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In order to keep my main page of dances less intimidating, I've dumped many of my creations onto this secondary page. Let me know if you really like any of these.

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Circle mixers

Scatter mixers

Variants of existing dances

Contras

Slip jig contras

Complex contras

Four-face-fours

Triple Minors

Triplets

Squares

Square dance breaks

Other


Circle mixers

Not a popular form for today's zesty contra crowd, partly because they're mixers, and partly because they're simple.

They're simple for several obvious reasons: fewer possible figures, and with two people in the minor set, fewer permutations of dancers. And they're typically used as teaching dances. There's also a more subtle issue. In a contra, you and your partner usually progress as a couple, so an experienced dancer can guide a newer partner. But in a circle mixer, every dancer is on their own, and must be able to progress on their own merits. This means that for a given difficulty level, circle mixers should inherently be more forgiving.

While one would think most of the good circle mixers have already been written, I'm getting suspicious it's just not so. The line between circle mixer and contra choreography is thinner that you'd think.

Eleanor's Mixer
a Chris Page variant of a Bill Olson dance
Circle Mixer
(starts in waves of two, right hand to partner, men in the middle) [1]
A1 Balance wave of two with partner P1
   Forward on the right diagonal to left-handed wave of two with partner P2 [2]
   Balance wave of two with partner P2
   Forward on the left diagonal to right-handed wave of two with partner P3 [3]
A2 Balance wave of two with partner P3
   Partner P3 swing
B1 Circle left [4]
   Partner P2 swing
B2 Partner P2 promenade counterclockwise
   Men let go of left hand, women turn around to form two-person waves [5]
[1] Men are facing counterclockwise around the circle; women are facing clockwise around the circle. Men are in the center; women are in the outside. And right hand to this current partner.
[2] As everyone goes forward on the right diagonal, they can spin clockwise as in "Rory o' More" as used in "Eleanor's Reel." It's probably more important here than in "Eleanor's Reel," as the waves of dancers are more tightly packed together. The spin uses up time.
At the end of this, men are facing counterclockwise on the outside of the set, women are facing clockwise on the inside of the set, left hand with partner P2.
[3] As everyone goes forward on the left diagonal, they can spin counterclockwise as in "Rory o' More" as used in "Eleanor's Reel." At the end of this, men are facing counterclockwise on the inside of the set, women are facing clockwise on the outside of the set, right hand with partner P3. Though it really doesn't matter as they're about to balance and swing.
[4] An alternate choice here is forward and back. I just went with circle left to mimic the original contra.
[5] This sets up the next A1. The direction of the woman's turning depends on your local promenade hold. If the promenade is in skater's position (both arms in front), then the woman turns 180 degrees counterclockwise. If the promenade is done with the man's right arm behind her back, then the woman turns 180 degrees clockwise.

An adaptation of "Eleanor's Reel" by Bill Olson. It didn't start that way, but when I came up with the A1 action I kept pushing in the same direction. This version doesn't have triple progression, but there's ways to sneak it in.

Grand Right and Left Mixer
by Chris Page
Circle Mixer
Quadruple Progression
A1 Forward and back
   Corner (P0) seesaw [1]
A2 Corner allemande left 1 [2]
   Grand right and left past four (P1R, P2L, P3R, P4L)
B1 New partner P5 right-hand balance 
   Same person swing
B2 Partner P5 promenade counterclockwise [3]
[1] A left shoulder do-si-do.
[2] Face away from corner, give right hand to current partner to start the grand right and left.
[3] This is where lost couples can come in, hopefully in a completely different section of the room where they may have more experienced same-sex shadows in front of them..

A forgiving way to teach grand right and left in circle mixer form. I expect someone else has already written this dance.

Ladies Chain Circle Mixer
by Chris Page
Circle Mixer
(starts in circular wave, men face out, right hand to P2, left hand to P1) [1]
A1 Balance circular wave, then face partner P2 [2]
   Partner P2 box the gnat [3]
   Partner P2 pull by right
   Partner P1 courtesy turn [4]
A2 Women individually weave clockwise in front of partner P2, then behind P3 [5]
   Forward and back
B1 P3 partner balance [6]
   P3 partner swing
B2 P3 partner promenade
   Release left hands, form circular wave keeping right hand with P3, taking left hand with P2 [7]
[1] To start the walkthrough, men turn around and take left hands with their partner to form a circular wave. They do very little with their original partner. If for some reason you wanted them to swing their original partner, then for the initial set-up:
Have everyone face their partner, pass them by, and with the next allemande right about halfway to a circular wave, men face out and women face in. But it's really not worth this headache.
[2] After the balance, women face counterclockwise, men face clockwise.
[3] After the box the gnat, women are facing clockwise, men are facing counterclockwise.
[4] Until everyone's facing the center of the circle.
[5] Women go to their right. While the men stand still, the women walk to their right in front of one (P2), then behind the next (P3), reforming the circle. Before the weave, it can be helpful to identify the two men to their right. The weave does does not involve the person they courtesy turned with.
[6] Women look left, men look right. It's the person the women weaved behind.
[7] This transition depends on the promenade hold.
If the man's right arm is behind the woman's back (varsouvienne or courtesy turn position), then use the right hand to pivot the woman around 270 degrees clockwise, while the man steps forward and to their left.
If it's in skater's position (both arms in front), the women take a step back and to their left, while men take a step forward and to their left.

