Dances to save

user: Moose Flores

Pigtown Petronella

by: Cary Ravitz

Wonky Petronellas

introduces moves: allemande, swing, right left through, chain, petronella, turn alone

formation: Becket ccw

Double progression.

In long lines, your partner is in one hand, your shadow is in the other hand.

A1 8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
8
neighbors swing
A2 8
right left through
8
left diagonal ladles chain to shadow (only if there is someone there) ⁋
B1 8
balance & petronella
0
turn alone to face a new neighbor ⁋
8
balance & petronella
B2 0
turn alone to face your partner
16
partners balance & swing

http://www.dance.ravitz.us/#pp3

Note the similarity to Maliza's Magical Mystery Motion. The chain is to the diagonal left here, so at the end of B1 you must face a new set of four to find your partner.

YouTube, 2, 3

Firefly Pedicabs

by: Rick Mohr

Weave the Line

introduces moves: balance the ring, circle, custom, promenade

formation: improper, reverse progression

A1 4
balance the ring
12
neighbors swing
A2 8
left diagonal right left through
8
circle left 3 places
B1 8
with original neighbor, weave the line -zig left past current couple, zag right past next couple, zig left to partner
8
partners swing
B2 8
partners promenade - wide loop to face new neighbors
4
balance the ring
8
petronella

Rick Mohr notes: A fresh all-moving dance offering a weaving reunion with partner and a nice reverse progression.

The figures are straightforward. The end effects are numerous, but intuitive when dancers orient themselves to prepare for the next figure. If out after the A2 right and left through, stand across from partner to prepare for the zig-zag. If out during the B1 zig-zag, California Twirl to face the set. If out during the B2 half promenade, cross the set to prepare for the right and left through. No problem!

Firefly pedicabs brought fanciful pedal-powered magic to Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Parkway at twilight. Somehow this dance reminds me of that merry experience.

Moving to Maine

by: Ryan Carollo

Diagonal Hey, Larks chain

introduces moves: hey, long lines

formation: Becket

A1 8
right left through
8
ladles start a right diagonal half hey - rights in center, lefts on ends ⁋
A2 16
partners balance & swing
B1 8
gentlespoons start a half hey - lefts in center, rights on ends - ladles ricochet
8
neighbors swing
B2 8
long lines forward & back
8
gentlespoons chain

Sharon of the Green

by: Jane Ewing

double Mad Robin!

introduces moves: mad robin, star

formation: improper

A1 8
mad robin, ladles in front
8
circle left 4 places
A2 8
ladles allemande right 1½
8
partners swing
B1 8
long lines forward & back
8
ladles chain
B2 8
star left 4 places
8
mad robin, ladles in front ⁋

Note that the mad robin in B2 is with old neighbors, then the next mad robin in A1 is with new neighbors. Over the two mad robins, everyone's individual footpaths will describe a figure 8.
Found elsewhere:
http://dancevideos.childgrove.org/contra/contra-modern/486-sharon-of-the-green-contra
(different B1) http://squash.1gainesville.com/contradance.dances-composers.html#n

Beneficial Tradition

by: Dan Pearl

Zipper

introduces moves: form an ocean wave, pull by direction

formation: Becket

A1 4
ladles allemande left once to short wavy line across
4
form an ocean wave & balance - ladles by left hands and partners by right hands the wave
8
partners swing
A2 8
circle left 3 places
8
neighbors swing
B1 8
ladles chain
8
long lines forward & back
B2 4
pull by left across the set
4
pull by right diagonal
4
pull by left diagonal
4
pull by right diagonal - look for new ladles

Pull bys should retain grip for a moment after passing and use the torque to turn back to the direction of travel up or down the set.

Dan Pearl notes

I always loved this zig-zag gimmick when I danced it in Cor Hogendijk's "Pat's Tradition", done by English country dancers. A dance by Steve Schnur that featured it motiviated me to try my own. The dance was written for and first performed at the Dance Musician's Development Fund annual benefit dance. The Fund sprung out of a one-time benefit dance to help Susan Worland, a fine fiddler in Boston, replace her stolen instruments. From that, the Fund formed as a subcommittee of the Folk Arts Center of New England. At the annual DMDF dance (12 hours of varied dancing) funds are raised to benefit research and special projects for Boston-area dance musicians. The title gives a nod to "Pat's Tradition" and the beneficial tradition of the DMDF.

