American Country Dances On-Line

This page is a simple database dump of the database that Russell Owen edited and maintained. No effort has been made to add to his compilation of dances.

I just created an index to this database, and set each dance in its own page. Use the index to find what you want.


24th of October

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (8) Left-hand star
This is the progression
(8) With a new neighbor allemande right 1 1/2 to long waves with gents facing in
B1 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Circulate to new waves (gents cross into P's place; ladies arc right into N's place)
(4) Balance
(4) Circulate to new waves (gents arc, ladies cross)
B2 (4) Balance
(4) Circulate (gents cross, ladies arc)
(8) Partners swing

Editor's Notes:
Based on Steve Schnur's 24th of June.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/19/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


9 Pin

Traditional

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Mixer
Formation Square plus 1 in center


(8) Heads circle left (around the 9-pin); make life interesting for the 9-pin
(8) Sides circle left
(8) Heads sashay up/down, passing to the right of the 9-pin; sashay back on the other side
(8) Sides sashay across and back (across to right, back on the other side)
note: sashay as far as you want in the time allotted
(8) 9-pin swing with one member of couple 1; the other person go to the center and circle alone
(8) 9-pin go onto couple 2 and repeat; now two people are circling in the center
(8) 9-pin onto couple 3
(8) 9-pin onto couple 4
(8) 9-pin join the center ring and circle left
(...) Circle right, star, whatever
(16) BREAK AND SWING: the centers find somebody to swing; odd person out is the new 9-pin. A signal such as a whistle is sometimes used.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Mike Richardson April, 1993

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


AADS Reel

By Philippe Callens
Composed August 20, 1991

Source Phillippe Callens, "From a Belgian Yankee Caller"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors pass right shoulders, next neighbors allemande left, end facing original neighbor
A2 (4) Original foursome make a ring and balance
(4) Circle left 1/2
(8) Partners swing (in the center)
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain across
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
This dance is not suitable for crowded conditions.
I wrote this dance on September 20, 1991. The name was modeled after CDS Reel, a contra dance by Ted Sannella (appears in Ted Sannella, "Swing the Next"). I founded the Anglo-American Dance Service (AADS) in the fall of 1990 together with Frieda Van Vlaenderen and Luc Blancke. The AADS is a Belgian country dance society that promotes folk dancing from the British Isles and America.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Al's Safeway Produce

By Robert Cromartie
Composed 1989

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Left-hand star
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
The transition from left hand star to allemande left is especially nice if a New England style (hand on wrist) star is used. This is the only dance I can think of for which I specifically request that type of star in those parts of the country where the default is hands-across.
Unfortunately, the origin of the name is lost in the mists of time. All I can say is that "Al" is not Al Olson, although had I known who he is when I wrote this, it might have been. Composed sometime around 1989.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Alamance Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed May, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads lead right
Circle left 1/2 and pass through
Heads meet opposite and swing out to the men's home
B Heads go forward and back
Heads square through four hands
C Swing the one you meet at the side
D Heads circle left 3/4 in the middle
All swing partner at home

Author's Notes:
The sides may swing their partner in phrase A.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Almost Back Home Again

By Philippe Callens
Composed August 18, 1991; last revised June 13, 1992

Source Phillippe Callens, "From a Belgian Yankee Caller"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (12) Down the hall four in line; couples wheel towards each other, pass through across and wheel to face up; come up the hall
(4) Those couples in the gents' line (G1 and L2) hand cast off
B1 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(6) Ladies chain
(2) Roll away with a half sashay
B2 (8) Left-hand star 3/4
(8) New neighbors right-hand star

Author's Notes:
The movements in A2 result in a horseshoe pattern: dancers go down four in line, drop hands, pass across, join hands again and go up four in line. It should be one continuous, flowing movement. First gent and second lady end the movement by doing a cast off (inside hands already joined); second gent and first lady simply face across.
In B1 the ladies start a hey halfway which is followed by a ladies chain. After courtesy turning their partner, gents roll their partner away so that ladies finish on their left-hand side (left hands still joined). This roll away goes nicely into the ensuing left-hand star. Ladies follow their partner in both of the stars.
In order to re-start the dance with a new neighbor, ladies should turn right, ready to balance and swing.
I wrote this dance on August 18, 1992, and revised it on June 13, 1992. In the summer of 1991, I spent five weeks in the USA and wrote this dance a few days before flying back home.
Ideas from Ocean View Reel, a contra dance by Tony Parkes, and Kit's Contra by Fried de Metz Herman inspired me to the choreography of this smooth-flowing contra.
Tony is a professional New England style caller who lives in Billerica near Boston. The "caller with the velvet voice" provides a unique opportunity for everyone who is interested in a real New England dance experience.
Fried is a transplanted Dutch caller who lives in Larchmont, New York, and teaches English country dancing. She is especially well-known for her ingenious and inventive work as a choreographer. Fried is my favorite "English" choreographer. As a choreographer myself, I can even more appreciate her dances. Both Tony and Fried have called in Belgium.

Editor's Notes:
A timing variation to consider: move the roll away to the start of B2 and giving only 6 counts to the 3/4 star.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Already Taken

By Gary Shapiro
Composed September 4, 1997

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Right and left through across
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (4) Make a ring and balance
(4) Circle left 1/2
(8) Ladies chain across

Author's Notes:
I wanted a relatively simple dance with a neighbor right & left through in it and this was the result. It owes the end of B2 and all of A1 to Tony Parkes' Spring Fever.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/4/2000; last revised 3/5/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Anne's Visit

By Philippe Callens
Composed April 9, 1987

Source Phillippe Callens, "From a Belgian Yankee Caller"
Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (8) Right-hand star
(8) Left-hand star
B1 (8) Four in line go down the hall, turn alone
(8) Return and form a ring
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) Partners two-hand turn

Author's Notes:
In order to easily re-start the dance, dancers should let go of hands in time to re-form the lines.
The origin of this dance goes back several years. In November 1982, I realized I didn't have an appropriate dance to use with beginners as a first exposure to contras. At that time, I wanted a flowing sequence (not just a dull drill) in a proper formation to avoid the cross-over at the top and bottom of the set. I then wrote a dance to suit this purpose, but found that it was much too complicated for beginners. After having made several changes, I discussed the topic and exchanged interesting ideas with Anne Tempelmann (Witten, Germany) on April 5, 1987. Four days later, "Anne's Visit" was the final result of a long search.
Although I may not use it any longer as a first exposure to contra dancing, this easy, all-moving routine works well with inexperienced dancers.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Another Jig Will Do

By Mike Richardson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Long lines go forward and back, moving left one place (the progression)
(6) With the new circle left 3/4
A2 (9) Neighbors dosido
(3) Neighbors allemande right 1/2, until gents face in
B1 (12) 5 changes of a hey, gents pass left shoulders to start; end with gents passing left shoulders to face partner, all on original side
B2 (12) Partners swing

Editor's Notes:
Tune: any 2-part (16-bar) slip jig, such as "The Peacock Follows the Hen", "Another Jig Will Do" or "A Fig for a Kiss".
See also the dance "The Peacock Follows the Hen".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Another Trip to Germany

By Philippe Callens
Composed March 27, 1987; last revised April 5, 1989

Source Phillippe Callens, "From a Belgian Yankee Caller"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Right and left through across
A2 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2 to a wave of four (neighbor in left hand)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande left 3/4
B1 (This is the progression to new neighbors)
(8) New neighbors allemande right 1 1/2, ladies turn CW to face in
(4) Circle left 1/2
(4) Ladies cross, passing right shoulders
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

Author's Notes:
After the allemande right with the next in line in B1, the ladies must, helped by the gents, sharply turn right into the circle and give left hand to that neighbor and right to their partner to form the circle... The ensuing circle four brings the gents back to the correct side of the set...
A couple becomes neutral at the end of A2. They rejoin the set at the beginning of B1.
In March 1987 I attended Heiner Fischle's Contra Dance Workshop in Hannover, Germany, with friends Lydia Beyens and Fernand Engels. It was there that I first met Anne Temelmann and Margot Gunzenhauser. We stayed in touch ever since and regularly went to each other's dance activities. Heiner is a Western square dance caller with a definite interest in contras. At his workshop, I picked up some interesting ideas that appear in this dance. The original version, written on March 27 of that year, was revised several times. Two years later, on April 5, 1989, I arrived at this present, satisfying version.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Anticipation

By George Walker

Source CDSS News #133, 1996
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Hey along your line: pass 1st neighbor by the right, 2nd neighbor by the left, gypsy with the 3rd and come back. Note: at the ends go around to the other line (as if the set were a bicycle chain).
End with the gents facing out, ladies facing in, right shoulder to neighbor
A2 (16) Hey across the set, ladies pass left shoulders to start
B1 (8,8) Neighbors gypsy and swing
B2 (16) 1's swing

Editor's Notes:
Variants:
In B2: 1's balance and swing (this is the version in Gems)
In B2: Long lines go forward and back, 1's swing (this is the version I use)
Collected from the author 1989.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Are You 'Most Done?

By Russell Owen
Composed November, 1992

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) (Same two) gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Left-hand star almost once around (7/8), until gents are in the middle
If out: join the long lines, then star with ghosts
B1 With new neighbors (this is the progression)
(16) Right diagonal hey, gents pass right shoulders to start
B2 (4) Gents allemande right 3/4 to face your partner; ladies walk to meet them
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
Begun in 1990, finished November, 1992. The title is a line from the sea chanty "Let the Bulgine Run", and is a play on the 7/8 star and long gestation. The dance is better than the title.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Arizona Becket

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed March 20, 1994

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (4) Trail buddies allemande left
(12) Partners swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing
B2 (4) Pass through across set and turn individually to the right to make a right hand star
(8) Right-hand star 1 1/4 (to original place)
(4) Gents lead partners left along your line to next couple

Author's Notes:
Introduced March 20, 1994 at a callers' workshop in Tuscon.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Asheville Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed May, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
Heads roll away with a half sashay
B Heads star through (with partner) to swing the one you meet
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Heads pass through
Split two
Go around one into the middle and form a ring
D Heads balance the ring
Heads star through (with partner)
Heads circle left with the sides
E Heads circle right 3/4 in the middle
Heads pass through
All swing partner at home

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ashley's Star

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Square-Mixer
Formation Square


A1 (8) Partners allemande right 1 1/2, hold on, give left to the next to form an alamo ring with gents facing out
(4) Balance
(4) With the left hand person allemande left
A2 (8) Partners dosido
(8) Ladies left-hand star; keep the star and scoop up partner
B1 (6) Star promenade about 1/2 way around
(2) Gents cast back (to their right)
(8) Swing the lady behind
B2 (8) Into the center and back
(8) Circle left to the gents' home

Author's Notes:
Repeat figure 3 more times with introduction, middle break and ending of the caller's choice. Composed for the wedding of Larry Edelman and Ashley Faber.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Atonement Reel

By Bill Olson
Composed October 11, 1997

Source Bill Olson's dance page http://www.megalink.net/~pweeks/billscorner.html
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 Start in circular wave, right hand to partner, men facing out
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Allemande right 1/2 to a new wave (men facing in)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Allemande left
A2 (16) Partners balance and swing
B1 (8) Forward and back
(8) Forward and back, men turning to face partner on the way back
B2 (4) Partners allemande left
(12) Partners promenade
At end of promenade drop right hands, men face out, women face in

Author's Notes:
Written on October 11, 1997 on the way to the North Yarmouth dance. I announced that the dance had no name yet, whereupon David Handwerker reminded me it was the Yom Kippur, "The Day of Atonement". 
This dance borrows the promenade into circular wave balance from "Ted's Mixer" by Ted Sannella.  I wanted the progression to be at the end so there was at least one balance and swing with the original partner.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/31/1998; last revised 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Aurora

By Mary Devlin
Composed December 2, 1994

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(2,6) Turn alone and come back
(2) Gents turn alone and give your left hand to your neighbor
A2 (8) Neighbors allemande left twice to a wave of 4 (1's in the middle)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) 1's box the gnat
B1 (16) Hey, 1's pull by to start
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 11/3/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Aw Shucks

By Carol Kopp

Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) 1's join both hands and sashay down the center and back
(8) 1's sashay down the center and back again, ending between the 2's
(Variant: sashay down 8, back 8)
A2 (4) 1's patty-cake clap: own hands, rights, own hands, lefts
(4) Turn and patty-cake clap with neighbor
(8) Neighbors swing
B1 (6) Down the hall 4 in line
(2,8) Turn as couples, return
B2 (16) Ladies chain over and back

Author's Notes:
Written in desperation. Needed more easy dances.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 10/31/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Baby Rose, The

By David Kaynor

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners dosido
B1 (4,12) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
A few years ago at Pinewoods I called a dance I had just "composed". I was actually trying to teach "The Nice Combination" or "Shades of Shadrack" (both by Gene Hubert), could not make either one work, and just sort of bailed out with this dance. Later that week, at the American Week auction, or whatever week that was, I offered the right to name the dance as an auction item. Richard and Claudia Rose made the highest bid, and since they did not know whether their soon-to-be-born baby would be a boy or a girl, they chose the title "The Baby Rose."
(from email January 29, 1997)

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Luther Black February, 1991.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Backstitch

By Al Olson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) Keeping hands joined balance towards and away from neighbor
(4) Gents roll ladies from left to right and take hands in new long lines
A2 (4) Balance towards 2nd neighbor and away
(12) Gents roll 2nd neighbor into a swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Left-hand star 3/4 (with 2nd neighbors)
(8) Original neighbors swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 7/8/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Baltimore Breakdown

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed October, 1992

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Square-Mixer, H H S S
Formation Square


A1 (4) Heads lead out to the right
(4) Circle left once around (end with heads inside facing out)
(4) Heads cross trail through; end in lines of four (MMWW, heads at the ends)
A2 (8) Lines of four go forward and back, while you note if you are in the middle of the line or at the end
(8) All eight circle left 1/2
B1 (8) Those who were ends in A2 (heads) swing your opposite;
while those who were middles (sides) circle left 3/4 and pass through
(8) All swing the one you meet; this is your new partner
B2 (8) Partners allemande left
(8) Partners promenade to the gents' home

Author's Notes:
Repeat figure 3 more times with introduction, middle break and ending of the caller's choice. Allemande left in B2 may be omitted if dancers are running late or need more time to end the swing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Banish Moral Slop

By Dan Pearl

Source CDSS News #152, 2000
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Start in waves of four, gents holding right hands, neighbors holding left
(4) Balance
(4) Advance to 2nd neighbors make a new wave
(4) Balance
(4) 2nd neighbors allemande left 3/4
A2 (16) Original neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start, end with gents gypsy right to face partner
(8) Partners swing
B2 (4) Neighbors take right hands and balance
(4) Neighbors box the gnat
(6) Right-hand star 3/4
(2) Make a wave with new neighbors by giving new neighbor left hand and gents joining right hands in the center

Author's Notes:
This dance was composed for a special benefit event to help preserve for dancing the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo, Maryland. If you like your dance halls large, this is one of the best, with old-time charm and splendid decor. The title is an anagram of "Spanish Ballroom".
The roughest part of the dance is to get those right hands free for the Box the Gnat in B2.
Music suggestions: Kitchen Girl, Dinky's Reel.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/4/2000; last revised 7/7/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Bastille Day's Eve

By Mitchell S. Frey
Composed July 13, 1989

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2; gents turn a bit more to face across
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (4,12) 1's balance and swing; end facing down
This is the first progression
B1 (6) New neighbors go down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(2,8) Turn alone and come back
B2 (8) Circle right
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
Music: Any Reel
This dance was written the day before the two hundredth anniversary of the French revolution. That is the only connection it has with France.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Batja's Breakdown

By Tom Hinds

Source Tom Hinds, "Dance All Night 2"
Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Trail buddies allemande left (your trail buddy is next to you in line)
(12) Partners swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(2) Slide left to face a new couple (this is the progression)
(6) Those new neighbors circle left 3/4
B1 (16) Neighbors swing
B2 (4) Pass through to an ocean wave
(4) Balance the wave
(2,2,4) Neighbors allemande right 1/2, men allemande left 1/2, partners allemande right 3/4 and look for your trail buddy

Author's Notes:
Named after Batja Bell, long-time dancer and folklorist.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Bells of Montague

By Penn Fix
Composed 1989

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain on the left diagonal
A2 (16) 7 changes of a hey across the set, ladies pass right shoulders to start. When the gents pass the second time they turn right to join a wave of four on the left diagonal.
B1 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Gents allemande right 1/2 and re-form the wave (partner in left hand)
(4) Balance again
(4) Partners allemande left, end facing across
B2 (4) Pass through across the set (with couple slightly on right diagonal)
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
Dancing Tips: If there is no one to chain with on the diagonal, do not chain but wait for the hey. In the hey, the men pass by each other for the second time, the seventh change, into a line of four on the left diagonal. The people involved are the same ones who danced the ladies chain in A1. Men work their way to their partners and finish with an allemande turn. Men have to turn by themselves a little bit more in order to face across. The pass through is done with the couple that is on a slight diagonal right. Once they have passed through they turn to face their partners and swing. Couples resting out at the top should stay as a couple on the caller's left and at the bottom on the caller's right.
Background: After calling the Greenfield, Massachusettes dance, I spent the night at David Kaynor's home in the small community of Montague. David didn't warn me about the church next door. Its bells rang on the half hour throughout the night. No wonder I awoke with this dance in my mind. The tune (in the book), "A-Mary-Cay The Beautiful", is written for Mary Cay Brass who plays piano with David. Composer Mark Simos played off the Irish pronunciation of "America the Beautiful" in his dedication, much to the embarrassment of Greenfield's finest piano player! She made him rename it "Brass's Reel", but I made no such promise!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ben's Spinoff #3

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "More Dizzy Dances, vol III"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6,2) Neighbors allemande right; women allemande left 1/2
(6,2) Partners allemande right; women allemande left 1/2
Note: call 4 beats per move and let the dancers sort out the real timing
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Beneficial Tradition

By Dan Pearl

Source CDSS News #114, 1993
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Ladies allemande left, then take right hands with partner to form a wave of 4
(4) Balance forward and back
(8) Partners swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
B1 (8) Ladies chain (to partner)
(8) Long lines go forward and back
B2 (4) With the one across (opposite sex), pull by left (!) and turn alone
(4) With the one on the right diagonal (same sex) pull by right and turn alone
(8) Repeat
Note: if there's nobody to pull by with, stay where you are!

Author's Notes:
This dance was composed in honor of the Dance Musician's Development Fund annual benefit dance. The title gives a nod to Pat's Tradition, an English country dance for three couples which has a similar gimmick to the one used in B2.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


A Better Blend

By Gene Hubert
Composed August, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads promenade 3/4
Sides pass through
All swing the one you meet...
B ...continue the swing
End in lines at the sides
Forward and back
C Ends (heads) to the middle and circle left
Heads pass through
Split the sides
Go round one to lines
D Lines go forward and back
Lines pass through
Centers arch
Ends (heads) dive through
E Heads right-hand star 3/4
Allemande left corner
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
I was trying to combine elements of Ed Gilmore's "Ends Turn In" with Roger Whynot's "Swing to a Line."
When the heads go in to circle in phrase C the sides are left standing on the "wrong" side of their partner. It is somewhat better if they swap places at this point, but if they don't the dance will still work and eventually fix things nicely.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Birth and Death of a Star, The

By Adam Carlson
Composed October 6, 2000

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Hands across right-hand star, gents join behind your neighbor
B1 (4) Ladies drop across from home while the gents keep going to your partner
(12) Partners swing
B2 (12) 3/4 hey, gents pass left shoulder to start
(4) Neighbors gypsy 3/4 to face new neighbors

Author's Notes:
This dance has some fairly tricky bits, but I think it's worth it. When teaching, make sure the ladies know the the goal in A2 is to cross the set. They have to drop out on their partner's side. In the B2 hey, gents go over and back, ladies just go across the set.
I originally wrote this dance based on a great figure. Imagine A2 with no hands, just eye contact. I called it a Gypsy Star. (The dance was originally called "Eye Candy".) However, without the weight of an allemande it was difficult to get the figure to go fast enough and the timing was thrown off. I think the trick is to construct the figure so that noone has to end up across the set. (See "Gypsy Star" which is the final version of that dance, and, I think, ultimately a better dance than this one.)

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/24/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Blacksburg Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed February, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads right and left through
Head ladies chain
B All go forward and back
All roll away with a half sashay two people
C Swing the next person you meet (#3)
Now swing the second person you rolled away with
D Lines at the sides go forward and back
Ends (heads) right-hand star 3/4 while centers (sides) trade
E Allemande left corner
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
In the rollaways the gent will move the lady on his right side to his left side as he takes her place. It is most helpful to have dancers note the second person they roll away with for future reference. Also it helps much to tell the dancers that the second swing in phrase C is back the other way from that in which you have been progressing on the rollaways.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Blue and White Contra, The

By Lannie McQuaide

Source Lannie McQuaide
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Triple Minor: Proper


A1 (8) 1's go down the outside one place while the 2's move up
(8) 1st gent dance CCW around the 3rd gent to end between the 3's facing the 3rd lady, while the 1st lady dance CCW around the 2nd lady to end between the 2's facing the 2nd gent.
A2 (16) Heys for three across the set, passing right shoulders to start
B1 (8) 1's left-hand turn 3/4 and fall back in 2nd place proper.
(8) Lines of three go forward and back.
B2 (16) Mirror heys along the set, 1's split the 3's to start.

Author's Notes:
In B1 I particularly said forward 6 (ed: changed to "lines of 3") instead of long lines to help the dancers identify the minor sets. If each #1 couple will take a hand on either side, and # 2 and #3 are instructed NOT to take any other hand, they will know which couples are working together for the next call.
At a dance in March of 1987, the decorations and refreshments followed the St. Patrick's Day theme. Nearly everyone present sported something green as part of his attire.

I used a lot of Irish music and dances with names that, at least, sounded Irish, such as All the Way to Galway. Some dances simply had the word "green" in the title.

One of the "regulars" is a lot of fun--has an unending line of jokes, and is always kidding around. He happens to be of the Jewish Persuasion.

After this particular dance, he said to me, "Enough already with this Irish stuff. I want to commission you to write a dance that is to be called "The Blue and White Contra", but I want it to be danced to music that is in jig time."

I told him that with those requirements, I would have to receive twice the usual commission. He readily agreed, because after all, 2x0 is still 0.

