Information for Angels
Taken, with minor alterations,
from the former website of retired Central California caller Jim
Penrod. Jim said he got it from the Minnesota Square Dance
Callers' Association notes.
They are the wonderful people
Introduce square dancing to others,
Bring others to square dance classes,
Aid the caller/teacher by filling the squares
so that all class members may dance.
When you become a class angel, there are some simple rules to remember:
- BE ON TIME:
You may be the cause of three other couples
during a teaching tip.
- BE OBSERVANT:
Make sure that every student is in a square
teaching tip. BUT don't wait for them to square up. Invite them into
- LET THE CALLER RUN THE CLASS:
Don't take it upon yourself to
splitting couples. When it is time to break up a group or separate a
couple, the caller will indicate this by his or her teaching methods.
- DO NOT TALK IN THE SQUARE when the caller is giving
Learning to listen to the caller's commands requires
person can listen to two persons at a time. All should be listening to
the same person: the caller.
- DANCING STYLES:
Some dancing styles that dancers have adopted
out of place in class. Basics should be kept in pure form. The proper
Do Sa Do, hand and arm holds, a quick touch to acknowledge position,
and no short cuts will ensure new dancers of the proper position for
the next call.
- ANGELS ARE HELPERS, NOT PUSHERS:
Students must learn to react
each command. To gently guide someone is fine, but we accomplish
nothing for the student if he or she has been pushed through an action
and doesn't know what was supposed to be done. Angels' action should be
firm but gentle.
- LET THE CALLER KNOW if a dancer has not grasped the concept of
call after a reasonable time.
The caller can review the call during the
next tip. It is not a good idea to "teach" a call during a break. The
student needs the time to relax and clear the mind. What if you teach
- DRESS FOR STUDENTS:
Do not encourage students to "go right
buy square dance clothing. As you know, women's clothing can be
expensive. Their first hoedown (dance) will be soon enough.
- DO NOT TAKE NEW DANCERS TO DANCES THAT ARE ABOVE THEIR DANCING
You will be surprised how many times club members tell
students "Come on, we will pull you through." This will discourage many
new dancers. Your caller will let them know when there is a dance at
their experience level. Now is your chance to join them where both of
you can have fun together.
- FRIGHTENED NEW DANCERS:
Square dancing is a frightening experience. Keep
mind at all times with new students even after they "graduate". Every
a mistake is made, they think they caused it.
- DANCE WITH THEM:
Do you want to keep the new student in your
Then you must dance with them, talk with them during breaks, encourage
One of the biggest complaints heard from new dancers is that they
not sure the old club members want them.