A ladies chain can be thought of as two two-person figures duct-taped together: a pull by right, and a courtesy turn. And if you have the men take the role of the women for the first part, you've got something that feels a lot like a ladies chain, yet in a circle mixer format.

This dance is probably more difficult than you think. Women change directions three times in the first part of the dance: they move counterclockwise for the box the gnat, clockwise for the ladies chain, and then counterclockwise for the weaving. Men change direction only two times, as they're stationary during the weave.

After writing this mixer, I created the contra version: "Chain the Corner."

Mash-Up Mixer
a Chris Page variant of a Bob Dalsemer dance
Circle Mixer [1]
A1 Balance circular wave
   Slide right [2]
   Balance circular wave
   Slide left
A2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B1 Partner promenade
B2 Women forward and back
   Men forward, turn alone, return to circular wave (right hand to new partner)
[1] Starts in a circular wave, men face out, women face in, right hand to new partner. If you want people to interact with their original partner the first time through the dance, then have them switch places (man on the right) before the men turn around.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their current partner. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) Now they have left hands with current partner, men still facing out.

Written in a moment of desperation, when none of the circle mixers seemed to fit. Both "Love and Kisses" and "Old Bob's Mixer" were too complex for the crowd, so this is the dance I came up with during the final tune of the previous contra. (The original version had all forward and back rather than women forward and back in the B2.)

Waiting in the Swings
by Chris Page
Circle Mixer
A1 (8) Forward and back
   (4) Circle left
   (4) Men roll away partner P2 [1]
A2 (4) Circle left
   (4) Men roll away partner P3
   (8) Partner P4 swing
B1     Partner P4 promenade counterclockwise
B2     Women turn over right shoulder
       Pass partner P3 by left
       Partner P2 swing
[1] The person you swung at the end of the previous B2 is partner P1. Your corner is P2. Your next corner is P3.

This is the remnants of a four-face-four I tried writing.

Ideally the A and B musics should sound significantly different to reduce the chance of confusion between the two swings.


Scatter mixers

Basket Chase
by Chris Page
Scatter mixer
A1 Scatter promenade individually, then
   start picking up other people and scatter
   promenade as lines [1]
A2 Circle left
   Basket swing [2]
B1 Circle left
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2, face out
[1] As people start scatter promenading individually, they should pick up people and scatter promenade as small lines of about 3-6 people. Lines should close up into circles by very early in the A2.
[2] Circles come in closer, putting hands on each other's backs, and everyone does a buzz-step. At the top of the B1, the swing balloons back into a circle.

Here, not only are people scattering, but so are lines.

This dance is completely gender independent.

Star Stuff
by Chris Page
Scatter Mixer
A1 Individually scatter promenade
   Swing someone
A2 Scatter promenade as couples [1] [2]
B1 (8)  With some (1-4) other couples, men star left, while still promenading partner [3]
   (8)  Counterclockwise butterfly whirl N+1/2 times (Men backup, women forward) [4]
B2 (8)  Women star promenade right with partner
   (~7) Clockwise butterfly whirl (Women backup, men forward)
   (1)  Men go forward, women turn over right shoulder
[1] The promenade should be done in star-promenade style -- i.e., arms on each other's backs.
[2] There's a tendency for the stars to start forming early in the A2. I may rewrite the dance at some point to take account of this, or just leave things as they are. Stay tuned.
[3] Too many people in the star will make the butterfly whirls unpleasant or dangerous, so this is a good point to stress during the walkthrough. The star could just be an allemande with one other couple.
[4] The couple needs to go around halfway, or one and a half times, or two and a half. The key points are the women finish in the center, and nobody is pulled off their feet.

The next evolutionary step after "Accretion Reel."

Since writing this, I've learned of callers who finish the square "Texas Star" by turning it into a scatter mixer. Which just proves the wheel keeps getting re-invented.