Editor's Notes:
I suggest English Country style casts in A1: start by turning your back to the person you are going to dance around. This allows you to take a longer path and so use up the music in a natural and flowing way.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Bob and Laura's 35th

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed December, 1993

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 (16) Partners balance and swing
A2 In Varsouvianne promenade position, facing promenade direction:
(4) Walk forward
(4) Turn alone and back up (as in Gay Gordons)
(4) Walk forward
(4) Holding right hands, gents twirl ladies counterclockwise to make a wave (alamo ring), ladies facing in, right shoulder to partner
B1 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B2 (8) Partners allemande right 1 1/2 (end with gents facing in, ladies facing out)
(4) With the left-hand person left shoulder gypsy
(4) Pass your partner by the right shoulder and advance to the next

Author's Notes:
For Bob and Laura Stein's 35th Anniversary Party in Lansing, Michigan, December 1993.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Bob's Befuddlement

By Laura Mé Smith

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Mirror-image dosido, start with 1's between the 2's
(4) 1's go down the center to 2nd neighbors
(4) 2nd neighbors handy-hand allemande (gent 1 left hand, etc.)
A2 (16) Original neighbor balance and swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4 (again)
(4) Balance the ring
(4) 2's arch, 1's dive and everybody advance to new neighbors

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Bob's Triplet #1

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed February, 1988

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Triplet
Formation Triplet: Proper


A1 (4) 1's join both hands, chasse down center
(4) Heel, toe, heel toe, gents left foot, ladies right
(4) Chasse back up
(4) Cast off unassisted into second place, 2's moving up
A2 (16) 1's turn contra corners
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing, end facing up
B2 (4) All chasse four steps, gents to their right, ladies to their left, gents passing behind partners
(4) Turn to face partner, advance and join hands in a ring of 6
(8) All six circle left 1/2

Author's Notes:
Composed in February, 1988 as a teaching tool for the figure contra corners. As in the Ted Sannella tradition of numbered triplets, I encourage dancers to cheer wildly when #1 (and only, so far) is announced.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Boomerang

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert "Dizzy Dances II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Right and left through
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left diagonal ladies chain (to the same gent every time)
B1 (4) Pull through across the set and turn alone
(8) Circle left
(4) Pull through along the line (to your partner)
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/25/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Boston Baked Beans

By Al Olson

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B1 (8) Right-hand star
Look away from your partner towards your trail buddy
(8) With your trail buddy (and neighbor ) left-hand star
B2 (8) Partners swing
(6) Original foursome circle left 3/4
(2) Pull by along the line
Note: if out cross over quickly and join the second star

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Sherri Nevins May, 1990

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Brandy's Star

By Bill Olson
Composed February 21, 1998

Source Bill Olson's dance page http://www.megalink.net/~pweeks/billscorner.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Ladies right-hand balance
(4) Ladies box the gnat
(8) Hands across right-hand star
A2 (4) Ladies drop out, gents pull by
(12) Hey 3/4, neighbors pass left shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line
(8) New neighbors dosido

Author's Notes:
In A1, the ladies must decide who goes under and who goes over for the box the gnat. It's usually the shorter going under, but leaving it up to the dancers on the spot adds a little excitement. At the beginning of A2 I remind the dancers not to "over-rotate" the star and the ladies to be ready to start the hey when the gents arrive.
Written on February 21, 1998 over coffee before the Bowdoinham dance. Brandy is Pam Weeks' wonderful pooch (tour dog extrordinaire), the only dog in the world I would spend 2 weeks with in the back of a 15 passenger van!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/31/1998; last revised 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Brimmer and May Reel

By Dan Pearl

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors swing (truncated swing)
(8) Right and left through
A2 (16) 1's balance and swing
B1 (4) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(4) 1's California twirl (2's remain facing down)
(8) Neighbors allemande with handy hand twice around (M1 left, W1 right)
B2 (4) Return in a column of couples, 1's leading the 2's
(4) 1's cast down to 2nd place, unassisted
while the 2's continue up into 1st place and turn alone (towards each other)
(4) Circle left 1/2
(4) Pass through along the line

Editor's Notes:
Common variant (also in Zesty Contras):
A1) Neighbors swing (16)
A2) Right and left through (8); 1's swing
The timing in B2 can easily get mushy if the caller is unclear about it. Personally I find the dance much more satisfying if the cast into the circle is done with careful timing.
The Brimmer and May School gym was (and perhaps still is) the site of the Country Dance Society square dance. (Information from Zesty Contras).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


British Sorrow

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Triple Minor: Proper


A1 (8) 1's go down the outside two places
(4,4) 1's come up the center and cast off with the 2's
A2 (8) 1's and 3's right-hand star
(8) 1's and 2's left-hand star
B1 (16) All 6 circle right
B2 (16) 1's and 2's right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune (which is not at all sorrowful, the title being from the American perspective).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Bus Stop, The

By Bill Olson
Composed September 12, 1998

Source Bill Olson's dance page http://www.megalink.net/~pweeks/billscorner.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors balance by the right
(4) Box the gnat
(6) Right hand star 3/4
(2) Form a wave across, ladies in the center
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Ladies allemande left
(8) Half hey, partners pass right shoulders to start
B1 (8) Partners gypsy
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Promenade across (courtesy turn recommended)
(2) Roll away with a half sashay (ladies roll left)
(6) Left hand star 3/4

Author's Notes:
This dance was written on the way to call a dance in N. Yarmouth at the Westcustogo Grange. In March, I had been talking with Carol Ormand about a dance called by Sue Rosen at the 8th annual Downeast Country Dance Festival. The dance was "Summer Sunshine" by Paul Balliet. It had a circle L 3/4 to a wave across and it was a really smooth move that Carol admitted she wished she had invented. We figured a star to a wave was a cool move too, but she had only seen a star to a long wave, not a wave across. So this is it.
Scrod Pudding played a set of modern reels for this dance at Bowdoinham town hall on Sept 19: "Don Tremaine's" by Graham Townsend (in D), "Evil Diane" by Sam Bartlett (in A), and "Bus Stop Reel" (in Am) by Anita Anderson. What a great mezmerizing set and it worked so well! Since this dance also grew out of a dance I have been working on since April to commemorate David Kaynor's 50th birthday, and since David is continually threatening to ride the bus to gigs in order to be able to carpool with someone to the NEXT gig, that iced it for me. I figured I had to name the dance "The Bus Stop", just another stop along the way...
The star to a wave goes very smoothly, the women just have to remember to reach left hands across the star, but leave right hands joined with partners to form a wave across with the active man facing down joined by R to active woman, etc.
In B2, courtesy turn after the 1/2 Promenade then flow into a Rollaway with a Half Sashay to change places with partner. This has everyone moving in the correct direction for the L/H star and if the women remember to put their left hands in immediately there is a nice flow into the star, I think!
A possible alternative would be a Partner Balance and swing in B1, but that makes the timing a little more critical in A2.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/11/1999; last revised 11/23/1999; edited by Russell Owen


"By George"

By George Walker

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Hey, ladies pass left shoulders to start
A2 (4) Ladies cross
(12) Partners swing
B1 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing

Editor's Notes:
The transition from neighbors swing to a hey with new neighbors is a feature. End the swing facing across. Separate with a gentle push, propelling the ladies to the right and slightly forward and the gents in the opposite direction. This puts everyone in the proper position with the proper momentum to start the hey. Be careful not to send the ladies directly into each other. (Thanks to Mike Richardson for pointing out this feature.)
Collected from Mike Richardson, September, 1997. At the time Mike collected this dance from George it did not have a title. Mike simply calls it "By George".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/16/1997; last revised 6/24/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Bye, Bye, Baltimore

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed August, 1991

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) With the next neighbor allemande right 1 1/2
Make long waves, with gents facing in, ladies facing out
A2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place, passing in front of the other person and spinning clockwise, in the current style of Rory O'More
(8) Swing original neighbor
B1 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners swing
B2 (6) Right and left through (with a courtesy turn!)
(2) Roll away with a half sashay
(8) Gents help the ladies into a right hand star 3/4 (gents follow partners)

Author's Notes:
The roll away with a half sashay is most satisfying when it follows a courtesy turn. Dance might have been called Bye, Bye Balto'more. Introduced at Lovely Lane just before my move to North Carolina in August, 1991.

Editor's Notes:
In B2 I prefer taking a full 8 counts for the right and left through followed by 2 counts for the roll away and 6 for the 3/4 star.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Cal and Irene

By Dan Pearl

Source CDSS News #118, 1994
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (2) With your neighbor, slide left to face a new couple (temporarily losing your partner)
(6) Circle left 3/4
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Neighbors California twirl
B1 (4) Original foursome make a ring and balance
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Composed for Cal and Irene Howard. Eight Boston-area dance series honored the long and tireless contributions of these two folks during Cal and Irene Howard Appreciation Week during 1993.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Carolina Crossing

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads pass through
Separate
Go around one and into the middle
B Heads pass through
Split two
Separate
Go around one
Head ladies cross
Heads swing opposite while sides swing partner...
C ...continue the swing
Face in and swing the next person in your square
D Face partner and right and left through
Ladies chain to partner
E Promenade home
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
I believe this is the first square where I used the swing to swing transition, a move pioneered by Ted Sannella in a contra dance. I think he would be pleased to know his idea has found its way into square dancing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Carolina Rollaway

By Gene Hubert
Composed September, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Heads pass through
Separate
Go around one to make lines at the sides
Lines go forward and back
C Heads roll away with a half sashay
Swing the next person along the line
D Right and left through
Pass through
Centers arch
Ends (heads) dive through
E Heads circle left 3/4
All swing at home

Author's Notes:
After the swing in phrase C you must still be in lines at the sides in order to identify the couple across to do the right and left through with.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Carolina Swing

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Heads cross trail through
Go around one to lines at the sides
Note nearest neighbor in same line
Lines go forward and back
C Heads left-hand star
All swing neighbor noted in B
D Gents left-hand star
All swing neighbor noted in B
E Ladies right-hand star
Courtesy turn with neighbor noted in B
Face partner
All right and left through
F Ladies pull by right
Swing partner
G Promenade home

Author's Notes:
An outstanding dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Catch a Falling Star

By Melanie Axel-Lute

Source http://www.maxellute.net/dances.html
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Hands across right-hand star
B2 (4) Balance the star
(4) Ladies trade places with a half gypsy,
while the gents turn single left
(8) Hands across left-hand star

Editor's Notes:
Turn single left: walk a loop over your left shoulder, ending up where you started. The term is from English Country dancing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Cedar Street Shuffle

By Penn Fix
Composed 1983

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Circle left
B1 (4) Pull by across the set
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Right and left through

Author's Notes:
Background: For several years I called regularly in Sandpoint, a lake resort in northern Idaho. The Cedar Street Covered Bridge stretches over the river that feeds into the Pend 'Oreille Lake

Editor's Notes:
Giving good weight in the circle in A2 really "makes" the dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Centrifugal Hey

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (16) Hey, partners pass right shoulder to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing (the balance is optional)
B2 (8) Right and left through
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pull by along the line

Editor's Notes:
I strongly recommend the balance in B1.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ceylon! See Ya Later

By Amy Brewer

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (4) (Those same) neighbors allemande left 3/4
(12) Ladies pull by right and swing your partner
A2 (8) Circle left
(2,6) Slide left one place and with the new circle 3/4
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (8) Left-hand star
This is the progression to new neighbors
(8) New neighbors allemande right

Editor's Notes:
Given to me by Amy Brewer Dec, 1995

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Chain Ladies Chain

By Ron Buchanan

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, G1 G2 G3 G4
Formation Square


1's go out to the right and circle left four (1's and 2's)
Gent 1 leave them in a line of three, go on to the next and circle left three (gent 1 and 3's)
Gent 1 take those two on to the next and circle left five (gent 1, 3's and 4's)
Gent 1 "leave them in a line of four, and go back home to your side door" (go join your partner in the other line)
Lines of four go forward and back
All four ladies chain straight across (not a grand chain)
End two ladies chain (on the diagonal)
All four ladies chain straight across
End two ladies chain
All four ladies grand chain (to your partner)
All eight circle left, all the way around and end at home

Author's Notes:
Call for gents 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The timing is flexible; there is no one right way to time out the dance.
One could make those lines of four by simply having the heads go out to the right and circle up four, but then the gents would have very little to do.

Editor's Notes:
In the lines of four partners are together and near home. For example the first and third time through (when lines are at the sides) 1's are to the left of the 2's and the 3's are to the left of the 4's. This will happen automatically provided the active gent leads the opposite couple on to the next using his right hand.
So far to our knowledge nobody has taught or called this dance to this particular sets of notes. We hope the information is complete enough to make this possible and we encourage you to try. The editor and author would be grateful for any suggestions you think would be helpful for others.
Collected from Ron Buchanan January, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Chainsaw Reel

By Don Lennartson

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) (Same two) ladies chain
(8) Long lines go forward and back
A2 Take hands at the ends to make a long oval
(8) Whole set circle right
(8) Whole set circle left, until across from partner again
B1 (8) Original foursomes circle left
(8) Left-hand star and look for new neighbors
This is the progression
B2 (8) New ladies allemande right 1 1/4
(8) Partners swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Chaos in the Cosmos

By Russell Owen
Composed June 1, 1997

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight down through the 2's, while the 2's turn to face out
A2 (8) Same-sex neighbors handy-hand allemande 1 1/2 (gents right, ladies left)
(8) 2's dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (4) Ladies trade (half gypsy)
(4) Gents trade
(8) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
This dance is named for my cat "Chaos", who loves to lie under a patch of Cosmos in the back yard. The orbital theme is intentional. Carol Kippes gets partial credit (or blame) for the name.
This is a simplified version. The original is also worth considering:
A1
2's face out, 1's face in
(8) Neighbors handy-hand allemande 1 1/2 (gent 1 left, lady 1 right)
(8) 2's dosido
A2
(16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1
(8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing, end facing up towards current neighbors (gent facing gent, lady facing lady)
B2
(8) Circle left (a GGLL circle)
(8) 1's half figure eight up through the 2's, while the 2's turn to face out
This dance first sprang into my head March 18, 1997, while I was mulling over Larry Jenning's "The Common Tern". B2 is probably from Tony Parkes' "For Those Who Cared" and/or Jim Gregory's "Ice On The Stream".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/23/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Cherokee Shuffle

By David Kaynor

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Face your neighbor and take inside hands with your partner
(8) Lines of two go forward and back
(8) Neighbors dosido
A2 (4) Make a ring and balance
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(4) Make a wave of four and balance
(12) Partners swing (shorten for a square tune)
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Balance the ring twice (only once for a square tune)
(4) Partners California twirl

Author's Notes:
I also use the following variations:
A1: neighbors dosido, circle left
and/or
A2: neighbors balance and swing (no ring)
and/or
B1: gents allemande left 1/2, partners balance and swing (no wave)
"Cherokee Shuffle" sort of fell together at a Petersham dance. Because my cousin Cammy was late, I was calling. The musicians were remarking on the scarcity of opportunities to play the tune. Some dancers overheard this, whereupon the following observation, which I can quote exactly, was made:
"You'll just have to take extra measures."
Extra measures? ...good heavens, there are an extra two measures in each B part of the tune, and...gasp...a BALANCE takes up two measures... The mysteries of creation.
In actuality, it was really just a matter of tinkering with my only other dance composition, which I had thought up for my first Dawn Dance calling slot at the Shriner's Hall in Brattleboro in (I think) 1981:
Improper
A1: neighbors circle left, neighbors dosido
A2: neighbors balance and swing
B1: gents allemande left 1/2, partners swing
B2: right and left through, circle left 3/4, pass through along the line
It worked at 3:00 AM.
(posted to rec.folk-dance October, 1996)
I can not remember when "Cherokee Shuffle" came about, but it was a few years prior to writing "Mary Cay's Reel". Maybe back around 1982 or so.
(from email January 29, 1997)

Editor's Notes:
The tune "Cherokee Shuffle" has an extra four beats in B1 and B2; the instructions include modifications for use with a square tune.
Collected from George Marshall July, 1993.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Chorus Jig

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (8) 1's separate and go down the outside two places
(8) 1's return along the outside
A2 (6) 1's go down the middle, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B1 (16) 1's lead contra corners
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing; end facing up

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. A common modernization is for the 2's to swing during A1.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Circle to a Circle

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Heads left-hand star in the middle
Heads right-hand star with sides
C Heads left-hand star 1/2 in the middle
Heads circle left with sides 1/2
Head gents break to circle 8 about half way
D Allemande right corner
Allemande left partner
Allemande right corner
Allemande left partner to
E Promenade home
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
Phrase D is a Georgia Rang Tang for a circle of eight.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


CJ's Delight

By Amy Kahn
Composed 1989

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2
B1 (8) Partners gypsy
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Partners promenade 3/4 (counter-clockwise until the 1's are below, facing up and the 2's are above, facing down)
(8) California twirl

Author's Notes:
Written in 1989 for my first nephew's birth
I use this often as an opening or closing dance and (for the last move) say "Say goodbye to this couple and hello to the next". I've learned it doesn't matter how the couple does it as long as they change places and direction.
This dance works well to all kinds of music and absolute beginners to the most experienced.
With many thanks to Carol Kopp for Marion's Delight which is obviously the dance this variation is from.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Clueless in Seattle

By Tony Mates
Composed 1997

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Square through four (neighbors pull by right to start)
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (6) Down the hall four in line, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn as couples and come back
(4) Hand cast
B1 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(4) Balance
(4) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Written in early 1997.

Editor's Notes:
Square through four: neighbors pull by right, partners pull by left, repeat. Basically it is a wrong way right and left grand for four. Teach this move carefully because it goes very quickly (two counts per pull by).
Collected from Mike Schuh and Tony Mates June 2, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/1997; last revised 4/15/2003; edited by Russell Owen


Coal Country Contra

By Ron Buchanan

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Ladies pull by right and allemande left your neighbor 1 1/2
(8) Gents allemande right 1 1/2
A2 (4,12) Partners balance and swing (across from home)
B1 (8) Right and left through and roll away with a half sashay (gents mark your spot, that's where you are coming back to)
(8) Gents dosido; end in that spot, in line, with your partner on the left, facing across
B2 (8) Ladies allemande right, pass your partner by the left, go around behind him and end in line to his right (meanwhile the gents do not move!)
This is the progression; you should be across from a new couple
(8) Long lines go forward and back

Author's Notes:
Best done at a Midwestern tempo, which is faster than a New England tempo.
For the progression to work well the gents must end the dosido where they began it and to stay there while the ladies cast around them. It helps to have the gents note where they are before teaching the dosido.
Couples who are out should join the line on the right.
Written for the "Coal Country Convention", a clogging and square dance event put on by the Coal Country Cloggers that emphasizes Southern music and dancing.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Ron Buchanan January, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Common Tern, The

By Larry Jennings

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) 1's balance and swing
A2 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) 2's allemande right twice around
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) Right and left through

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Courteous Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed March, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads right and left through
Head ladies chain
B Heads circle right 1/2
Heads turn to face the sides and swing the one you meet
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Centers (heads) right-hand star
D All left-hand star 3/4
When near home, gents move up to courtesy turn partner while moving to home
E Ladies right-hand star 3/4
Allemande left corner
Swing partner at home

Author's Notes:
The sides must move back into their home spots during phrase C. A full courtesy turn all the way around in phrase D. The gents must hustle a bit to get in position for the courtesy turn.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Crazy Daisy, The

By Gene Hubert
Composed March, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


Corners allemande left
Partners allemande right
Pass corner by left shoulder; this corner becomes your new partner
Repeat three more times. On the fourth time swing your corner instead of passing by; this is your original partner.

Author's Notes:
This is a successor to the Grand Cascade:
Grand Cascade
First used in Jan. '97.
Corners allemande left
Partners allemande right
Corners courtesy turn
Repeat three more times to get your original partner back.
I only used Grand Cascade a few times and then came up with other stuff I liked better, but you may find it useful. It is fairly foolproof.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Crochet Hook, The

By Melanie Axel-Lute

Source http://www.maxellute.net/dances.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain across
A2 (16) Hey for four, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (8) Hands across left-hand star
(This is the progression to new neighbors)
(4) New neighbors allemande right
(4) Ladies pull by left
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Cross Trail Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed December, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads forward and bring corner back to make lines at the heads
B All forward and box the gnat
Pull by to right and left through
All cross trail through
C All meet partner and swing (heads have crossed over, sides are at home)
Heads go forward and back
D Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through to face a side couple
Georgia Rang Tang...
E ...continue the Georgia Rang Tang
F Swing corner
Swing partner
G Promenade home

Author's Notes:
The first allemande of the Georgia Rang Tang is just about half way around. In the promenade the sides must be in front of the heads. I've never mentioned this to the dancers and things managed to come out correctly.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Curly Ques

By Erik Hoffman

Source CDSS "Gems"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) 1's down the center two places
(10) 1's separate and come up the outside back to place (2's can swing),
cross the set and form a line facing down (wwmm, 1's at the ends)
A2 (6) Down the hall four in line
(6) Turn as couples, return
(4) 1's hand cast around the 2's
B1 (16) 1's lead contra corners
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Daddy's Little Girl

By Chart Guthrie

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande right 1 3/4
(8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (16) Partners balance and swing
B1 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Right and left through
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
This is a fairly easy dance that I named in honor of my daughter Carla. It works nicely in medleys.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Daffodil Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Allemande left corner
Grand right and left
Pass three people and swing the fourth...
C ...continue the swing
Allemande left corner
Grand right and left
Pass two people and swing the third...
D ...continue the swing
Face partner
Ladies chain to partner
E Promenade home
Swing partner

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Dance Gypsy, The

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "More Dizzy Dances, vol. III"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Down the hall four in line
(4,6) Turn as couples and come back
(2) Bend the line
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing; end facing the couple on the right diagonal
Warning: don't swing too long; start the next move on time!
B1 (8) On the right diagonal ladies chain (to a trail buddy)
If nobody is there, don't chain; if you are waiting out, do chain
(8) Left-hand star (with your trail buddy & the couple across)
Your partner should be next to you in line
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Dancing and the Road to Hell

By Mike Richardson
Composed November 23, 1990

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors take inside hands (gents right, ladies left) and balance
(4) Neighbors star through (like a California twirl but end facing in)
(8) Circle left 1 1/4
A2 (16) Partners swing (on ladies' side)
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back, roll away with a half sashay on the way back
(8) Circle right 1 1/4 (end on original side, progressed)
B2 (16) Ladies chain over and back

Author's Notes:
There are two potential trouble spots -- both involve the circle left or right once and a quarter. To circle this much in only 8 beats requires good weight in the circle and firm, bent elbows. However, each of the moves immediately following these circles has a bit of slack built into them, so that the circles really don't seem too frenetic. In fact, the transition from the circle right 1 1/4 to a chain is actually rather nice.
The title for this dance came from an odd little book I found in Powell's bookstore in Portland, OR called "Dancing and the Road to Hell". It was written in the 30's by a fundamentalist Christian who owned, of all things, a large and luxurious dance hall in Portland. The book was self-published by the author, who tends to rant and rave a bit. The main message of the book seems to be that one should only dance at the author's dance hall. Presumably, if one were to go dancing at roadhouses or other iniquitous dance halls, they would lead one down the road to hell.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Dancing with Amy

By Bill Olson
Composed 2001

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain on the right diagonal to a trail buddy (if nobody is there, stay put)
(8) With the couple across, left-hand star
End in long waves, women facing in, left hand to trail buddy, right to partner
B1 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Many years ago I met Amy Richardson at a Brattleboro Dawn Dance. We danced Rory O'More together (yeah, THAT many years ago!) and Amy said "I'll be up there on that stage playing fiddle soon".) I said that I hope to be up there calling and playing too. All that has come true. Yay! In the winter of 2001 I called a dance and played bass with Amy and Roberta Sutter at Dover, NH, City Hall. I wrote this dance outside the Indian Restaurant before the dance.
The dance uses the "progression" in Gene Hubert's "The Dance Gypsy", but the hook in this dance is the star to long wave figure. The Rory O'More figure is ALWAYS done with the same people (i.e.: Partner, Shadow #1 and Shadow #2).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Dandelion Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed March, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through to face the sides
B Dosido the one you meet 1 1/4 to wave at the sides
Balance the wave
All allemande right 1/2
Gents allemande left 1/2
C All allemande right 1/2
Ladies allemande left 1/2
Swing the one you meet
End facing partner
D Balance and swing partner while moving to home spot

Author's Notes:
Sort of a "Kimmswick Express" with an extra swing. Contra dancers need to be warned that there is only one balance in the ocean wave.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Delphiniums and Daisies

By Tanya Rotenberg
Composed 1985

Source Harris, Dark, Waller and Pittman, "Dance A While"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (16) Hey for 4, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners swing
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2

Author's Notes:
I wrote this dance and couldn't get it to work out. A few years later in 1985, I tried again, and this time it came out great. I dedicated the dance to my parent's 20th wedding anniversary. The flowers they had at their wedding were delphiniums and daisies, which explains the name. I started working on this dance again when my father wanted to start calling contras and asked me for a dance which was easy enough for beginners, but not boring for more experienced dancers. I couldn't find any in my repertoire, so I dragged this one back out and fixed it up for him.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 7/30/2001; last revised 8/1/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Diagonal Dilemma, The

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert "Dizzy Dances vol. III"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (4) Down the hall four in line (wwmm; 1s between the 2s)
(4,6) Ladies only (!) turn as a couple, gents turn alone, and come back
(2) Bend the line
A2 (8) Circle left nearly once (7/8) to a diamond with gent 1 facing up, lady 1 facing down
(8) 1's swing
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's gypsy 1 1/2 (end facing down with the lady on the LEFT)

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 11/3/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Do Ron Ron

By Kathy Anderson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation 2's Improper (!)


