Tom Fromm wrote:

39. TRADE FAMILY: Starting formation -any wave, line or column.

GENERAL RULE: Any two directed dancers exchange places by walking forward in a semi-circle ending in the other dancer's starting position. Each trading dancer has reversed his original facing direction. If the trading dancers start while facing in the same direction, they pass right shoulders when they meet per the right shoulder rule (see Passing Rule).


Directed dancers (boys, girls, ends or centers) exchange places, changing facing directions using the general rule.

(e) COUPLES TRADE: Starting formation -line or two-faced line. Working as a unit, each couple exchanges places with the other couple in the same line. Couples, as a unit, follow the right shoulder passing rule as defined for individual dancers.

(f) PARTNER TRADE: Starting formation -couple, mini wave. Two dancers exchange places with each other.

STYLING: Any two adjacent opposite facing dancers use normal hands up position for turning as in swing thru type movements. Girls trading (i.e. from end of line) will use normal skirt work. Couples trade use normal couple handhold and styling similar to wheel and deal, Basic #40 . When doing a partner trade, use inside hands to exert slight pressure to assist each other in trading.

TIMING: SS, partner, 4 steps; OW, centers, 4; ends, 4; from two-faced lines, couples, 6 steps.

When I get ready to teach trades, I start with a Right Hand BGGB wave. I will tell them that we are going to learn some moves that fall in a family of moves. I will tell them the definition of trade. I will tell them that just like in RUN, they will end facing the wall that was behind them when they started the move. I will tell the girls to look at where the other girl is standing. I will tell them to trade places with each other. Now I will have them swing thru, then explain the same thing for the boys. I will then have the boys trade.

I will then get them into two face lines and do the same. I will use this a lot, till they seem comfortable. Then I will get them into a BBGG Right Hand wave. This is where I will introduce centers/end trade. I will show them as I did with run, why we use centers/ends at times. I will move them around, so they have each dancer in each spot. I will make a point to call centers/ends trade, when they are the same sex, to help enforce the idea. I will call a lot of trades, changing up with run occasionally. I don't want them to start anticipating.

I will wait till the following lesson, to introduce Partner Trade. I will do this from a SS. I will tell them that we are going to look at another member of the trade family. I will again tell them the definition of trade, and that they will end facing the wall that is behind them when they start. I will tell them that they are going to trade this time with their partner. I will have them look at where their partners feet are standing. Now I will say for them to imagine their feet in the spots where their partners are at. Now I will tell them to take their joined hands, raise them straight out in front of them, and act as though they are going to pitch them behind them. As they do, I will tell them to release hands and let their body flow turn them in a direction that feels natural. I'll tell the boy to walk around the girl as they do this, and end in each others "foot prints". I will point out that when they do this, they are passing right shoulders. Then I will walk them through a few times so they can see that. I will stress that putting their hands forward and pitching them back, is not a part of the move, but only to give them a feel of which way to go. I tell them to use that as a hint, as long as they need to, then drop it.

I will do this a few times. As we are dancing, I will have them Partner Trade with each of the others of the opposite sex. I will wait 1 or 2 lessons before having same sexes partner trade. I will introduce same sex partner trade from out facing lines. Then I will go from lines to two face lines.

Possibly in the same lesson, or the one following, I will teach Couples Trade. I will start with RH two face lines, with the girls in the middle. I will have the girls trade first, then have the boys trade. Now I will say that in a minute, I want the girls to trade, but keep a hold of the boys, and take them with you. I will say now as couples, trade, "girls take him with you". I will tell them that this is called Couples Trade. We'll walk this a few times, then go on to Couples Trade from facing lines. We'll work with this a lesson or two.

I will then introduce Couples Trade, from BBGG lines of a variety. At this same time, I will work on sashayed couples. I will combine a variety of Trades and Runs, helping to assure that everyone has both of these calls understood.

I feel that a complete understanding of this move, as well as runs and circulates are very important. The extra time taken to make the dancers understand them is more than justified. So many of the other calls build off them, that the time spent now, is time saved later. Use these three calls, and the variety will be provided, that may keep your dancers in the "lower (I hate that term) levels, longer.