Variants of existing dances

Belgian's Delight
Chris Page variant of a Philippe Callens dance
Improper
A1 Men trade places, passing right (shoulders) [1] [2]
   Women trade places, passing right [2]
   Neighbor N2 swing
A2 Men (same men as A1) trade places, passing left [3]
   Women (same women as A1) trade places, passing left [3]
   Neighbor N0 swing
B1 Men (same men as A1) allemande left 1 & 1/2 [4]
   Partner swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Balance ring
   California twirl
[1] Men need to remember the other man, as they keep coming back to each other throughout the dance.
[2] End facing direction of progression. (Ones down, twos up)
[3] End facing reverse direction of progression. (Ones up, twos down)
[4] Women can help by taking a sidestep to their right, so couples will be squared up for the B2 circle left.

This dance has some interesting end effects. If couples out at the ends trade sides immediately after the California Twirl, they face the confusion of same-sex swings. To avoid this, I warn that couples out at the ends should adapt to the needs of those dancing in the set. (The technical solution is to not cross over until the B1 partner swing.)

This is my adaptation of the ECD dance "Gentleman's Delight" by Philippe Callens. I took his A1/A2, and replaced the lead outs with swings. The rest was rewritten to add the partner swing and appropriate progression.

Structurally this dance is also very close to "Flip Flop Frenzy" by Gene Hubert.

Double Joy
Chris Page adaptation of a Erik Weberg adaptation of a Victor Skowronski dance
Becket
A1 (4) Left diagonal give and take to women's side [1]
   (4) Neighbor 1/2 clockwise pousette [2]
   (8) 1/2 hey (WL,NR,ML,PR)
A2 (2) Women pass left [3]
   (6) Neighbor gypsy
   (8) Neighbor swing
B1 (4) Give and take to women's side [4]
   (4) Partner 1/2 clockwise pousette
   (8) 1/2 hey (WL,PR,ML,NR)
B2 (2) Women pass left
   (6) Partner gypsy
   (8) Partner swing
[1] This is a blending of "slice left" and "give and take." A slice is an eight beat figure: Face the couple on the left diagonal and go forward in four beats, then push straight back for four beats.
The give and take is a four-beat figure: Two beats forward to take both hands with the person across from you; one person gently pulls while the other resists on beat three, and then yields on beat four.
Combining them in this dance yields: Face the left diagonal and go forward in two beats; take two hands with this new neighbor. On beat three women try to draw the men straight back (not on the diagonal) while he resists. On beat four he yields, and the woman draws her neighbor back to her side to start the pousette.
[2] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Women start by moving backwards.
The timing appears tight, though there's really five beats to do this, as the pousette really starts with the give and take. If it runs over, the timing damage is absorbed in the A2 by a shorter neighbor swing.
To transition into the hey, men take a step back from their neighbors and let go. Women sidestep slightly to their right to end in the center of a line of four, facing each other. Men sidestep slightly to their left to the line of four across the set, facing their partner's back. There is a video of this transition, best seen starting around 6:40.
[3] This is just a continuation of a five-pass hey.
[4] This is the one asymmetry: the give and take is done with the couple straight across, unlike in the A1. Otherwise the second half of the dance is the same as the first, with neighbor swapped for partner.

It's easy to add a neighbor swing to "Joyride" -- just make the B2 a circle left 3/4, swing neighbor; and then replace the gypsy with long lines. But it's actually possible to pack in the pousette/hey/swing transition for both neighbor and partner. The give and take gives a nice, quick entry into the pousette.

The original English Country Dance that inspired all the pousette/hey contras, "Companions," is online.

Videos: (#1) (#2)

Fourth Friday
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Balance wave of four [1]
   Slide right [2]
   Balance wave of four
   Slide left
A2 Neighbor pull by right
   Men pull by left
   Partner swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Right and left through
B2 Circle right 1 & 1/4
   Weave the line (zig right, zag left to N2 [3]
   Form a wave of four with N2 [4]
[1] Starts in a wave of four, right hand to neighbor, women have left in center.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) Now the men are in the center of the wave of four, with left hands to neighbor.
[3] Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the right past N1, then forward to the left, until standing in front of N2. (As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.)
[4] Then let go of your partner, and take a step forward and to the left to form the original wave of four with new neighbors, right hand to this neighbor.

This dance started with the transition from weave the line to wave of four. I couldn't find room to include this, two swings, and something interesting in the wave, so I dumped the neighbor swing. What was left turned out very similar to "Good Friday." There's been two other dances I know of that are takeoffs of "Good Friday" ("Apples and Chocolate" and "Moving Pieces"), so this dance is "Fourth Friday".

Gallop Speed
Chris Page variant of an unknown dance
Improper
Double progression
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Next women allemande right 1 & 1/2 [1]
   Partner swing
B1 Ladies chain [2]
   Long lines forward and back
B2 Very end couples sashay/gallop to center [3]
   Very end couples sashay/gallop back to place [4]
[1] First progression. Women look on their right diagonal. It helps if men take a step to their left.
This is the trouble spot in the dance, where it is most likely to break down, as some women will autopilot allemande with the current woman, rather than the next one, resulting in some odd couples out between the hands four. So you really want to emphasize this in the teaching and prompting.
[2] These are the same women who allemanded in the A2.
[3] The very top couple of the entire set takes two hands and sashays towards the bottom of the set, while the very bottom couple does the same towards the top. Depending on circumstances they may: never reach the middle; meet and pause; gallop past; arch and duck under; or do something completely unexpected.
[4] End couples return to place, and all face new neighbor (N3).