A1 (4) Neighbors take right hands and balance
(8) Neighbors dosido
(4) Neighbor allemande right 1 1/4 to a wave of four with gents in the center
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(8) Half hey, partners pass right shoulders to start
B1 (8) Partners gypsy (on the gents' side)
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Neighbors dosido
Turn around to face the new

Author's Notes:
Written for Ron Buchanan using his Hey-Mania move, and he fixed it so it worked.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/1/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Dosido and Star Break

By Russell Owen
Composed 1992

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


A1 (8) Partners dosido (variant: all go into the center and back)
(4) Corners allemande left
(4) Partners allemande right
A2 (8) Gents left-hand star
(8) Partners swing
B1 (4) Corners allemande left
(12) Right and left grand
B2 (8) Partners swing
(8) Partners promenade home

Author's Notes:
B is boilerplate; modify as needed to suit the main figure.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Double Dreydl

By Tony Saletan
Composed December 15, 1987

Source Tony Saletan
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B1 (4) Lines of four go down the hall
(4, 4) Turn as couples and come back
(4) 1's face across while the 2's hand cast to face across
B2 (8) Circle right
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
I wrote the dance during Chanukah. The title may be interpreted as referring to the two swings, or the two circles, since both figures go around like a top.
The magic moment in this dance is the transition from the 2s casting counterclockwise (left), flowing into the circle right. Each woman should assist this by pulling her partner into the circle right; dancers are used to the man pulling the woman into a circle left, but he can't gracefully push her into the circle right. Many contras have figures that are particularly fun for the 1s; the cast in "Double Dreydl" gives the 2s a special bonus.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/23/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Double Hot Fudge

By Roger Diggle

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's swing
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Right-hand star
This is the first progression
(8) New neighbors allemande left 1 1/2 (until ladies face in)
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
Written as a wedding gift to my friends Connie Rinaldo and Gary Nielsen.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/5/1997; last revised 3/2/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Double Hot Fudge Upside-Down

By Roger Diggle

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Right-hand star
(8) 1's swing
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Circle left
This is the first progression
(8) New neighbors allemande left 1 1/2 (until ladies face in)
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
A variant of Double Hot Fudge.
A1: The star more often gets fully once around for the Act swing. (Daggone lazy dancers can't circle fast enough sometimes. The result of the slow circle is a truncated partner swing.) I also like the RH Star to swing transition better than The Circle L to swing transition because the circle/swing transition is "wrong-handed." I like circle/swing when Woman is on left, Man on right. I don't like it as well the other way -- though it can be done nicely enough.
There are a couple of nice ways to execute the Star/swing transition. My general-purpose favorite is for the man to reach into the star with his left hand and lift his partner's R hand from his wrist. Then, with a gentle tug from the participants, there's a great transition to the swing. That's why wrist-hold star is preferred. (I know there are those don't like 'em much).
A2: The balance is optional. Balance and swing is easier. But when skilled dancers do the consecutive swings nicely, it's a fabulous transition.
B1: I think the ring breaks the best if everyone turns toward partner when that happens. The transition from the circle to allemande L New N is great! It's more adventurous than the star/ allemande transition of the original, and similar to a transition sometimes found in squares.
B2: Starting a hey for 4 from an allemande on the side of the set (if the speed is right!) is the most natural-feeling transition into a hey, I think.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/24/2002; last revised 3/2/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Down and Out

By Don Lennartson

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) 1's go down the outside two places while the 2's dosido
(8) 1's return along the outside while the 2's swing
A2 (8) 2's go down the outside two places while the 1's dosido
(8) 2's return along the outside while the 1's swing
B1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido
B2 (8) Neighbors swing
(8) Long lines go forward and back

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


E.J.M.J.F. in Cincinnati

By Michael Fuerst
Composed March, 1991

Source "Midwest Folklore and Other Dances", ed. by Eric Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,12) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B2 (4) Ladies allemande right
(8) Half hey, neighbors pass left shoulders to start
(4) Neighbors pass left shoulders and go along the line to the new

Author's Notes:
Written on the Sunday morning of Cincinnati's March 1991 Pigtown Fling dance weekend.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Early Autumn Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed September, 1985

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads right and left through
B Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through
Swing the one you meet
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Heads box the gnat with opposite
Heads right-hand star 3/4
D Allemande left corner
Swing partner
E Promenade home (optional)

Author's Notes:
Composed in Sept. '85 and originally published in "Dizzy Dances Volume II" in 1986. This dance was the seed for many that came later. The differences between this and the originally published version reflect the evolution of my approach to square dancing during the period.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ease About Mixer

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert "Dizzy Dances II"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 (16) Partners balance and swing
A2 (16) Promenade
B1 (8) Ladies advance two places counter-clockwise, weaving to the inside around one gent and to the outside around the next; end facing in
(8) Gents advance two places, weaving in and out; end facing in
You are back with your partner
B2 (8) All join hands and go into the center and out
(8) Partners allemande left 1 1/2 to face a new partner

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Eggbeater, The

By Bill Olson
Composed January 25, 2002

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain across
A2 (8) Left hand star 7/8 ("nearly once around") until the gents meet in temporary long wavy line along the center of the set
(8) Eggbeater: gents allemande right 1 3/4 while the ladies allemande left 1 1/2, until you meet your partner the second time
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Promenade across the set
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the set

Author's Notes:
The eggbeater figure is a "while" figure. That is, some folks are doing one thing while others are simultaneously doing another. In this case the men allemand right while the women allemand left. Timing is critical here so that the two allemands "interleave" and don't crash into one another. The allemands go around until partners meet for the second time. This is a little more than once and a half for the women and nearly twice for the men. Dancers should be asked to pay attention to the phrasing of the music so that the allemands start at the right time (there is PLENTY of time to do the left hand star in 8 beats!)
The partner balance and swing ends with the sets staggered a bit so the half promenade goes straight across the set ("through the gap"). the dancers should be reminded at this point, however, that they are still dancing with the same couple.
The Eggbeater was written Jan 25, 2002 before the Dancing CAT dance in Kittery, Maine. I had used the eggbeater figure before in my dances "L'Atterrissage" and "Bow Woman's Big Move", but this dance was designed to "highlight" the figure. The dance DOES require a little extra room along the set, so dancers should be DISCOURAGED from tightly packing the lines!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Eight Chain Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A All circle left 1/2
All go forward and back
B Heads lead right
Circle left 1/2
Swing neighbor
C Circle left 3/4 to face partner along the side
Dosido partner
D Starting with partner, four changes of a right and left grand
Swing partner
E Promenade home

Author's Notes:
Dancers should all be oriented along a line through the sides of the set in phrase C. Once dancers get the orientation figured out the rest of the dance is thoroughly easy.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Emptied Crack, The

By Al Olson

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Swing neighbor #2
A2 (4,4) With neighbor #3 allemande left; pass neighbor #2 by right shoulder
(8) With original neighbor swing
B1 (6) Original foursome circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
Many dances are not quite danced the way callers teach or call them. They require extra moves "between the cracks" to make some transitions work. A preliminary version of this dance was identical to the final version except for eight counts:
A2 (8) Same neighbors allemande left 1 1/2...
To flow gracefully from a swing to an allemande left requires the lady to spin. The final version of the dance eliminated the need for this spin, emptying the crack.
(Notes paraphrased by the editor)

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Marlin Prowell October, 1994

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Enid's Delight

By Philippe Callens
Composed July 17, 1985

Source Phillippe Callens, "From a Belgian Yankee Caller"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (8) Ladies chain across
(8) Left-hand star, hands across
B1 (8) Promenade CCW along the line in single file, ladies in the lead
(8) Turn around and promenade back, gents in the lead
B2 (8) Right-hand star, hands across
(8) Ladies chain across

Author's Notes:
When reaching the end of the set, dancers should continue around he top or bottom into the other line. It is helpful to point out that the right hands across is done with those people you have been dancing with before in that round.
This no-swing contra is recommended as a more sedate number between strenuous dances, one with ah flow that dancers enjoy.
In July 1985 I was given a scholarship by the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. I attended the Rocky Mountain Dance Roundup at Granby, Colarado, where I met Enid Cocke, Lloyd Shaw's granddaughter and president of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. She is a delightful person and the most elegant round dancer I have ever seen in my life. In this dance written for her on July 17, 1985, I tried to capture that elegance in the nutshell of a contra. We were lucky to have her teaching some of her favorite round dances in Belgium at the AADS Whitsun Dance Weekend June 1992. You haven't round danced until you have waltzed with Enid! One year later, in 1986, when I visited the USA for the second time, I met with Judi and Glen Morningstar (White Lake, Michigan) at Berea (Kentucky), there the three of us were on staff at Kentucky Summer Dance School. We struck up an immediate friendship and have been in touch ever since. Glen and Judi also performed for the Belgian dancers in August 1989. I requested Judi to write a tune that would go with this dance. On November 10, 1986, she composed the tune which bears the same title as the dance and which as been recorded on the Lloyd Shaw label.
Enid's Delight was my first workable dances. To quote Tony Parkes: "It was beginner's luck!". I still consider it as one of my better efforts. It has been used by a wide range of callers and has been published before in "Everybody Swing", in "Designer Music" by Judāche (with the tune), in Don Armstrong's "Dance Workbook", and in some magazines.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Equal Opportunity

By Jeffrey Spero
Composed May 25, 1992; last revised March, 1993

Source "(southern) California Twirls", ed. by James Hutson and Jeffrey Spero
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(4,6) 1's turn as a couple, 2's turn alone and come back
(2) Bend the line to a ring of four
A2 (4) Balance the ring
(6) Circle left 3/4
(6) Gents half figure eight up through the ladies (1st gent leads)
B1 (8) 1's chain to same-sex neighbor
(8) Half hey, 1's pass right shoulders to start
B2 (16) 1's gypsy and swing while the 2's move up the hall slowly

Author's Notes:
This dance was written following a wonderful experience at the 1992 Santa Barbara Sprung Floor Weekend. I was dancing down the hall with a good friend from Berkeley, and when we turned around to dance back up the hall (NOT crossed over, naturally!), I experienced the joy of chaining into a hey from the ladies perspective. It's a beautiful thing, a joy that gents rarely get a chance to appreciate. This dance was written to allow gents to experience that pleasure.
Although this appears to be a difficult dance, I have found that it works well with a beginner to intermediate crowd, while pleasing the experienced dancers with its quirkiness.
The March, 1993 revision was by James Hutson

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Eric's Date on the Bay

By Charlie Fenton

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Allemande right partner 1 1/2
B1 (16) Hey, gents pass left shoulders to start
B2 (8) Partners swing
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Written in honor of the marriage of BACDS president Eric Black to Alison Date, which took place on San Francisco Bay while sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Inspired by Tony Parkes' "Glen Echo Reel" and Gene Hubert's "Centrifugal Hey."

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 1/7/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Escape from Los Angeles

By Warren Blier
Composed October 26, 1996

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's, take small steps)
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) 1's cast, assisted
A2 (8) 1's gypsy once around
(8) Neighbors swing
B1 (8) Promonade across
(8) Right and left through
B2 (4,12) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Written for the 4th Saturday Los Angeles Halloween Dance in October 1996, and intended to accompany my costume -- an escaped convict. Right after I called the dance I gave the microphone to the other caller and took off.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/13/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Fairport Harbor

By Paul Balliet
Composed 1993

Source B. Hill, P. Balliet and C. Kopp, "Twirling Dervish Returns"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) (Same two) gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors promenade CCW in a big oval, along the set and across at ends
Couples who are out must join the promenade else be out forever!
A2 (4) Women turn back (out over right shoulder)
(this is the progression)
(12) New neighbors gypsy and swing
B1 (8) Promenade home (until across from partner)
(8) Ladies chain (to partner)
B2 (4) Pass through across the set
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
During the pass through, have the men walk ahead of their partner. This improves the transition into the swing.
The idea to progress in a promenade came from Gene Hubert's dance, "Gang of Four." I first called this at the 1993(?) "Balance and Swim," a favorite dance party thrown by Charlotte and Rich Cobos in West Virginia.

Fairport Harbor lies east of Cleveland along Lake Erie.

Editor's Notes:
Teaching tip (especially helpful for less experienced dancers): while dancers are swinging their new neighbor, mention that if you have your partner then you are about to be out. Otherwise such couples may attempt to join the ladies chain.
Calling tip: remind the dancers who are out to join the promenade. It can be difficult to recover if a couple forgets.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 7/6/1998; last revised 3/2/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Familjewalsen (Norwegian Family Waltz)

Traditional

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Improper


All take hands in a ring
(6) Balance to your corner, then to your partner
(6) Again balance to your corner, then to your partner
(12) Corners waltz, ending with the lady on the right

Editor's Notes:
Gents start on left foot, ladies on right (hence one begins by moving towards one's corner). For the waltz the gent guides his corner (lady on the left) into ballroom position on the first three counts, they waltz one complete turn in six counts, and the gent guides the lady out to his right on the last three counts.
The music should be at a moderate tempo so there is sufficient time to enjoy the balances.
A waltz tune of 64 bars will be eight times through the dance.
Collected from Gordon Tracey

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 6/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Family Waltz

Traditional

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 (6) Go into the center and return
(6) Roll away with a half sashay (gents roll ladies from left to right)
(36) Repeat three more times, each time with a new corner and partner. On the last time, gents roll the corner into ballroom position.
A2 (48) Waltz, ending in a ring with the lady on the right

Editor's Notes:
Gents start on left foot, ladies on right (hence one begins by moving towards one's corner). For the roll away gents roll the lady on the left (corner) to the right, trading places with her. Acknowledge corner and partner during the balances, and make the roll away graceful with plenty of eye contact.
The music should be at a moderate tempo so there is sufficient time to enjoy the balances.
A waltz tune of 64 bars will be two times through the dance.
Collected from Gordon Tracey, with help remembering from Lars Saxegaard and Art Hare.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 10/31/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Fast Living

By David Kirchner

Source CDSS News #125, 1995 and David Kirchner's web site http://faculty.millikin.edu/~dekirchner/compositions.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Double Contra
Formation Four Facing Four


A1 (8) Lines of four go forward and back
(8) Ladies grand chain, end facing across
A2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) With that one balance and swing (the one to whom you chained)
B2 (4) Gents left-hand star 1/2 (to your partner)
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
The best way I have found to orient the dancers for the hey is to tell them before beginning the walkthrough that they have a trail buddy -- the person of the same sex in their line of four. When teaching the ladies chain, I tell dancers to end the courtesy turn facing their trail buddy. Trail buddies will always pass each other in the middle of the hey. Watch for gentlemen to be disoriented at the start of the B2.
The title of the dance grew from the fact that there were intially two versions of this dance, one of which included a gypsy. So I called this version "Easy Living" and the one with the gypsy "Fast Living" (both are titles of jazz songs). But I discovered that Al Olson had already composed a dance called "Easy Living", and I decided that the version with the gypsy didn't work too well. So I gave the leftover dance the leftover title.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/15/1997; last revised 9/19/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Festival Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Mixer, H S S H
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B All four ladies chain while gents move right one spot around the square to courtesy turn a lady
Promenade 1/2
C Gents left-hand star 3/4
Swing the one you meet (heads with partner sides with opposite)
(D and E are only needed every other time)
D Face in and swing corner
Allemande left next corner 1 1/2
E Promenade 3/4 to the man's home (heads with opposite sides with partner)

Author's Notes:
The first part of this dance is based on Tony Parkes' dance "Festival Square."
A very strange thing happens with the progression in this dance. Do A - E as above with the head couples active. Then start the pattern at phrase A with the sides active. At the end of phrase C everyone will get their partner back for the swing. At that point you may promenade home. Because of the unusual progression do the pattern as H-S-S-H.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Fickle Finger of Fate

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line
This is the progression
(8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2 and make a wave of four (taking right hands with partner)
A2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B1 (16) Hey, partners allemande right 1/2 to start (then gents pass left in the center)
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing
With the same neighbors...

Editor's Notes:
In an outstanding case of parallel evolution, this dance is identical to Mark Richardson's "Fidgety Feet", as found in "Midwest Folklore and Other Dances", ed. by Eric Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 6/27/2002; edited by Russell Owen


First Fling of Fall

By Al Olson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Ladies chain up/down the line (to neighbor)
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (14) With neighbor as a couple dosido your partner unit 1 1/2
(2) Turn round (alone) to face your partner
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle left
(4) Partners allemande right 3/4
(4) Ladies allemande left 3/4

Author's Notes:
Essentially stolen from "Last Swing of Summer".

Editor's Notes:
Requires extra room along the line for the ladies chain. In A2 Marlin Prowell suggests turning out and taking outside hands with your partner as you turn into the swing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


First Night Quadrille

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A1 (8) Heads go forward and back
(8) Same four circle left
A2 (8) Same four circle right
(8) Same four right hand star
B1 (4) Corners allemande left
(12) Grand right and left
B2 (8) Partners dosido
(8) Partners promenade home

Author's Notes:
Repeat for side couples, all four ladies, all four gents. The transition from star to grand right and left is a challenge for beginning square dancers and provides an opportunity for the "team" to be successful. Introduction and ending are caller's choice.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Flirting with Bobbie Jo

By Seth Tepfer
Composed February 13, 1998

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(2) turn alone
(8) come back up, end in your line of four, facing your neighbor
A2 (16) Hey for four, start by neighbors passing right
B1 (8) Neighbors gypsy
(8) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's half figure eight
C1 (16) 1's lead contra corners
C2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
The band wanted to play a 3 part tune. I took the inimitable "Flirtation Reel" by Tony Parkes, and shoehorned on contra corners.
For experienced dancers, it's an easy dance. I only call it when I'm sure of my crowd.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/3/1999; last revised 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Four and More

By Charlie Fenton

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors swing
(8) Circle left 3/4
A2 (8) Partners swing
(8) Trail buddies allemande left (twice if you have time) and make long waves (gents facing in, ladies facing out, partner in right hand)
B1 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B2 (4) Partners allemande right 3/4, make a wave of four (ladies in the center)
(4) Balance forward and back
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2 and make a new wave (1's facing down)
(4) Balance forward and back
Pull through to start the dance with new neighbors

Author's Notes:
I call Rory O'More at our regular dances only occasionally, because I consider it boring for the inactives, and the lines are too long to give everyone a chance to be active. This is my attempt to create an even dance where everyone gets to do the balances (and optional osculation) with their partners and to include swings with both partners and opposites.
As in Rory O'More, the balances in B1 are always to your partner first, to make it easier to pull into the "slides." Experienced dancers familiar with Rory O'More will probably substitute twirls for the slides.
The balances in B2, however, should definitely be forward and back to pull you through at the end of the dance to swing the next.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Frederick Contra

By Tom Hinds

Source Tom Hinds, "Dance All Night"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Gents dosido
(8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (4,12) Partners balance and swing
B1 (6) Down the hall 4 in line
(2,8) Turn as couples and come back
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
New gents look for each other on the left diagonal

Author's Notes:
The dance is interesting for experienced dancers, and not too difficult for beginners. The hardest part of the dance is finding the next to dance with, after the neighbor swing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Friends in Pennsylvania

By Melanie Axel-Lute
Composed October, 2000

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(4) Neighbors roll away with a half sashay
(4) Pass through across the set
A2 (8) Right-hand star
(8) Neighbors swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (4) Ladies allemande right
(12) 3/4 hey for four (partners pass left shoulders to start, 6 changes ending with the men passing right shoulders)

Author's Notes:
Written while driving west on I80 in PA (a loooong road), and debuted at the Locust Lane dance in Harrisburg in Oct. 2000.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Fruit Harvest Reel

By Luther Black
Composed August, 1984

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's half figure eight (to end proper)
B1 (16) 1's lead contra corners
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Fruit Harvest Reel is a dance I wrote (cobbled together really) for Dave Kirk & Shelly Jenkins' wedding in August 1984. A touring caller from the East collected the dance from them and calls it from time to time (I thank him for the proper acknowledgement). There are probably a few variants, but it ends up being within a figure (or so) of Tony Parkes' For Those Who Cared.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/24/2002; last revised 2/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Golden Thread, The

By Lannie McQuaide
Composed 1988

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Triple Minor: 1's Improper


A1 To begin, 1's face down, 2's and 3's face up
(16) Hey for 3 along the line, 1's and 2's pass right shoulders to start
A2 (16) 1's go CCW around the 2's and 3's
B1 (8) 1's cast and circle left three
(8) Left-hand star three
B2 (8) 1's and 2's allemande left
(8) 1's and 3's dosido

Author's Notes:
When Lloyd Shaw instructed, he told the dancers to imagine a golden thread attached to their breastbones and leading up towards Heaven. By allowing their chests to be drawn up by this thread, they were assured of maintaining good posture while dancing.