Little did I know that when the dance started getting around, people would start yelping, hooting, etc. during B2. I think this started in Philadelphia. They have my blessing! Certainly, the "pulls" in B2 should be done with strength, tension, and other good contra-type connection. Foot-stompers have my blessing, too! ;-)

Transcriptions

Videos

Related Dances

Jefferson And Liberty

by: Chestnut

Proper, but not important. No swing

introduces moves: down the hall, up the hall, arch & dive

formation: proper

A1 8
circle left 4 places
8
circle right 4 places
A2 8
star right 4 places
8
star left 4 places
B1 8
ones down the outsides and turn alone
8
ones up the outsides and end in long lines, ones in the center, facing down the hall
B2 4
down the hall
4
ones arch twos dive ⁋
8
up the hall 2x2 with the twos leading, then ones turn around to face the next

G Campbell Kaynor notes: For a simple proper dance I do one called Jefferson and Liberty to the tune of the same name (Thos Jefferson's campaign song, a.k.a the Gobby O, an American Irish Jig)

It doesn't matter if people get on the wrong side of the set so I often start the night with this if there are lots of newcomers

Hey the Line

by: Tom Calwell

4F4, Hey for 8

introduces moves: balance, custom, roll away, pass through

formation: four face four

From improper four-face-four, step forward & left and form an ocean wave of 8 across (left with same-role neighbor, right with opposite-role neighbor)

A1 4
balance - forward/left & back/right
2
ladles allemande left ½ - face your partner
16
partners start a hey for eight - first pass by right, 7 passes - until partners meet
10
partners swing - end with center couples facing sides and outside couples facing center, join hands four in two rings
B1 6
circle left 3 places
10
neighbors swing - join hands four with same neighbors
B2 4
balance - the ring
4
gentlespoons roll away partners with a half sashay - join hands four with same neighbors
4
balance
2
pass through ⁋
2
form an ocean wave - ladles by left hands and neighbors by right hands - (left with same-role neighbor and right with opposite-role neighbor)

Devil's Backbone

by: William J. Watson

4F4 "exchange the gears"

introduces moves: custom

formation: four face four

A1 8
long lines forward & back (lines of four)
8
ladles chain with the couple you're facing
A2 8
star left 4 places the same two couples
8
lead ladles unroll the star - passing right, cross the set, gather a circle
B1 8
circle left 4 places
8
neighbors swing
B2 8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
8
partners swing and face your direction of travel ⁋

Mad Scatter

by: Rick Mohr

Scatter Mixer

introduces moves: do si do, allemande orbit

formation: scatter mixer

Scattered circles of two or more couples

A1 8
circle left 4 places
8
neighbors do si do once
A2 8
partners allemande right 1½
8
ladles allemande left 1½ around while the gentlespoons orbit clockwise ½ around. Ladles star if more than two.
B1 16
partners balance & swing New partner
B2 16
partners promenade to find new group to circle with ⁋

In this mixer dancers form scattered groups with any number of couples. That makes for fun chaos, less transition panic (compared with 2-couple scatter mixers), and more flavors to enjoy as circle sizes vary.

The A2 allemande ends with ladles in the center facing counterclockwise and gentlespoons on the outside facing clockwise. If there are two ladles they allemande left for 8 beats; if there are more than two they star left for 8 beats. Either way, the gentlespoons orbit clockwise around the ladles. Then all balance and swing a new partner and promenade to a new group.

I tell the dancers it's a zero-stress dance. "If a couple wants to join your circle, let them in!" And no problem if you happen to keep the same partner now and then.

Tempus Fugit

by: David Smukler

"F4F" Tempus formation

formation: Tempest

Two #1 cpls facing down - Two #2 cpls spit and facing in

A1 8
down the hall and turn as a couple (two #1 cpls in line of four)
8
up the hall and turn as a couple (#1s turn to face nearest #2s)
A2 4
circle left 2 places (two circles either side of set) +
2
twos arch ones dive ⁋
2
pass through across the set (two #1 couples in center of set)
8
neighbors do si do once (the #2 couple across the set)
B1 16
neighbors balance & swing
B2 4
circle left 2 places (two circles)
12
partners swing (#1s end facing down; #2s face in)

David notes: At the top of A2, the circle on the caller’s left should circle left halfway, but the other one can circle right halfway (ccw). It creates an eddying effect, and the flow is slightly improved for that active couple. This small change was suggested by Nils Fredland, and I like it a lot. Since the circles go halfway around, the dance will work either way.

