If we need a shorter list as an entry program, its limit should be drawn with a reasonable reason. Such a limit is immediately before the introduction of the Ocean Wave. In the area from Circle Left to Box the Gnat, you can draw a chessboard of 4 x 4 fields for every square, and at the completion of any movement during the figure, every dancer arrived in a defined field. Here are some samples of this chessboard:
New dancers should have a chance to gain experience and confidence on firm ground, before venturing out into the wide sea of ocean waves. The program from Circle Left to Box the Gnat could be named the Classical Square Dance, since it is not Traditional Square Dance, but the name Basic is burnt.
It had been THE Basic Program until 1981, when it was merged and submerged with the Extended Basic Program - in my opinion the first grave mistake CALLERLAB made. This mistake was mended with the implementation of the Community Dance Program in 1986. But the CDP is too limited for most callers to feel confident with it.
The 1981 Basic Program (Circle Left to Ferris Wheel) never was a success, because it was just Mainstream minus some calls. In some sense, the Basic Program was the big dog, and the remaining movements were the tail; and there is a German proverb: If we came past the dog, we will come past the tail too.
In 2002, CALLERLAB dropped the term Basic Program from the list. In 2006, it was introduced again; mainly on request from european callers. A halfhearted measure, and I foretell the success of all halfhearted measures.
If we keep the allegory of the wide sea, then the transition from Mainstream to the Plus Program
is like crossing the Three Miles Line way out in the ocean. If we declare the Three Miles Line
to be drawn at 2,8 miles, will this bring more people aboard our ship?
If we need a shorter list as an entry program, I submit that we establish Basic 1 - 33 (Circle Left to Box the Gnat) as such a program, and name it
More samples of this chessboard
The books The Key to Calling by Don Bell & Bob Dawson, and Instant Hash by Rickey Holden & Lloyd Litman - both published in 1961 - freed square dancing from the prefixed routines but left it within the boundaries of the quadrille terms. This is what I consider classical - clear and plain, but not simple.
Published 2003-06-26 / amended and adapted 2007-02-24 / amended 2007-07-20 / Heiner Fischle, Hannover