Editor's Notes:
These notes are paraphrased from the author's dance description:
Suggested timing in A2:
(6) 1st gent goes down the outside 2 places while 1st lady goes down the center
(2) 1's pass through the line (below the 2's)
(8) 1st gent come up the center while 1st lady come up the outside
B1 begins with: 1's cast (unassisted) to a position outside the set and take hands with the 2's and 3's, who turn to face during the 1's cast
In B2 the allemande should be wide and open; use all of the music

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/24/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Good Friday

By Kirston Koths
Composed March, 1988

Source CDSS News #93, 1990
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Make a wave of four (neighbors take right hands, ladies take left in the center)
(4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
A2 (4) Neighbors allemande right 1/2
(4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) Pass through across the set
(4) Partners take inside hands and California twirl
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors dosido 1 1/2

Author's Notes:
This dance was written for the second Friday East Bay contra dance. It is intended to be a more "equal" variation of the classic dance "Rory O'More", providing lots of action while building on tradition.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Grand Slam, The

By Gene Hubert
Composed 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


(4) Corners allemande left
(12) Right and left grand
(8) Partners swing
(8) Corners swing
Repeat three more times to get back to place.

Author's Notes:
I first started using this in mid 1996. I first called this break a progressive right and left grand but decided it deserved a better name. A very exciting break, but it can be disorienting. As with any variation on a right and left grand, dancers should first be comfortable with a basic right and left grand before using.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Gypsy Star

By Adam Carlson
Composed November, 2000

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line
(This is the progression to new neighbors)
(8) New neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain across
B1 (4) Ladies gypsy once around
(8) Gypsy star (see notes) once, gents entering in front of partner
(4) Ladies drop out at home while the gents gypsy once
B2 (16) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
The move in B1 is called a Gypsy Star. I sometimes teach it by doing the whole thing first with right hand allemandes and a right handshake star, then say, "OK, now the move is just like that, except instead of holding hands, you hold eyeballs." It helps to reinforce in B1 that everyone ends up right where they started. Though the choreography should work, in practice B1 sometimes takes a little more than 16 beats, but the next move is forgiving of being late. It may help to clarify that this is a same-gender gypsy.
This dance has a very early progression, so I usually walk it through an odd number of times so the top couple is out to start.
I originally wrote a dance called "Eye Candy" with a gypsy star in which the ladies go 2 1/2 times around and end up on the other side. That didn't work very well, and I rewrote it twice, once with a handhold star (The Birth and Death of a Star) and once with a Gypsy Star (this dance).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/24/2001; last revised 6/25/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Half Century Hey

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed November, 1996

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Circle right just 1/2
A2 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
Composed in celebration of Peggy Myers' 50th Birthday, November 16, 1996

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Halliehurst

By Gene Hubert
Composed August, 85

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) (Same two) ladies allemande right 1/2, neighbors allemande left 1/2, advance to your new neighbor (this is the progression)
(8) New neighbors swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B1 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
Any doubts I had about this dance were erased after I had a chance to dance it once. This has got to be one of the smoothest dances I have seen in a long while and which you must experience to fully appreciate. My goal in writing this dance was to create a Becket formation dance with both a partner swing and a neighbor swing. Halliehurst is a splendid old mansion on the grounds of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia on whose front porch many impromptu contra dances have taken place.

Editor's Notes:
In A1 at the end of the two allemandes the gents are in the middle, the 1's are facing down and the 2's are facing up.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Harmony Supper Line, The

By Jim Saxe
Composed January, 1987

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (4) Ladies allemande right
(12) Partners swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4 (to original places)
(10) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
The San Francisco Folk Music Club marks the New Year with an annual music camp held at Camps Campbell and Harmon, redubbed "Camp Harmony" for the occasion. I wrote this dance and "The Harmony Supper Table" one evening during the 1986/87 camp.
The first half is lifted from Steve Zakon's "With Thanks to The Dean" (see Ted Sannella's book "Swing The Next" for directions and background information on Steve's dance, including Ted's revision of Steve's original version of the A2 part).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/19/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Harmony Supper Table, The

By Jim Saxe
Composed January, 1987

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,12) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (6) Down the hall four in line
(2,8) Turn as couples and come back
B2 (8) Right and left through
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
The San Francisco Folk Music Club marks the New Year with an annual music camp held at Camps Campbell and Harmon, redubbed "Camp Harmony" for the occasion. I wrote this dance and "The Harmony Supper Line" in the dining hall one evening during the 1986/87 camp.
I used the first half of Kirston Koths' dance "Triskaidekaphobia," but replaced the second half (a variant of Fred Field's "Symmetrical Force") with simpler figures. The last time through, I usually call B2 as:
(4) Pass through across the set
(12) Partners swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/19/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hartmann Reel, The

By Chart Guthrie

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Gents chain
A2 (16) Hey, gents pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
The gentlemen chain in this dance is done exactly like a ladies chain with the gentlemen taking the ladies part (i.e. gentlemen start on ladies right, they give right hand to each other, pull by and give left to their partner who gives them a courtesy turn). I find that this dance provides a good opportunity to let the men experience the other side of twirling in a chain. When I teach the ladies chain, I always point out that the lady is the one that makes the decision to twirl. The gentleman can offer by raising her hand, but the lady decides by allowing her hand to be raised. In this dance the roles are reversed for the first chain.
This dance was named for my good friends Gar and Rita Hartmann who have done a great deal to build community spirit at the Smithtown, Long Island Contradance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Haw River Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed November, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads lead right
Circle left with sides
Heads split the sides
Go around one to
B Circle 8 half way
Swing neighbor
End facing partner
C Right and left through
Ladies chain to partner
D Promenade home
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
One of the easier dances in this collection.
For the splitting in phrase A you can do a gating figure or the splittees can arch and only the splitters will drop hands with partner and then dive through. In phrase B your neighbor is the person on the man's left/woman's right.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hay in the Barn

By Chart Guthrie

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
This is a fairly easy dance. The only thing dancers have to remember is if they meet their partner at the end of the half hey, they balance and swing their partner, if they meet someone who is not their partner then they look for someone new to balance and swing.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Lisa Greenleaf, September, 1995.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/28/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Heady Stuff

By Laura Mé Smith

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (16) 1's swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors swing
B (16) Hey, men pass left shoulders to start
C1 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight up through the 2's
C2 (6) With new neighbors go down the hall four in line, 1's between the 2's
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Hand cast

Author's Notes:
Written for the tune Heddon's Mouth, by Paul Elliot, which has a cool minor B section for the hey. Any AABCC 40 bar tune will probably do.
Paul played the tune for me and said "but of course you couldn't use that for a contradance because of the extra B part, but I can't take it out because it's an important part of the tune". So I wrote this dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/15/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Heat Index Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Gents left-hand star 1/2
Swing opposite
B Heads go forward and back
Heads forward
Meet partner
Lead through sides
Separate
Go round one
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Box the gnat across the set
Hang on and square through two to
D Swing partner
E Promenade home (about 3/4)

Author's Notes:
As a variation the ladies can right-hand star 1/2 in phrase A. This will result in a shorter promenade.
Composed in June or July '95.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Here's to 40 More

By Mike Richardson
Composed April, 1999

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (12) 3/4 hey (6 changes), neighbors gypsy 1/4 to start, then gents pass left in the middle, etc. until gents pass left
A2 (12) Partners swing
B1 (6) Long lines forward and back
(6) Hands across right-hand star 3/4
B2 (9) Circle left 3/4
(3) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Requires a 2 part slip jig, like Boys of Ballisodare or Drops of Brandy.
Written for Russell Owen on the occasion of his 40th birthday.

Editor's Notes:
Forward and back can be challenging in slip jig time, as some dancers may take 4 steps and wrench their neighbors. I suggest teaching this as two steps forward and bring feet together, etc.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/10/2001; last revised 2/18/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Here's To The Ladies

By Christine Hale
Composed 1997

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket, ladies on left


A1 (4) Ladies gypsy once
(12) Partners swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star
B1 (16) Neighbors gypsy and swing (ladies turn to the right out of the star)
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Slide left one place (lady in the lead)

Editor's Notes:
To form the initial lines, have the 2's cross over (rather than the 1's), then circle left 1/4. Or line up in Becket formation and ignore the fact that the ladies will end up to the left of their partner.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Here's to the Men

By Christine Hale
Composed 1996

Source Rob Lindauer's site "Contra Dances by Connecticut Callers" http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4159/conntras.htm
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket, progressing right


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Circle right 3/4 and pass through
This is the progression
A2 (8) New neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Gents chain (pull by left to start, end to left of partner)
B1 (16) Hey, gents pass left shoulders to start
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

Author's Notes:
The gents really like this dance because they they don't have to rush to finish the hey.
I always teach the ladies how to courtesy turn. The ladies need to be taught to back up and to escort the gents around.
Written in late 1996.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/7/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hey Man

By Paul Balliet

Source B. Hill, P. Balliet and C. Kopp, "Twirling Dervish Returns"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Gents dosido
(4) Gents take right hands and balance
(4) Gents allemande right and face partner
A2 (16) Hey for four, partners pass left shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) On the left diagonal partners go forward to new neighbors, then fall straight back

Author's Notes:
Becky Hill coined the term "slice left" to describe and call this fun progression. Partners continue to hold inside hands and face left. Take 3 steps towards a new couple. With the available hands, push off with the other couple. Walk straight back, and face this new couple in progressed position.
Dances of all levels enjoy this dance.
Many callers change the dance, and have the women take the lead in A1 every other time through the music. To make this change, simply substitute ladies for gents in A1 and A2. For most crowds, I like to surprise them with the women's version after about 5 times through the dance. I then alternate between the man and women dosido in A1. A caller may wish to teach both the men's and women's version during the walk through.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/8/1999; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Heymania

By Ron Buchanan

Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


(4,8,4) Head partners balance, dosido and allemande right until the gents are in the center (approx. once), don't let go
(4) Head gents take left hands to form a wave of four and balance
(16) Hey, head gents pass left shoulders to start
(12) Partners swing (at home)
(4,8,4) Corners balance, dosido and allemande right any amount, don't let go
(4) Make waves of four at the heads (anyone in the middle)
(16) Hey for four, centers passing left shoulders to start
(12) Corners swing
(4,8,4) New corners (original opposites) balance, dosido and allemande right until gents are in the center (nearly once), don't let go
(4) All four gents take left hands across to form crossing waves of four
(16) Grand hey, gents passing left shoulders to start
(12) Swing that one (original opposite)
(8) New corners dosido
(8) Those two allemande right 1 1/2 "keep it tight"
(8) Wrong-way weave the ring, passing original partner by left to start

Author's Notes:
This dance requires a marathon teaching session, so reserve it for a workshop at a dance camp or a similar venue.
To teach the grand hey, walk it through three times. First walk it slowly using hands (left-hand star 1/2 in the middle, allemande right 1/2...). Next walk it through slowly without hands. Finally walk through it up to speed without hands.
Walk the whole dance through twice, first for the heads, then for the sides. The second time omit the simple heys for four (e.g. just say "pshht; you heyed"). When you get to the grand hey the second time note that everybody is right where they were the first time (whew!), then walk it through to cement it.
Kathy Anderson suggests using a chorus that involves one's right-hand lady (there is no interaction, otherwise). Ron suggests using a simple chorus to give the dancers a rest.

Editor's Notes:
The moves are divided to clarify the sequence rather than to match the music.
Needless to say, this is a difficult dance to put into writing. So far to our knowledge nobody has taught or called this dance to this particular sets of notes. We hope the information is complete enough to make this possible and we encourage you to try. The editor and author would be grateful for any suggestions you think would be helpful for others.
Collected from Ron Buchanan January, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Heystack

By George Walker

Source CDSS News #133, 1996
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line (this is the progression)
(8) New neighbors allemande left 1 1/2, end with the ladies facing in
A2 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(8) Ladies chain
B1 (8) Half hey (again), ladies pass right shoulders to start
(8) Ladies chain (again)
B2 (4) Ladies cross, passing right shoulders
(12) Partners swing

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Dave Smith, February, 1996

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


"Hickman's Hey"

By ?

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(8) Half hey, 1's pass right shoulders to start
A2 (8) Return up the hall four in line
(8) Half hey (again), 1's pass right shoulders to start
B1 (4) 1's allemande right
(12) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing

Editor's Notes:
This wonderful dance was collected by Steve Hickman, who unfortunately did not get the title or author. It has been circulating for many years now with no word on who wrote it, and I feel it might be considered in the public domain. If the author surfaces I will get permission to serve the dance or withdraw it.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 10/31/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hints of Harmony

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "More Dizzy Dances, vol III"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) Roll away with a half sashay and circle right 3/4 (start circling as you roll away)
End with partner on gent's original side
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hobbit, The

By Melanie Axel-Lute

Source http://www.maxellute.net/dances.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,4) Neighbors balance and box the gnat
(4) Pull by along the line to your previous neighbors
The next four moves are all done with your previous neighbors
(4) Previous neighbors allemande left
A2 (4) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Circle left 3/4 and pull by along the line, returning to your current neighbors
(8) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
The subtitle of The Hobbit is "There and Back Again"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Honey Run

By Greg McKenzie

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors allemande left 3/4 to a wave of four (ladies in the center)
(4) Balance
(4) Neighbors allemande left 3/4 to a long wave (gents facing out, ladies facing in)
(4) Balance
A2 (8) Ladies chain across
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (8,8) 1's gypsy and swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Honor Among Thieves

By Penn Fix
Composed 1982; last revised 1986

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
A2 (8) Lady 1 around two and the gent falls through (see notes)
(8) Gent 1 around two and the lady falls through
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
"Honor Among Thieves" underlines the borrowing or "stealing" that goes with composing "new" dances. Originally I had been thinking about incorporating old-time square dance moves into contra dancing because of the popularity of squares in the Northwest. In a 1982 visit with Ted Sannella, I asked him about his newest dances. He gave me "New Friendship Reel" which used "lady around two." Feeling somewhat miffed that a New Englander had beaten me to the punch, I wrote a dance using the move more in the context that it was used in Northwest square dancing. Ignoring Ted's sage advice about never calling a new dance without first dancing it, I tried what I called "The G-Note Reel" at Tod Whittemore's Cambridge dance the next night. It met with mixed success. Tod then revised it, with the new version including the circles (see the 1982 version below). Upon hearing the story, Peter Barnes came up with the name "Honor Among Thieves". In 1986, I further revised the dance, borrowing from the popular sequence of the circle into a swing. Ironically, this sequence was the one Ted had used in his dance but that I had changed. The traditional tune, "Wind That Shakes The Barley" (in the book) works well with the dance and can be played ABAB rather than AABB.
Honor Among Thieves (1982 version)
Improper
A1
(8) Circle left
(8) Circle right
A2
(8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
B1
(8) Lady 1 around two and the gent falls through
(8) Gent 1 around two and the lady falls through
B2
(16) 1's swing

Editor's Notes:
It is usually necessary to demonstrate "lady around two and the gent falls through". This is a chase figure. At the beginning of A2 the 1's are progressed, lady 1 facing out, gent 1 looking at her back. Lady 1 goes clockwise around the 2's, ending in her partner's place facing across. Gent 1 follows her, but when he is about half way around, above the 2's, he goes down between them ("falls through") and into in his partner's place, facing out. The 1's have exactly traded places. The figure is then repeated with gent 1 in the lead.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hull's Victory

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (4) 1's allemande right 1/2 and give left hands to neighbors to end in a wave of four with the gents facing down
(4) Balance
(8) Neighbors allemande left twice around
A2 (4) 1's allemande right and reform the wave
(4) Balance again
(8) 1's swing
B1 (4) 1's down the center
(4,4) Turn as a couple and come back
(4) Cast off
B2 (16) Right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. The timing in A1 and A2 is very tight and being late spoils the dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Hussy Bride, The

By Bill Olson
Composed October, 1999

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
Let go a bit early and form long waves along the set: ladies facing out, right hand to partner, left to the next
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Partners allemande right 3/4 to a wave across (same two ladies in the center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk forward to a new wave
(This is the progression to new neighbors)
B1 (4) Balance the wave
(12) Partners swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
This dance was finished in October, 1999 and dedicated to Barbara Groh, a wonderful dancer and caller from Asheville, North Carolina, on the occasion of her marriage.
A possible alternative in A2 would be for the women to allemand left once around after the second balance. This would propel the women toward their partners for a partner balance and swing in B1.

Editor's Notes:
Getting the ladies to let go in time in A1 may prove challenging, especially for beginners. That is only speculation as I've not yet called this dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen


In Paul's Honor

By Shelly Jenkins

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Ladies chain along the line (to neighbor)
(8) Right and left through along the line
A2 (16) Partners balance and swing
B1 (4,4) Down the hall four in line, turn as a couple
(4,4) Return, hand cast
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) Ladies chain across

Author's Notes:
Written for Paul Kotapish

Editor's Notes:
Requires plenty of room along the line.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/18/2001; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Ins and Outs of Contra

By Adam Carlson
Composed December, 1994; last revised February, 1995

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) 2's go forward
(4) 1's go forward while the 2's go back
B1 (6) Down the hall four in line, 1's between the 2's (2's pick up the 1's)
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) 2's hand cast the 1's
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
This is my first dance. I wrote it before Christmas, 1994 and modified it over the next few months. Thanks to Erik Hoffman, Laura Mé Smith, Nelson Beavington and all who attended the Slugs at Sunrise callers workshop in February of 1995 for helping me put the fininshing touches on this dance.
The second half of A1 is a move I call "Ins and Outs". I like the move and find it lends itself to many situations. It's good for getting the 1's alone in the center for a swing. I haven't written any other dances with it yet, but I plan to.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 8/9/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Inverted Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed December, 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads lead right
Circle 1/2
Sides arch heads dive through
B Heads circle left 1/2 in the middle
Heads swing opposite out to the woman's home spot
Heads go forward and back
C Heads square through two hands to swing the one you meet at the side
D Lines at the sides go forward and back
Heads right-hand star 3/4
E Heads allemande left with partner's corner
All swing at home

Author's Notes:
The sides may swing their partner in phrase B. This is a little weird. At the end of phrase D the heads are home except for being in their partner's position. So why not just do the allemande left with your partner's corner? Of course the sides will be doing it with their corner's partner.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Is It Proper?

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) 1's balance and swing
A2 (4-6) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(12-10) "tag the line" (see notes), face up the hall, return
B1 (4) Circle left just 1/2
(12) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's half figure eight up through the 2's

Author's Notes:
The modern square dance figure "tag the line" involves the four dancers in line turning individually to face the center point of the line (>><<). each taking a small step to the left, they "double" pass thru passing right shoulders (go by two sets of shoulders) and face up the hall. This inverts the line from W2,M1,W1,M2 going down the hall, to W1,M2,W2,M1 coming back. It's not necessary to have active couples cross over before the start. A dancer's question provided the title.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Jacki's Favorite

By Larry Jennings

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Triplet
Formation Triplet: 1's improper


A1 (16) Gent #1 call something for the top four which lasts 16 counts and gets everybody back to place
Suggestions: balance and swing partner; circle left, left-hand star. Warning: if neighbor swing, end facing out
A2 (4, 4) Top four (1's & 2's): balance your neighbor, and pull by along the line
(8) Bottom four (1's & 3's) circle left WHILE the top couple (2's) swing
B1 (16) Lady #1 call something for the bottom four
B2 (4, 4) Bottom four (1's & 3's): balance your neighbor, and pull by along the line.
(8) Top four (2's & 3's) circle left, WHILE the bottom couple (1's) swing

Editor's Notes:
Helpful hint to the dancers: after you pull by if there are four of you then circle left; if there are just two of you then swing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


January Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads right and left through
B Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through to face a side couple
Georgia Rang Tang...
C ...continue the Georgia Rang Tang
D Swing corner
Swing partner
E Promenade

Author's Notes:
The first allemande of the Georgia Rang Tang is just about half way around. In the promenade the sides must be in front of the heads. I've never mentioned this to the dancers and things managed to come out correctly.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Jed's Reel

By Penn Fix
Composed 1983

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Ladies dosido
A2 (4) Gents balance
(6) Gents dosido
(6) Gents allemande right 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pull by up and down

Author's Notes:
Background: The sequence in A2 came from Michael McKernan's "Daybreak Reel". "Jed's Reel" has been adapted by others. My favorite, "Edna's Reel"by Walter Lenk, allows the women the same fun as the men by changing the A parts of the dance as follows: A1 Neighbors swing (8), Promonade across (8) A2 Ladies balance (4) Ladies dosido (6) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2 (6). The rest of the dance is the same as "Jed's Reel". About half way through "Jed's" I will call "Edna's" and then return to "Jed's" for the last few times through. Jed is my nephew and was born on the day I first called this dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Jelly Rolls

By Gene Hubert
Composed November, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads right and left through
Heads roll away with a half sashay
B Heads left-hand star 3/4 to swing the one you meet
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Centers (heads) roll away with a half sashay
Heads left-hand star 3/4
D Allemande right corner
Swing partner

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Joined at the Hip

By Russell Owen
Composed January, 1993; last revised April, 1993

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Hands across left-hand star
A2 (6) Ladies separate, gents keep holding on, scoop up partner and star promenade approximately 1/2 until new ladies can take right hands in the middle (this is the progression)
(6) Ladies star promenade (with your partner) 3/4 (clockwise)
(4) Ladies back out with a butterfly whirl to face across
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
Dedicated to Kip. I invented the linked star promonade and the star into star promonade figures, only to find another dance using linked star promonades a month or so later.
Ladies may spin right out of the star into the star promonade. I'm not yet sure if this is a graceful transition, but it's worth a try with an experienced crowd.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Joy

By Lannie McQuaide
Composed December, 1980

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's cross the set and go below, while the 2's move up
A2 (8) Hands across right-hand star
(8) Ladies chain (to partner)
B1 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B2 (8) Ladies chain (to neighbor)
(8) 1's half figure-eight

Author's Notes:
This dance was first presented at the Littlest Wiseman Pilgrimage in December 1980. It is dedicated to Mary D. and Howard Walsh, Lloyd Shaw Foundation members, to express appreciation for their graciousness and generosity, and for the joy they have given to so many people over the years.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/9/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Jubilation

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "More Dizzy Dances"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners allemande right 1 1/2
B1 (8) Half hey, ladies pass left shoulders to start
(8) Partners swing (on the gent's original side)
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Judah Jig

By Charlie Fenton

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Circle left
(8) Hands across right-hand star
B2 (8) Ladies chain (to neighbor)
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
The San Francisco dance is held at St. Paul's Church hall on Judah Street. I usually use reels for this, but called it Judah Jig for the alliteration.
Inspired by Ted Sannella's "Be My Valentine"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Julie's Reel

By Penn Fix
Composed 1983

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors take inside hands (gents right, ladies left) and balance
(4) Star through
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (4) Pass through across and cross trail along the side
(12) Pass the first person by the right, allemande the next and return passing the first by the right shoulder (both of these people are the same every time)
B1 (16) Partners swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2

Author's Notes:
Background: The beginning part of this dance came from "Margaret's Fancy" by Roger Whynot. While in the middle of my love affair with heys, I explored here the feeling of a hey along the line rather than across. I dragged Julie Searles to a dance where she fell in love with contras; she changed plans and attended the Port Townsend International Folk Dance and Music Festival; later, she moved to western Massachusettes to dance. I first called "Julie's Reel" late at night at the Port Townsend week she attended. The traditional tune "Judy's Reel" (in the book) fits well with the dance.

