Do-si-do, dosado, or dos-à-dos is a basic dance step in such dances as square dance, contra dance, polka, various historical dances, and some reels. The term is a corruption of the original French term dos-à-dos for the dance move, which means "back to back", as opposed to "vis-à-vis" which means "face to face".

It is probably the most well-known call in square dancing aside from, perhaps, "Promenade".


It is a circular movement where two people, who are initially facing each other, walk around each other without or almost without turning, i.e., facing in the same direction (same wall) all the time. In most cases it takes 6-8 counts to complete.

The movement is basically defined as follows:

The actual steps vary in specific dances.

Considering the amount of space in which to accomplish the figure, the partners might adjust their shoulders slightly diagonally to allow for less sideways movement during the shoulder passes.

The advancing pass may also be by the left shoulders, although it will be called as a "left do-si-do" or a "see-saw".

While executing this move, the girls may move their skirts with their hands from side to side (skirtwork), flaring it to the right as right shoulders pass, and to the left as left shoulders pass.

Spelling usage by different dances

Do-si-do is the most common spelling in modern English dictionaries and is the spelling used in contra dance, sometimes without hyphens. A related variant is do-se-do.

In modern western square dancing, the usual spelling is Dosado (used by Callerlab, the largest international association of square dance callers) or DoSaDo (used by the American Callers Association).

Dos-a-dos is still in current use in conjunction with a number of other dances.


Styling traditions, or the addition of flourishes to a basic step, tend to be local, and not all dancers like to do styling, but nevertheless a common styling done to the dosado is the "Hungarian Swing" or "Highland Fling" styling. This addition to the basic step is accomplished as follows:

Even with styling the move should take no longer to execute than a normal Dosado.

In contra dance it is common for experienced dancers to embellish the move by making one or more counterclockwise turns as they going around the other dancer.

Dosado variations

The Dosado can also be fractionalized— 1/4 Dosado results in the active dancers standing side-by-side right hip-to-right hip, 1/2 Dosado results in the active dancers standing back-to-back, and 3/4 Dosado results in the active dancers standing side-by-side left hip-to-left hip. When standing side-to-side the dancers join adjacent hands palm-to-palm to make a mini-wave (in the case of two people), an ocean wave (in the case of three-six people), or a tidal wave (in the case of eight people).

A Dosado 1½ would be a full (or normal) Dosado and an additional 1/2 Dosado, resulting in the dancers standing back-to-back. Dosado variants are often considered entertaining "gimmicks".

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