Grand Square

Starting formation Squared Set (also see Comments)
Command examples

Sides Face, Grand Square

Sides Face, Grand Square (16 beats later) Reverse

Heads Face, Grand Square

Heads Rollaway; Sides Face, Grand Square

Dance action

The designated dancers turn to face their partner. All dancers then perform the following series of steps, each of which takes one beat of music. Dancers are to be reminded that these are square dancing steps and NOT just walking.

Step (count 1), Step (count 2), Step (count 3), Step-Turn In (count 4)
Step (count 5), Step (count 6), Step (count 7), Step-Turn In (count 8)
Step (count 9), Step (count 10), Step (count 11), Step-Turn In (count 12)
Step (count 13), Step (count 14), Step (count 15), Step-Pause to Reverse (count 16)
Step (count 17), Step (count 18), Step (count 19), Step-Turn In (count 20)
Step (count 21), Step (count 22), Step (count 23), Step-Turn In (count 24)
Step (count 25), Step (count 26), Step (count 27), Step-Turn In (count 28)
Step (count 29), Step (count 30), Step (count 31), Step-You’re Home (count 32)

At all times during Grand Square, every dancer is facing another dancer either nose-to-nose or across the square.

On "Step(1), Step(2), Step(3), Step(4)" dancers who are facing nose-to-nose take 4 steps backwards away from each other. Dancers who are facing across the square take 4 steps forward until they are nose-to nose.

On the 4th Step-Turn In dancers turn in place 90 degrees during the step to face another dancer nose-to-nose or across the square. Like the other Steps, this takes one beat.

This continues for each group of 4 steps.

On "Step-Pause to Reverse" dancers take the 4th Step and then prepare to reverse directions without turning. The next “Step” will be in the opposite direction, as dancers start to retrace their steps.

On "You're Home" those dancers designated to "face" at the start of the call face back in, making a squared set. The others take the last (fourth) Step and freeze in place.

Dance action

The designated dancers turn to face their partner. All dancers then perform a series of steps, each of which takes one beat of music. Dancers who are facing nose-to-nose take 4 steps backwards away from each other. Dancers who are facing across the square take 4 steps forward until they are nose-to-nose. During the 4th step of each group of 4 steps, dancers turn in place one quarter (90 degrees) to face another dancer either nose-to-nose or across the square. Like all the other steps, this turning step takes one beat.

During the first half of the call, dancers do four groups of 4 steps each. On step 16, they prepare to "Reverse" the action. To "Reverse", dancers do NOT turn on Step 16. Their very next step (step 17) will be in the opposite direction as dancers start to retrace their steps. On the very last step (step 32), dancers face in as necessary to form a squared-up set.

Ending formation Squared Set (more generally, same as starting formation before designated dancers face).
Timing 32. This call should be danced without rushing so that each Step and Step-Turn In corresponds to one beat of music and everyone returns home simultaneously. Grand Square should be called so that dancers start on beat 1 of an 8-beat phrase (preferably on beat 1 of a 32-beat phrase). Also see "Additional Detail: Timing".
Styling Men's arms in natural dance position; women may work skirts with natural swinging action. Adjacent dancers who walk forward or backward together should use a couples handhold. A wide variety of embellishments may be encountered. (See "Additional Detail: Styling: Embellishments".)
Calling Tip The caller may designate the number of steps to take (e.g., “Sides Face, Grand Square, 6 Steps”).
Teaching Tip At all times during Grand Square, every dancer is facing another dancer either nose-to-nose or across the square. Callers MUST teach the dancers to take shorter than normal steps so they can do 4 steps on each side and NOT rush the action.
Comments

From a Squared Set, the caller must designate who faces for Grand Square. It is improper to call "Grand Square" and expect "Sides Face, Grand Square".

The caller may designate the number of steps to take (e.g., "Grand Square, 6 Steps").

The following variations on Grand Square may require workshopping.

Some callers, observing that each dancer dances the edges of a square (in their quadrant) and then reverses the path, relax the rule that "every dancer is facing another dancer either nose-to-nose or across the square". For example, "Girls turn and face your partner, Everyone Grand Square" has each dancer dancing the edges of the same square, following the same pattern of stepping and turning as if they were facing other dancers (nose-to-nose or across the square) at the appropriate times.

In "Heads Star Thru; Sides Face, Grand Square", dancers dance the edges of the same squares, making the usual turns, even though some of the dancers start and finish in the center of the set.