Circle To Line – Definition

Teaching Resource for CIRCLE TO A LINE

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 1
Teaching order: After Square Thru and before Dive Thru
Recently taught calls: Star Thru, California Twirl, Walk Around the Corner, See Saw

Background: “Circle to a Line” is listed as number 2107X in Burleson’s Encyclopedia, which would imply that it was created about 1975. It is listed in the Callerlab 1976 Basic Program (1-37) list.


Minimum number of dancers needed: Eight

Starting formation for the minimum number needed: Eight Chain Thru

Command examples:
— Circle to a Line
— Heads Lead Right; Circle to a Line, Head Men Break, Make a Line of 4
— Sides Star Thru, California Twirl, Circle to a Line
— Heads Left Touch 1/4, Walk and Dodge, Circle to a Line

Dance action: Each group of facing couples Circle Left 1/2 (180 degrees). The left-side dancer in the new outside couple releases the left handhold and slides sideways to the left to become the left end of a One-faced Line (which faces the line formed by the other four dancers). All other handholds are maintained. The other dancers continue circling, gradually blending into the One-Faced Line by unwinding the circle. The final dancer replaces the unwinding action with a forward and left-turning twirl, walking under an arch made with the adjacent dancer, similar in action to a California Twirl.

Ending formation: Facing Lines

Timing: 8

Styling: The circle portion is the same styling as in Circle Left (#1). Dancers lead the twirl under the arch by raising their joined hands into an arch.

Comments: A wider variety of Command Examples are often used (e.g., “Circle Up 4, Break Out, Make a Line”, “Circle 4, Side Man Break to a Line”, “Circle Up 4, Bust Out to a Line”). Some feel that the words “Circle to a Line” must always be included, whereas others feel that other options are acceptable if the meaning is clear. Callers are cautioned that the distinction between circling “to a line” and circling “to another action” (e.g., “Heads Lead Right; Circle Left Halfway; Dive Thru”) can be lost if care is not taken in their choice of words.

Some callers identify who “breaks” (i.e., who lets go with the left hand to become the left end of the final line). These helping words are optional; if used, they refer to the outside left-side dancer after Circle Left 1/2.

This definition gives the proper way that Circle to a Line should be danced and styled. There are other dance actions in popular use (with the same ending result). Dancers and callers should be aware that they may encounter these variations and that this call requires cooperation to be danced successfully.

Some callers extend Circle to a Line (designating different dancers to break, or circling a different amount), while others think such extensions are improper. In any case, there has never been consensus on how they work, and these applications require workshopping.

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: The Ocean Wave Rule does not apply to Circle to a Line.

Link to Taminations:

Circle to a Line