Yellow Rocks in NYc
May 10, 2004
We do a lot of hugging in square dancing. At straight dances, at the beginning of a tip, the guys go around and get hugs from all the women, including any women dancing the boy's part. The caller can call a "yellow rock" at any time; normally it means "hug your corner" but it's basically come to mean "hug whoever the caller tells you to hug".
In gay clubs, sometimes callers use "stack the wood" instead of "yellow rock". Also, a west coast tradition (started, I think, in Southern California) has been spreading through the IAGSDC; it involves hugging everybody in the square at the end of every tip. Some people don't like this; others really get into it. Recently, we've been having a discussion on the lgcwsd mailing list about a fairly new tip-ending ritual, imported from Europe, of pointing a finger into the square, saying "thank you" and leaving it at that (no hugs (gay) or handshakes (straight). This has led to a re-hashing of the hugs-no hugs issue.
At any rate, hugging as been on my mind, so this article from the New York Times caught my eye (you may need to register to read it): Inviting the Public's Embrace, One by One
He is a financial analyst who happens to think that New Yorkers could use a hug. So it was, a month ago, that Mr. Littman began distributing hugs - free - from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.