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Three Thirty-Three

by Steve Zakon-Anderson

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
   That alone should encourage the crew.
 Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
   What I tell you three times is true."
--Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

If I had to pick a single favorite dance, this would be it.

I love the grand-right-and-left figure in a contra dance, previewing neighbors as you work up and down the chain. The number three is just right -- two doesn't really give the sense of multiple neighbors, and while four is good, more neighbors means that one confused/late/end effected dancer will have a larger footprint of chaos. In this dance, you interact primarily with neighbors three and one, yielding a minute's delay between first greeting a neighbor and swinging a neighbor.

The timing of the A1 is very clear, while the frequent balances gives late starters and lost dancers those precious seconds of recovery time. And there's a nice clockwise flow of the grand right and left into the neighbor swing. The rest of the dance is as simple as can be.

I do prefer the variant B2 where women allemande left 1 & 1/2 instead of do-si-do-ing. The plague of do-si-do twirls means the women risk being late to the next figure. The allemande gives better timing, and better connection for new dancers to point them in the correct direction.

Instructions for this dance can be found here.
A video of this dance (starting at 4:12) can be found here.
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