The circle is a really fun formation!  It’s a great way to change things up a bit, taking a break from the standard chorus and center stage group formations.  Circles are the only time that *everyone* gets to be dancing the same moves together at once. The visual impact of having everyone out there is nice, and there are some neat moves that really seem to look nicest in the circle.

There are some special things to keep in mind about circles though, because it’s not possible for everyone to see the leader at once, or even to easily tell who the leader is.  To account for this, there are some special cues and procedures for circles so that you can keep them looking crisp, and maintaining variation and interest.

So, without further ado, here are some guidelines to know for circling, so that you’ll be able to figure out what is going on if you’re following, and so that you’ll know how to take the lead when you’re ready!


  • The “follow me” cue is a quick, tight 3-step turn (to the left) on releve.
  • From Chorus to Circle – “follow me” cue in front of chorus line with long yip or zaghareet, then proceed to lead group into circle.
  • From Circle to Chorus – “follow me” cue with long yip or zaghareet and break off to lead the line from the circle into the chorus.
  • To take over lead in Circle – “follow me” cue with short yip and move into the next move you want to cue.
    • The person behind the new leader will mimic the “follow me” cue and proceed into the move the new leader cued.
    • Each succeeding person in line will do the same, such that the new move cascades around the circle, like dominoes.
    • A dancer will never spin and start the new move until after they see the person in front of them do it.
    • The person that cued that move will know it has made it all the way around when they see the person in front of them begin the new move.
  • From Formation to Circle – leader of formation begins whatever move they wish to start the circle in, and then does a quick, uncued half turn to the right to face the rest of the formation.  Everyone makes eye contact, backs up slightly and prepares, and begins moving in a circle on the next downbeat (with the move they were doing before the leader turned).
  • From Circle to Formation (4 people or less) – new formation leader yips as they approach the front left corner of the performance area and turns away from the circle to face the audience.  Everyone else falls into standard formation (they should already be very close to one of the ‘spots’ in the formation as the circle naturally passes over them).


  • Arabic Hip Twist
    • When this move is done in the circle pairs can cross the circle using Arabic.
    • When a pair is crossing, the circle stops moving and holds their places until they fully rejoin the circle and start it moving again.
  • Walking/Marching movements
    • Examples: Twist March, 3/4 Shimmy, Traveling Single & Double Hip Bumps, Maya, Taxim, etc.
    • When these moves are done in the circle, short solos (and duets if there is room) can be done in the center of the circle.
  • Egyptian
    • When this move is done in the circle, it cues that the circle will be doing stationary moves.
    • The move can start out stationary, from someone taking over the lead in the circle and then going into the stationary Egyptian facing the center.
    • The move can be started traveling, and then someone can choose to make it stationary (indicating their intent to go into stationary moves).
    • When doing stationary moves in the circle, everyone must keep track of who the leader is, until the next cue for a change of leaders.  (In all other cases in the circle, taking of the lead is done in order to cue a move change, and there is no ‘set’ leader – one must always claim the lead to change the move.)
    • When doing stationary moves in the circle, verbal cues are necessary for turns, since a portion of the circle cannot see the leader.