#2s must slide up while #1s go down the hall
#2s when out at the top must slide together and become new #1s facing down; #1s when out at bottom must separate and face in along
side
Making sure the #1s circle with the correct #2s can sometimes be problematic
http://davidsmukler.syracusecountrydancers.org

Tilt-A-Whirl

by: Martha Wild

proper, 4-person by the eyes

introduces moves: gyre, meltdown swing, California twirl, figure 8

formation: proper

A1 8
long lines forward & back
8
____ gyre 1¼ for all four +
A2 16
partners meltdown swing
B1 8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
8
neighbors swing
B2 2
pass through across the set
4
partners California twirl
10
ones half figure 8 above ⁋
  • gyre for all four: people can keep eyes on their diagonal opposite as they gyre around. One and one quarter puts the gentlespoons above the ladles in the set, and the gaze shifts to partner. Teaching may be easier if it is taught initially with a hands across star, then have people leave the hands out.

Martha Wild notes: I was concerned that it would seem like too much clockwise motion, but people did not find that an issue, perhaps because the second half has little.

https://sites.google.com/site/marthawildscallsofthewild/

Galopede

by: Chestnut

like Virginia reel

introduces moves: custom

formation: improper or proper

A1 8
long lines forward & back
4
pass through across the set
4
turn alone
A2 8
long lines forward & back
4
pass through across the set
4
turn alone
B1 8
partners do si do once
8
partners swing
B2 16
top couple sashay to bottom of set - others move up ⁋

If you finish dancing before the music is done, let each couple in turn just sashay down until the music is ready to end.

Across Nottingham A

by: Cary Ravitz

swap A) and B) & call it a becket?

introduces moves: custom

formation: cross contra - improper then ladle one and gentlespoon two trade places

A1 16
twos start a full hey - lefts in center, rights on ends
A2 3
neighbors trade places, ones behind twos
10
circle left 4 places - no hands, eyes on partner
3
ladles trade places across, ladle one behind ladle two
B1 16
partners balance & swing
B2 8
circle left 3 places pass through to new (first corners now on caller's left) ⁋
8
first corners (gentlespoon one, ladle two) do si do, while second corners allemande right 1½

Source: http://www.dance.ravitz.us/#an

A less dizzy start of B2 - gentlespoons start a hands across star left and ladles fall in behind your partner, from initial positions, turn the star 1 for gentlespoons and 1/2 for ladles.

Across Nottingham B

by: Cary Ravitz

Nott. A with some ricochets

introduces moves: custom

formation: cross contra - improper then ladle one and ladle two trade places

A1 8
twos start a half hey - lefts in center, rights on ends - ones ricochet
8
twos start a half hey - lefts in center, rights on ends - twos ricochet
A2 3
neighbors trade places, ones behind twos
10
circle left 4 places - no hands, eyes on partner
3
gentlespoons trade places across, gentlespoon one behind gentlespoon two
B1 16
partners balance & swing
B2 8
circle left 3 places pass through to new (first corners now on caller's left) ⁋
8
first corners (gentlespoon one, ladle two) do si do, while second corners allemande right 1½

Source: http://www.dance.ravitz.us/#anb

A less dizzy start of B2 - gentlespoons start a hands across star left and ladles fall in behind your partner, from initial positions, turn the star 1 for gentlespoons and 1/2 for ladles.

But Y, Tho?

by: Nicholas Rockstroh

F4F same role swings

introduces moves: custom, star promenade, butterfly whirl

formation: four face four

Identify the active couple on the left side of the lines of four

A1 8
long lines forward & back, active gentlespoons roll away partners with a half sashay
8
same roles swing
A2 8
center four star left 4 places, pick up partners
4
star promenade left ½
4
butterfly whirl
B1 8
outside four star right 4 places
8
partners do si do once
B2 16
partners balance & swing ⁋

This is a four face four with a pair of active couples. The active couples are the couples on the left side of each line of four at the start of the dance and those couples remain active until they get to the end of the line and come back in. Do NOT switch sides with your shadows while waiting out; everyone should simply swap with their partner and face back into the set. When this happens, the previously inactive couple becomes the active couple. The center four and end four people will always be four people of the same role. Thus, the swings in the A1 will be with people of the same roles. Avoid having to alternate between saying gentlespoons/ladles star by referring to the center four and outside four. Written at 5:30 AM in response to a challenge issued by Dave Morse for a dance where you swing your shadow’s partner. This is impossible in a standard duple minor Contra dance, but it’s doable in a four face four. The title is an appropriate reaction to both the request and to the time of day at which the dance was written considering that I hadn’t gone to bed for the night at the time that I wrote it.