Editor's Notes:
Dancers who are out should join the "hey" in A2. Variation: left-shoulder gypsy instead of allemande left in A2, turning this figure into a genuine hey.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/12/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Jump to the Stars

By Al Olson

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (16) 1's swing, end facing up
A2 (8) 1's separate and go down the outside two places (on proper side), while the 2's move up one place
(4,4) 1's come up the middle and cast off
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's allemande left 1 3/4, ending in a long wave, gent 1 above, lady 1 below
B2 (8) Right-hand star (1's in separate stars, with the 2's to your personal right and a trail buddy)
1's pass left shoulders to trade stars, while the 2's turn around
(8) Left-hand star (1's in separate stars, with the 2's to your personal left and a different trail buddy)

Author's Notes:
The inactives must be ready to commence the left-hand star quite promptly, as indicated in the dance title.

Editor's Notes:
An alternate transition to consider: 1's slide left, passing front to front, to trade stars.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 7/8/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Kimmswick Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed May, 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads right and left through
B Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through
Dosido the one you meet 1 1/4 to waves at the sides
C Balance
All allemande right 1/2
Gents allemande left 1/2
All swing partner
D Promenade home

Author's Notes:
Highly recommended. Dancers may have to hustle a bit in phrase B.
First called at the Spring '95 Kimmswick dance weekend.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Kiss the Bride

By Jeffrey Spero
Composed April 29, 95

Source "(southern) California Twirls", ed. by James Hutson and Jeffrey Spero
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2
B1 (8,8) Partners gypsy and swing
B2 (8) Partners promenade across the set
(6) Circle right 3/4
(2) Pass through along the set

Author's Notes:
This dance was written to show the different stages of a relationship. At the beginning, there is that uneasy meeting phase (dosido), Followed by a "what-the-heck, let's see what happens" attitude (the swing). During the long lines forward and back, the dancers look across the set. Whoa! Who is that?! The ladies can't stand it! They allemande across the set and gaze into their partner's eyes (gypsy). When they can't take it anymore, the swing occurs. Finding their true match, the partners walk down the aisle (or across the aisle in this case!). Many theories exist for the significance of the circle right following the promenade. I leave it to you to create your own interpretation.
Written for Robin Brodeur and Michael Bancroft's wedding.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


La Bastringue

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 To swing partner start with the lady on the left
(8) All go into the center and back out
(8) Repeat
A2 (8) All circle left
(8) All circle right
B1 (16) Corners swing (this is your new partner)
B2 (16) Promenade

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


La Habaņera

By Mike Richardson
Composed October 14, 95

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido 1 1/4 to a wave of four, ladies in the middle
A2 (4) Balance the wave forward and back
(4) Balance again
(8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2 while gents walk clockwise once around the ladies
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2, to progress

Author's Notes:
1. The double balance in A2 should be forward and back, rather than side to side. This will launch everyone in the appropriate direction for the orbit figure.
2. In B2, the transition from ladies allemande right 1 and 1/2 to the circle left with the next is potentially awkward. One way to make this a feature rather than a liability is for the women to turn once over their own right shoulder after the allemande, which should send them into the circle very naturally.
3. Many tunes will work fine for this dance. However, with the right band, the Bizet tune "La Habaņera" from Carmen is swell. With a nice slinky rendition of this tune, one might consider substituting a gypsy for the dosido in A1.
4. The dance is named, not for the Bizet tune, but for the spicy habaņera pepper, which is over 1000 times hotter than a jalapeņo. :-)

Editor's Notes:
Make sure the sets are well spread out along the line so there is room for the gents to walk around the ladies in A2.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/18/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ladies Night Out

By Penn Fix
Composed 1982

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors allemande left 1/2
(4) Ladies cross, passing right shoulders
(8) Partners swing
A2 (6) Ladies go down the center
(2,4) Ladies turn alone and come back
(4) Ladies hand-cast with partner
B1 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B2 (4) Ladies cross, passing right shoulders
(12) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
Dancing Tips: Because the entry into the hey for lady 1 is awkward, try a hand cast instead of a waist hold cast after returning from down-the-center.
Background: For the first two years I called dances in Seattle, I worked with Leah Weiss and Carol Rubinstein. When Leah decided to return to her home in New England, I dedicated this dance to these two musicians.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lady of the Lake 1

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (16) 1's balance and swing
B1 (6) 1's go down the hall, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B2 (16) Ladies chain over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lady of the Lake 2; or Haymaker's Jig

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (16) 1's balance and swing
B1 (6) Down the hall 4 in line, taking small steps (2's start early to pick up the 1's)
(2,6,2) Turn alone and come back; bend the line to face across
B2 (16) Ladies chain over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lady Walpole's Reel

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (6) Down the hall four in line, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B1 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) Right and left through

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lalah's TriskadekaMania

By Seth Tepfer
Composed August 16, 1999

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (4) Down the hall four in line, 2's in the center
(4) Form a cozy line (2's arch and back through arch to face up)
(4) Come back
(4) Form a cloverleaf (2's duck, 1's arch)
B1 (8) Circle left 3/4 in your cloverleaf
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Gents allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Circle right

Author's Notes:
Note that the Circle Right flows very nicely into a Circle Left with the next couple.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lamplighter's Hornpipe

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (4) 1's cross diagonally down through the 2's and make long waves with 1's below the 2's, 1's facing out
(4) Balance the wave
(8) With person on right allemande right once (slowly) and re-form the wave
A2 (4) Balance again
(8) With person on left allemande left (slowly) approx. once until 1's meet in the center
(4) 1's allemande right 1/2 and face down, lady on the left
B1 (6) 1's go down the center, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B2 (16) Right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. See also Road to Californy (which is similar but has faster allemandes).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lavender Moon

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "More Dizzy Dances, vol. III"
Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A (4) H/S ladies cross the set
(12) Swing your opposite (everybody can swing)
B (4,4) H/S square through two; with the S/H circle left 1/2
(4) Pass through (note: S/H california twirl to face back in)
(4) Center four circle left 1/2
C (4) Pass through
(12) Swing with the S/H
D (8) Lines at the S/H go forward and back
(4,4) Center 4 box the gnat; then right-hand star 3/4
E (4) With your corner allemande left
(12) Swing your partner
F (16) Promenade

Editor's Notes:
Call for heads, sides, heads, sides.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Leading Ladies

By Gene Hubert
Composed December, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads lead right
Circle left about 1/2
Swing neighbor
B Same four circle left about 3/4
Head ladies break and lead towards home
All eight circle left 1/2
C Swing partner
Dosido corner
D Allemande left partner 1 1/2
Promenade home

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lights at Dawn

By Charlie Fenton
Composed February 18, 90

Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Gents allemande left 1/2; ladies fall in behind partner
(8) Hands across left-hand star (end with ladies home, gents not)
(4) Neighbors promenade across
Couresy turn an extra 1/4 so the gents assist the ladies into...
A2 (4) Ladies allemande right 1/2; gents fall in behind neighbor
(8) Hands across right-hand star (end with gents home, ladies not)
(4) Gents drop out, ladies continue once around to neighbor
B1 (16) Neighbors swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Slide left one place along the line (ladies in the lead) to progress
(8) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
First called at dawn at the fifth annual BACDS Dawn Dance, 2/18/90.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Little Tickle

By Mary Ann Tracy

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors take inside hands; ladies lead gents across, gents passing right shoulders and taking right hands as they pass. End in a line across, gent 1 and lady 2 facing up, the other two facing down.
(4) Gents allemande right 1/2
(8) Partners swing
A2 (4) Ladies lead your partner across, passing left shoulders, gents taking left, ending in a line with the 1's facing down, 2's facing up.
(4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing
B1 (16) Hey for four, ladies passing right shoulders to start
B2 (8) Neighbors left-shoulder gypsy once (or a quick twice)
(8) New neighbors circle left

Author's Notes:
Written to go with the jig I wrote of the same name, given here in ABC format:
X:1 %Music
T:Little Tickle Jig
C:Mary Ann Tracy
Q:1/4=120 %Tempo
V:1 %
M:6/8 %Meter
L:1/8 %Default note length
K:G
gfe fed |B2 G G3 |gfe dBG |E3 E3 |
gfe fed |B2 G G2 D |EGE FDF |G3 G3 ::
e2 e efg |d2 B GAB |c2 A DEF |G2 B d3 |
e2 e efg |d2 B GAB |cAF DEF |G3 G3 :|

Editor's Notes:
To play the tune, save the tune (starting from X:1) to a file named, for instance, "Little Tickle.abc" and open in an ABC tune player. One program that I've found works well is the inexpensive shareware program Melody Assistant, which runs on MacOS and Windows.
Warning: at least one program I tried (BarFly 1.1 on MacOS) plays the rhythm incorrectly; if it doesn't sound like a jig then try another program.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/25/2002; last revised 7/28/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Long Road, The

By Kathy Anderson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(4) Partners allemande left
(4) Men pass right shoulders and go right to progressed place

Author's Notes:
This dance evolved while trying to include a partner swing in Roger Diggle's "Roger's Weathervane". The men's right shoulder pass is like a right allemande without hands, and the women should wait and join their partner when it has been completed.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/12/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lost in Interstellar Haze

By Roger Diggle

Source "Midwest Folklore and Other Dances", ed. by Eric Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst
Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (10) Right-hand star 1 1/4
(6) Trail buddies allemande left, end with gents facing in
A2 (16) You and your trail buddy hey with the couple across; gents pass right shoulders to start (your partner is in a different hey)
B1 (16) Partners swing (variant: balance and swing)
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Love of My Life

By Dan Pearl

Source CDSS News #112, 1993
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(4) Partners California twirl to face away from your neighbors
(4) 2's arch and 1's dive; all move backwards to form a ring
A2 (4) Balance the ring
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (6) Down the hall four in line
(10) Turn alone and all come back (end facing across)
B2 (8) 2's half figure eight down through the 1's
1's start swinging as soon as the 2's are past (wait 4 beats, swing 12)

Editor's Notes:
Composed for his wife Shelagh.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Lovely Lane Chain

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed April, 1983

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Double Contra
Formation Four Facing Four


A1 (16) Ladies chain over and back (courtesy turns encouraged!); at the end of the second chain roll away with a half sashay
A2 (8) Lines of four go forward and back
(8) With your opposite dosido
B1 (16) Center four right-hand star, then left-hand star;
while the ends balance and swing
End facing your partner; give right hands to your partner
B2 (8) Wrong way right and left grand around the group of eight
(8) Partners swing
End facing original direction (couples will have swapped places in the line).

Author's Notes:
While this may be danced as a double sicilian circle (mescolanza), it works better in lines, even though there is some waiting out at the ends. One way to set up the formation is to create two improper contra lines of even length and slide them together to make lines of four facing four. My inspirations for the dance came from an English folk version of a 19th century ballroom dance (Tom Pate/La Tempete) and a modern square dance figure (eight chain thru). Composed to celebrate the wedding of Bruce & Susan Edwards at Lovely Lane Church in April, 1983. My favorite tune for the dance is Peacock Rag. This dance is included in the 7th edition of Dance A While: Handbook for Folk, Square, Contra, and Social Dance published by Macmillan (New York, 1994).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Lucky Six

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads circle left 3/4 and pass through
B Dosido the one you meet
Grand right and left starting with dosido person
C Pass five people and swing number six.
D Face into your square and swing the next
Face partner
Ladies chain to partner
E Promenade home
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
A simple dance but not totally easy because of the swing to swing transition.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Maggie's Hobby

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (16) Partners balance and swing
B1 (4) Down the hall four in line
(4,6) turn as couples and come back
(2) Face across
B2 (4) Pass through to an ocean wave (see notes)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2
(4) Balance the wave
Drop hands, advance to new neighbors (first two counts of A1)

Author's Notes:
In B2 the ladies should catch each other's left hand as they pass thru, and allemande left 1/4 , while the men should pass thru to the ends of the wave and give right hands to partner. "Pass The Ocean" is a modern square dance figure. The dance was composed to honor the marriage of two Baltimore dancers, Maggie Taylor and Jay Hobbs.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Marion's Delight

By Carol Kopp

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2 (to partner)
B1 (16) Partners gypsy and swing
B2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors promenade across (variant: star promenade across and butterfly whirl)

Author's Notes:
Written for Marion Hepburn, who "loved" gypsies.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 10/31/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Marshes of Mallow

By Cal Howard
Composed 1983

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Actives swing
B1 (6) New neighbors go down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(2,8) Turn alone and come back
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line to new neighbors

Author's Notes:
My incentive for composing the dance was to produce one in which figures flowed from one to another as smoothly as possible. It was composed shortly before Larry Jennings brought out his "Zesty Contras".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/3/1999; last revised 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Martha's Choice

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,12) Neighbors balance and swing
End facing up or down along the lines, ladies inside, gents outside
A2 (8) Neighbors promenade along the set (clockwise); wrap around at the ends
(8) Turn as couples and promenade back, end across from your partner
B1 (4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Mary Cay's Reel

By David Kaynor
Composed 1987

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pull by along the line
(8) With the one you meet allemande left, then return to your neighbor
A2 (4,12) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) Ladies allemande right 3/4 to form a long wave of women in the center
(4) Left-hand ladies allemande left 3/4, while men slide left a bit to meet them
End near your partner
B2 (4,12) Partners balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Susie Secco and I were sitting around at my family's summer cottage on the Maine coast, and I was trying to work out a dance in Mary Cay Brass's honor for her imminent birthday. I
got the basic concept together, then Susie listened to my description and asked questions which helped me clarify how much, how far, how long, in what direction, etc.

Editor's Notes:
Teaching tip: tell that dancers that "after swinging partner, circle left; after swinging neighbor, go forward and back". Also, be sure the gents slide left while the ladies allemande in B1, else the dance may not progress.
Collected from Luther Black March, 1991.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


May Day!

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed May, 1993

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Ladies dosido
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Swing partners
B1 (8) Promenade across
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
B2 (8) Swing neighbors
(8) Long lines go forward and back

Author's Notes:
Improvised in May 1993 at a Folk School dance with many beginners when I needed something like Don Armstrong's great dance "Broken Sixpence", which had already been called that night.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Mid Winter Gypsy

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed January, 1993

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 2's swing, end facing up
A2 (8) Symmetrical gypsy with neighbor 1 1/2 (2's split the 1's)
(8) 1's swing
B1 (16) Down the hall four in line, turn alone, come back
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbor swing

Author's Notes:
Introduced in January, 1993 at the Mid-Winter Ball in Baltimore.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Midnight Tango

By Mike Richardson
Composed December 26, 1990

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8,8) Neighbors gypsy and swing
A2 (4) Down hall four in line
(4,8) Turn as couples and come back
B1 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight up through the 2's
B2 (16) 1's balance & swing

Author's Notes:
Modified from "Midnight Forage, for the Cupboard was Bare" by Larry B. Smith, which I got from Dave Smith.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Mimi's Mom's

By Kathy Anderson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Double Contra
Formation Four Facing Four


A1 (8) Lines of four go forward and back
(4) All pass through and cross trail through
(4) Swing the one you meet
End in square formation
A2 (8) Head couples right and left through
Note that your partner is in corner position
(8) Head couples right-hand star
B1 (4) Partners allemande left and face the one you swung
(6) 3 changes of a right and left grand
(6) Partners see-saw
B2 (4,12) Partners balance and swing; end facing your original direction

Author's Notes:
I wrote this on the way home from a great weekend in Dallas, where we enjoyed wonderful hospitality at Mimi Roger's Mom's hacienda. The cross trail to the swing leaves the heads with an ultra-short swing, as they need to move on to B1, but the sides can cheat and swing longer. This works well to a C-rag or march.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from the author September, 1995.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/22/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Mimosa Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed June, 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads roll away with a half sashay
Heads left-hand star 3/4
Heads circle left 1/2 with sides
B Heads pass through two
Swing other side person
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Heads pass through
Split the sides
Separate
Go around one
Head gents cross
D All swing partner at home
E Promenade (optional)

Author's Notes:
I grew up in Missouri calling them "Formosa" trees but eventually figured out the correct name. Composed in June '95 when mimosa trees were blooming.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Missing Duck

By Erik Hoffman

Source Erik Hoffman, "ContraComments"
Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left 3/4, and pass through along the line
This is the progression to new neighbors
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2
(4) Partners allemande right 3/4 to form long waves (men face out)
A2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B1 (16) Hey for 4; ladies pass left shoulders to start
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

Editor's Notes:
Corrected 2002-01-01: the hey starts by left shoulders and B2 has a balance. Thanks to Susie Kendig for supplying corrections and a published reference.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/21/2001; last revised 1/1/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Modular Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Heads lead right
Circle to a line at the sides
Forward and back
C Ladies chain
Roll away with a half sashay
Square through four hands...
D ...continue the square through
Swing partner
E Promenade

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Monday Night in Ballard

By Mike Richardson
Composed March 3, 1988

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners swing (common variant: balance and swing)
B2 (8) Gents dosido
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pull by along the line

Author's Notes:
Written to commemorate our local weekly free dance at the New Melody Tavern, located in the Ballard district of Seattle. It is here that many Seattle dancers, callers and musicians have learned their craft. Music and calling for the dance is done by whoever shows up that night. Some direction is given to the evening by one lead caller and one lead musician, who are chosen froma rotating pool of "on call" musicians and callers. I think of this particular dance as a sort of "magic wellspring" which is directly responsible for the large number of dancers, callers, musicians, and dances that we have in Seattle.
When I first began to write dances, I went through a phase where each successive dance became more complex than the last, resulting in dances that were not fun for anyone to do. I write this one in reaction to that complexity. It is a simple dance with lots of slack in it for newcomers, but also with some nice transitions in it for more experienced dancers. I still occasionally write dances that are too weird to foist upon the dancing public, but I also continue to strive for simpler story lines like the one in this dance.
Good tunes: "Shenandoah Falls", "Old Joe", "Merry Blacksmith", "Opera Reel", "March of St. Timothy"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Money Musk

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Triple Minor: Proper


A1 (8) 1's allemande right 1 1/2
(8) 1's go down the outside one place while 2's move up the middle, ending in lines of three facing across
A2 (8) Lines of three go forward and back
(8) 1's allemande right 3/4 (slowly) and fall back into lines of 3 across, gent 1 between the 2's, lady 1 between the 3's
B1 (8) These lines of three go forward and back
(8) 1's allemande right 3/4 (slowly) and fall back into 2nd place, proper
B2 (16) 1's and 2's right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


More Again

By Penn Fix

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido, end in a wave with gents facing out, ladies facing in
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Turn the right-hand person (your neighbor) by the right
A2 (4) Turn the left-hand person by the left
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (4) Ladies allemande right
(4) Ladies pull partner in by the left
(4) Gents pull by right
(4) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/4 to progressed place

Editor's Notes:
Warning: some end effects. Variant of "Settlement Swing".
Collected from Penn Fix in January, 1997

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


More on the Floor

By Charlie Fenton

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2 and give right hand to partner to make a wave of four
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Partners allemande right 3/4, take hands in long waves (gents facing in, ladies facing out)
A2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle left 1 1/4
(8) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
I wrote this at the same time as "Four and More."

Editor's Notes:
The timing in B2 is a goal, not a requirement. Giving weight and keeping the circle small helps.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


More Summer Haze

By Michael Fuerst
Composed February, 1997

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left 3/4 and pass through along the line to face your previous neighbor
(8) Left-shoulder gypsy your previous neighbor and return to your current neighbor
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Left-hand star
(8) Partners promenade across, advancing counter-clockwise along the set one place during the courtesy turn

Author's Notes:
Teach the second part of B2 as "promenade across and after the courtesy turn shift right of face new neighbors," and once the dance starts, prompt it as "promenade and loop".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/15/1998; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Mount Pisgah Star

By Gene Hubert
Composed June, 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads circle left 3/4 and California twirl to face sides
B All right-hand star
Heads left-hand star 1/2 in the middle
All swing the one you meet...
C ...continue the swing
Lines at the sides go forward and back
D Heads pass through
Split the sides
Heads turn right 1/4
Heads go around one
All swing at home
E Promenade (optional)

Author's Notes:
A very fine dance. Composed in June '95 after a trip to Mt. Pisgah.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Nantucket Sleigh Ride

By Kirston Koths
Composed 1976

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (6) 1's down the center, but not too far
(2,4) 1's turn alone and come back
(4) 1's hand cast off around the 2's
B1 (16) "Ride the waves": all face up taking inside hands with partner; 1's arch and go forward while the 2's back through, then the 2's arch and go forward while the 1's back through; repeat
B2 (8) Partners dosido
(8) Left-hand star
To end the dance replace B2 with partners swing.

Author's Notes:
This dance was written in following a wonderful boat ride to Nantucket Island. The dance goes with Teetotaler's, if it is not possible to use the title tune. Also try Mitton's Hornpipe in a medley.

