Mel Wilkerson Notes on Directional Calling

November 1, 2016

Written by Mel Wilkerson for the Newbie Callers or Callers In Training Facebook group


I was just reading some posts directionally calling dancers through difficult calls (plus was used as an example) to give challenge to basic and mainsteam floors that are bored with the program.

Directionally call using basic / mainstream movemens and directinal filling rather than use the plus call name. It will make it easier for the dancers to learn plus...... I the only one that sees an issue with this?

Mainstream dancers are bored? Who is that caller and more importantly why are they bored?

Nevertheless, on basic movement directional calling from a standard bggb right hand ocean wave...

Everyone turn half by the right and the boys three girls move up move side girl hook on and head girl walk, in the wave swing thru 6, boy get off and walk and the girl get on, in the wave swing thru 6 and the girls cast 3 and boys move up to the end of the wave.

Yes a caller can talk most dances directionally through a higher level movement with hints and cues….but why would he Patter prompt relay the deucy when he could call from the same wave simple mainstream flow that goes something like:

Box the gnat and centres trade, spin the top, hinge, split circulate, boys run, reverse flutter, sweep ¼ and send the girls in dixie style to a wave, boys trade, recycle and so on…

Would you rather dance to a caller that calls a relatively easy mainstream program with for example, Heads (H) 1/2 Square Thru, Turn Thru, Outsides Cloverleaf, Centers Pass The Ocean, Extend, Swing Thru, Spin The Top, Spin the top again, recycle, allemande left…

Or perhaps

(H) slide thru pass thru, Touch 1/4, Split Circulate, Boys Run, Reverse Flutter Wheel, Dixie Style To A Wave, Girls Circulate, Boys Trade, Left Swing Thru, recycle, Pass Thru, Trade By, Right and left grand

Both relatively easy mainstream flows,

Or would you rather dance to a caller that has run out of material at mainstream but calls plus singing calls changing the (plus movements)—into talk through basic and mainstream such as :

Heads Lead Right, Veer Left, Ferris Wheel, Double Pass Thru, (Track II) -- Leaders partner trade, everyone pass thru, trade by, step to a wave, -- (Acey Deucy) -- boys circulate, ladies trade,-- Swing Thru, Boys Trade, step thru and right and left grand


Heads Pass the Ocean, (Ping Pong Circulate) - - in the wave step thru, everyone pass thru, trade by,-- Extend, (Acey Deucy) -- ends circulate, centres trade--, Swing Thru, Boys Run, Bend the Line, Right & Left Thru,Star Thru,Pass Thru allemande left…

as the most challenge recieved on the flor.. For many these days, from what I am reading here and elsewhere, that is as far as the dancers get in a challenge because no one has written any other material for many callers that use the basic and mainstream program. Record producers are using fixed sequences of 7-8 singing calls for all thier records and actually expect callers to write thier own material these days.....shame.

But for many of these callers, their dancers may not be able to dance a full mainstream dance with any variety but wow, do they ever pick up learning basic standard position plus quickly…(unless of course the caller calls a left handed recycle at plus..but hey, that can wait until advanced because no one has written material for that that I can use….Oh well, it isn’t important because recycle is mainstream and I am calling and they are dancing plus now so I just won’t use it…’

Is it just me, or can anyone else see that this is a problem trend that has to be accepted and acknowledged before we can fix it. It is not everyone but it is enough that it has become a problem and it is enough that over time it has become the “Norm”. Stop denying it and work together to fix it.

It is time to swallow our pride as dancers and callers and acknowledge that we have a problem.


Category: Mel Wilkerson