American Square Dances of The West
& Southwest - online instruction book

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of the West and Southwest
Parts of the Square Dance
The Square Dance is composed of three and often four parts:
1.  The introduction, which is just that. Introducing the dancers to each other, the music, and the caller, it precedes the figure, and varies with the wish of the caller. Any introduction may be used with any figure.
2.  The figure, which follows the introduction and usually gives the name to the dance, though often, particularly in the singing calls, the music gives the title. The figure is repeated until all of the dancers have led it, with a chorus usually between each dancing of the figure.
3.  The chorus, which usually follows each calling of the figure, depending upon the type of dance and the individual desires of the caller. In a long figure, the chorus is often called only after every other dancing of the figure.
4.  The finish, which usually follows the final chorus. It is often omitted in a long figure. Its chief value and use is to lengthen a short dance when so desired.
The introductions, choruses, and finishes are often called "trimmings," a name which well describes them and their uses. This term is frequently used in this book.
Another part of the Square Dance could be listed as a sub-chorus, which is the movement often used at the end of a figure. The "Do-si-do" is an example of the sub-chorus.
In the formal Quadrille, the entire figure, with its repetitions, introduction, chorus, and finish was called a "change." The formal Quadrille consisted of from three to five changes, each with a pause or rest between them, and different music for each change. Seldom is the old formal Quadrille form found in this country today. The Square Dance with its more liberal and varied pattern has taken its place, and the meaning of the term "change" has been altered to mean each dancing of the figure around the set by the couples or dancers leading the "change,"