In the Classical Square Dance (also known as Mainstream 1-33, from Circle Left to Box the Gnat), you can put the Square on a chessboard of 4 x 4 fields. At the completion of any movement during the figure, everybody should have arrived in a defined field, with a defined facing direction. Thus, the dancers create a formation , an important element in square dancing. Here are some of the most common formations:
After a Left Allemande , the chessboard and all these formations
are cancelled, and we end in the
All the men face counterclockwise, all the ladies face clockwise.
The one you face is now your partner, with whom you will dance the next call.
As soon as you step into an ocean wave, the chessboard as described above becomes liquid. E.g. two parallel ocean waves can be understood as "general lines" North-South, or as an eight chain thru formation East-West, depending on the next call. This can become quite confusing. Therefore I recommend that every dancer should lay a firm foundation in the Classical Square Dance, before venturing out into the Ocean.
The books The Key to Calling by Don Bell & Bob Dawson, and Instant Hash by Rickey Holden & Lloyd Litman - both published in 1961 - freed square dancing from the prefixed routines but left it within the boundaries of the quadrille terms. This is what I consider classical - clear and plain, but not simple.
Published 2003-05-31 / amended 2007-07-20 / Heiner Fischle, Hannover