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Keep Order / Change Order Modules

Mental Image Concepts Presented as a Simple Method and Sight Calling Aid

Rich Reel   2016 Sep 5

Index to Modules:  Keep Order Modules   Change Order Modules

I find the concepts presented in this article are useful in many ways not specifically related to mental image calling including gaining more control over the resolve process.  I was amazed when I discovered how well the calls and modules that convert between formations with these special partner pairings, matches the choreography of a typical dance.  So much so that I felt compelled to write this article.

This article introduces basic mental image concepts by describing a simplified method for doing mental image calling.  The idea behind mental image calling is that you can start from a squared set, call extemporaneously (make it up as you go, following rules of course) and then resolve the square without ever looking at dancers in a square.  All critical information is tracked mentally while calling.  The particular method presented here is relatively easy to use because limits are placed on what can be called so that only a few things need to be tracked.

"Order State"

Before explaining the method, I need to introduce a new term: "order".  This is something like "sequence" as when resolving the square you might hear: "they're in sequence" or "they're out of sequence".  "Sequence" is not the right word because it is already defined specifically by Callerlab and I would need to extend its definition too much beyond the agreed-upon meaning.  Rather than cause confusion, I prefer to introduce the new term.  You should be aware that many years ago, a similar a term "order" was used.  I am probably not using this term in the same way.

"Order" has only two states: "In Order" and "Out Order".  Everything you call, either single calls or short call modules, does known things to the "order state" as defined in a very special way below.


What Does "Order" Mean?

In any 2 x 4 (or 4 x 2) formation when everyone has their original partner in the same quadrant (quarter) of the formation like this...

X     X
X     X
X     X
X     X
Quadrant Pairing

 X represents each dancer's spot in the formation 

...the "order state" is determined by using "S" and "R" of FASR...

  • "In Order" is Callerlab Sequence state "1" coupled with Relationship state "p"   "1p"
  • "Out Order" is Callerlab Sequence state "2" coupled with Relationship state "p"   "2p"
    (see F-A-S-R for more information)

When the pairing is like this...

Stripe Pairing

I call this "Stripe Pairing" (because it looks like stripes)  The "order state" with stripe pairing is determined by the girls' sequence.  In order to have stripe pairing, the boys' sequence must be different than the girls' sequence. 

  • When "In Order" - the girls are in sequence, the boys must be out of sequence
  • When "Out Order" - the girls are out of sequence, the boys must be in sequence

Girls Rule

Order is determined by the sequence of the girls.

  • In Lines, 2-Face Lines, and Waves, order is determined by everyone's sequence 
  • In Box/8-Chain, DPT, Beginning DPT, and Trade By formations, order is determined by the girls' sequence 

The girls' sequence determines the order in both (all) cases.


"Order state" is defined for convenient application to lines and waves ([L], [F], [W]) as well as these specific general column formations: [B], [P], [T] and [M].  "Order state" is like "sequence" extended to make it possible to call through these most common general column formations and accurately track what we normally think of as "sequence".  At first, we will only be able to do this when everyone is paired with their partner.  Later we'll introduce some variations that will extend the number of FASR states that can be tracked easily.  Order state applies to every FASR state, however it is beyond the scope of this article to present more than the most basic application.  Keep in mind that "order state" is a convenient definition that just works out well with many Basic, Mainstream, and Plus calls. 


Simplifying Restrictions

To make this method easy to use, we have these arbitrary restrictions...

  • In 'wide' formations (general lines: [L], [F], [W]) we always want "Quadrant pairing"
  • In 'tall' formations (general columns: [B], [P], [T], [M]) we always want "Stripe pairing"

    In 'wide' formations, we require "quadrant pairing" so the boys' sequence will need to be the same as the girls' sequence to achieve this partner-pairing pattern.  In 'tall' formations, we require "stripe pairing" so the boys' sequence will need to be opposite of the girls' sequence to achieve this partner-pairing pattern.  Since the formation will determine which paring pattern we'll have, we never need to think about it.

    These restrictions just happen to offer some handy benefits as shown by the next example. 

    Start from [SS] (squared set)...

  • Heads/Sides Lead Right - [0B4c] - "In Order".
  • All Pass Thru gives [0T] - "In Order"
  • Trade By gives [0B4c] - "In Order"
  • Pass To The Center or Dive Thru gives [0P] - "In Order"
  • Double Pass Thru gives [0M] - "In Order"
  • Leaders Trade gives [0B4c] - "In Order"

    ...the dancers remain "In Order".  We started "In Order" and called only calls that maintain the order state. 

