won’t have to choose any music at all.
At the beginning of each dance, you do some colorful rhyming-called singing-that allows the Dancers to get used to how you sound and how quickly you speak. You then begin to sprinkle your singing with commands, making the Dancers walk around, change partners, hold hands, or form circles.
You pride yourself on your creativity, calling out commands in combinations that people don’t expect. These commands are easy to follow, however.
Making the Dancers look foolish could cause them to storm the stage and pelt you with their shoes. But making them look skilled and graceful could cause them to storm the stage with cake, tips, and praise. Clearly, the latter option is better.
Some square dance clubs may hire you to work with them on an exclusive basis. These jobs are pleasant, as you know the room and the Dancers, and you quickly learn how to please them. Other times, you may have to travel from competition to competition, calling for square dance contests.