Shoot the Star – Definition

Teaching Resource for SHOOT THE STAR

Links:   Standard Analyze Module Teach Other Extend

CALLERLAB Program: Mainstream
Teaching order: After Slip the Clutch
Recently taught calls: Wheel Around, Allemande Thar

Background: “Shoot the Star” is listed as number 307 in Burleson’s Encyclopedia. It was among the original Basic 50 calls for “The Basic Program of American Square Dancing” printed in Sets in Order in 1969.


Minimum number of dancers needed: Eight

Starting formation for the minimum number needed: Thar in motion, Wrong Way Thar in motion

Command examples: (The first five command examples start from a Thar with men as the centers)
— Shoot The Star; Right And Left Grand
— Shoot The Star To Another Thar, Go Forward 2, Men Swing In To A Backup Star
— Shoot The Star Go All The Way Around, Give Corner Right, Men Swing In To A Wrong Way Thar
— Shoot The Star A Full Turn, Go Backwards 3, Right, Left, Right, Boys Wheel In To A Wrong Way Thar
— Shoot The Star A Full Turn, This Way Go Forward 3, Right, Left, Right; Allemande Left
— (From a Wrong Way Thar) Shoot The Star, Go Forward 2, With A Left And Right, To Another Wrong Way Thar

Dance action: Centers dancers drop the inside handholds forming the star as each center dancer and the adjacent outside dancer Arm Turn 1/2 and Step Thru. If Full Around is directed, the Arm Turn is a full turn (360 degrees).

Ending formations: Right and Left Grand Circle

Timing: 4; full around: 6

Styling: A forearm hold is used for the Arm Turn. Other hands are in natural dance position and available for the next call. Women can continue to use skirt work during the Arm Turn.

Comments: The Facing Couples Rule does not apply to this call.

After Shoot the Star, the caller sometimes indicates that dancers are to Pull By one or more times and Arm Turn into another Thar. For instance, in the second command example above, following the Step Thru the dancers Right Pull By and, stepping up to a left forearm hold, Left Arm Turn 1/2.

The caller can direct the dancers to Go Forward any number of hands. Each hand is a Pull By, except the last hand, which is normally the start of an Arm Turn into a Thar or Wrong Way Thar.

Some callers use “Forward” to mean “in normal Right and Left Grand direction” and use “Backward” (or “Back” or “Backwards”) to mean the opposite direction. Other callers use “Forward” to mean “the direction you are facing” and never use the words “Back” or “Backward”. Either is acceptable, but callers must be careful not to confuse dancers. See the fourth and fifth command examples above.

Some callers adapt Shoot the Star as a way to Cast Off 3/4 and get an Alamo Ring, e.g., “Shoot The Star 3/4 To An Alamo Ring” or simply “Shoot The Star To An Alamo Ring”. Shoot the Star can also blend into the next call, e.g., “Shoot The Star, 4 Ladies Chain.”

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

Link to Taminations: Taminations Shoot the Star