“Don’t Cry Over Broken Squares … Fix Them! Part 4” by Allan Hurst reprinted from the May 2004 issue of Times Squared

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The Last Resort

Finally, there’s the method of last resort, which I’ve often heard termed “find a hole and fill it”. If you get totally lost during a sequence and can’t possible remember any of the other methods outlined in this article, you always have the option of standing back until the dust settles, then dashing into the only empty spot in the formation. (Hint: If you know who you image dancer is, you can dash into that spot much more quickly!) People may laugh at you for a moment, but at least your square will keep going.

Don’t Ignore the Caller

If your square breaks down, and the caller starts calling specifically to your square (“Just that square, make waves with girls on the ends…”), don’t freak out, don’t argue with the caller, just do what he or she says.

I’ve observed a number of callers having fun with a floor by giving a broken-down square specific instruction, then have the rest of the floor do something different, until finally all of the squares converge. (“In that square only, swing through; everyone else, centers trade…”)

What to Do Next?

Don’t wait until your square breaks down to start practicing some of the techniques in this article. Make a note of your image dancer each time you square up, and periodically notice where he or she is during the top. Once in a while, glance over at another square to see where your mirror dancer is. Start being aware of where the girls are ad where the boy are in your square. You’ll eventually find you can fix a broken square nearly automatically.

The Point is … to Have Fun

One of the unbreakable rules of square dancing is, sooner or later, you’re going to dance in a square that breaks down. Regardless of which of the above techniques you decide to use (or not use), the most important thig is to have fun.

When your square breaks down, don’t get mad, and don’t place blame. Just keep moving, keep on dancing, and keep your sense of humor intact. Some of the most fun squares I’ve ever danced in were broken down during most of the tip, but we were all laughing so hard, we had a great time anyway!