Figures unique to, or traditionally associated with, squares.
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little circles
big circles

General structure of a Southern square
     Introduction: Form a big circle to dance the big circle figures
     The Body: Break into two-couple circles to dance little circle figures
     Conclusion: Reform the big circle, dance a finishing figure, kiss the caller
Southern squares will accomodate any number of couples in a single set. The way I call them, the dances begin and end with one or more big circle figures. To start the dance, the couples all join hands in a big circle, all facing the center, and dance the big figures all together. Then the circle breaks up and each couple joins another in circles of four. These "little" circles are spaced around the hall in a large ring made up of little circles. Now some little circle figures are danced, and then all the couples move on to dance with a new couple. The little figures are repeated with the new little circles, then all couples move on again to join yet another couple. This progression from one couple to the next is repeated a few times. To finish the dance, the little circles break up and all join hands in one big circle around the hall and dance a big circle finishing figure. Oh, and I mean that about kissing the caller. Don't forget.
How to get the milling herd organized
  • Get all the couples to join hands in one big circle facing the center and walk through the big circle figures you'll be using. Finish with a promenade around the hall.
  • Stop the promenade and have each couple join in a small circle of four with the nearest couple. Let them sort it out until they are all formed up, even if left over couples have to move to another part of the room to find a partner couple. Then have them rotate the little circles until one couple is facing away from the center and one is facing in. The couple facing in is the even couple, and the other couple, with backs to the center, is the odd couple.
         At this point, before explaining any figures, I drill them on the method of progression: Get them to circle left once around; then the evens stay put and the odd couples travel to their left (ccw around the hall) to hook up with the next available even couple. Repeat the circle left and progression a few times so they really get it. When I'm satisfied, I then teach one or more of the little circle figures.
  • Now I have the odds join the evens in the big circle again, standing to the left of their current even couple. And we're ready to go!
Let's put together a whole dance
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