Teaching Resource for CLOVERLEAF
CALLERLAB Program: Mainstream
Teaching order: After Ferris Wheel
Recently taught calls: Trade By, Touch 1/4
Background: Cloverleaf was written in 1963 by Joe Prystupa from Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. The original idea of Cloverleaf was embodied in a move called U-Trail Out by “Decko” Deck of Washington, D.C. Cloverleaf was listed in the 1972 Sets In Order Extended Basics Program of American Square Dancing.
The general action of a Cloverleaf has the active dancers walking in a 3/4 circle, staying in their own quadrant of the set. A cloverleaf ramp at a highway intersection or the edge of one leaf of a four-leaf clover gives a good visual picture of the dance path.
a) Cloverleaf (Everyone Active)
Starting formation: Completed Double Pass Thru
— Everyone Cloverleaf
Dance action: The lead dancers separate and move away from each other in a three quarter (270 degrees) circle.
When each lead dancer approaches another lead dancer from the other side of the square, they both reach with outside hands, blending into a couple handhold as they continue into the center of the square to become a couple facing in.
Each trailing dancer follows the dancer in front, and ends directly behind that same dancer.
Ending formation: Double Pass Thru
Styling: Arms are held in natural dance position, skirt work optional. It is important to move slightly forward before turning away. Trailing dancers should follow footsteps of the lead dancers and not cut the corners. As dancers meet each other, they use couples handholds.
As a pleasing variation, some dancers use a sweeping gesture during the call, letting go of the starting handhold and offering the same hand for the final handhold, without dropping the arm in between.
b) Cloverleaf (Two Couples Only Active)
Starting formation: Anywhere two couples are facing out of the set (e.g., Trade By)
— Boys are a couple looking out of the set: Boys Cloverleaf
— Squared set: Heads Turn Thru and Cloverleaf
— Squared set: Heads Square Thru; Pass Thru; Cloverleaf while the centers Square Thru
— Squared set: Sides Pass Thru and Cloverleaf; Heads Square Thru 2 and Cloverleaf; New centers Square Thru 3
— Double Pass Thru; Ends Cloverleaf; others Partner Trade; You’re Home
Dance action: The designated dancers must be facing out of the set. If they are in the center of the set, they first step forward. Next they separate and move away from each other in a three quarter (270 degrees) circle. When they meet another dancer from the other side of the square, they become a couple facing in. If no one else is in front of them, they can finish in the center, just as the leads normally would for Everyone Cloverleaf.
When the inactive dancers are a couple facing in, they will move into the center.
Ending formation: Various. The active dancers will be Couples facing in.
Timing: Active dancers: 6 (or, if they move into the middle, 8); Inactive dancers: 0 (if they start as centers) or 2 (if they start as ends).
Styling: Arms are held in natural dance position, skirt work optional. As dancers meet each other, they use a couple handhold.
Comment: The next call is often directed to the inactive dancers and can commence while the active dancers are still dancing their Cloverleaf.
Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: (Does not apply)
Link to Taminations: Taminations Cloverleaf