Caller Training Materials

Barry Clasper (
Last Update
2023-11-02 18:01:42
Newer callers or people wondering what might be involved in learning to call are interested in what kind of educational material might be available. This article summarizes available caller training materials. The KnowledgeBase has many articles that are aimed at providing technical information to callers. The distinction between them and the materials listed here is the information is particularly aimed at people in the early stages of learning to call.
List of Caller Training Materials
So You Want To Be a Caller?
In this piece the late Paul Cote explains what is really involved in learning to call from the vantage point of 27 years experience.
Struggling Up The Cliff
Tom Gray is a newer caller. His report describes learning to call from the perspective of someone just starting out.
List of Schools
If the papers above haven't deterred you, here's a current list of caller schools taught by CALLERLAB members.
Starter Kit for New Callers
In the past this starter kit took the form of a 3-ring binder of materials assembled by the Home Office when ordered. In November 2023 a new version called the Starter Kit for New Callers was published and it may be downloaded from the CALLERLAB website. It is aimed at giving a prospective or new caller an introduction to what calling is all about. The topics include: Circular Choreography, Understanding the Square, Using the Chicken Plucker, Calling to Music, First Singing Call, Introduction to Modules, and Calling to Two Couples. In the final "What's Next?" section, there are several pages of possible goals and relevant references.
Scholarship Information
The CALLERLAB Foundation provides funds for scholarships to caller schools. You can get information on how to apply on the linked page.
Mentoring Handbook
This handbook was written by the CALLERLAB Caller Training Committee to help callers who are mentoring a protege. However, the information it contains is extremely helpful to newer callers who don't have access to a mentor in their area.
How To Call
This handbook was written by Jim Mayo in 1966 but remains relevant today. The basic principles have not changed!
Caller School In a Box
This narrated PowerPoint presentation by Daryl Clendenin provides a brief overview of topics such as terminology, FASR, Chicken Plucker, Modules, and calling to the music.
Modules represent a great entry point into understanding choreography and how dance sequences are constructed. This article points to a long list of materials on the subject.
Sight and Module Resolution Systems
This reference document, created by the CALLERLAB Choreographic Applications Committee contains a wealth of information on resolving squares. It can seem overwhelming to beginners, but the introductory chapters contain valuable insights into fundamentals and an introduction to relevant terminology.
Tim Marriner Resource Pages
The late Tim Marriner left a library of educational material available online. It contains many papers and handouts on topics relevant to a beginner caller.
Taminations is an online tool that allows you to view the official definitions of calls along with an animated display of the call action.
The website contains a huge repository of square dance information in a searchable form.
The CALLERLAB Square Dance Music Producers Committee has provided this website to aggregate their collective music offerings. It includes most of the currently active music producers. It provides a generalized search facility across labels and provides a listing of the most recent releases.
Online Teaching Resource
The CALLERLAB Online Teaching Resource provides a huge amount of information on the calls comprising the entry level programs: definitions, teaching tips, sample modules, standard applications, and much more.
CALLERLAB Program Documents
Each CALLERLAB program has a number of documents associated with it: call lists, definitions, teaching checklists, standard applications, etc. This article collects them all together.
The KnowledgeBase points to a number of published books available for purchase, many of which are aimed at newer callers. The link shows a list of those articles.
Computer Aids
The KnowledgeBase points to a number of computer programs designed to assist callers in tasks such as writing choreography, managing and playing music, and using computer numbers.