Where's Alex? with encoded heys

hook: Magical half hey progressions

by: Michael Fuerst

formation: improper, but with 1's below 2's

Initially have dancers 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 now next to them (on gentlespoons's left and ladle's right) as both their 2nd neighbor, and special person in the dance
(c) Also have dancers note a 3rd neighbor, two persons beyond beyond the second neighbor

A1 8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
8
partners swing
A2 8
partners promenade
8
ladles chain to neighbor, and roll away with half sashay
B1 8
gentlespoons start a half hey - rights in center, lefts on ends, end facing "special person" (aka 2nd neighbor) ⁋
8
gentlespoons start a half hey - lefts in center, rights on ends, end facing 3rd neighbor
B2 8
3rd neighbors gyre left shoulders once
8
2nd neighbors swing

Teaching suggestion

Before teaching B1, advise dancers there will be two 1/2 heys, each having gentlespoons passing shoulders, then partners passing, then ladles passing, before stepping to face a next neighbor

End Effects

Dancers reaching the end of the set must face back in with the gentlespoons on the right, ladles on the left!!
(Actually, dancers reaching the end of the set after the first 1/2 hey of B1, should turn alone, wait during left shoulder gyre, and then face back into the set, with the gentlespoons on the right. But this nuance is more confusing than helpful, and its neglect only results in those out the end gyre-ing a person of the same role.)

Source

http://aptsg.org/Dance/dances.html#Wheres

Background

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 ladles. 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.

Database

user: Allison Jonjak

published

Tags

verified
no known calls of this transcription

Validation

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