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Where's Alex? software design don't call

by: Michael Fuerst

formation: improper

Line up improper and emphasize they will progress in the direction they are now facing. Then
(a) Have everyone exchange places with their neighbor, so the 1's are below the 2's.
(b) Have dancers note the new person next to them (on men's left
and women's right) as both their second neighbor,

and as their special person in the dance
(c) Also have dancers note a 3rd neighbor, two persons beyond beyond the second neighbor
(d) Tell dancers there will be two 1/2 heys, each having men passing shoulders, then partners passing,
then women passing, before stepping to face a next neighbor
(This is especially important for the second half hey.)

A1
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
partners swing
A2
partners promenade for 6 across
ladles chain for 6 to neighbor, at end of courtesy turn
gentlespoons roll away neighbors with a half sashay
B1
half hey, gentlespoons lead gents start Right, partners pass Left, ladles pass Right, finish facing Special Person
half hey, gentlespoons lead gents start Left, partners pass Right, ladles pass Left, finish facing 3rd neighbor
B2
neighbors gyre left shoulders once 3rd neighbor
neighbors swing 2nd neighbor = special person, end facing partner across

Video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1565557309038
The foreground of the video is at the head of a set, where some interesting end effects occur, so also watch the line in back. This dance requires a few times through for the dancers to master.

Teaching hints/suggestions:
Dancers reaching the end of the set MUST face back in with the men on the right, women on the left!!
(This is not quite correct, but it is what the dancers should be told. See End Effects.)
End Effects:
Actually, dancers reaching the end of the set after the first 1/2 hey of B1, should turn alone, wait during left shoulder gypsy, and then face back into the set, with the men on the right. But this nuance is more confusing than helpful, and its neglect only results in those out the end gypsying a person of the same role.

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."

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

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 had never danced this.

User: Allison Jonjak

Published