"I was told by a dancer one nite, that he hated relay the deucy, because
it was just a zero.
To which my wife responded, 'Well all of square dancing is a zero. You
start at your home, (where you live), and you end up right back there at
the end of the evening. So why bother to go dancing at all.'"
Gary Dane
Somebody said that slalom is the most stupid way to get from
one point to another. Then square dance must be the most
stupid way of getting back to the same point.
Lars Erik Morell
A zero in common is a set of calls that returns the dancers from a given setup to the same setup or its technical equivalent. (Means from a given FASR to the same FASR).
There are three different types of zeros:
 True Zeros
 Geographical Zeros (i.e. true zeros with no rotation effect)
 True Zeros with a rotation effect
 Conditional Zeros (Technical Zeros)
 Conditional Zeros with no rotation effect
 Conditional Zeros with a rotation effect
 Fractional Zeros
1. TRUE ZEROS
A True Zero is a set of calls that returns the dancers to the same setup (FASR) without exchanging the relative positions of the dancers in the formation.

I.e. if we have a box with the heads on the outside where everybody is facing their corners, after the zero it is a box again with the heads on the outside, everybody facing their corners.
In technical terms a True Zero has the following properties:
 It maintains the formation
 It maintains the arrangement
 It maintains the sequence
 It maintains relationship from any given sequence.

That means from any box you have the true zero returns the dancers to the same box, the same dancers on the outside as before, everybody facing the same dancer as before. The formation itself might be in another geographical position, that does not matter.
Examples for boxes include:
 8 chain 4
 8 chain thru
 swing thru, centers run, wheel and deal
 swing thru, centers run, bend the line, pass thru, wheel and deal, pass thru
1. a) GEOGRAPHICAL ZEROS
A Geographical Zero
is a Zeros that returns everybody to the same spot on the floor.

Geographical zeros are a special kind of true zeros and they have the same properties.
Examples for boxes include:
 8 chain thru
 swing thru, centers run, wheel and deal
1. b) TRUE ZEROS WITH A ROTATION EFFECT
A True Zero with a rotation effect
is a special kind of true zeros that changes the angle a dancer is removed from his original home position.

Examples for boxes include:
 8 chain 4 (rotates 1/2)
 swing thru, boys run, bend the line, pass thru, wheel and deal, pass thru (rotates 1/4 left)
 veer left, couples circulate, bend the line, pass thru, wheel and deal, square thru 3
(rotates 1/4 right)
2.Conditional Zeros (Technical Zeros)
A Conditional Zero or Technical Zero
is a set of calls that from certain setups returns the dancers to the same setup (FASR), but exchanges the relative positions of the dancers in the formation.

I.e. if we have a box with the heads on the outside where everybody is facing their corners, after the zero it is a box with the sides on the outside, everybody facing their corners.
Example:
Heads Square Thru 4

[B1cH']
This is a Zeros Box (FASR:[B1c]), with the heads in the center. Everybody is facing their corners. Girls and boys are "IN sequence", i.e. both are in the same sequence state. Everybody is ready for an "Allemande Left".
Let's apply a conditional Zero:

pass thru outfacers cloverleaf centers square thru 4

[B1cH+]
We have a Zero Box again, everybody is facing their corners, everybody is in the right sequence for an Allemande left. But this time the sides are in the center of that box.

In the above example the conditional zero converted the Heads Square Thru Box in a Sides Square Thru Box. It exchanged the relative position of the dancers in the formation. Where it was Heads in the center before, it is Sides in the center afterwards.
Due to this feature unlike the true zero we have to be careful and watch the conditions that we have in the square when we call a conditional zero.
What happens if we use the same set of calls under different conditions?
Heads Lead Right

[B4cH']
This time the boys are "OUT of sequence" and the girls are "IN sequence", i.e. they are in different sequence states. A possible Get out is "Swing thru, RLG".
Let's apply the same conditional Zero:

pass thru outfacers cloverleaf centers square thru 4

[B4rO+]
Is the Get out "Swing Thru, RLG" still applicable? No it is not.
This time the conditional zero did not work as a zero.
The sequence is the same and every individual dancer is still facing the same dancer as before, but due to the fact that the relative positions have changed the setup is technically different. The outside boy was facing his corner, the boy that is now on the outside is facing his right hand lady. This is called a technical ladies chain effect.

A conditional zero that works as a zero, when both boys and girls are in the same sequence state (means either boys In and girls in sequence or both out of sequence), results a technical ladies chain effect when boys and girls are in different sequence states and converse.
In terms of the FASR system this means that conditional zeros are working either in the sequence states 1 and 2 or in 3 and 4. A conditional zero that works in sequences states 1 and 2 produces a technical ladies chain effect in the other sequence states and converse.
In technical terms a conditional zero has the following properties:
 It maintains the formation
 It maintains the arrangement
 It maintains the sequence
 It maintains relationship from only half of the possible sequencestates and shifts the relationship by two at the other half of the sequence states.

The formation itself might be in another geographical position, that does not matter.
Examples for conditional Zeros working from BoxFormations:
 [Sequence State the same for boys and girls]
 pass thru, outfacers cloverleaf, centers square thru 4
 [Sequence State different for boys and girls]
 right and left thru, veer left, circulate, wheel and deal
2. a) CONDITIONAL ZEROS WITH NO ROTATION EFFECT
A Conditional Zero with no rotation effect is
a conditional zero that keeps the promenade distance the same for each dancer.

As the conditional zero changes the places of outside and inside dancers that means the orientation of a formation is changed from east/west to north/south and converse.
box examples:
[Sequence State the same for boys and girls]
 pass thru, outfacers cloverleaf, centers square thru 4
[Sequence State different for boys and girls]
 veer left, bend the line, pass thru, wheel and deal, square thru 3
2. b) CONDITIONAL ZEROS WITH A ROTATION EFFECT
A Conditional Zero with a rotation effect is
a conditional zero that changes the promenade distance for the dancers.

NOTE that when a CZ rotates to the left from one of the two possible sequence states, it rotates to left from the other and converse (concerning relative positions in the formation).
examples:
[Sequence State the same for boys and girls]
 Star Thru, Pass Thru, Bend The Line, Star Thru (rotates 1/2)
 swing thru, all 8 circulate, centers run, wheel and deal (rotates 1/4)
[Sequence State different for boys and girls]
 pass thru, trade by (rotates 1/4)
3. FRACTIONAL ZEROS
A Fractional Zero is
a set of calls that have to be called as many times as the fraction number indicates to become a zero.

box example:
 slide thru is a 1/4 zero, i. e. it has to be called 4 times to zero out.
last Update: 10.12.1999
