Sweep a Quarter – Definition

Teaching Resource for SWEEP A QUARTER

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Basic Part 2
Teaching Order: After Flutterwheel
Recently Taught Calls: Double Pass Thru, First Couple Go Left …, Zoom

Background: Sweep a Quarter was created in 1971 by Jerry Helt from Cincinnati, Ohio.


Minimum number of dancers needed: four

Sweep a Quarter is a suffix call. That is, its action depends on the preceding call.

Starting formation: Facing Couples only.

Command examples:
— Flutterwheel and Sweep a Quarter
— Couples Circulate, Wheel and Deal and Sweep One Quarter
— Recycle, Sweep a Quarter
— Ferris Wheel, Centers Sweep a Quarter

Dance action: Circle Right or Left 1/4, except that each couple does not join hands with the couple they are facing. The circling direction continues the motion that completed the previous call.

Ending formation: Facing Couples

Timing: 2

Styling: Dancers use a couple handhold.

As the previous call ends, each dancer’s motion around the center of the forming Facing Couples must be the same (either clockwise or counterclockwise). Sweep a Quarter is improper after Chain Down the Line because of the dancers that start in the center. At the end of the call, their turning motion is not around, nor approximately around, the center point of the forming Facing Couples. Similarly, it is improper to call Sweep a Quarter after Bend the Line, Wheel Around, Cast Off 3/4, etc.

From a Wave, Recycle and Sweep a Quarter is proper. This is an exception made because of years of use. The exception is needed because in some versions of the Recycle definition, the last part for some dancers is a turn in place.

After Ferris Wheel (or Wheel and Deal from Lines Facing Out), “Sweep a Quarter” is improper, but “Centers Sweep a Quarter” is proper. Some callers use “Ferris Wheel and Outsides do a big Sweep a Quarter; You’re Home” as a gimmick.

“Sweep a Quarter Twice” is an uncommon phrasing. A caller is more likely to say “Sweep a Quarter, Sweep Another Quarter”, “Sweep a Quarter, Sweep a Quarter More”, “Sweep Two Quarters”, or “Sweep One Half”. Caution must be used when calling to groups for whom English is not their native language.

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

Link to Taminations: