The Straight Concept
by Dan Neumann
The call "straight fire" is commonly used at C4 square dances. It is
a rather simple extension of the call "crossfire" where the trailing
end dancers in two faced lines replace crossfold with what is
typically termed a "crossover circulate". Several years ago Clark
Baker extended this idea to calls such as wheel and deal and
connect the diamond in which the trailing ends part could also be
described as a crossfold. Here I will describe my thoughts on the
straight concept and define it in a more general way thereby greatly
extending its applicability.
There are a few observations concerning straight that I believe need
to be included in any definition of a generalized straight concept.
The first is that the dancers who straighten the call don't change
their facing direction. After all they go straight. Furthermore they
dance to the lead position of the center box. In doing so, they
adopt their opposite's position in the square. Finally those who
straighten the call cannot end in the quadrant that they started in (if
they started in one at all). Furthermore, if they do start in a
quadrant (i.e. not on a centerline as would be the case for
end-to-end columns), they will end in a quadrant immediately
adjacent to the one they started in. Note that this is true for the
unstraightened call as well as the straightened one.
STRAIGHT is a motion-based concept which requires dancers who
would normally dance to the leaders position in the center box with
a turning motion of 180 degrees to instead dance to the spot that
their opposite would normally take and adopt the identity of that
dancer. The dancers who go straight must not start and end in the
same quadrant for either the straightened or the unstraightened
Some consequences of the above definition are:
- The dancers who straighten the call do NOT change their facing
direction. This means that you must be facing towards the
center of the square to straighten a call.
- Since it's a motion based concept, it is activated by the motion
of turning 180 degrees while moving to the far center rather than
the definition of the call, i.e. the definition need not contain the
words ends cross fold; ends cross run, centers trade, ... The
motion matters, not the definition.
- Because the straightener's adopt each others identities, the
ending formation for a straight call must be identical to that which
would have been obtained without straightening.
- The opposite with whom you exchange places is your opposite
when the concept is invoked. This is usually your original opposite,
but need not be for asymmetric sequences.
I'd like to thank Lynette Bellini and Scott Morton for their
observations concerning straight and their suggestions for
improving this article.
- STRAIGHT split circulate
(from twin columns) : This is just the same as all eight circulate.
- STRAIGHT trade the wave
(from twin waves) : This is equivalent to trade the deucey
- STRAIGHT cut the diamond
(from twin diamonds) : Centers diamond circulate while
the points crossover circulate.
- STRAIGHT right roll to a wave
(from end to end columns with everyone back-to-back)
Very centers pass thru and touch, everyone else right roll to a
- STRAIGHT follow to a diamond
(from twin columns) : Trailers follow your neighbor and spread
while the leaders all 8 circulate 1-1/2. Ends in point-to-point
Copyright © 1999 Dan Neumann. All Rights Reserved.