Tom D. Fromm writes:
52. CIRCULATE FAMILY: Starting formation -waves, columns, lines and two-faced lines.

GENERAL RULE: Directed (active) dancers move forward along the circulate path to the next position. The circulate paths for various formations are indicated by the dotted lines in the diagrams.

Directed dancers circulate using the general rule.

(f) COUPLES CIRCULATE: Starting formation -lines or two-faced lines. Each couple, working as a unit, moves forward along the circulate path to the next position, using the general rule.

(g) BOX CIRCULATE: Starting formation -box circulate. Each dancer moves forward along the circulate path to the next position, using the general rule.

(h) SINGLE FILE CIRCULATE (COLUMN): Starting formation -columns. Each dancer moves forward along the circulate path to the next position, using the general rule.

(i) SPLIT CIRCULATE: Starting formation -lines, waves or columns. The formations divide into two separate boxes and dancers circulate within their own foursome, using the general rule.

STYLING: All dancers use couple handhold when doing a couples circulate. Couples traveling the shorter distance should adjust with shorter steps to coincide with those traveling the longer distance. Those traveling the longer distance should avoid rushing. Arms should be held in natural dance position and ready to assume appropriate position for the next call.

TIMING: From ocean waves (OW), centers, 4 steps; ends, 4 steps; all, 4 steps; couples, 4 steps.

(Editor's Note: In the following six circulate "paths", the facing directions of all of the dancers in any of the examples could be reversed so that 12 different "paths" will result.)

I will start showing this move, early in the lesson, from ocean waves. I will be sure to have the girls in the center, and boys on the ends. I will tell them, that I will say which dancers I want to do this move. I will then tell them the "rules" (definition) for this move. I will start by asking the girls to raise their hand. Then I will tell the girls to look at the position of the girl ahead of them. At this point, I will tell the girls looking out, that they will have to turn a corner, to get to the next girl position. I will say it is like driving a car, that you have to go forward, and turn the corner, to get to that spot, because a car cannot slide sideways.

I will say that EVERYBODY should listen and take note of this next piece of information that I have. "Whenever we circulate, we will always end facing the same, or opposite wall, that we were facing, when we started the move, and never a wall that was to our side. So if you are facing a head wall, when you start, you will be facing a head wall when you finish."

I will now tell the girls to circulate one place. (I'll look, to be sure we are all on the same page.) I'll ask the girls to circulate again. Now I will tell the girls, that I am really going to throw a "tuffy" at them. I will say, "don't think too hard about this" Girls circulate two spots.

In the same position, I will do the same with the boys. I will have them do the same things that I had the girls do. I will use only boys/girls at first. I will use waves, both left & right, as well as two face lines, both left & right.

I will then go on to using ends/centers circulate. I will start with same sexes working together, then have mixed sexes, and show them why we have both types. I will alternate using ends/centers and boys/girls.

Then I will take them on to all eight circulate. I will say that we are going to learn another circulate, that has us all moving at the same time. I will say that it is called, All Eight Circulate, and that is what we do. I will have them do it a few times, from waves, then I will go on to two face lines. When I go to two face lines, I will have normal couple arrangement. I will do a routine like: girls circulate, boys circulate, all eight circulate. After a few of these, I will Show them couples circulate, and tell them that we have been doing it just before.

I will spend the rest of the evening, working on theses circulates. I will use left hand set ups, as well as right. I will try to use as many set ups as I can, with out having them do facing or all facing out circulates. I feel this will be confusing, and have time for that later. In fact, I will show this, when all else has been taught, in the circulate family and they are comfortable with them.

The following lesson, I will review/re teach the previous weeks lesson on circulates. In the second tip, I will get them into a column and teach them Single File Circulate. Once again, I will start with a right hand column, then go to a left handed on.

Later in that same lesson, I will teach box circulate. I will teach half the dancers at a time, while the other half watch. Then I will reverse the rolls, and teach the others. To set this up, I will have the heads star thru, and do sa do. Then I will have the same ones touch 1/4. I will stop the music, and tell them that what we have in the middle here is called a box. By doing this, I don't have to worry about confusing them, as to where their boxes each start and end. Now I will ask them to look at where the "next dancer spot" is at. I'll tell the girls that they are looking out, and will have to turn the corner. Then I will tell them to circulate. Then I will tell them that we call that a Box Circulate. I will tell them, that we can find those boxes elsewhere, and that I will point some others out to them later.

Generally when I want to call Box Circulate, I will first point out, "who" has the boxes, and/or "where" the boxes are. I feel that boxes can be tricky for the dancers to recognize, especially when we change formations quickly.

I will wait till the very end of the Basic moves, before I teach Split Circulate. I will want to be sure that they are very comfortable with the other circulates first. When I first introduce Split, I will have them in right hand waves. I will then ask where the center is, and ask them to actually split the waves into two, and move away from the other half a couple feet. Then I will say for them to look at the other half, and to remember where they are at. I will say that we now have two boxes, and that I want them to do a box circulate from here. After they do, I will tell them that we have this move called Split Circulate. I tell them that I only had them step apart like that, to demonstrate my idea. I tell them that when we Split Circulate, we have to determine where the center of the formation is, then working on our own half, circulate. I will get them back together, and dance them around a little, using a variety of circulates, giving a little extra time and a warning,"in your own half",for Split Circulate.

In a later tip, I will get them in a column, and show them a Split Circulate from there. I will also show them "facing" circulates. I will tell them, that they will feel like a pass thru, because they are. I will tell them, that we as callers, can call it either way, to add variety. I will also show circulates from out facing lines, at this time, pointing out that some times, they will feel like Partner Trades.

Circulates are a VERY important family of moves. It is very well worth the time to teach these moves completely, and be sure the dancers UNDERSTAND the moves completely. Once the dancers have been taught circulates, it is important to use ALL of them regularly. A tip containing Runs, Trade and Circulates, used in a variety of ways can be fun for both the dancer, as well as the caller. The main thing to remember here, is "DON'T OVER DO IT". Formations can change quickly, and the dancers are always trying to figure out where they are, and what the formation is. Plenty of "helper words", and an extra beat or two, as needed, will improve the dancers success.