Orbit the Stars

By Rick Mohr; February 2012

Four-Face-Four Caller's Box

Level: Intermediate


Lines of four forward and back (8)

Swing corner (8)


All eight into the center and back (8)

Swing next corner (this is your "step-corner") (8)


Allemande left with next corner (6)

Pull by step-corner with right hand (2)

Allemande left with first corner 1 1/2 (8)


Balance partner (4)

Box the gnat (4)

Ladies star left while gents orbit clockwise 1/2 (8)


Balance step-corner (4)

Box the gnat (4)

Gents star left while ladies orbit clockwise 1/2 (8)


Balance and swing partner (16)

A fun all-moving four-face-four.

In B2 after boxing the gnat, gents are facing clockwise and ladies counter-clockwise. All walk forward—ladies to star left once and gents to "orbit" around the outside halfway—and all meet "step-corners" for a balance.

Finding the right person for the balance is the only tricky part of this dance. One strategy is to remember your step-corner from the A2 swing and watch for them. Another is to watch for your partner and balance the second person after them.

In C1 the roles reverse: after boxing the gnat, ladies are facing clockwise and gents counter-clockwise. All walk forward—gents star left once and ladies orbit halfway. This time it's easy to find the right person as partners meet for a balance and swing.

I settled on this long version after trying for many years (!) to shoehorn the figures into a standard-length dance. The strong story line helps dancers remember the longer sequence, and the band gets a rare chance to play three-part tunes.

Video: Bev Bernbaum & The O'Schraves at Michigan Dance Heritage 2016, Lexington MI (posted by John Newsome):