If we need a shorter list ...

If we need a shorter list as an entry program, its limit should be drawn with a reasonable reason. Such a limit is immediately before the introduction of the Ocean Wave. In the area from Circle Left to Box the Gnat, you can draw a chessboard of 4 x 4 fields for every square, and at the completion of any movement during the figure, every dancer arrived in a defined field. Here are some samples of this chessboard:
static square zero box zero line
With Ocean Waves, this chessboard becomes liquid. Two parallel Ocean Waves can be interpreted as an Eight Chain Thru Formation in East-West orientation, or, at the same time, as “General Lines” in North-South direction. It depends on the following call. Many caller agree that the style of choreography changes dramatically with the introduction of Ocean Waves, Trades and Circulates.

New dancers should have a chance to gain experience and confidence on firm ground, before venturing out into the wide sea of ocean waves. The program from Circle Left to Box the Gnat could be named the Classical Square Dance, since it is not Traditional Square Dance, but the name “Basic” is burnt.

It had been THE Basic Program until 1981, when it was merged and submerged with the Extended Basic Program - in my opinion the first grave mistake CALLERLAB made. This mistake was mended with the implementation of the Community Dance Program in 1986. But the CDP is too limited for most callers to feel confident with it.

The 1981 Basic Program (Circle Left to Ferris Wheel) never was a success, because it was just Mainstream minus some calls. In some sense, the Basic Program was the big dog, and the remaining movements were the tail; and there is a German proverb: “If we came past the dog, we will come past the tail too.”

In 2002, CALLERLAB dropped the term “Basic Program” from the list. In 2006, it was introduced again; mainly on request from european callers. A halfhearted measure, and I foretell the success of all halfhearted measures.

If we keep the allegory of the wide sea, then the transition from Mainstream to the Plus Program is like crossing the Three Miles Line way out in the ocean. If we declare the Three Miles Line to be drawn at 2,8 miles, will this bring more people aboard our ship?
(In 2002 it was decided to move Eight Chain Thru, Fan the Top and Spin Chain Thru from Mainstream to the Plus Program. This is now [September 2006] revoked for 2/3.)

If we need a shorter list as an entry program, I submit that we establish Basic 1 - 33 (Circle Left to Box the Gnat) as such a program, and name it

The Classical Square Dance

More samples of this chessboard

Historical Background:
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.
de  Deutsche Fassung
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Published 2003-06-26   /   amended and adapted 2007-02-24   /   amended 2007-07-20   /   Heiner Fischle, Hannover