    If we had started "Out Order" instead, the same calls above would have kept the order state "Out Order".

    From 'tall' formations (general columns: [B], [P], [T] and [M]) and "stripe pairing", certain calls maintain the order state - We call these "Keep Order" calls or "Keep Order" modules.  Others change the order state - We call these "Change Order" calls or "Change Order" modules.  Many other calls will mess things up, so we will avoid them for now.  Calls in the left-hand column below are examples of calls that keep the order state - either keep "In Order" or keep "Out Order".  Calls in the right-hand column below are examples of calls that change the order state - change from "In Order" to "Out Order" or change from "Out Order" to "In Order".

    Keep Order Change Order
  • [P] or [T]: Centers Pass Thru
  • [B]: Dive Thru
  • [B]: Pass To The Center
  • [T]: Trade By
  • [P]: Double Pass Thru
  • [B], [P], [T], or [M]: Ends Trade
  • [B]: Eight Chain (any number)
  • [B]: All Right And Left Thru
  • [P] or [T]: Centers Trade
  • [P] or [T]: Centers Square Thru 3
  • [P] or [T]: Centers Right And Left Thru
  • [B]: All Trade (same as Square Thru 3)
  • [B], [T], [P], or [M]: All Trade
  • [P] or [M]: Zoom

    What is the difference?

    The difference between "Keep Order" and "Change Order" in 'tall' formations (general columns: [B], [P], [T] and [M]) with "stripe pairing" is what they do to the orderly sequence of girls around the formation.  (The boys' sequence can't be disrupted either or we will lose our "stripe paring".)

    To keep order...

    To change order we must disrupt the sequence by actively breaking the rules that keep order - in a careful way.

    If the centers were to Trade, the order changes because they "cut through" the middle.  If the centers leap-frog to the ends as in the call Zoom, the order changes because they changed the order in which they follow each other around the perimeter.  As long as dancers move along the path around the perimeter of the square (as they do on the call Eight Chain Thru) and no one cuts in front of anyone moving along this path, they will "Keep Order".

    See Evaluating Order State With "Stripe" Pairing to help recognize the patterns you'll want to spot if you are sight calling and notice the dancers are paired like strips.


    "Keep Order" and "Change Order" Modules

    We have looked at (and defined) two order states: "In Order" and "Out Order".  Now let's take a closer look at the two types of calls or call modules we'll allow in this simple mental image method: "Keep Order Modules" and "Change Order Modules".  "Keep Order" calls and/or modules maintain the order state as it is.  "Change Order" calls and/or modules change the order state to the other state.

    "In Order"Keep Order Modules"In Order"
    "Out Order""Out Order"
    "In Order"Change Order Modules"Out Order"
    "Out Order""In Order"

    Take a look at the modules: Keep Order Modules and Change Order Modules for examples that will hopefully get you started writing your own.



    Throughout this web site, I append the order state to applicable FASR notation to help clarify this often confusing notation.  I use special symbols to help clarify "stripe" or "quadrant" pairing.  This is an attempt on my part to reduce the confusion between "order" and "sequence" where it makes a difference.

    "Quadrant""In Order""in seq"
    "Out Order""out seq"
    "Stripe""In Order""s-in"
    "Out Order""s-out"

    The "s" in "s-in" and "s-out" means "Stripe" pairing.

    Points of clarification:

  • "Order" is a much broader concept applicable to more than just quadrant and stripe pairing.  The terms "s-in" and "in seq" are specific subgroups of "In Order" as "s-out" and "out seq" are specific subgroups of "Out Order".  They convey more information than "In Order" / "Out Order" and therefore are used to describe the setup more specifically.
  • "in seq" and "out seq" indicate "quadrant pairing".  "s-in" and "s-out" indicate "stripe pairing".  Note "in seq" is not the same use of the word "sequence" as "Sequence state" in FASR as it also specifies the Relationship state.

    In general, use "quadrant" paring in lines or waves and "stripe" pairing in general column formations.  While this is not a requirement, it is beyond the scope of this article at this time to deal with other pairings since this would require that the caller track more information while calling.  All of the modules listed below adhere to the following restrictions...
    • "quadrant" paring in lines or waves
    • "stripe" pairing in general column formations you will not have to worry about the differences between "in seq" and "s-in", or "out seq" and "s-out" when mixing and matching modules. 


