Initial Publication Date: May 21, 2009

Do-si-do and Face the Sides--square dance written by Ted Sanella

(Published in Balance and Swing, Ted Sanella, 1982, Country Dance and Song Society, Northampton MA)

Walk Through

Form square sets, identify head couples (back to the band or facing the band) and side couples (perpendicular to the band); the dance will be done 4 times--the first two times with the call going to the head couples, the third and fourth time with the call going to the side couples.

A1 Head couples go forward and back (Symmetry: mirror)

Head couples forward again with a do-si-do (Step forward passing right shoulders, and then back-to-back and back to place in the square set) (Symmetry: mirror)

A2 Slide to the center, face the sides nearest you and circle left one time around (active couples turn back to back, slide to the center and face the sides, take hands 4 in a small circle and circle left once around) (Symmetry: 4 fold rotation)

Split two, go round one to a line of 4 (actives in the center walk between the two people on the side, turn to the outside and end up in a line of 4 with the original head dancers on the outside of the line) (Symmetry: Mirror)

B1 Forward 8 and 8 fall back (long lines take three steps to center, clap, fall back to place) (Symmetry: Mirror)

Middle four make a right hand star (Middle 4 are the original side couples, make a right hand star and walk around clockwise one turn) (Symmetry: 4 fold axis)

B2 Turn your corner by the left once and a half around (Turn the star one full turn and a little more...pass your partner and with left hands turn the next person (allemende left), your "corner," one and a half times) (Symmetry: right hand star is a 4 fold rotation; turn corners on the outside is a 2-fold rotation).

Corners to the center with a right hand star(Same as above only the corners make the star and rotate 1 turn clockwise) (Symmetry: 4-fold rotation)

C1 Find your corners and balance and swing (The balance can be done by facing your new partner, take a step in and a step back for 4 beats (just like modern swing dancing), and then as a couple swing in the ballroom position three times, ending with the lady on the gents right, looking in a counter-clockwise direction) (Symmetry: 2 fold rotation in the swing)

C2 Promenade to the gent's home place. (Cross hands in front, walk as a couple two by two, counter-clockwise, gent on the inside, lady on the outside, one full turn to the gent's home place). Note: the ladies have moved around the square one position, and at the start of the dance all the gents will have a new partner (Symmetry: approximates a 4-fold screw axis because the ladies have progressed 1 1/4 turns to the next position to the right).

Repeat the dance: The call goes to the head couples two times (note that the head gents stay in the same place, but the ladies rotate around the square one place to the right each time through the dance).Then the call goes to the side couples two times. At the end of 4 cycles everyone should be back to their "home" position.

Download the video of the complete dance (MP4 Video 31.1MB Jul28 17)

Download the audio file (MP3 Audio 2.6MB May21 09) of music and calls so that you can do this dance in your own class!

See the full dance (MP4 Video 15.2MB Aug1 17) performed by dancers from Montana State University and the Bozeman Folklore Society with music from The Broken String Band.