Ladies Chain – Two – Definition

Teaching Resource for LADIES CHAIN – TWO

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 1
Teaching Order:After Courtesy Turn and before Do Paso
Recently Taught Calls: Turn Back Family, Separate, Split Two

Background: Two Ladies Chain is a traditional figure found in many early quadrilles and contras. It was sometimes called a “ladies change”. In many dances the call was understood to be a 16-count action consisting of a “round trip” by the ladies who would go across to the opposite gent and then return back to their partner. In modern square dancing it is an 8-count action and a one-way trip. If a return is desired then the caller will say “over and back” or Ladies Chain back.


The general action of Ladies Chain has two or more women each leave their current man, star (or right pull by) with each other, and be courtesy turned by a man. The caller indicates which women are involved and how far they star.

Minimum number of dancers needed: Four

Starting formation for the minimum number needed: Normal Facing Couples

Command examples:
— Head Ladies Chain
— Right and Left Thru; Two Ladies Chain
— Right and Left Thru; Ladies Chain
— Side Ladies Chain Over; Side Ladies Chain Back

Dance action: Women step toward each other and Right-Hand Star 1/2 (or Right Pull By). Each man Courtesy Turns the woman coming toward him to end in Facing Couples.

Ending formation: Facing Couples

Timing: Facing Couples: 6; Squared Set: 8

Styling: Each man releases his partner and sidesteps to the right while turning his right shoulder slightly toward the center of the formation blending into the Courtesy Turn. Women use skirtwork for the Courtesy Turn (and in the star, if used).

Comments: Two Ladies Chain is improper if either couple is sashayed or same-sex.

From a squared set with the men at home, Head Ladies Chain is danced by those currently at the Heads position, even if this involves the original Side women (e.g., after Four Ladies Chain 3/4).
The next four comments refer to uncommon or regional applications of Ladies Chain and may require workshopping.

From a Squared Set, on the call Head Ladies Chain 3/4, often called as “Head Ladies Chain 3/4, Side Men Turn Them”, the head women will do their part of a Four Ladies Chain 3/4 (see below) using a 2-dancer star. The Courtesy Turn will be with the side men, and the ending position will be lines of 3 (boy, girl, girl) at the sides of the set with lonesome head men at the heads of the set. The timing of this application is 10.

From a Squared Set, “Head Ladies Chain Right” or “Head Ladies to the Right, Chain” has each Head couple work with the Side couple on their right. These couples momentarily face, do the call, and then adjust back to a Squared Set. Head Ladies Chain Right is the same as Side Ladies Chain Left.

From Facing Lines, “End Ladies Chain on a Diagonal” has the right-end women chain with each other, to be Courtesy Turned by the adjacent men, ending in Facing Lines.

From Facing Tandems with women in front, the variation “On A Double Track, Ladies Chain” can be used: the women Right Pull By and Courtesy Turn with the far man. For example, Couples Circulate, Tag the Line, Cloverleaf, On a Double Track, Ladies Chain. This may also be called as “Single File, Ladies Chain”.

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: The Ocean Wave Rule does not apply to Two Ladies Chain

Link to Taminations: Taminations Ladies Chain Family