Bows & Beaus
Keith Ferguson's hints on Teacup Chain

Teacup Chain (helpful hints)

Teacup Chain is a Plus move often used in singing calls, although it can also be used at other times. When properly executed, it takes 32 beats of music.

Here are some hints that you may find helpful as you learn this move.
Note that these hints assume that the caller gives the call as "Head Ladies Center, Teacup Chain," the most usual case.


The ladies will be doing a sequence of the following two things: The men will be staying at their home position and doing arm turns with each of the ladies.

Hints for the Ladies

There are three rules the ladies should memorize and follow:
  1. Start with the Right hand or arm. If you are starting with a forearm turn, use your right forearm. If you are starting with a star, make it a right-hand star.
  2. Once you are started, alternate arms! Never use the same arm twice. The sequence is: Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left.
  3. Go to each man in sequence, starting with your corner, and working your way around the square. Don't skip a man. Knowing which man is next tells you how far to turn the stars.

Hints for the Men

The men will be doing a forearm turn with each lady. There are two rules the men should follow:
  1. Let the ladies decide which arm to use. The ladies will know which arm to use. The man's job is to have both arms ready and let each lady make the decision. This is because the sequence of arm turns for the men is strange (you will sometimes use the same arm twice).
  2. Men should take responsibility for directing each lady to the next place she should go!

Additional Hints

For Those That Want to Know More!

Once you've gained experience with a normal "Teacup Chain" you might hear a caller give some variation. These are usually considered "gimmicks," so don't worry about them for now! Here are some you might hear: Again, don't worry about any of these variations. They are beyond the scope of most classes, and are only listed to show some of the ways a common call can be modified as dancers gain more experience.

Views herein are those of the author, Keith Ferguson.