Editor's Notes:
Needs room along the set.
Larry Jennings notes that a "Nantucket sleigh ride" is a whaler's dory being towed by a whale.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


NEFFA Mind

By Charlie Fenton
Composed 1993

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Left-hand star 3/4 (with new neighbors!)
A2 (16) Trail buddies balance and swing (on gent's side)
B1 (8) Right and left through
(8) Partners swing (on lady's side)
B2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
Written for the "trail buddy" Contra Medley at NEFFA 1993.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


New World

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed March, 1990

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Circle left
A2 (8) Circle right
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
B1 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
Introduced in March, 1990 during the American Dance Friendship Tour of the former Soviet Union.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Nice Combination, The

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (6) Down the hall four in line
(2,8) Turn as couples and come back
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Nighthawk

By Allan Brozek

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (16) Hey, gents pass left shoulders to start
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the set

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Number 11

By Mike Richardson
Composed February, 1987

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Circle left 1/2
(12) Neighbors swing
A2 (4) Down hall 4 in line
(4,8) Turn as couples and come back
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Partners California twirl

Author's Notes:
Written for Chris on our 11th wedding anniversary.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ockham's Razor; or Lex Parsimoniae

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) (Same two) ladies chain
A2 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(8) Neighbors allemande left once, taking eight counts, until ladies face across
B1 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(8) New neighbors allemande right once, taking eight counts, until ladies face across
This is the progression
B2 (4) Ladies cross the set, passing right shoulders
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
William of Ockham, c. 1285-1350: English nominalist, formulated the Law of Parsimony, called (by others) "Ockham's Razor".
An older version of this dance appears in CDSS "Gems".

Editor's Notes:
There is a tendency for dancers to rush the second allemande and the ladies to cross in B2.
Collected from the author c. 1995

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/1/1997; last revised 3/25/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ockham's Razor Strop

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) (Same two) ladies chain
A2 (8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
B1 (8) Half hey, gents pass right shoulders to start
This is the progression
(8) New neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
B2 (4) Ladies cross the set, passing right shoulders
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
A beguiling variation of Ockham's Razor.

Editor's Notes:
While waiting out, the lady should wait to the left of the gent. I suggest emphasizing this both during the teaching and during the dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ockham's Swiss Army Knife

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) (Same two) gents allemande right once, taking eight counts
A2 (8) Half hey, partners pass left shoulders to start
(8) Partners allemande left once, taking eight counts
B1 (8) Right diagonal half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
This is the progression, new neighbors are across from you
(8) Partners allemande left once, taking eight counts
B2 (8) Ladies allemande right once, taking eight counts
(8) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
A whimsical variation of Ockham's Razor.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/1/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Of The Mills

By John Gallagher
Composed 1995

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Right-hands-across star 1/2
(4) Ladies continue while gents turn out over left shoulder and rejoin the star behind partner (end with ladies in original place, gents switched)
(4) Right-hands-across star 1/2
(4) Gents turn out over left shoulder and face across, while ladies continue until facing partner (gents are facing in, ladies facing out)
A2 (16) Hey for 4, partners pass left shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Hands across right-hand star once around
(2) Advance along the line one place (gent in the lead) to progress

Author's Notes:
Written for my partner Joan Vermeulen; Vermeulen is a Dutch last name meaning "of the mill".

Editor's Notes:
In A1 the turns should be fairly tight to finish in time. The timing in B2 looks tight, but in practice does not seem to be a problem.
Collected from the author January, 1996

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Oxford Assembly

By Allan Brozek
Composed 1996

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2 to a wave across
B1 (4) Balance the wave (left, right)
(2) Neighbors allemande left 1/2
(2) Gents cross, passing right shoulders
(8) Partners swing
B2 (4) Long lines go forward
(4) Go back and roll away with a half sashay (gents roll partners from right to left)
(4) Pass through across the set
(4) Turn right 1/4 and advance along the line one place (single file, gent in the lead)

Author's Notes:
Before starting the dance, have dancers join hands in lines and spread along the line. This helps the timing in B2.
Oxford Assembly was written in the winter of l996. It was named after my hometown of Oxford CT.
Alternate for B2:
(8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) 1/2 hey (3 changes, men pass left shoulders to start)
(2) Move along the line (CW) to the next

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/3/1999; last revised 11/23/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Packing the Boxes

By Becky Nankivell

Source CDSS News #122, 1995
Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Triplet
Formation Triplet: 1's Improper


A1 (8) 1s go down through the 3's and cross trail around one to end in middle place, proper, while the 2's move up
(8) Lines of three go forward and back
A2 (16) 1's lead contra corners
B1 (4) 1's box the gnat; end with gent 1 facing up, lady 1 facing down
(8) 1's pull by and split the ends; lady 1 go left around lady 3, gent 1 go left around gent 2, to end in middle place, proper
(4) Partners box the gnat
B2 (8) All six circle left 1/2
(8) Bottom four circle left once around, while the 3's (at the top) swing.
The ending order is 3 1 2.

Author's Notes:
B2 requires the most mental alertness: the 1's (in middle place) should help the 3's (at the top) remember to break out of the circle six to swing. An easier alternative is for all three couples to swing in the second half of B2.
Composed to honor Celia Wright before her move from Tucson, Arizona to Rochester, New York.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 10/22/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Peacock Follows the Hen, The

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 1, 1994

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (12) (Same two) ladies dosido 1 1/2 to trade places
A2 (9) Hands across right-hand star
(3) New neighbors gypsy just 1/4, so gents are facing in (this is the progression)
B1 (12) Hey 3/4, gents pass left shoulders to start
B2 (12) Partners swing

Editor's Notes:
Tune: any 2-part (16-bar) slip jig, such as "The Peacock Follows the Hen", "Another Jig Will Do" or "A Fig for a Kiss".
This is a revision of the version written 9/1/94. See also the dance "Another Jig Will Do", which is somewhat easier.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Pedal Pushers

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed September, 1989

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(4) Gents keep holding on, scoop up partner and star promenade across
(4) Gents back out with a butterfly whirl to face across
A2 (8) Ladies gypsy once around
(8) Partners swing, end in a ring of four
B1 (4) Balance the ring
(4) Pass through across the set
(6) Turn individually to the right and in your group of four promenade in single file 3/4 around to progressed places
(2) Gents turn around
B2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Composed in September, 1989 to honor Jon and Sue Simmons' departure on a 1500 mile "bikeathon" from Seattle to San Diego. This dance is included in the 7th edition of Dance A While: Handbook for Folk, Square, Contra, and Social Dance published by Macmillan (New York,1994).

Editor's Notes:
Teaching tip: stress that the partner swing in A2 should end early enough to form the ring in time to balance. For the single file promonade it may help to stress that the lady leads her partner.
Variant A2: ladies dosido instead of gypsy.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Pelican Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads square through four hands to face a side couple
B All square through three hands
Heads left-hand star 3/4 in the middle
C Swing the one you meet
Gents hands-across left-hand star in the middle
D When you meet your partner, swing (head gents swing partner first, side gents pass partner once in star)
E Promenade home

Author's Notes:
Composed in Jan '97 after a trip to the beach.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Petronella

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (4) 1's go diagonally right, turning single over right shoulder, to face each other up/down the center of the set
(4) 1's balance
(4) 1's go diagonally right, turning single, ending in each other's place
(4) 1's balance
A2 (16) 1's repeat A1 to end in original place
B1 (6) 1's go down the center
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B2 (16) Right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. It is traditional for the 1's to use a variety of balances.
An equally authentic (and possibly more so) variant is to interchange the balances and turns in A1 and A2.
A common modernization is as follows:
A1:
(4) Man 1 go diagonally down between the 2's and end facing up. Woman 1 face down. Take hands in a diamond.
(4) All balance.
(4) Drop hands and all advance one place to the right in the diamond, turning single to the right.
(4) Balance
A2:
(16) Advance and balance two more times, ending with the 1's at home, the 2's in the center.
At this point the 2's must get out of the way while the 1's go down the center.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Perihelion

By Bill Olson
Composed December 18, 1999

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left 3/4 to a wave across (partners by the right, gents in the center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Gents allemande left
A2 (16) Hey across, partners pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners gypsy and swing (alternative: balance and swing)
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Partners California twirl

Author's Notes:
This dance was written on Dec 18, 1999 and named Dec 22. The winter solstice of 1999, aside from being the last solstice of millennium (well at least the century!), is also the night of the brightest full moon in 133 years. This is because the solstice, full moon, moon's perigee and earth's perihelion all occur nearly at the same time. The dance incorporates the circle to wave figure from Paul Balliet's "Summer Sunshine" and I wanted to name this dance "Winter Moonshine" or something like that. When I remembered this special astronomical event was in part due to the closeness of the earth to the sun, decided the dance HAD to be called "Perihelion" because it was such a cool name!!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Pieces of Eight

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 22, 1989

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades" and CDSS "Gems"
Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Proper


A1 (16) Double full figure eight, 1's cross down between the 2's to start
A2 (4) Pass through along the line, 1's splitting the 2's
This is the first progression
(4) New neighbors mirror image allemande (1's split 2's, gents by the right, ladies by the left)
(8) 1's swing
B1 (16) Neighbors balance & swing
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight up through the 2's

Author's Notes:
Of the dances I have written, this is the one of which I am the most proud. The keynote figure in this dance is the transition from a half figure 8 into a double full figure 8, hence the title. This dance is very smooth and flowing and is not hard to teach other than teaching the double full figure 8. I generally teach it with a four person demonstration set. First I remind them of what a half figure 8 is -- then my demo partner and I continue the figure to form a full figure 8. I then demonstrate the path that the 2's trace through the figure. Next, I let the 1's try the figure while the 2's stand still. Then I have the 1's stand still and let the 2's do the move. Finally, I have them both do the moves at the same time. Usually this gets the idea across to about 70-80% of the dancers, which is an acceptable level of dance triage in some areas.
I got the idea for this dance from a dance called "Hat's Off to Larry", written by Penn Fix, of Spokane, Washington. It is a simple and elegant dance with a double full figure 8 and first opened my eyes to the possibilities of that figure.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Polymer Reel

By Don Lennartson

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Long lines go forward and back
A2 (8) Whole set circle left
(8) Whole set circle right
B1 (8) Foursome circle right
(8) Foursome star right
B2 This is the progression
(4) New neighbors allemande left
(4) Ladies cross the set, passing right shoulders
(8) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
The whole set circle is borrowed from "CDS Reel" by Ted Sannella.

Editor's Notes:
The whole set refers to the entire contra line, including dancers who are waiting out at the ends.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Priest Pass

By Mitchell S. Frey and Russell Owen
Last revised May 28, 1994

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido 1 1/2
(8) With the one beyond left shoulder gypsy
A2 (16) Original neighbors and balance and swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
Adapted from Mullan Pass by Mitchell S. Frey (itself adapted from MacDonald's Pass by Jonathan Qualben). Russell simply swapped the moves in B1 (more conventional but smoother and no truncated swing)

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Punxsutawney Promenade

By Dan Pearl

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Promenade 3/4 (end facing up or down, looking at partner)
(8) Partners dosido
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle left
(2) Pass through across and turn alone
(6) Left-hand star 3/4

Editor's Notes:
Original version (collected from Marlin Prowell October, 1994, who collected it from Larry Edelman at Lady of the Lake, Fall, 1990):
B2
(8) Circle left 3/4
(4) Pass through along the set and turn alone
(4) Star left 1/2
Dan says of the revised B2: "It's a bit a reach the first few times through, but people get used to it soon enough."

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Purple Heys

By Mike Richardson
Composed May, 1989

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) 1's balance & swing
A2 (16) Neighbors balance & swing
B1 (16) Right diagonal hey, 1's allemande right 1/2 to start, then pass a same sex person by the left shoulder (see notes)
B2 (16) Left diagonal hey, 1's allemande right 1/2 to start, then pass an opposite sex person by the right shoulder (see notes)

Author's Notes:
written for Jimi Hendrix

Editor's Notes:
In B1 the hey is with the inactive gent above and the inactive lady below the minor set
In B2 the hey is with the inactive lady above and the inactive gent below the minor set.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Quarter More, A

By George Walker

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Yearn (take hands along the lines and across at the ends; go forward and back while moving left two places)
This is both progressions
(8) With 2nd new neighbors circle left 1 1/4
A2 (16) Neighbors swing
B1 (16) Hey, gents pass left shoulders to start
B2 (4) Gents pass left shoulders once more
(12) Partners swing

Editor's Notes:
George Walker invented the figure "yearn"; it is so called because you approach dancers (your first new neighbors) with whom you do not dance.
Collected from Mary Devlin January, 1997. Mary collected it from George at the Tractor Tavern on a Monday night in October, 1994 when he was calling at the open mike dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/12/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Queen Bee, The

By Adam Carlson
Composed November 27, 1999

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (16) Push-back hey (see notes), ladies pass right shoulders to start, gents push back
End in a wave of 4 across, ladies in the center, neighbor in left hand
B1 (4) Balance the wave (right, left)
(4) Ladies slide right
(8) Partners swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line
(8) New neighbors dosido

Author's Notes:
Push-back hey:
Everybody begins in progressed place
Ladies: dance a normal hey, passing right shoulders to start
Gents begin the hey normally, but instead of passing the other gent in the middle, give two hands to the other gent, rotate left a bit (4 counts) and gently push off to back to place (4 counts). In other words, walk a small counter-clockwise
circle. As the gents back up, they pass their partner by the right shoulder. I often say something like, "ladies, remember you're going forward and the gents are backing up, so if a collision is imminent, it's up to you to get out of the way."
Ladies need to dance a bit more than a full hey to get into the wave, so their timing is tight. The balance in the wave may feel odd to the gents because it begins away from the neighbor.
This dance is dedicated to Margriet Dogterom who got her Ph.D. in Bee Ecology in the Summer of 1999. It was first called at her graduation party. This dance introduces the family of moves I call "Push-back" heys. Another dance with a similar move is Tapsalteerie.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/24/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Quicksilver Reel

By Mike Richardson
Composed February, 2001

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Circle left
A2 (2) Slide left one place
(14) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (4) Ladies allemande right 3/4 to a long wave of ladies in the middle, facing partner
(4) Ladies balance forward and back
(4) Ladies go forward to place while the gents allemande right 3/4 to a long wave, facing partner
(4) Gents balance forward and back.
B2 (16) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
Written for Chris Caldwell for our 25th wedding anniversary.

Editor's Notes:
The timing is tight in A2 and B1.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/18/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Rang Tang Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads right-hand star
B Allemande left corner
Heads box the gnat with partner
Heads right-hand star 3/4 to face a side couple
C Allemande left neighbor
Gents pass right and walk to partner
Allemande right partner
Gents pass left and walk to neighbor
D Allemande left neighbor
Gents pass right and swing partner
E Promenade home

Author's Notes:
Phrases C and D are three fourths of a Georgia Rang Tang with the hands switched between partner and neighbor.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Rant and Roar

By Russell Owen
Composed February 8, 1994; last revised April, 1994

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors allemande right
(4) Ladies cross the set, passing left shoulders
(8) Partners swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B1 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
End in long waves with gents facing out, left shoulder to neighbor
B2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place

Author's Notes:
Originally written for a friend who wanted a reverse-progression dance (see also "Backed Into a Corner"). I later improved it, and in the process turned it into a normal progression dance. Of the dances I have written, I most often call this one.
Note: the version in CDSS News #138, 1997 contains some errors. The version here is correct.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Rendezvous, The

By Dan Pearl

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle left
(2) With your partner slide left along the line one place to face a new couple (this is the progression)
(6) New neighbors circle left 3/4

Editor's Notes:
This is a very dizzy dance. Women may find it helps to not twirl on the dosido.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Retrograde Motion

By Charlie Fenton

Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Left-hand star 3/4 (with new neighbors!)
A2 (8) Trail buddies gypsy 1 1/2
End in a ring of four with your trail buddy and the two across the set
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Petronella turn one place right
B1 (4) Balance the ring
(4) Petronella turn one place right, and spin extra to face your partner
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
Inspired by Ted Sannella's dance "Fiddleheads." Near the end of the Gypsy in A2, the man can take the woman's left hand in his right hand, to help her get around into the ring in time. The object, of course, is to move smoothly from the second petronella spin into the partner swing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ritz, The

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1984

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (10) Right-hand star 1 1/4
(6) Trail buddies allemande left
A2 (16) Partners balance and swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Author's Notes:
This dance borrows the hey to star transition from "Washington Hey" by Ralph Sweet and the star right once and a quarter, allemande left combination from "The Fiddler's Star" by Roger Whynot.
"The Ritz" was the name given to the alternate dance facility at Pinewoods Dance Camp during the 1984 season when the C# Dance Pavilion was being rebuilt.

Editor's Notes:
In A1 after the star your partner and trail buddy are both in the same line as yourself.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Road Less Travelled, The

By Kathy Anderson
Composed 1995

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido 1 1/4 to a wave of four (ladies in center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk forward to a make a new wave
A2 (4) Balance the new wave
(6) Allemande right 1/2 and return home to end with gents facing out, ladies facing in
(6) Three changes of a hey: neighbors pass right. ladies pass left, partners pass right
B1 (4) Gents allemande right
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

Editor's Notes:
In A2 return home by moving along the set, gents on the inside, then 1/4 gypsy your neighbor until gents face out, ladies face in. All this is one big smooth loop.
Collected from Kathy Anderson September, 1995.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/12/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Road to Californy

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (4) 1's cross diagonally down through the 2's and make long waves with 1's below the 2's, 1's facing out
(4) Balance the wave
(4) With person on right allemande right once and re-form the wave
(4) Balance again
A2 (4) With person on left allemande left approx. once until 1's meet
(4) 1's balance
(8) 1's swing
B1 (4) 1's go down the center
(4,4) Turn as a couple and come back
(4) Cast off
B2 (16) Right and left through, over and back

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. See also Lamplighter's Hornpipe (which is similar but has slow allemandes).
A variant with slightly more for the 2's to do:
A2
(4) Allemande left until the 1's meet
(4) Make a wave (along a diagonal) and balance
(8) 1's swing
Another variant: in A2 omit the balance and swing longer.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Roadblock Reel

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) Pass through across the set
(4) Neighbors allemande right 3/4 to a wave of four with ladies in the center
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (16) Down the hall four in line, turn alone, return
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
I named this dance after being stopped by a police roadblock following a Charlottesville, Virginia Festival Saturday night dance. I thought the Charlottesville P.D. might be able to use it as a sobriety test for contra dancers!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Rod's Grits

By Bill Olson
Composed April 13, 2000

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors balance (by the right hand)
(4) Neighors box the gnat
(8) Right-hand star
A2 (8) Right and left through across (using hands)
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Partners promenade across
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
This dance uses a figure lifted from a random mixer written by Rick Mohr, that is the right-hand star to right and left through. The Right and Left through is done "the way we do it up here in Maine" USING HANDS. The dance was written 5 minutes before I called it to start the National Callers' Showcase at the Cambridge VFW, April 13, the day before NEFFA 2000. Afterwards Lisa Greenleaf commented, "That'll teach 'em to use hands when doing a right and left through!!" The dance is for Rod Edens, from Greensboro, NC. His house has always been our "home away from home", when down there. Rod alway asks us, "what do you want for breakfast?" We always answer, "Grits, of course!"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen


Rodney's Earring

By Merilee Karr

Source CDSS "Gems"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Hands across left-hand star
(8) Hands across right-hand star
A2 (4) Ladies trade, passing right shoulders
(4) Circle left 1/2
(4) Gents trade, passing right shoulders
(4) Circle left 1/2
B1 (16) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
The title commemorates a part of Rodney Miller's outfit on "Strange Night" at the first Lady of the Lake summer dance camp.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/6/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Roll Down

By Mike Richardson
Composed June 1, 1989

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades" and CDSS "Gems"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back, gents roll (see note)
(8) Long lines go forward and back, ladies roll
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back, gents roll
(8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing (on lady's side)
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
I love southern squares with half sashay figures, but haven't seen the move in many contras. I wrote this dance after doing a square called by Frank Hall of Bloomington, Indiana, called "The Rainbow Walk". In the break figure for that dance, all go into the center and back and roll away one's corner with a half sashay. This figure is repeated 3 more times -- during the last repetition, one pulls one's partner into a swing, rather than a half sashay. I loved this figure and the wonderful weight that one could give and receive during it. This contra is distinctive, not only because of the three forward & backs and sashays, but also because men are not used to being sashayed. I find that the better dancers soon pick up the knack for it and also discover the nice transition from the last sashay into the men's allemande in A2.

Editor's Notes:
In A1 and A2 "gents roll" means the gent rolls his neighbor away with a half sashay (from left to right). "ladies roll" is the same, but the lady does the rolling (again from left to right). The roll away is done on the last two counts while still falling back.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Roll in the Hey

By Roger Diggle

Source "Midwest Folklore and Other Dances", ed. by Eric Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Warren Argo December, 1995.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Roll Me Over In The Clover

By Merilee Karr

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Circle left
B1 (8) Neighbors roll away with a half sashay (across the set, gent rolls lady)
(8) Partners swing (on the lady's side)
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain back

Editor's Notes:
There is a tendency to rush the roll away, which spoils a beautiful transition. Careful teaching and calling can be very helpful.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 10/14/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Rory O'More

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (8) 1's pull by across the set and go outside down one place
(8) Cross the set diagonally up, cast off around your same-sex neighbor
and step into the center to form a long wave of 1's (partners holding right hands)
A2 (4) Balance the wave right and left
(4) Slide right one place and make a new wave
(4) Balance this wave left and right
(4) Slide left one place
B1 (16) 1's lead contra corners
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing; end facing up

Editor's Notes:
Customarily danced to the title tune. Dancing contra corners from a long wave is a potential source of confusion.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Rotary Circulator

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances III"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 To swing partner start with lady one place to right
(8) All go into the center and back out
(8) Partners allemande left 1 1/2 to face somebody new
A2 (16) With the new balance and swing
B1 (16) Promenade
B2 (8) Ladies continue, weaving in past one gent, out past the next
(8) Swing the third gent

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Run, Honey

By Mike Richardson
Composed May 23, 1990

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors allemande left 3/4 to a wave of four (ladies in center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande left 3/4 to long waves (ladies face in)
(4) Balance the wave
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Ladies dosido
B1 (8,8) Partners gypsy and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Long lines go forward and back

Author's Notes:
Modified from "Honey Run" by Greg MacKenzie, so that everyone gets to do the gypsy meltdown at the same time.
"Turkey in the Pea Patch" works well

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Sackett's Harbor

Traditional

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Triple Minor: Proper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) All 6 circle left 3/4, ending in lines of 3 with gents facing up, ladies facing down
A2 (6) 1's go "down the center" (actually across the hall) between the 2's and 3's, taking small steps
(2,4) Turn alone and come back
(4) Cast off
B1 (16) 1's lead contra corners, ending in your lines of 3 (to end, the 1's pass each other by the left shoulder while looking at each other and falling back into lines)
B2 (8) Lines of 3 go forward and back
(8) All 6 circle right 3/4

Editor's Notes:
Often danced to the tune "Washington Quickstep". But Phil Katz reports that a tune "Sackett's Harbor" has been discovered which fits the dance much better.
The transition from B2 to A1 is potentially confusing because (unlike most triple minor dances) there is no event making it obvious where the 1's are, and hence which couples are dancing together in the new minor sets. It helps if the dancers know they should think about the new minor sets during the long lines forward and back, and if the 1's realize they should help form the new minor sets (since they are the only couples for whom it is obvious).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Saint George Loses His Halo, or Bye, Bye Halo

By John Gallagher
Composed February 1, 1996

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Make a ring and balance
(4) Petronella turn one place right
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Petronella turn one place right, and spin extra to face new neighbors
A2 With new neighbors make a ring (this is the progression)
(4) Balance the new ring
(4) Petronella turn one place right
(4) Balance the ring
(4) Petronella turn one place right
B1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Written for George Walker on the occasion of the removal of his "halo" (a medical device).

