Teaching Orders

Barry Clasper (barry@clasper.ca)
Last Update
2022-11-02 14:34:53

When planning for a class, regardless of program, one of the earliest decisions is to determine the order in which calls will be taught. Most experienced callers have their own ideas on this but even they will seek guidance when preparing to teach a program they haven't done before. Having a planned and well documented teaching order is also very helpful when several callers are teaching the same program and want to offer their students "part-way" dances at various points during the teaching season. CALLERLAB has created recommended teaching orders for all programs from Basic to A2. CALLERLAB has not done the same for Challenge, but a number of teaching orders used by a variety of callers have been documented.

It is not uncommon that local circumstances or caller preferences make it necessary to depart from suggested teaching orders. When designing a new teaching order it is important to adhere to some overall principles. The first two documents in the collection below outline these general principles. The other items point to various teaching orders published by CALLERLAB or individual callers.

NOTE: Many of the items below were created prior to recent shifts in the Basic and Mainstream lists and may not reflect the current contents of those programs with complete accuracy.

Teaching Order Design Principles
These documents outline some general design principles for creating custom teaching orders:

There have also been some CALLERLAB Convention interest sessions dealing with custom teaching orders:

CALLERLAB Recommended Teaching Orders
The following teaching orders are the recommended CALLERLAB teaching orders for the programs indicated. The links point to the Checklist documents which provide not only the teaching order but also a way to track when calls are introduced and reinforced during the teaching cycle.

Note that a big advantage of staying close to the CALLERLAB recommended teaching orders is that a great deal of helpful documentation and choreography has been created predicated on those teaching orders. For example:

A further note: Occasionally changes to the program call lists may alter the recommended teaching order, and the resources cited above may lag behind such updates. It is important to check their dates of last update against the most recent changes in the lists.

Challenge Teaching Orders
Tech Squares Teaching Order
Tech Squares is a club at MIT that teaches square dancing as part of the physical education curriculum. They teach zero to Plus in a semester.
Rich Reel's Teaching Order
Rich Reel has compiled a great deal of useful information on his website. He has posted his teaching orders for Basic, Mainstream, and Plus, along with a large number of singing call figures sorted by those teaching orders.
Lawrence Johnstone's Teaching Order
Lawrence Johnstone posted this teaching order he uses for his classes.