Trade – Definition

Teaching Resource for TRADE

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 2
Teaching order: After Box the Gnat
Recently taught calls: Wheel Around, Allemande Thar, Slip the Clutch, Shoot the Star

Background: The term “Trade” was suggested in 1965 by Lloyd Litman of Parma, Ohio. The idea was in use for some years before that under a variety of names.


Minimum number of dancers needed: Two

Starting formation for the minimum number needed: Mini-Wave, Couple, and non-adjacent dancers, as described below

Command examples:
— Centers Trade
— Boys Trade
— Ends Trade
— Heads Square Thru 4, Touch 1/4, Girls Trade
— Center 6, Trade

Dance action: Two dancers exchange places by walking forward in a semicircle, passing right shoulders if they start facing the same direction. (See “General: Conventions and Rules: Passing Rule”.) Dancers end facing the opposite direction from their original facing directions.

Ending formations: Mini-Wave, Couple, and non-adjacent dancers, as described below

Timing: Mini-Wave 3; Couple, 4; with additional beats for non-adjacent dancers

Styling: From a Mini-Wave, dancers maintain their handhold.

From a Couple, dancers swing their joined hands backward slightly as they release their handhold. This gets them turning in the correct direction as they start moving forward.

Two dancers may Trade only when they are facing the same or opposite directions. Additionally, each dancer must be directly to the right or left of the other, but they do not need to be adjacent.

Trade when used without designating dancers, means Everyone Trade.

Callers sometimes use helping words with this call. For example, from normal Facing Lines, “Pass Thru, Girls Trade down the Line” alerts the women that they are not adjacent. Another example is “Trade by the Right (or Left)”, which indicates that each pair of dancers who Trade are in a Right-Hand (or Left-Hand) Mini-Wave. In certain cases, helping words are necessary to designate pairs (e.g. from an Alamo Ring, Trade by the Right) or designate dancers (e.g. from an Inverted Line, Those Who Can Trade by the Left). Callers should be aware that sometimes (principally outside English-speaking countries) dancers may mistake “Trade by the Right” for the call “Trade By” (#49). In such a situation, “Trade with the right hand” may be more successful.

For this call, when there are exactly four dancers who are directly right or left of one another, e.g., Heads Pass the Ocean, Extend, Everyone Trade, then the dance action is completed separately by each outside dancer with the nearby inside dancer. Similarly, if six or eight dancers Trade who are directly right or left of one another, then pairs of dancers Trade, where the pairs are determined working from the outside toward the center. For example, consider Heads Lead Right, Pass the Ocean, Girls Trade, Boys Trade. In each Trade, dancers are paired on each side. Helping words can also make this clear, e.g., “Each Side, Boys Trade”. Also see “General: Ways of Naming Dancers: Centers / Ends”.

Facing Couples or Ocean Wave Rule: Neither rule applies.

Link to Taminations: