Where's Alex?

by: Michael Fuerst

formation: Improper, but 1's below the 2's

gentlespoons allemande left 1½
partners swing
partners promenade on the left
ladles chain to neighbor, women roll way, leaving men to right of their neighbors
half hey, ladles lead , men start right shoulders, finish facing special person
half hey, ladles lead men start left shoulder, finish facing third neighbor
neighbors gyre left shoulders once , finish facing special person
neighbors swing (Second neighbors swing, end facing partner across. third neighbor is now new special person.)

Suggested teaching steps:
(1) Have dancers line up improper and emphasize they will progress in the direction they are now facing.
(2) Then have everyone exchange places with their opposite sex neighbor, putting the 1's below the 2's.
(3) After neighbors have exchanged places, have dancers note the new person
now next to them (on men's left and women's right) as both their second neighbor, and as their special person in the dance
(4) Also have dancers note a 3rd neighbor, two persons beyond beyond the second neighbor
End Effects
Dancers reaching the end should face back in with the men on the right, women on the left!!

Historical Notes
(1) This dance borrows the two half-hey idea from Dan Pearl's "Eye of the Storm", and the roll away before a hey from "A Proper Potpourri."

(2) Dancers gave this a lengthy ovation after its debut on Saturday night at the 1996 Breaking Up Thanksgiving dance weekend outside Chicago.

(3) Martha Edwards of St. Louis would regularly bring her then teenage son Alex to many contra dance weekends. In a surprisingly short time, Alex became a most skilled dancer, and a favorite partner for all the women.

Alex, Martha and I maintained a running joke about the impossible task of my writing a dance which everyone in the hall except Alex could do. On Saturday afternoon during the above weekend, I advised Alex and Martha that I'd call such a dance that evening. Alas, Alex was missing from the dance floor at the critical moment, so hence the dance now had a name. As of January 2015, Alex has never danced this.

User: Michael Fuerst