Separate

The most general case of Separate is described first. The two most common applications are described in greater detail next.

Starting formation Couple. The couple must be active or designated.
Command examples

Heads Separate and Star Thru

Heads Pass Thru; Separate and behind the Sides Touch 1/4

Heads Pass Thru; Separate and come back home and Swing

Heads Star Thru; Double Pass Thru; Heads Separate and Star Thru

Heads Pass Thru; Separate go Around Two; Meet Your Partner and Dosado

Couple #1 Separate around the ring ... pass her once ... and pass her again; Allemande the corner

Heads Pass The Ocean and Swing Thru, Others Separate and Everybody Right and Left Thru

Dance action

Case 1: The active or designated couple is on Squared Set spots

The dancers turn back-to-back and start walking forward in opposite directions around the outside of the square away from each other until they meet another dancer. The call ends here unless further instructions are given (e.g., "and come back home").

Case 2: The active or designated couple is in the center facing out of the square (e.g., after Heads Slide Thru, Square Thru 2)

The couple steps forward and then performs the Separate action described above.

Dance action Designated or Active dancers turn back-to-back with each other and proceed forward around the outside of the square. If an additional call is not given, they stop when they meet another dancer. Otherwise the distance traveled and ending formation is determined by the next call.
Ending formation Facing dancers on the outside of the set or determined by the next command
Ending formation Facing dancers, or as determined by the next call.
Timing 2, or determined by the distance traveled around the outside
Styling Inactive dancers move into the center to get out of the way of the actives. Men's arms in natural dance position; woman's skirt work optional.
Comments

While Separate is usually followed with instructions for walking around some number of inactive dancers, the active dancers can also be directed to perform some other action (e.g., Separate, walk around the outside passing 2 dancers and Star Thru with the third).

From a squared set, calling "Heads Square Thru 2; Heads Separate, ..." would be improper because the heads are initially facing the sides and when they start in the center they must be facing out of the square rather than facing other dancers.

Teaching Tips Give dancers practice to identify/know where the lone call Separate actually ends. It’s the building block for the addition of calls to follow. Inactive dancers must be aware of where the actives are so they won’t step on their feet as they dance around them.

Around 1 or 2 to a Line

Starting formationafter a Separate
Command examples

Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 1 To A Line

Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 To A Line

Heads Separate Around 1 To A Line

Heads Square Thru; Split 2, Separate Around 1 To A Line

Heads Square Thru; Split 2, Around 1 To A Line

Heads Right And Left Thru; Veer Left; Tag The Line; Split The Sides, First Left, Next Right Around 1 to a Line

Dance action

After a Separate, the active dancers walk around the outside of the set passing the designated number of inactive dancers. The inactives act as stationary objects (referred to as goal-posts) and do not change their facing direction. However, they should counterdance as necessary by stepping forward to allow the actives to walk comfortably around the outside, and then step slightly backward as the actives pass.

The active dancers pass each other as necessary, using right shoulders (as in Pass Thru). The actives only count inactive dancers in determining how far to go.

When the active dancers walk around their last inactive dancer, they either squeeze in between the inactive dancers (who move apart to make room) to become the centers of a general line, or stand outside the inactive dancers to become the ends of a general line. Which action will happen depends on where the count ends the active dancers with respect to the location of the inactive dancers.

These actions are sometimes also called "Squeeze In -- Make Lines" or "Hook On To The End -- Make Lines", respectively.

Dance action

Active dancers walk around the outside of the square passing the designated number of inactive dancers. The inactives act as goalposts (and do not change their facing direction) but they counterdance as necessary, stepping forward to allow room for the actives and then moving back into place.

After the actives walk around their last inactive dancer, they either squeeze in between the inactive dancers (who move apart to make room) to become centers of a general line or they stop to become ends of a general line.

Ending formation Usually Facing Lines. Occasionally Inverted Lines or 3&1 Lines.
Ending formation General Lines
Timing Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 1 To A Line: 8 Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 To A Line: 10
Timing Around 1 to a Line: 4; Around 2 to a Line: 6
Styling Those not active move into the center to get out of the way of the actives. Men's arms in natural dance position; ladies' skirt work optional.
Comments

While "Around 1" and "Around 2" are the most common, higher numbers are acceptable. In all cases, the count is of inactive dancers passed by the active dancers.

Some callers feel that the word "Separate" is required and the proper call is "Split 2, Separate Around 1 To A Line".

The sequence "Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 And Stand Behind The Sides" is not proper because each active dancer didn't go around the second inactive dancer at all.

Around 1 or 2 To A Line is not always preceded by Separate. For example, Heads Pass Thru, Both Turn Right, Girl Around 1, Boy Around 2, To A Line.

Around 1 or 2 and come into the middle

Starting formationafter a Separate
Command examples

Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 1 and come into the middle with a Right and Left Thru

Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 and come into the middle with a Right and Left Thru

Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 and come down the middle with a Right and Left Thru

Dance action

Initially the same as Around 1 or 2 to a Line, above.

When the active dancers pass their last inactive dancers, they will either squeeze in between and through the inactive dancers (who move apart and back together to make room, as in the call Split 2) to come into the center of the set and take the next call, or will continue forward in a semi-circle around their last inactive dancers to end in the center of the set, ready to take the next call.

Once the actives enter the center of the set, they are ready to take the next call. The inactive dancers finish on the outside of the set where they started and do not participate in the next call.

Dance action

This call starts the same as case (a)., above. After the actives walk around their last inactive dancer, they will either squeeze in between and through the inactive dancers (who move apart and back together to make room) to come into the center of the set, or they will continue walking in a semi-circle around their last inactive dancer to end in the center of the set.

Once the actives enter the center of the set, they are ready to take the next call.

Ending formation
Timing Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 1 and come into the middle with a: 8
Heads Pass Thru; Separate Around 2 and come down the middle with a: 12
Timing Separate Around 1 and come into the middle 6; Separate Around 2 and come into the middle: 8
Styling Those not active must counter dance. For example, moving forward to provide room when the actives are on the outside, sliding apart and together when being split, and moving back to place so as to finish on the outside. Men's arms in natural dance position; woman's skirt work optional.
Comment While "Around 1" and "Around 2" are the most common numbers, higher numbers are acceptable. In all cases, the count is of inactive dancers passed by the active dancers.
Calling Tip "Come Into the Middle" is often phrased as "Come Into the Middle With A ___" so that the second call is quickly and easily identified by the designated dancers.