Spin the Top – Definition

Teaching Resource for SPIN THE TOP

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Mainstream
Teaching order: After Cast Off 3/4
Recently taught calls: Hinge, Centers In

Background: Spin the Top was written in 1964 by Holman Hudspeth from Detroit, Michigan. Jay King says “Spin the Top really established the 3/4 arm turn – before that it had been frowned upon as too difficult from a dancer orientation standpoint.” Spin the Top was listed in the 1972 Extended Basics Program of American Square Dancing. It was still in the CALLERLAB Extended Basics list in 1980 but had been moved to Mainstream by 1984.


Starting formation: Ocean Wave

Command examples:
— Spin The Top
— Spin The Top; Spin It Again (i.e., go twice)
— Spin Your Top
— Spin Your Top, Do A Right and Left Thru

Dance action: Each end and adjacent center Turn 1/2. Centers Turn 3/4 while the ends move forward in a quarter circle around the formation to become ends of the final Ocean Wave.

Ending formations: Ocean Wave perpendicular to starting formation

Timing: 8

Styling: Use same styling as in Swing Thru.

The Facing Couples Rule applies to this call.

The combination “Spin The Top, Right and Left Thru” must be delivered so that dancers adjust their hands as necessary for the Right and Left Thru instead of first finishing the Spin The Top in a hands-up Ocean Wave.

When Spin The Top is used from an Ocean Wave of 3 dancers, the caller must specify who starts (e.g., Right Spin The Top, Starting With The Right Spin The Top, Boys Start Spin The Top). The designated dancers Turn 1/2. The non-designated dancer and the new center dancer Turn 3/4 while the other dancer moves up around the outside of the formation to end in a new Ocean Wave of 3 dancers. This usage is uncommon.

From a Left-Hand Ocean Wave, the phrase “Left Spin The Top” is acceptable. “Left” is a helping word (see “Additional Detail: Commands: Extra words”).
From a Right-Hand Ocean Wave, the phrases “Left Spin The Top” and “Centers Start, Spin The Top” are improper.

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: The Facing Couples Rule applies to this call.

Link to Taminations: Taminations Spin The Top