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 call.

Some consequences of the above definition are:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  1. STRAIGHT split circulate
    (from twin columns) : This is just the same as all eight circulate.

  2. STRAIGHT trade the wave
    (from twin waves) : This is equivalent to trade the deucey

  3. STRAIGHT cut the diamond
    (from twin diamonds) : Centers diamond circulate while the points crossover circulate.

  4. 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 wave

  5. 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 diamonds.

I'd like to thank Lynette Bellini and Scott Morton for their observations concerning straight and their suggestions for improving this article.

Copyright © 1999 Dan Neumann. All Rights Reserved.

Lynette Bellini