Doorbits

by: Andy Shore

Revolving door to orbit

introduces moves: revolving door

formation: improper

Demo the A1/A2 part! (see Notes below)

A1 16
neighbors balance & swing (end cozy)
A2 8
revolving door - ladles take right hands and drop off neighbors on other side... as ladles return - slide past Partner "nose to nose"
8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½ around while the ladles orbit clockwise ½ around
B1 16
partners balance & swing (on gentlespoon's original side)
B2 8
ladles chain
8
star left - wrist grip - 4 places to next neighbor ⁋

the revolving door into the allemande/orbit is (as far as I know) a new creation and requires a demo. Ladles drop N off across the set and keep going 1/2... as this happen Gentlespoons keep turning - all slide nose to nose past partner so Gentlespoons can put Left hands into center for the Allemande and Ladles slide out to continue the clockwise orbit another 1/2

Rip and Snort

by: Ben Werner

formation: improper

A1 8
balance the ring then Rip and Snort (1s Arch, 2s Dive Through, 2s drop hands with partner, go around 1s, 1s turn under joined hands and end in short lines facing down the hall)
8
down the hall and turn as a couple
A2 8
up the hall
8
gentlespoons allemande right 1½
B1 16
partners balance & swing
B2 8
balance & petronella
4
balance the ring
4
partners California twirl ⁋

Demo the Rip and Snort. 1's need to mind their shoulders when they turn under their joined hand.

Springtime in Philly

by: Ron T. Blechner

Larks chain (as Ravens)

introduces moves: custom

formation: Becket ccw

A1 8
long lines forward & back
4
pass through across the set and turn right 90 degrees
4
single file promenade to next neighbors (ladles leading partner) ⁋
A2 8
star right - hands across - 4 places
8
gentlespoons right-hand chain to neighbor
B1 8
gentlespoons gyre once
8
neighbors swing
B2 6
circle left 3 places
10
partners swing

Where's Alex? with encoded heys

by: Michael Fuerst

Two half heys

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.

Captain Hook's Revenge

by: Yoyo Zhou

Hey to center wave

introduces moves: form a long wave, give & take

formation: improper

Starts with gentlespoons in a long wave down the center

A1 4
gentlespoons form a long wave in the center - balance the wave
8
gentlespoons dance out while ladles dance in to a long wave in the center - balance the wave
4
ladles allemande right ¾
A2 16
neighbors balance & swing
B1 8
gentlespoons give & take partners
8
partners swing
B2 8
ladles chain
8
ladles start a half hey - rights in center, lefts on ends, gentlespoons catch right and allemande 3/4 to a long wave ⁋

To start the walkthru, have gents walk forward into a long wave.

Mad Scatter

by: Rick Mohr

Random progression

formation: scatter mixer

Scattered circles of two or more couples

A1 8
circle left 4 places
8
neighbors do si do once
A2 8
partners allemande right 1½
8
ladles allemande left 1½ around while the gentlespoons orbit clockwise ½ around. Ladles star if more than two.
B1 16
partners balance & swing New partner
B2 16
partners promenade to find new group to circle with ⁋

In this mixer dancers form scattered groups with any number of couples. That makes for fun chaos, less transition panic (compared with 2-couple scatter mixers), and more flavors to enjoy as circle sizes vary.

The A2 allemande ends with ladles in the center facing counterclockwise and gentlespoons on the outside facing clockwise. If there are two ladles they allemande left for 8 beats; if there are more than two they star left for 8 beats. Either way, the gentlespoons orbit clockwise around the ladles. Then all balance and swing a new partner and promenade to a new group.

I tell the dancers it's a zero-stress dance. "If a couple wants to join your circle, let them in!" And no problem if you happen to keep the same partner now and then.

Broken Sixpence v. with Circle and Star

by: Don Armstrong

Good for Lesson & First dance

formation: improper

A1 8
neighbors do si do once
8
gentlespoons do si do once
A2 8
ladles do si do once
8
ones swing and end facing down
B1 8
down the hall and turn alone
8
up the hall and bend into a ring
B2 8
circle left 4 places
8
star left 4 places ⁋

This chain-free version from Rebecca Lay. Rebecca notes Note from Rebecca: If I'm asked to teach a pre-dance "Beginners Workshop" at a contra dance, I often teach participants Broken Sixpence at the end of the workshop, and then do it as the first dance of the evening.

https://www.cdss.org/resources/how-to/contra-dance-resources#callers

A version with chains in the B2 is https://contradb.com/dances/358/

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