Editor's Notes:
The women have to turn significantly farther than the gents at the end of A1.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/6/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Saint Paddy's Day

By Kirston Koths
Composed October 14, 1982

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Long lines go forward and back
B1 (8) Trail buddies allemande left twice
(8) Partners swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(6) Partners full sashay: facing neighbor and maintaining eye contact as much as possible, walk clockwise around partner
(4) Pass through along the set

Author's Notes:
This dance was written for Pattie Whitehurst. The figures seem to fit Fair Jenny's Jig or Irish jig-to-reel combinations, and some say the dance feels best after a dinner of corned beef and cabbage.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Sausage Grinder, The

By Gene Hubert
Composed March, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


Corners allemande left
Partners allemande right
Corners swing
Repeat three more times to get original partner back, across from home.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Says Swing

By Penn Fix

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) Left-hand star
B1 (4) New neighbors allemande right
(4) Original neighbors allemande left
(8) New neighbors swing (this is the first progression)
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
Background: Rodney Miller's fiddling has inspired many of my compositions. His son, Asher, when encouraged to say "swing" at dances would always reply "says swing." The dance is dedicated to the entire Miller family: Rodney, wife Jane, and their two children Asher and Elvira. The tunes "Elvira" and "Asher" (in the book) written by Rod, work well with the dance.

Editor's Notes:
The out of set moves and tight timing of B1 make this dance difficult for beginners.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Seattle's Fancy

By Penn Fix
Composed May, 1983

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Proper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's dosido 1 1/4, ending in a long wave of 1's in the center (partner in right hand)
A2 (4) Balance the wave, forward and back
(4) Allemande left the left-hand person
(8) 1's swing
B1 (6) Down the hall four in line
(2,8) Turn alone and come back
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight

Author's Notes:
This dance was first called at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle where hundreds of musicians, callers and dancers come from all over the region. It is all free and great, great fun.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Selma and Louise

By Penn Fix

Source CDSS News #120, 1994
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (12) 3/4 hey, gents pass right shoulders to start
(4) Ladies gypsy
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
Dancers have to dance with the music in order to be on time for the balance. Over rotating or under rotating in the beginning allemandes can result in trouble as can lumbering through the hey and gypsy.
Written for my daughter Louise and her friend Selma Kaplan.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/15/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Settlement Swing

By Penn Fix
Composed 1982

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors dosido, end in a wave with gents facing out, ladies facing in
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Turn the right-hand person (your neighbor) by the right
A2 (4) Turn the left-hand person by the left
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Background: Larry Jennings wrote a wonderful dance, "Spalleiminer II", that used the move described in the A section of the dance. By surrounding it with easier moves, "Settlement Swing" makes it more accessible to a wider range of dancers. The dance is named for the Settlement Road School house where we used to dance in Priest River, Idaho.

Editor's Notes:
Warning: some end effects. See also the dance "More Again".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Shades of Shadrack

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido 1 1/4 to a wave of four (gents in the center, 1's facing up)
B1 (4) Balance the wave forward and back
(4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Sherri's Valentine

By Chart Guthrie
Composed February 14, 1992

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through across the set
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (8) Partners gypsy
(8) Partners swing
B1 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B2 (8) Partners allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain across

Author's Notes:
In February 1992, my girlfriend was upset that I had booked myself to call a dance on Valentine's Day. I wrote this dance for her and asked her to marry me before we went to the dance (it worked, she wasn't upset with me any more). The goal of this dance was to maximize partner interaction.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Shoot the Moon

By Gene Hubert
Composed February, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


Gents star left once around
Partners star promonade
Ladies turn back and swing the gent behind
Repeat three more times to get original partner back.

Author's Notes:
It also works to have the women star right in the middle to a star promenade and then have the men turn back to swing the next woman. Since the progression is the same, you can mix and match these in any order.
This is the simplest and surest of the breaks and would probably work with any crowd. I advise the dancers on the outside to put their arm on
the shoulder of the person they are promenading with. I like to hold the swings to 8 counts, but 16 is ok too. When the outside dancers are turning back to swing the next, you can call "Shoot the Moon" to great critical
acclaim.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Shriner's Square

By Gene Hubert
Composed December, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads box the gnat with opposite
Heads right-hand star 3/4...
B ...continue the star
Allemande left the one you meet
All swing out to a square (heads with opposite sides with partner)
C Dosido corner
Allemande left partner
Swing corner...
D ...continue the swing
Lines at the sides go forward and back
E Centers (original heads) circle left 3/4
All swing partner at home

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Silver Charger

By Gene Hubert
Composed May, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads cross trail through
Go around one while the sides step forward
All swing the one you meet...
B ...continue the swing
*sides* go forward and back
C *sides* circle left 3/4 and pass through
Swing the one you meet at the head
Face into your square
D Allemande left corner 1 1/2
All four ladies chain
E Head ladies chain
Heads cross trail through
Go round one while the sides step forward
F All swing the one you meet (partner)...
F ...continue the swing
Promenade home

Author's Notes:
In B all will swing their original opposite. In B and C the original heads are now at the sides. The best way to deal with this is that the heads temporarily become sides. So *sides* above refers to the couple currently at the sides which is the original heads. It works.
Named after my Peugeot station wagon.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Slippery Swing, The

By Ted Crane
Composed 1998

Source http://tedcrane.com/DanceDB/DisplayIdent.com?key=ted_crane
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left
(2) Slide left one place
(This is the progression to new neighbors)
(6) Circle left 3/4 with new neighbors
A2 (16) Neighbors swing
B1 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B2 (4) Ladies allemande right 1/2
(12) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
The partner swing is the slippery swing...a.k.a. a "cathedral swing". After the ladies allemande right, partners take left hands, possibly twirling the ladies under (clockwise?), and then raising the joined left hands into the cathedral.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/16/2002; edited by Russell Owen

So When Was the Wedding?

By Erik Hoffman

Source Erik Hoffman 5/91
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (4) Ladies cross, take your partner by both hands and bring him back to your side
(12) Partners swing
B1 (16) Hey; ladies pass right shoulders to start
B2 (8) Ladies chain across
(8) Right and left through

Editor's Notes:
Accuracy unknown. I do not have an original source and have not heard from Erik (aside from his kind permission to serve his dances).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Sourwood Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads swing partner
Heads promenade 3/4 while the sides right and left through
B Sides pass through
Split two
Go around one to make lines at the sides
Lines go forward and back
C Box the gnat across the set
Pull by to form lines facing out
Bend the line and circle left 3/4
D Swing partner into home spot
E Promenade (optional)

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Spice of Life

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2; gents make an extra 1/2 turn to face in (but see note)
(8) Circle left
A2 (8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) Ladies (helped by the gents) move in front of their partners to make a right hand star 3/4 around to progressed places

Author's Notes:
For Chris Spicer on the occasion of his marriage to Kitty Hay.
The allemande left in A1 has two options.
Option #1: allemande left once around, gent faces in and slides a step or two to his left while he hands his neighbor's left hand around behind him into his right hand in preparation for the circle
Option#2: allemande left once and a half leaving the gent facing out. His neighbor then pushes on their joined hands to "flip" the gent around to face in for the circle.
I like option #1, which was inspired by a move from central West Virginia traditional square dancing.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Spring Snow

By Bill Olson
Composed February 19, 1998

Source Bill Olson's dance page http://www.megalink.net/~pweeks/billscorner.html
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Left-hand star
(8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
A2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Half hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Gents chain
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
This dance is one of a series of dances written while investigating the gents chain. The swing flows so well into a gents chain, I thought I'd do what I could do to get into the ladies chain with the same flow. The star left into neighbor allemande does this.
First conceived on February 19, 1998 and first called at our Bowdoinham dance on March 21, 1998 (the first full day of spring) in the middle of a (not too unusual) snow storm. Thanks to all the stalwart dancers that came out that night!

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 5/31/1998; last revised 11/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Star Studded Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed January, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Head ladies chain
B Heads roll away with a half sashay
Heads star through (with partner) to face the sides
Swing the one you meet
C Lines at the sides go forward and back
Centers (heads) left-hand star in the middle
D All right-hand star 3/4
Gents turn around to swing partner near home
E Promenade

Author's Notes:
A sweet little dance.
The right hand star in phrase D is with folks you were just swinging with. The sides must move back into their home place during phrase C.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Star Trek

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 27, 1990

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Hands across right-hand star
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (4) Ladies cross the set, passing right shoulders
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Hands across right-hand star
(2) Partners advance one place along the line to progress, gents in the lead

Author's Notes:
This dance is also* a personal favorite of the ones I have written. It flows very smoothly from figure to figure and has the novel star-to-star transition from B2 to A1.
It was pointed out to me that this dance is extremely similar to "Stars of Joy" by Kate Chaitin of San Francisco, California. I agree, and simply plead convergent evolution, because it was not conscious imitation. I think that the star-to-star transition here is a bit smoother and more forgiving than the usual star-to-star as in "Stars of Joy".
*see "Pieces of Eight"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Starry Night

By Don Lennartson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido
A2 (8) Neighbors swing
(8) Long lines go forward and back
B1 (8) 1's with the couple to your personal left (1st lady with neighbors, 1st gent with couple below) left-hand star
(8) 1's allemande right 1 1/2
B2 (8) 1's with the couple to your personal left (1st gent with neighbors, 1st lady with couple below) left-hand star
(8) 1's swing

Editor's Notes:
1's have a trail buddy for the first star and a different trail buddy for the second star.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Staten Island Contra

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain across
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Circle left
B1 (4) Circle back to the right just 1/2
(4) Balance the ring
(8) Partners swing
B2 (4) Gents allemande left 1/2, give right to neighbor to make a wave of four
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande right 1 3/4 to progressed place

Author's Notes:
Composed during the Folk School's Contra Dance Musicians' Week, 1996 to fill the need for a relatively easy dance whose balances would accomodate the B music of Staten Island Hornpipe.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Summer Night in Seattle, A

By Mike Richardson
Composed August 16, 1990

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors dosido 1 1/2
Look for new neighbors (this is the first progression)
B2 (4) New neighbors take right hands & balance
(4) Those neighbors box the gnat
(8) Right-hand star

Author's Notes:
A dance written, as the title suggests, in honor of a dance one summer night here in Seattle in 1990. The transition from a box the gnat into a right hand star is yet another figure that I have lifted from the square dance tradition.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Summer of '84

By Gene Hubert and Steve Schnur

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(2) Gents allemande right 1/2
(6) Partners allemande left to a wave across (gents in the center)
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk ahead (leaving your partner) to a new couple and make a wave across
(4,4) Balance again; allemande left 3/4 to find your partner
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/11/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Summer Sunshine

By Paul Balliet

Source B. Hill, P. Balliet and C. Kopp, "Twirling Dervish Returns"
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Begin in a wave across, women taking left hands in the center
(4) Balance the wave
(12) Neighbors swing
A2 (16) Ladies chain over and back
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partners swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4 (to original place)
(2) Re-form the original wave
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Pass through to a wave with new neighbors

Author's Notes:
At the start of the dance, remind dancers that they will return to this same wave.
This fun, bouncy dance works very well with beginning dancers.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/8/1999; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Sunrise Jig

By Shelly Jenkins
Composed 1986

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Right-hand star
(8) Partners dosido
A2 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (16) Down the hall four in line, turn as a couple, return
B2 (8) Circle left
(8) Left-hand star

Author's Notes:
I was hiking at Sunrise at Mount Ranier when this dance popped into my head.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/18/2001; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Surprise For Tom

By Bob Dalsemer
Composed February, 1992

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Ladies allemande left 1 1/2 and give right hand to partner to form a wave of 4
(4) Balance the wave, right and left
(4) Allemande right 1/2 to put the gents in the middle of the wave
A2 (4) Balance the wave, right and left
(4) Partners gypsy 3/4, until the gents face in
(8) Half hey, gents pass left shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
A birthday surprise for Tom Hinds, February, 1992.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Sweet Hominy

By Penn Fix
Composed 1984

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,12) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's dosido 1 1/2
B1 (16) 1's turn contra corners
B2 (4,12) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Dancing Tips: When the 1's dosido, they must change places and finish facing each other in order to be on the proper side of the set (gents on gents' side and ladies on ladies' side). The practice of constant spinning during the dosido is not recommended because the spinning may disorient dancers before starting contra corners.
Background: Though structurally similar to "Hillsboro Jig" by Bill Thomas, the transition from the dosido to contra corners changes the feel of the dance. This sequence was my invention as far as I know. "Sweet Hominy" was the name of a swing dance band in Spokane. Recently, I have used boht "Tamarack Reel" and "Sweet Hominy" together by beginning with "Tamarack" and switching to "Sweet Hominy" at the tune change in the middle of the dance.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Sweet Music

By Amy Kahn
Composed 1990

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners star promenade across
A2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Right and left through (use a courtesy turn)
(2) Roll away with a half sashay
(6) Right-hand star 3/4

Author's Notes:
Both the star promenade and roll away with half sashay are square dance figures. Bob Dalsemer and Dan Pearl have used these figures before in contras. I was actually quite subversive about the design of this dance (the trend at the time being toward lots of individual movement), there is almost continuous eye contact and connection with other dancers throughout the figures and I think this is the reason you all like it too.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Swing Down the Line

By Gene Hubert
Composed August, 1996

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads go forward and back
Heads lead right and circle to lines at the sides
B Lines go forward and back
Right and left through with opposite couple
C Right and left through back
Ladies pull by right to swing the one you meet
D Lines at the heads go forward and back
Right and left through with opposite couple
E Right and left through back
Ladies pull by right to swing the one you meet
Face into your square
F Allemande left corner
Allemande right partner
Gents left-hand star 1/2 and star promenade with partner
G Butterfly whirl with partner at home
Swing partner

Author's Notes:
This is a variation on the old dance "Chain Down the Line."
The lines must change direction after the swing in phrase C. You could substitute a ladies chain or a hey for four for the right and left through over and back.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Swing 'M Both

By Ron Buchanan

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, H1 S2 H3 S4
Formation Square


(8) Head couples go forward and back
(2) Heads roll away with a half sashay
(6) 3's stay right there, 1's go forward, split the 3's and go around one
(8) Threesomes basket swing: gent 1 with the lady on either side, lady 1 with the gent on either side; end in lines of three with the 1's (the "most unusual person" in each set) in the center, facing the other three
WHILE the odd two out swing each other and end facing the others (with the lady on the right, thereby trading places)
(8) Lines of three go forward and back
(4) Lines of three go forward again and pass through, rejoin hands (still facing out)
(4) Right hand high and left hand low to turn the lines around
(8) All eight circle left 1/2; at this point you are across from your partner and the left hand lady/right hand gent will be the same every time
Chorus:
(8) With the lady on the left (same person every time) allemande left 1 1/2
(4) Partners pull by right
(4) Corners allemande left
(8) Right and left grand
(8) Promenade home

Author's Notes:
Call for heads/1's, sides/2's, heads/3's and sides/4's.
Teach the chorus first. Start by having opposite ladies trade places (to get into proper position) and having the gents introduce themselves to the lady on the left.
Then teach the figure. At the end of the figure "lady on the left? she's baaack" and walk the chorus again.
Timings are estimates; adapt as necessary.
"Makes beginners out of ringers."

Editor's Notes:
So far to our knowledge nobody has taught or called this dance to this particular sets of notes. We hope the information is complete enough to make this possible and we encourage you to try. The editor and author would be grateful for any suggestions you think would be helpful for others.
Collected from Ron Buchanan January, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Symmetrical Force

By Fred Field

Source Larry Jennings, "Zesty Contras"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors mirror image dosiso, 1's split the 2's
(8) Neighbors mirror image allemande, 1's split the 2's
A2 (8) 1's dosido
(8) 1's swing
B1 (4) Down the hall 4 in line (1s between the 2s)
(4) Make a cozy line
(4) Come back
(4) Make a cloverleaf
B2 (8) Circle left in the cloverleaf formation
(4) Unwind to a circle, 1's duck, 2's arch
(4) 2's arch and pull the 1's through

Editor's Notes:
To make a cozy line: keep holding hands, 1's arch and back under the arch; 2's face in, then up and join free hands behind the 1's
To make a cloverleaf: keep holding hands, 1's duck, 2's bring their joined hands over the 1's

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/25/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Synchromesh

By Don Lennartson

Source Don Lennartson
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Hands across right-hand star
(8) Gents drop out at home; ladies chain along the line (to your neighbor)
A2 (8) Partners dosido
(8) Partners swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Hands across left-hand star

Editor's Notes:
Collected from the author June, 1990.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/1/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Syracuse Swing

By Amy Kahn
Composed 1992

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Right and left through on the left diagonal
(8) Right and left through across the set
A2 (4) Ladies pull by right
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (4) Down the hall in lines of four
(4) Turn to put the ladies in the center (couple on the right turn as a couple, couple on the left turn alone)
(4) Return
(4) Hand cast
B2 (8) Ladies cross, passing right shoulders
(8) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
I first saw the signature figure (turning to put the women in the middle) in a dance by Bob Mahr of Long Island, NY.
Calling the turn for the down the hall at 6 beats helps with some groups.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/4/2000; last revised 6/9/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Tamarack Reel

By Penn Fix
Composed 1983

Source Penn Fix "Contradancing in the Northwest"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (6) Down the hall four in line (1's between the 2's)
(2,6) turn alone and come back
(2) Bend the line
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) 1's half figure eight
B1 (16) 1's turn contra corners
B2 (16) 1's balance and swing

Author's Notes:
Dancing Tips: Remind the 1's to use all eight counts for the half figure 8 by making a wider arc around the 2's and not beginning the contra corners until the music signals the start of the move.
Background: "Tamarack Reel" is adapted from Christy Keevil's "Westside School House". The major change involves the sequence of the half figure 8 into contra corners. His dance had a forward and back in between the two moves. I think that the combination of these two is my invention. Because the Tamarack changes colors in the fall, it stands out among all the evergreens that dominate the Inland Northwest. Tamarack is also the name of the band that Christy played with while living in Portland, Oregon. In addition, it is also the name of the camp he worked at during the summers in New England. One of the founding members of "Tamarack", Dean Kenty, died in a climbing accident a number of years ago. I always dedicate the dance to him.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/5/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Tania's Tam Lin

By Shelly Jenkins
Composed 1996

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors swing
(8) Ladies chain across
A2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right to start
B1 (8) Down the hall four in line, face across
(8) Ladies chain across
B2 (8) Return up the hall
(8) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
I was at one of Tania Opland's concerts listening to Tam Lin when this dance popped into my head.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/18/2001; last revised 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Teakettle

By Ron Buchanan

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Keeper, H1 S2 H3 S4
Formation Square


A1 (8) Heads go forward and back
(8) Heads go forward, pass through, separate and go around two
End in lines of four at the sides, heads on the ends and nearly home
A2 (8) Lines of four go forward and back
(8) Forward again, pass through and turn alone
B1 (8) "1's take your partner down the center and show them off"
(8) 1's come back up the center, cast off and go around one
B2 (8) Lines of four go forward and swing the one across; heads are with their partners, sides are not; end facing the 1's home
(8) "Cast off and follow the leader" (see notes)
A3 (16) Leaders (be careful not to call them 1's) meet at the bottom and pull by right to start a progressive right and left grand which ends with everybody home
A4 (16) Partners promenade all the way around
B3 & B4 Optional break as improvised by the caller (preferably without a grand right and left)

Author's Notes:
Call for heads/1's, sides/2's, heads/3's and sides/4's.
A rag is recommended, to help prevent the dancers from bunching up on the cast off and progressive right and left grand.
In B1: 1's may turn alone or as a couple and the cast off may be assisted or not. Leave it up to the dancers.
In B2: the lead couple is at the end nearest the 1's home; they are not the 1's and are not even partners (but the 1's are right behind them, and so are in a good position to assist--Ed.). Ladies go right, gents go left.
The timing in A3 is idealistic. Unless the dancers are very sharp the progressive right and left grand will probably need more time, which you can sneak out of the promonade or the break that follows.

Editor's Notes:
So far to our knowledge nobody has taught or called this dance to this particular sets of notes. We hope the information is complete enough to make this possible and we encourage you to try. The editor and author would be grateful for any suggestions you think would be helpful for others.
Collected from Ron Buchanan January, 1997.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Ten Strings Attached

By Jim Saxe and Charlie Fenton
Composed May 15, 1993

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2 and take right hands with partners to make a wave of four
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk forward to your trail buddy
B1 (8) Trail buddies swing, then roll into...
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
Written in honor of the marriage, on May 15, 1993, of Maxine Gerber and Brendan Doyle, both players of the 5-string banjo.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/12/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Textiles or Furs

By Mike Richardson
Composed February 23, 1989

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades" and CDSS "Gems"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4) Neighbors balance
(4) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors allemande right once around
A2 (16) Hey, ladies pass left shoulders to start
B1 (8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Written for Chris for our 13th wedding anniversary. I called the Hallmark card store to ask what the theme was for that year and they said, "Textiles or furs."

Editor's Notes:
Consider this alternate timing for A1:
(4) Neighbors balance
(8) Neighbors dosido
(4) Neighbors allemande right

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Thanks to the Gene

By Tom Hinds

Source Tom Hinds, "Dance All Night 2"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain
B1 (6) Ladies gypsy
(10) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2, then turn around to face a new neighbor

Author's Notes:
In many dances, the dancers do a right and left through with their partners. Beginners who dance together often repeat the same mistakes, especially when doing the courtesy turn in a right and left through. Therefore, this dance was written so that the dancers courtesy turn with their corner.
The dance is named after Gene Hubert, a caller who now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. The title, "Thanks to the Gene", is a takeoff on the contra written in honor of Ralph Page called "With Thanks to the Dean". Ralph Page was instrumental in preserving and reviving contra dances for the many years that he called.

