Run – Definition

Teaching Resource for RUN

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 2
Teaching order: After Swing Thru
Recently taught calls: Trade, Ocean Wave Family

Background: In 1963 Centers (or Ends) Run was created by Vern Smith of Dearborn, Michigan and Boys (or Girls) Run was created by John Ward of Alton, Kansas. These calls were created within six months after Swing Thru to make it easier for callers to work with the ocean wave formation.


With Run and Cross Run, the caller must designate certain dancers; generally half the dancers are designated. For this definition, a runner (or cross-runner) is a designated dancer and a non-runner is another dancer who moves during the call. For example, in Boys Run, the men are the runners and the women are the non-runners.

On Run, dancers work in pairs.

Minimum number of dancers needed: Two

Starting formation: Mini-Wave, Couple

Command examples:
— Boys Run
— Centers Run
— Women Run Right
— Leaders Run

Dance action: Each runner (designated dancer) must have a non-runner either to the right or to the left, and these dancers work together.

The runner and non-runner exchange places: the runner walks forward in a semicircle into the non-runner’s spot (ending with the opposite facing direction), while the non-runner moves into the runner’s spot without changing facing direction.

Ending formations: Mini-Wave, Couple

Timing: 4

Styling: Hands should blend into handhold required for the ending (i.e., Couple or Mini-Wave).


A direction may be given, and this indicates where the non-runner is relative to the runner. It is often optional (e.g., Swing Thru, Boys Run Right), but may be required to avoid ambiguity (e.g., from an Alamo or Circle; or Heads Square Thru, Touch ¼; Center Girls Run Left).

Infrequently used applications of Run can ask the same designated dancers to run around successive people (e.g., End Boy Run Right, Left, and Right), or to remain designated for multiple calls (e.g., Girls Cross Run and then Run).

An extended application designates more than one non-runner for each runner. E.g., from normal Lines Facing Out, End Boys Run Around 3. In this case, the center dancers are non-runners. The end boy walks in a semicircle to end in the position of the farther center while each non-runner moves one position toward where the runner started.

Some callers occasionally use Everyone Run. For example, from Lines Facing Out, this would be equivalent to Partner Trade. Because each runner is not next to a non-runner, this application is a gimmick (see Additional Detail: Commands: Gimmicks). This gimmick may not be used if only some dancers are designated. For example, after Heads Pass the Ocean, Extend, Split Circulate, the call Boys Run is improper because it is unclear if the Girls should do the part of the non-runner or not move at all. To be proper, the caller could use Do Your Part (see Additional Detail: Commands: Do Your Part).

At Mainstream, the runner and non-runner will almost always begin as a Mini-Wave or Couple. A workshop should precede other applications, such as when the non-runner is initially facing the shoulder of the runner (e.g., from a Double Pass Thru formation, Centers Square Thru 4, Centers Run).

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: The Facing Couple Rule does not apply.

Link to Taminations: Taminations Run Family