Circulate – Split and Box – Definition

Teaching Resource for CIRCULATE – SPLIT and BOX

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 1
Teaching order: After Bend the Line and before Right and Left Thru
Recently taught calls: Lead Right, Veer Left

Background: The first use of Split Circulate in modern square dancing was in 1964 by Ray Vierra from Concord, California.In 1964. In 1968, Jim Stewart from East Alton, Illinois called Box Circulate. (The Box Formation has come to be called a four-person “box” because it is the formation from which Box Circulate can be done.)


In general, all Circulates have each dancer move forward along a defined path (called the “circulate path”) to the next dancer position. The definitions below will refer to the following diagrams.


No call in the Circulate Family can be used with the Ocean Wave Rule or the Facing Couples Rule (see “Part 1: General: Conventions and Rules”).

Fractions are proper and occasionally used with calls in the Circulate family. See “Part 4: Additional Detail: Fractions”.

Timing: The timing for all Circulates is 4, but if the Circulate has the effect of a Pass Thru, the timing is 2.

21.e. Case 1: Box Circulate

Starting formation: Box Circulate

Command examples:
— Heads Touch 1/4; Heads Box Circulate
— Centers Box Circulate
— Pass to the Center; Centers Touch 1/4 and Box Circulate

Dance action: Each dancer moves forward to the next position, following the General Box circulate path (see above).

Ending formation: Box Circulate

Styling: Same as for (Named Dancers) Circulate (#21.a)

Comments: Box Circulate is proper only after specifying a group of four dancers or, rarely, groups of four dancers. For example, one could say “On each side Box Circulate” but “Split Circulate” would be more common and preferred.

Once dancers in a Box Circulate formation are identified, Box Circulate and Circulate are the same, and many callers will say only “Circulate”.

21.e. Case 2: Split Circulate

Minimum number of dancers needed: Eight

Starting formations: General Lines (e.g., Ocean Waves), General Columns

Command example:
— Split Circulate

Dance action: Divide (“split”) the formation in half. Dancers in each half move forward to the next position, following the General Box circulate path (see above). Examples:


Ending formations: General Lines, General Columns. Same as starting formation from Ocean Waves and Columns.

Styling: Same as for (Named Dancers) Circulate (#21.a)

Comments: None

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: Neither rule applies to Circulate.

Link to Taminations: Taminations Circulate Family