Editor's Notes:
At the end of B2 the gent turn around to face a new neighbor. This is very satisfying if the gents give each other a slight push. I often demonstrate this.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


There's a First Time for Everything

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed August, 1995

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Neighbors dosido 1 1/4 to a wave of four (ladies in the center, 1's facing down)
A2 (4) Balance the wave
(8) Half hey, neighbors allemande right 1/4 and pass right shoulders to start, ladies meet by the left shoulder and allemande left 1/4 to end in a new wave
(4) Balance the wave
B1 (4) Neighbors allemande right 1/4 and gents cross passing left shoulders
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
Betty and I were at Pinewoods and Larry and Ashley were there with their daughter Casey, who was one year old. Larry found out that I had never changed a diaper and felt it was high time I learned. But he didn't just let me change any diaper, he waited for a particularly smelly one.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Steve Zakon, January 30, 1997

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/1/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Three Thirty Three

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed April, 1992

Source CDSS News #110, 1993
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (4,2) Neighbors take right hands, balance and pull by right
(2) #2 neighbors pull by left
(4,4) #3 neighbors take right hands, balance and box the gnat
You are now facing back from whence you came
A2 (2) #3 neighbors pull by right
(2) #2 neighbors pull by left
(12) Original neighbors swing
B1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partner swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies dosido 1 1/2

Author's Notes:
Written on a trip with Fresh Fish where everything happened to us in threes.
Originally called Three Thirty Three Thirty Three.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Three's Company

By Paul Balliet

Source B. Hill, P. Balliet and C. Kopp, "Twirling Dervish Returns"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (2) Pass through along the line to new neighbors (omit for the walkthrough)
(6,8) New neighbors gypsy and swing
A2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing, end facing up towards your neighbors
B1 (6) 1's and 2nd gent circle left approx. 3/4 until 2nd gent is facing his partner
(2) 1's make an arch and shoot gent 2 across to his partner
(8) 2's swing while the 1's California twirl
B2 (12) Circle left 1 1/4 (until everybody is in original place), then make a wave with women in the center
(4) Balance the wave

Author's Notes:
In B1 I use the call "face that man, circle left and pop him through". This fun old time square dance move launches the man into his partner's arms to begin the swing.
Becky Hill suggests using a southern tune. Jan Snow, a local writer, came up with the name.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/8/1999; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Toy Giraffe, The

By Gene Hubert
Composed April, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


Corners dosido
Partners allemande left 1 1/2
Swing the next (right-hand lady)
Repeat three more times to get your original partner back

Author's Notes:
You may be surprised to discover that coming out of a swing to dosido your corner is a satisfying transition.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Train to Boston

By Erik Hoffman

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Circle Mixer
Formation Circle


A1 (16) Partners balance and swing
A2 (16) Promenade in Gai Gordon's style in Varsovienna hold:
forward 3 steps, turn alone (towards partner), back up 3, forward 3, turn alone, back up 3 to original place
B1 (8) Into the circle (as couples), taking hands in a ring while backing out
(8) Into the circle (as a ring) and back
B2 (4?) Corners allemande left
(12?) Right and left grand 4 places
Your old partner is #1, your new partner is #5

Editor's Notes:
Accuracy unknown. I do not have an original source and have not heard from Erik (aside from his kind permission to serve his dances).

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/21/2001; edited by Russell Owen


Trip to Lambertville

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed March, 1986

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Ladies take four steps to the center to form a long wave of ladies, and balance
(8) Gents do the same while the ladies back out
A2 (4) Gents allemande left 1/2
(12) Neighbors balance and swing
B1 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
Written during the first trip I ever made to call a dance outside of New England. A1 is borrowed from Peter Lippincott's "Snake River Reel". Roger Diggle also wrote a variation of "Snake River Reel" called "Snake Oil Reel".

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Mike Richardson March, 1990.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Trip to New Windsor

By Christine Hale
Composed 1997

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Circle left
(8) Circle right
B1 (8) Gents dosido 1 1/2
(8) Partner swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Ladies chain

Author's Notes:
Written in early 1997 for the New Windsor dance series in New York.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/7/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Triskaidekaphobia

By Kirston Koths
Composed January 13, 1984

Source CDSS News #91, 1989
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (4) Down the hall four in line (G2 L2 G1 L1)
(4,4) Turn into a cozy line (keep holding hands, centers arch, turn away from each other and continue turning to back under the arch, ends join free hands behind) & come back
(4) Form a cloverleaf (centers duck, ends arch over; don't let go)
B2 (10) In the cloverleaf circle left 1 1/4 (until 1's above, 2's below)
(2) Partners star through (trade places, lady going under the arch, end facing your neighbor)
(4) Pass through along the line

Author's Notes:
This was first danced on Friday, January 13, 1984, and it has become a tradition to dance it for good luck every Friday the 13th. The title means fear of the number 13. The four leaf clover figure in B1 is from southern mountain traditional square dancing. "Star through" is a modern club square dance figure.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/18/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Trite and True

By Charlie Fenton
Composed 1994

Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line (this is the progression)
(8) With the new hands across left-hand star (lady in the lead)
A2 (8) Gents drop out, ladies continue until facing partner
(8) Hey 3/4, partners pass right shoulders to start
B1 (8,8) Neighbors gypsy and swing (on gent's original side)
B2 (8) Circle left 3/4
(8) Partners swing
With the same neighbors...

Author's Notes:
Written for the "historical" Contra Medley at the 50th New England Folk Festival in 1994. I have seen a different "fad" emerge in newly written dances each year or two at NEFFA and elsewhere. So I decided to bring together as many of the recent "trends" as I could into one dance to represent the state of contemporary Contra choreography. Since it contained so many dance cliches, I called it "Trite and True". Fortunately, all these pieces have become popular because they work well, so I was fairly pleased with the result of combining them. One of these fads is remaining in Becket formation just long enough to swing your partner, which I refer to as "Barely Becket".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 12/24/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Turn Becket Corners

By Mitchell S. Frey
Composed May 13, 1995

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (16) Gents (!) turn contra corners. Your first corner is to the right of your neighbor gent (far away); your second corner is your neighbor, who is directly across.
A2 (4) Gents allemande right
(12) Neighbors swing
B1 (8) Ladies chain (to your partner)
(8) Right and left through on the left diagonal (this is the progression)
B2 (8) New ladies dosido
(8) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
First Called: 13 May 1995, Helena, MT Country Dance
Music: Reel
Some pointers on teaching and dancing it:
1. A1 is asymmetrical! The men must travel further to their 1st corner then to their 2nd corner.
2. It is up to the women to keep the lines straight, so one is across from their minor couple.
3. The allemande in A2 is quick! Which allows a longer neighbor swing. Actually it's the same tempo as the turns in contra corners -- 4 steps. Stress this during the walk through, or the neighbor swing will be short.
5. The women may need to help orient their partners after the swing in B2 so the men can find their 1st corner in A1. (The men seem to like this. :-)
Alternate, easier B2: new neighbors circle left, partners swing

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Twelfth Street Rag

By Bob Dalsemer

Source Bob Dalsemer's web site http://tri-county.main.nc.us/~dalsemer
Type Square-Mixer, H H S S
Formation Square


A1 (8) All four ladies chain 3/4 (to your corner)
Take a good look at this person; you'll be swinging him/her later
(8) New head ladies chain across
A2 (4) Head couples lead out to the right
(4) Circle left halfway with that side couple (end with heads facing in)
(8) With your opposite dosido, keep facing that person and...
B1 (4) Pass through
(12) Swing the one you meet (heads who are facing in swing the new opposite, sides who are facing out, swing the one beside you)
B2 (12) Promenade to the gents' home

Author's Notes:
Repeat figure once more for the heads and twice for the sides. Intro, middle break and ending are caller's choice. The figure is so named because I often use it as a singing square to that tune.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 5/4/2000; edited by Russell Owen


Twirling at the Altar

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed June, 1988

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
A2 (8) Gents allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Gents keep holding on, scoop up your partner and star promenade across and back out to place
B1 (6) Left diagonal hey with new neighbors, 3 changes, ladies pass right shoulders to start, gents pass right shoulders to end. If there is nobody on the left diagonal, stay put.
(2) Partners allemande left until gents face across (approx. 1/2)
(8) With new neighbors across half hey, gents pass right shoulders to start
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing
Face the ones across (who you heyed across with) ready to circle left 3/4

Author's Notes:
Written for the wedding of Janet Peters and Robert Mills in New Jersey.
Make sure the allemande in B2 doesn't turn into anything else (such as a courtesy turn or a twirl). There just isn't time for anything else.
There is time for the good dancers to end the star promonade with a butterfly whirl , but it is more important to start the hey on time.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Larry Edelman October, 1990.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Two Star Break

By Russell Owen
Composed October, 1996

Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


A1 (8) All go into the center and come back
(8) Ladies right-hand star
A2 (8) Partners allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Gents right-hand star
B1 (4) Pass your partner, with your corners allemande left
(12) Right and left grand
B2 (8) Partners dosido
(8) Partners promenade home

Author's Notes:
B is boilerplate; modify as needed to suit the main figure.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Unexpected Pleasure, #2

By Carol Ormand
Composed September 13, 1992

Source Carol Ormand's web site http://www.geo.umn.edu/people/grads/cfo
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Start in a wave with women in the center, neighbors holding right hands
(4) Balance the wave
(12) Hey along your line: pass 1st neighbor by the right, #2 by the left, gypsy with #3, pass #2 by the left again and end facing your original neighbor (with the 1's below the 2's).
Note: at the ends go around to the other line (as if the set were connected at the ends like a bicycle chain).
A2 (8) Original foursome circle left
(8) Ladies chain (to partner)
B1 (4) Pass through across the set
(12) Partners swing
B2 (8) Promenade across
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the line (to a new wave)

Author's Notes:
About the title..... no, I think it's better steeped in mystery..... :) I will say that I wrote it on a road trip, as I have so many of my dances. I wrote three dances on this particular drive back from Maine, all with the same initial figure.
I've been known to do one of these dances with hands in A1, which makes them much more accessible to less experienced dance groups.

Editor's Notes:
When you begin the hey along the line you are already standing right shoulder to right shoulder with your neighbor. Hence the initial pass is almost nonexistant. When you come back do not pass your neighbor.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/4/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Variations on Allemande Left 1 1/2 and Circle and Swing

By Gene Hubert
Composed March, 1997

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


V1 Corners allemande left 1 1/2
Swing the next (your opposite)
Repeat once more to get your partner back, but in opposite place.
V2 Circle left
Corners swing
(New) corners allemande left 1 1/2
Swing the next
Circle left
(New) corners swing (original partner)
V3 Corners allemande left 1 1/2
Swing the next (original opposite)
Circle left
(New) corners swing
(New) corners allemande left 1 1/2 (original partner)
Swing the next (original corner)
(New) corners allemande left 1 1/2
Swing the next (original right-hand lady)
Circle left
(New) corners swing (original partner)

Author's Notes:
These work well with contra dancers who are used to doing allemandes once and a half around.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Variations on Allemande Thar

By Gene Hubert
Composed 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


V1 Circle left
Corner swing
Allemande Thar and swing the one you meet (original right-hand lady)
Allemande Thar and swing the one you meet (original corner)
Circle left
Corner swing (original opposite)
Allemande Thar to swing partner
V2 Allemande Thar and swing the one you meet (original opposite)
Circle left
Corner swing (original right-hand lady)
Allemande Thar and swing the one you meet (original corner)
Circle left
Corner swing (original opposite)
Allemande Thar to swing partner

Author's Notes:
When you shoot the star (from a star promenade), swing the one you meet. This will be your opposite when starting the allemande thar from a squared set. From here, repeat, starting with allemande left your current corner. Next time you shoot the star, your will swing your partner.
The next trick is to mix Allemande Thar with Circle and Swing. Allemande Thar moves you two steps forward in grand right and left direction while Circle and Swing moves you one step backwards. These two were made for
each other.

Editor's Notes:
Allemande Thar (timings are approximate):
(4) Corners allemande left
(4) Partners pull by
(4) With the next allemande left 3/4 and don't let go; gents take right hands in the center
(8) Star promonade, gents backing up
(4) "Shoot the star:" allemande left 3/4
A typical patter call is "allemande left with an allemande thar, right and left, make a backup star...shoot the star"

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Variations on Allemande X and 4 Ladies Chain

By Gene Hubert
Composed 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Level easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Square-Break
Formation Square


V1 Allemande X
Allemande X
Four ladies chain to partner
V2 Four ladies chain
Allemande X
Allemande X to swing partner
V3 Allemande X
Four ladies chain
Allemande X to swing partner
V4 Allemande X
Four ladies chain
Four ladies chain
Allemande X
Four ladies chain to partner
V5 Four ladies chain
Allemande X
Four ladies chain
Allemande X
Four ladies chain to partner

Author's Notes:
These combinations move the dancers two steps forward or one step forward around the square until everyone gets their partner back.

Editor's Notes:
Allemande X (timings are approximate):
Corners allemande left
Partners pass right shoulders
Swing the one you meet
A typical patter call is "allemande left like an allemande X, pass this one and swing the next".
Each time through the dancers advance one place to the right (with their original partner). After four times through everybody is home.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 9/9/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Virginia Reel

Traditional

Level very easy (assigned by the editor)
Type Other
Formation 6-8 Couple Longways
Proper


(8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Partners dosido
(8) Partners arm right
(8) Partners arm left
(8) Partners 2-hand turn
(8) Partners swing
(8) 1's sashay to the bottom
(...) same couple reel the set: turn partner by right elbow, bottom neighbor (opposite sex) by left elbow, partner by right, next neighbor by the left...
(8) 1's cast to the bottom (gent on gents' side); all others follow
(...) 1's arch, all others go through the arch

Editor's Notes:
This dance need not fit the music exactly, and different sets may dance at different rates.
This is one of many variations; feel free to modify it to suit your needs.
Collected from Suzanne Girardot.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Vortex Express

By Gene Hubert
Composed July, 1995; last revised August, 1995

Source Robert Cromartie's web site http://www.kcomputing.com/contra
Type Square-Keeper, H S H S
Formation Square


A Heads circle left 3/4
Heads California twirl to face the sides
Swing the one you meet
B Form lines at the sides
With the opposite couple right and left through
All roll away with a half sashay
Centers (original heads) hands-across right-hand star
C Head ladies chain
Heads pass through and split the sides
Go around one to meet partner
D All swing partner
E Promenade home (half way)

Author's Notes:
You can omit the promenade and start the next round with everyone crossed over.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Wave Action #1

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 27, 1991

Source Mike Richardson, "Crossing the Cascades"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(4) Pass through to an ocean wave (partners are together)
(4) Balance the wave
A2 (4) Ladies allemande left 1/2 to a new wave
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk forward to make a wave with new neighbors (this is the progression)
(4) Balance the wave
B1 (4) Neighbors allemande right 3/4
(12) Hey 3/4, ladies pass left shoulders to start
B2 (16) Partners swing

Author's Notes:
This dance was written on the beach in San Diego, where I was attending a meeting for work.
The progression of this dance is the reverse of the usual Becket progression, but otherwise straightforward. In teaching B1, it may be helpful to point out to the men that they will end the figure where that other man is currently standing. Point out to the ladies that they will end the figure next to their partners, ready to begin the swing.

Editor's Notes:

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Wave Action #2

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 25, 1991

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Pass through to ocean wave (ladies in center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2
(4) Balance the wave
A2 (4) Walk forward 4 steps to new wave with 2nd neighbors
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande right 3/4 to make long waves (ladies face in)
(4) Balance the wave
B1 (8) Ladies dosido
(8) Gents dosido 1 1/2
B2 (16) Partners balance and swing

Author's Notes:
This dance was written on the beach in San Diego, where I was attending a meeting for work.
The progression of this dance is the reverse of the usual Becket progression.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Wave Action #3

By Mike Richardson
Composed September 25, 1991

Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Quadruple Progression
Formation Becket


A1 (4) Pass through to ocean wave (ladies in center)
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Ladies allemande left 1/2
(4) Balance the wave
A2 (4) Walk forward 4 steps to new wave with 2nd neighbors
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Walk forward 4 steps to new wave with 3rd neighbors
(4) Balance the wave
B1 (6) Walk forward & circle left 1/2 with 4th neighbors
(10) Those neighbors swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Swing partner

Author's Notes:
This dance was written on the beach in San Diego, where I was attending a meeting for work.
The progression of this dance is the reverse of the usual Becket progression.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Wave Mechanics

By Carol Ormand
Composed July 31, 1993

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 Begin in long waves, neighbor in right hand, ladies facing in
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande right 3/4 to waves of four, gents in the center
(4) Balance the wave
(4) Neighbors allemande right 1/2
A2 (8) Ladies gypsy 1 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B2 (16) Hey, ladies pass right shoulders to start

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/16/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Weave the Line

By Kathy Anderson

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Left-hand star
(8) Circle left
A2 (8) As a couple, partners weave the line past two couples
(8) As individuals, #3 neighbors dosido
B1 Turn around to face the #2 neighbor
(4,12) #2 neighbor balance and swing
B2 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) 1's swing; end facing down

Author's Notes:
In A2, the couples out at the top and bottom have four counts to turn and become active or inactive, coming in for the dosido.
Here is a more challenging version (triple progression):
A2
...end the dosido with #3 neighbor in a wave of four with ladies in the middle
B1
(4) Balance the wave
(2) Those neighbors allemande right 1/2
(2) Gents allemande left 1/2
(8) Partners swing
B2
(8) Long lines go forward and back
(2) Roll partner away with a half sashay
(6) Right-hand star 3/4
This dance came out of an interest in integrating the genres; hence, square dance moves in a contra.
Weave the line means move to the left as couples with your partner, then back to the right to pass another couple. The women pass right shoulders with the first couple the men pass left shoulders with the 2nd couple.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/1/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Wedding Rings

By Evan Shepherd
Composed June 14, 1986

Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (8) Circle left
(8) Hands-across right hand star
A2 (4) Ladies drop out at home; gents keep going to your partner
(12) Partners swing
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Ladies chain
B2 (4) Give inside hands (gents right, ladies left) to your partner and balance
(4) Star through (cross the set, lady going under the arch, end facing your neighbors)
(6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Slide left one place to face new neighbors

Author's Notes:
Written June 14, 1986 for my wedding to Berry. David Kaynor was the first person to call it--he played at the wedding.
Farewell to Whiskey is a good 1st tune.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Mike Richardson April, 1992.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 2/19/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Where is Tim's Cup?

By Michael Fuerst
Composed December, 1991

Source "Midwest Folklore and Other Dances", ed. by Eric Orace Johnson and Michael Fuerst
Level med-hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Becket


A1 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing
A2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(2) Pass through along the set (passing partner by right)
(8) With your neighbor and the couple you meet left-hand star
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Right and left through
(8) Promenade across, advancing counter-clockwise along the set one place during the courtesy turn

Author's Notes:
As an alternative, start the dance with B2 in order to end with a partner swing.
Although the dance works well with any tune, I like to call the alternative to the Beatles' "When I'm 64." Once through the dance for the verse, and once through for the chorus. Depending upon how the band plays it, the dancers could get an extra long swing at each chorus' end.
Teach the second part of B2 as "promenade across and after the courtesy turn shift right of face new neighbors," and once the dance starts, prompt it as "promenade and loop".

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 3/15/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Winter Wedding

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed January, 1987

Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain across
A2 (4) Ladies cross passing right shoulders
(4) Neighbors left-shoulder gypsy once around
(8) Ladies allemande right 1 1/2
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Neighbors swing

Author's Notes:
Written for friends Ken and Elsa.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from George Marshall July, 1993.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Witches' Cauldron

By Kirston Koths
Composed September 10, 1988

Source CDSS "Gems"
Level easy-med (assigned by the editor)
Type Sicilian Circle-Mixer
Formation Sicilian Circle


A1 After forming the sets, the two ladies trade places and face your partner (partners are together in the same large ring)
(16) Partners balance and swing
A2 (8) Large rings go forward and back
(8) Large rings circle right
B1 (8) Large rings circle left
(8) Original foursomes circle left 3/4 (you and your partner are now facing clockwise or counter-clockwise)
B2 (8) You and your partner as a couple dosido your neighbor couple
(2) As individuals pass through along the set
This is the progression; the one you face is your new partner
(6) New partners see-saw (left-shoulder dosido)

Author's Notes:
This dance was written for the Palo Alto Hallowe'en contradance.
It is a bit challenging, but seems to be the kind of dance that even "mixer-haters" can learn to enjoy. "Lost" dancers re-enter easily in A1. Southern tunes are fine with this one.

Editor's Notes:
Single progression mixer (nobody is missed). Ladies alternate between inner and outer rings but never advance; gents advance but stay in one ring.

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 1/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


With Thanks to the Dean

By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Composed February, 1985

Source Ted Sannella, "Swing the Next"
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra-Double Progression
Formation Improper


A1 (8) Neighbors allemande left 1 1/2
(8) Ladies chain
A2 (4) Ladies allemande right
(12) Partners swing
B1 (8) Circle left
(2) Partners slide left to face a new couple (this is the first progression)
(6) Circle left 3/4
B2 (8) Neighbors dosido
(8) Neighbors allemande right 1 1/2

Author's Notes:
Written in memory of Ralph Page, who was known as the Dean of Contra dancing. This is the first dance I ever wrote. There was a partner balance in the middle of A2 for a couple of weeks until Ted Sannella suggested I take it out.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Luther Black March, 1990

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 6/21/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Xerxes Reel

By Carl Magagnosc
Composed July 15, 1987

Source "southern California Twirls", ed. by James Hutson and Jeff Spero
Level med (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (16) Ladies chain over and back; on the final courtesy turn, roll away with a half sashay (ladies end on neighbor's left)
B1 (8) Long lines go forward and back
(8) Gents chain across: pull by right to start; end on partner's left
B2 (6) Circle left 3/4
(10) 1's swing

Author's Notes:
I wrote the dance for a pre-dance workshop I taught on twirling. The gents' chain is the point of the dance, so that men can experience the chain from what is usually the women's perspective. The original dance is as follows:
(duple improper)
A1: neighbors balance & swing
A2: ladies chain over and back
B1: roll away w/ half sashay, all balance in long lines; gents chain
B2: circle L 3/4; ones swing, end facing a new neighbor
Because the dancers here tend to finish the ladies chain early, and because long lines forward and back works so well for me in stabilizing a dance before an unusual or complicated figure, I modified it as shown.
The dance is named for Jim Borzym (ask him about his middle name), who was the caller in Santa Barbara in the early 80's. Also, I wanted a dance title that began with 'X' because the edition of the "Country Dance Index" that I have has no such title.

Editor's Notes:
Collected from Laura Mé Smith in December, 1991

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 7/20/1997; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen


Zombies of Sugar Hill, The

By Gene Hubert

Source Gene Hubert, "Dizzy Dances, vol. II"
Level hard (assigned by the editor)
Type Contra
Formation Improper


A1 (16) Neighbors balance and swing
A2 (4) Circle left 1/2
(2) With your neighbor, slide left one place to face a new couple
(6) Circle left 3/4 (note: the circle starts early in the phrase)
(4) Neighbors california twirl to face your partner
B1 (16) Partners balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies chain
(8) Left-hand star

This dance is from American Country Dances On Line
All rights reserved by the author; used by permission.
Added to database 11/17/1996; last revised 3/5/1999; edited by Russell Owen