This page is part of The Caller's Box, a contra dance database.
A short version of the key terms and language used in this database. For reference the full glossary is here.
R Right (right shoulder pass, pull by right, holding right hands) L Left N Neighbor N2, N3, etc. Future neighbors N0, N-1, etc. Previous neighbors P Partner P2, P3 Future partner (in a mixer) P0, P-1 Previous partner (in a mixer) S Shadow S-1 Another shadow, on the other side of your partner from S1. S2 Two shadows away, in the direction of the first shadow. M Men's role M1 Man one M2 Man two M3 Man three (triplets/triple minors) W Women's role F Forward B Back H Hand (used to describe some balances) SRN Same-(gender) Role Neighbor 1CC First Contra Corners 2CC Second Contra Corners 1C First Corners (Man one and woman two) 2C Second Corners (Woman one and man two) C1 Corner (in a square/circle) C2 Opposite (in a square) C3 Right-hand lady / left-hand gent (in a square) *** these also can apply to four-face-fours O Opposite (neighbor you begin facing in a 3-face-3/4-face-4) ON Opposite neighbor TB Trail buddy (people travelling with you in a 4-face-4) 1 Ones (unless overruled by other punctuation, like 1CC) 2 Twos (unless overruled by other punctuation, like 2C) 2SR Twos, with their shadow, pass right 2H Two-hand clap (only used for clapping notation) cw clockwise ccw counterclockwise
() Details on the figure, but not full definition. : Full definition of the figure follows. If multiple lines, description's indented.  Who does the figure. (Prefix: Naming individual people. Postfix: Relationships.) ; Then. Separates two consecutive figures. , While. Separates two simultaneous figures. ? Variable/not defined. // One of two possible figures, depending on choice of caller/dancers. || While. One of two possible figures, happening simultaneously. - Negative sign. Used to represent previous neighbors. - Used to space out a line of people, when defining a line of four. ~ A partial hey pass, where you finish shoulder to shoulder with that person. " " Shows spoken text. ' Ď Literal text from original source material. + And. Used with people. & And. Used with numbers. / Fractions. Used with numbers. . Used as normal punctuation.
At the beginning of a four-face-four, the neighbor you're facing is your opposite. The neighbor on your diagonal is called your C2 corner.
Corners are labelled as per squares. If at the start of the dance, you took hands in a circle of eight, you'd be next to C1. Other corners are determined by imagining the circle to be a square. (Rotated 45 degrees, but yes, a square.)
A standard grand right and left is notated (PR;C3L;C2R;C1L)
In a contra, ones always progress down the set. Twos always progress up the set. So, in a reverse progression dance, ones would start below the twos in a hands-four.
Along: Facing the direction of progression. For instance, when facing your neighbor at the start of an improper dance. Or the starting direction of "lines of four forward and back" in a four-face-four.
Across: Facing perpendicular to the direction of progression. During "Long lines, go forward and back", you're facing across the set. Most ladies chains are done across the set.