Teaching Resource for TAG THE LINE
CALLERLAB Program: Mainstream
Teaching order: After Spin Chain Thru
Recently taught calls: Fold / Cross Fold, Dixie Style to an Ocean Wave
Tag the Line was written in 1969 by Will Orlich from Bradenton, Florida. 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. 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.
Jay King added the following Background Note in his Handbook of Modern Square Dancing: Tag the Line has a considerable history. The term “Tag” was first used in this sense by Holman Hudspeth with a movement he called “Tag the Centers”. Following are some of the calls that led to the present day Tag family:
“Tag the Centers” by Holman Hudspeth from Detroit, Michigan written in 1967. This is what we now call “Tag the Line Right”.
“Close the Line” by Hugh Armstrong from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1969. This is what we now call “Tag the Line In”.
“Open the Line” by Hugh Armstrong from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1969. This is what we now call “Tag the Line Out”.
“Half Tag the Centers” by Holman Hudspeth from Detroit, Michigan written in 1967. This is what we now call “Tag the Line Right”. This is what we now call “Half Tag the Line”.
Starting formation: General Line
— Tag the Line
— Tag the Line All The Way
— Tag the Line, Face Right
— Tag the Line, Left
— Tag the Line, Face In
Dance action: Each dancer turns 90 degrees, in place, to face the center of the line and then walks forward, passing right shoulders with all dancers in the other half of the line, until the last dancers in each half have passed each other. If a facing direction is given, each dancer then turns 90 degrees, in place, toward the specified direction.
Tag the Line ends in back-to-back Tandems.
If a direction is given, the ending formation depends on that direction (e.g., “Tag the Line, Face Right” ends in a Right-Hand Two-Faced Line).
Styling: Arms in natural dance position, hands ready to assume appropriate position for the next call. 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.
Comment: Tag the Line is a 4-dancer call. From a General Line of 8, the phrase “Each Side” (or “Each Four”) is helpful but not required.
After Tag the Line, the direction In (or Out) means to turn toward (or away from) the center of the set.
From General Lines, Tag the Line, Face In (or Out) ends in Facing Lines (or Lines Back-to-Back).
The direction given does not have to be the same for all dancers, e.g., Tag the Line, Boys Face Left, Girls Face Right.
An extended application of Tag the Line begins from a General Line containing six or eight dancers. The caller must explicitly identify the line, e.g., “Line of Eight, Tag the Line”. The application from a line of two dancers is improper at Mainstream; it has a separate name and is in another program.
Facing Couple or Ocean Wave Rule: Neither rule applies
Link to Taminations: Taminations Tag the Line