Zoom – Definition

Teaching Resource for ZOOM

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

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

Background: Substitute was written in 1961 by Clarence Watson from Blue Springs, Missouri. In the 1983 edition of The Caller Teacher Manual, Bob Osgood commented about Substitute: “Undoubtedly this movement was created to add a bit of spice and surprise into the action and to involve the inactive couples who might otherwise be standing out a rather lengthy pattern. It has proven to be a versatile basic.”

Zoom was written in 1972 by John A. “Gus” Greene from Baldwinsville, New York. Ladies with bouffant hairdos were not fond of Substitute because it involves an arch. Except for the arch, both calls have the same action for Tandem Couples. Gradually Zoom replaced Substitute for use in the Basic Program. The 1972 Extended Basic Program from Sets In Order lists Substitute. The 1976 and 1980 CALLERLAB Extended Basics lists show Zoom and Substitute together in a family. By 1985 only Zoom is listed in the Basic Program.


In this definition, the term “center point” refers to the center of the 4-dancer formation on your side of the set, or the center of the whole set, if you are not part of a 4-dancer formation.

Minimum number of dancers needed: Two and a center point

Starting formation: A Tandem and a center point to work away from. Usually Tandem Couples or a Box Circulate.

Command examples:
— Zoom
— Boys Zoom
— Girls Zoom
— Ends Zoom

Dance action: Lead dancer walks in a full circle, turning away from the center point, and ending up on the spot of the trailing dancer. The trailing dancer walks forward to take the spot of the lead dancer.

Ending formations: Same as starting formation

Timing: 4

Styling: Lead dancers hold arms in natural dance position. For women, skirt work is optional. When the trailing dancers form a Couple, they maintain a couple handhold.

It is important that the lead dancers initiate the roll out movement with a slight forward motion to allow sufficient room for the trailing dancers to step forward comfortably.

Comments: Unlike Run or Fold, Zoom does not require naming or activating the leaders (except from a Promenade—see below). While this may seem to be helpful, it often makes it unclear who should be active. Suggested helping words are “Zoom, Leaders go back”. See the sections “Additional Detail: Centers Zoom” and “Additional Detail: Extra words”.

It is acceptable to call Zoom to dancers on the outside of the square who form a Tandem (e.g., from Ocean Waves or Two-Faced Lines, Ends Zoom).

As a gimmick, some callers use Zoom while promenading, mainly as a way to convert an out-of-sequence promenade into an in-sequence promenade. In this case, the dancers in a couple must be named and they act as leaders and work with the couple following them in the promenade (e.g., Promenade, Keep Walking; Heads Zoom; Promenade Home). Some callers feel that this is not smooth and that there isn’t enough room to properly perform the move. Some callers feel that the proper command is “Heads are leaders, All Zoom”.

It is acceptable to call Zoom while Single File Promenading. For example, “Boys Are Leads, Boys Zoom” or simply “Boys Zoom”.

Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: Neither rule applies

Link to Taminations: Taminations Zoom