Where's Alex? - software design variation

intricate half hey progressions

by: Michael Fuerst

formation: improper

  1. Circle two places to put the ones below the twos.
  2. Look at the dancer beside you who is not in your minor set - this is your second neighbor.
  3. Look two people beyond them to note a third neighbor.
  4. Tell dancers that this dance uses gentlespoon-led half-heys followed by turning to face next neighbors to progress.
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
partners swing
partners promenade
ladles chain for 6
gentlespoons roll away neighbors with a half sashay for 2
half hey, gentlespoons lead
progress to new neighbors
half hey, gentlespoons lead
progress to new neighbors
neighbors gyre left shoulders once
regress back to 2nd neighbors
neighbors swing

Callers: ye be warned!

This version of the dance is not intended for actual stage-and-microphone use. It's intended to illustrate the historical architecture of contradb when it comes to naming dancers outside the minor set.


Dancers reaching the end of the set must face back in with the men on the right, women on the left!!

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: Dave Morse