    Keeping track of the dancer's order state

    The simplest way to use this method is to call only calls and/or modules that keep the dancers "In Order", from the opening call all the way through to resolve.  If you memorize lots of fun and interesting modules, you will never have to keep track of the order state.

    When you are ready for more complexity and want to add a little spice, you can throw in one call or module that changes the order state.  This will change from "In Order" to "Out Order".  You will need to make a mental note of this.  You continue calling only calls and/or "modules" that keep the order state but you need to remember that the order state is "Out Order",  Before you resolve, you must call another call or module that changes the order state back to "In Order".  You may now use a memorized "In Order" get-out to get the dancers to their corner for an Allemande Left or to their partner for a Right And Left Grand.  You may want to start out calling two "Change Order" calls or modules one after the other so you will not have to remember the order state is "Out Order" for very long.

    When you change the order state, you take on the burden of remembering to change it back before resolving.  You may also change it back as part of the resolve by using an "Out Order" resolve. 

    "In Order" get-in --> "Keep Order" (as many as you want)
    "Change Order" (an even number of times)
    --> "In Order" get-out

    As it turns out, many of the traditional calls used by professional callers to keep the dancers in standard sex arrangement are the same calls we will use to keep the dancers "In Order".  This will help us use common calls that will deliver a high success rate with average dancers.  The trick is that everyone stays more or less with, or near, their partner throughout.

    Does dancing around with the same person get boring?

    It might and it might not.  Newer dancers are not paying any attention to whom they are dancing with.  They are so focused on doing the calls correctly, they will not notice anyone around them for several weeks of class.  People will likely enjoy interacting with the one person they have chosen for their partner.  This may be good way to start a tip to keep the dancing light and fun while everyone gets warmed up.  It can also be a good way to get comfortable yourself.  It will let you practice sighting the key couples and resolving the square.

    To help disguise the fact that dancers are near their partner, you might want to mix in your own memorized "zeros", call pre-written segments with knowledge of how the order state is affected, or use other techniques such as "isolated sight".  This mental image method becomes a means for "gluing together" your zeros and for setting up the resolve.  Even if you limit yourself to the simplest memorized modules that maintain the order state, there is still a great deal of variety in what you can call.

    A Tool Among Many

    As your sight calling skill improves, you'll probably use this method less as a way to call a complete sequence, and more as a method to convert from one formation to another without loosing the order state information.  Once the order state is known, you can get setup for a totally different get-out without having to reevaluate where the key couples are.  If you happen to recognize the dancers' order state early, you can keep the dancers moving a little longer until you are ready to call the get-out.  You might use this as a convenient way to time your routine to the music or to the end of the record - just keep the dancers a call or two from resolve the whole time and call a convenient get-out when you are ready.


    Using this Method

    First off, you'll need some [L1p] or [B4c] get-ins and some [L1p] or [B4c] get-outs.

    Example "In Order" get-ins:

     From [SS]:
      H-LeadR  --Cir2L = [L1p] "in seq"  More [L1p] Get-ins
      H-T1/4-   -Wk&Dg = [B4c] "s-in"  More [B4c] Get-ins
    See Get-ins and Opening Calls for many more of these.

    Example "In Order" get-outs:

     From [L1p]:  --SldTh  --SqTh3  --AL  More [L1p] Get-outs
     From [B4c]:  --SwThr  --TrnTh  --AL  More [B4c] Get-outs
    See Get-outs From Common Formations for many more of these.

    You'll then need to memorize enough of the following modules (or make up your own) so that you always have something to call from every formation you expect to be in.

    Remember - You'll still need to track the formation, body flow, level-of-difficulty, etc. so you know what you can call!  (see Points for Better Calling for a list of such details)



    Modules are single calls or series of calls that do known things to the dancers.  In this mental image system, we want modules that will move the dancers around in a fun way and either keep the order state or change it.  Click on the following links for a list of examples that will hopefully encourage you to create your own!

    Index to Modules:  "Keep Order"   "Change Order"


    Simple Extensions

    As with all extensions, be careful about adding too much complexity for yourself as it adds to what can go wrong.  You already have a lot to track and remember.  If you happen to loose track of the order state, the squares may resolve "half-out" which is not such a terrible thing once in a while.  My experience is that dancers forgive the occasional caller mistake so do something ambitious once in a while. 

    More modules = More variety = More fun!
    However too many = Mistakes = Not much fun. (!)

    Make sure you are having fun so your dancers will be having fun with you!




    See more of my site! - click here   Richard Reel   Hayward California USA