Do Paso – Definition

Teaching Resource for DO PASO

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 1
Teaching Order:After Ladies Chain and before Lead Right
Recently Taught Calls: Separate, Split Two, Courtesy Turn

Background: In Texas years ago, callers would call Do Si Do to begin a series of arm turns (partner left, corner right, partner left, corner right, …) that continued for as long as the caller wished while he recited some of his favorite rhyming patter. In the 1940’s, Dr. Lloyd Shaw saw this call being used while he was attending a square dance in El Paso, Texas. Since the term Dosido was used elsewhere to mean a different action, he named the Texas basic arm turn action a Do Paso in honor of his host city.


Minimum number of dancers needed: Eight

Starting formation for the minimum number needed: Right and Left Grand Circle, Thar, Squared Set, Infacing Circle of 8, or a “turning your partner left” formation (the dynamic formation obtained from a square plus all arm turn your partner by the left an indefinite amount)

Command examples:
— Do Paso
— Walk Around Your Corner; Partner Left Do Paso
— Circle Left; Do Paso, it’s Partner Left, Corner Right, Partner Left
— Circle Left; Break it on up with a Do Paso
— Ladies Star by the Right 3/4, Do Paso
— Four Ladies Chain, Star them home for a Do Paso
— Square Thru, but on your 4th hand Do Paso (from half sashayed facing lines)
— Do Paso, turn partner left and corner right, Left Dosado your own
— Do Paso, partner left, corner right, Turn Partner Left and Men Star Right
— Put the ladies center back-to-back, men promenade that outside track; Get back home, Do Paso

Dance action: Left Arm Turn with partner until facing corner and release armhold. Right Arm Turn with corner until facing partner and release armhold. If there is no further instruction, Courtesy Turn partner to end facing the center of the set. Otherwise, follow the next instruction, which will start with a Left Arm Turn with Partner, or with a left-handed Facing Dancer call.

Ending formation: Facing center of set if ended with a Courtesy Turn; otherwise, either turning partner by the left, or facing partner with a left hand available as necessary for the additional call.

Timing: 12

Styling: All dancers’ hands in position for forearm turns, alternating left and right. When the Courtesy Turn portion of the Do Paso is replaced by a different call, then the styling changes to styling of that call.

Comments: In an Alamo Ring in which the men are facing out, the initial arm turn will be left 3/4 so that everyone can head to their corner.

Do Paso is used primarily with a directional style of calling, in which many of the calls have vague or flexible starting or ending formations, usually in circles, thars, and squares. Dancers are expected to blend smoothly into the next call. The call defines a general pattern, but the specific parts of the call are typically cued (e.g., “Do Paso; It’s partner left, corner right, partner left and hang on tight, make an Allemande Thar with the men in the middle …”). Variations can be cued, but the caller should draw attention to the fact that the typical pattern has been broken (e.g., “Do Paso, turn partner left, turn corner by the right, Don’t Stop Yet! Partner left and corner right, hang on tight, Boys swing in to a Wrong Way Thar”).

The combination Four Ladies Chain, Chain Them Back with a Do Paso is an example of blending. See the section “Additional Detail: Blending one call into another”.

While primarily a circle-type figure, Do Paso may also be started from 8 Chain Thru (half sashayed) and Left-Hand Ocean Waves (boys on end).

Do Paso may also be used from circles of 4 and 6 dancers. These applications have received insufficient use in recent years and will probably require a quick walk thru.

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

Link to Taminations: Taminations Do Paso