Teaching Resource for TAG – FRACTION
CALLERLAB Program: Mainstream
Teaching order: After Tag the Line
Recently taught calls: Dixie Style to an Ocean Wave, Spin Chain Thru
Half Tag the Line was written in 1970 by John Stockman from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Tag the Line 3/4 was written by Bob Dawson from Sarasota, Florida at about the same time. In Burleson’s Encyclopedia, Tag the Line is number 810, Half Tag the Line is number 901 and Tag the Line 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 is number 1007. These numbers place all of them amid other calls written in 1970. Tag the Line is the last call in the 1972 Extended Basics Program of American Square Dancing. By 1976 the Tag Family (Full, 1/2, Partner) was listed in the CALLERLAB Mainstream Program. Will Orlich wrote Partner Tag in 1970. Partner Tag was removed from the Mainstream Program by 1993 and is now in the Advanced Program.
Starting formation: General Line
— Half Tag
— 3/4 Tag the Line
— Tag the Line 3/4
— 1/4 Tag
Each dancer turns 90 degrees, in place, to face the center of the line (i.e., turning toward the far end of the line) and starts walking forward, as necessary passing right shoulders with dancers from the other half of the line. For 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4, dancers stop at a Right-Hand Single 1/4 Tag, Right-Hand Box Circulate, and Right-Hand Single 3/4 Tag formation, respectively.
1/4 Tag: Right-Hand Single 1/4 Tag
1/2 Tag: Right-Hand Box Circulate
3/4 Tag: Right-Hand Single 3/4 Tag
1/4 Tag: 3
1/2 Tag: 4
3/4 Tag: 5
Styling: If the centers start holding right hands, a flowing type of movement can be achieved by taking a slight step forward while turning toward the center of the line.
These are 4-dancer calls. From a General Line of 8, the phrase “Each Side” (or “Each Four”) is helpful but not required.
From General Lines, 3/4 (or 1/4) Tag ends in a Right-Hand 3/4 (or 1/4) Tag formation because outside dancers move together to become a couple. See “Additional Detail: Dance Action: Square Breathing”.
The fraction is often given first because dancers may begin moving before the caller has said the entire call. “Tag the Line One-Quarter” is strongly discouraged because the call takes only three beats.
Callers often abbreviate the fraction, using “Half” (or “Quarter”) for “One-Half” (or “One-Quarter”). For emphasis, the full fraction can be used or “the Line” can be added, such as “One-Quarter Tag the Line”.
Half Tag has extended applications that begin from a General Line containing six or eight dancers. The caller must explicitly identify the line, e.g., “Line of Eight, Half Tag”. The application from a line of two dancers is improper at Mainstream; it has a separate name and is in another program.
For Half Tag, it is possible, but uncommon, to give a direction for dancers to turn, as in Tag the Line, e.g., “Half Tag, Face Right”. The directions In or Out should be used only if they are unambiguous, e.g., Couples Circulate, Couples Hinge, Each Side Half Tag, Face In. If the center of the resulting Box Circulate is in a different direction from the center of the set, Face In or Face Out should be avoided, e.g., following Couples Circulate, Half Tag.
The call Extend (Basic #42), formerly called Extend the Tag, is closely related to the fractions of Tag the Line. Each additional fraction of Tag the Line corresponds to an additional Extend.
Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: Neither rule applies.
Link to Taminations: Taminations Tag Family