The Community Dance Program (CDP) is a grass-roots concept of the activity - the basic form of square dancing that Americans have enjoyed for years. While there is no limit to the variety involved, it is the form of variety that can be achieved with a limited amount of of class time and then enjoyed for a life-time.

in a suggested teaching order
  1. Circle Left and Right
  2. Forward and Back
  3. Do Sa Do
  4. Swing
  5. Couple Promenade
  6. Single File Promenade
  7. Allemande Left / Right
  8. Arm Turns, Left / Right
  9. Right and Left Grand
  10. Weave the Ring
  11. Right / Left Hand Star
  12. Star Promenade
  13. Pass Thru
  14. Split the Couple / Ring
  15. Rollaway Half Sashay
  16. U Turn Back
  17. Separate
  18. Courtesy Turn
  19. Ladies Chain, Two / Four
  20. Lead Right
  21. Right and Left Thru
  22. Circle to a Line
  23. Bend the Line
  24. Grand Square

  25. (Basics in bold print are considered absolutely essential.)
As a recreational program, involving people who don't have the time or inclination to spend months in class and then be committed to more dancing time than they really can afford, the important part of this program is that not only can the ideas of the program be comfortably taught and learned in six lessons, but from that point on and with just the basics listed here, you need never to run out of material.

Somewhere along the line someone is bound to label this program "low level". Low intensitiy it may be; low level, never. As a person enters class and during that first night of lessons, he certainly would be considered a beginner. But then, as his reaction time improves and as he can handle the complete list of basics, helped along by good, descriptive, plain English directions, his ability increases. By the time he has finished the lessons and is into smooth CDP club dancing, there is no way in the world that he could be labeled "low level". This is important for all to understand.

To make this a successful program, the caller needs to posess as many if not more skills than the average caller involved in other square dance programs. This program calls for a special brand of caller, a talented yet caring individual, who sees the great opportunity for the CDP.

Taken from the Preface and the 1st chapter of the Community Dance Program Handbook © 1990 by CALLERLAB

See also The Perfect Caller

Here you find my collection of Singing Call Figures for the CDP

The Rio Grande Valley Callers Association proposes something similar with The A-B-C-Method of Square Dancing.
More about the CDP on the homepage of Cal Campbell

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Published 2003-01-01   /   last addition 2005-04-08   /   Heiner Fischle, Hannover, Germany