Square Dance Club
About Levels and Lists
by Bill van Melle, December 11, 1994
As mentioned in the jargon article, square dance calls are divided into a number of levels, the first three of which are Basic, Mainstream, and Plus. Callerlab, a national association of square dance callers, decides which calls are at each level, and even goes further, recommending a teaching order and length of time to spend at it. Ordinarily, one would expect to learn all the calls of one level before advancing to the next. However, it happens that in this area of the country, nearly all clubs dance at the Plus level, and so any distinction between it and the lower levels is quite blurry. There are very few clubs that dance Mainstream only, and even fewer Mainstream hoedowns.
Recognizing this fact, callers of the Santa Clara Valley Callers Association (SCVCA) devised a teaching order that reflects the relative frequency of all the calls through the Plus level in actual usage in area clubs and at hoedowns. The result is the "Logical Integrated Single Season Teaching order" or "LISST" The theory is that new dancers can more quickly learn something close to "club level" and by learning the calls in frequency order, they get much more practice at the calls they will need the most often. By the time you've learned, say, the first half of this list, you are in a position to dance much more than half the material called at your average Plus club or hoedown. We've included a copy of the LISST here.
As you can see, John doesn't follow this teaching order religiously, perhaps because it doesn't reflect his frequency of usage very well, and Quads is anything but "your average Plus club." It may not strike everyone as "logical" either; e.g., does it seem logical that the calls Boys Circulate, Ends Circulate, Centers Circulate, and All 8 Circulate are in completely different places on the list? The main benefit of this list is it gives you a better idea of what calls you might hear at a "Newer Dancer" hoedown in this area. Some advertisements quote the list, as in "LISST 1-39"
Last updated Wednesday 8 August 2007