American Square Dances of The West
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American Square Dances
is always called out of a Grand Right and Left, as Partners meet.
As Partners meet in the Grand Right and Left (usually half­way around the set) they take right hands and swing half around, so as to be facing in the opposite direction from which they were dancing. Partners "honor" or take a slight balance, right hands held, and resume the Grand Right and Left move­ment, but in the opposite direction, the ladies now dancing counterclockwise, while the gentlemen move clockwise. As dancers meet their Partners again, they will be directed either to Promenade, or, once more to reverse directions, exactly as be­fore, by a right-hand swing half around, and honor, and dance the Grand Right and Left until they again meet their Partners. Then they Promenade home.
The Back Track requires the same timing as the Grand Right and Left, eight beats of music for each half circuit of the set, plus four counts for the reversing movement.
It will be noticed in the calls, that all of these variations have distinctive and identifying patter before the figure, which warn the dancers of the movement ahead of time. These identifying and warning phrases and patter lines are a definite part of the Western dance. They are traditional in their use and very necessary for a smooth execution of the figures.
The Balance
In the West "Balance your Partner" means to "Honor your Partner" in the time allowed by the call, usually four beats of music. The gentlemen take the ladies' left hands in their right hands, dance a step away from each other and bow, then dance back into position for the next movement. In many localities the taking of hands is omitted and the dancers take three steps away from partners, bow, and dance back to position, using eight beats of music. The form used depends upon the time allowed.
The term "Balance your Set" means to "Square your Set" in place for the next movement and call.