I don't know how original this dance is. I remember dancing the B2 in a contra back in 2002 or 2003 in Philadelphia. Since then I've been unable to uncover any hint of that dance. (Update: I'm suspicious it was "Drunk Drivers" by Greg Frock.) Eventually I gave up looking and wrote something myself, which may be identical to the original dance. Please let me know if you're familiar with the original.

This dance is purposefully double progression so that each couple only has one turn to sashay down and back. This means the dance can support longer lines, yet let everyone have a moment in the limelight.

Jersey Roundabout
Chris Page variant of a Sue Rosen dance
Improper
A1 Down the hall in a line of four (ones in center)
   Turn alone, return
A2 Circle left 1/2
   Women roll away neighbor (on side)
   Circle left 1/2
   Women roll away partner (across set)
B1 Neighbor swing
B2 Right and left through
   Ones swing, face down

An attempt to extract out the "right-hand-high-left-hand-low" bit from Sue Rosen's "Garden State of Mind." It's not as easy as it looks, and each try did more damage to the dance than it fixed. This variant, however, was worth keeping as the circle/roll-away figure has the women doing the rolling away rather than the men.

The B2 was stolen from the revised version of Dan Pearl's "Brimmer and May Reel."

Heart of Glass for Guys
Chris Page variant of a Becky Hill variant of an Amy Kahn dance
Improper
A1 (new) Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Partner star promenade
   Clockwise butterfly whirl
A2 Hey (ML,NR,WL,PR,ML,NR,WL)
B1 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing

Despite the name, this was a modification of Becky Hill's "Sweet Music for Guys" by patching in a neighbor swing. But this resulted in a number of changes from the original, and it seemed taxonomically closer to the men's version of "Heart of Glass," even if it wasn't the inspiration.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone has already written this exact sequence. All these dances are just fix-ups and tweaks off of the original "Sweet Music." Just like any other good folk process.

Not Your Average Joe
Chris Page combination of a Frieda Gratzon dance and an Elio Lewis dance
Improper
Double progression
A1 (4) Ones and woman #2 go down the hall in a line of three, with man #2 following behind, alone [1] 
   (4) Man #1: right-hand-high, left-hand-low while man two faces up. [2] Then both woman walk forward to join man #2. 
   (4) Twos and woman #1 go up the hall in a line of three, with man #1 following behind, alone
   (4) Man #2: right-hand-high, left-hand-low, then form a circle of three around man #1
A2 Those three circle right around man one [3]
   Those three circle left around man one [4]
B1 Twos swing, face next
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Ones swing
[1] Man one holds on to his partner, and steps down the hall, picking up woman #2 with his left hand. Man #2 slips in alone behind the line of three when he can.
This dance wants some room between minor sets to accommodate the A1.
[2] Right-hand-high-left-hand low is a way to invert a line of three without ever dropping hands. Man one in the middle raises his right arm to make an arch. He brings both women in front of him -- woman two in his left hand stays close to him and goes under the arch. Woman one in his right hand takes the outer counterclockwise track. The women have then exchanged places. Towards the end of this, man one turns clockwise 180 degrees under his own right arm so the line of three faces back the other way.
Loose hand contact is essential to safely completely the figure. If it hurts, let go!
[3] This is the visiting couple square dance figure "Birdie in the cage." Man one can rotate clockwise within the circle.
[4] Man one can rotate counterclockwise or show off within the circle. Or if you really wanted to get advanced, man one could jump out into the circle, and woman one could jump into the center. ("Crow fly out and birdie fly in.")
The circle finishes with the twos above the ones. Ones return to their home sides, and face new neighbors, ready to catch them for the swing.

This dance was inspired by the very unusual A1 in "The Russell (Version 2)" by Frieda Gratzon. (I can only presume she was inspired by "The Nova Scotian" by Maurice Henniger.) I took the down-the-hall variant, and tried to figure out where to go from there -- the first thing that sprung to mind was "Birdie in the Cage." That figure had already been put into a contra -- "Square Peg in a Round Hole" by Elio Lewis. I borrowed that dance's idea and swing structure, and patched in a double progression.

"Square Peg in a Round Hole" was named for Peg Hesley, and has the woman in the circle. Since the man's in the circle for this dance, it felt only right to call it "Not Your Average Joe."

As it's an unequal dance, I intentionally made it double progression. For shorter lines, you could convert it to single progression:

B1 Twos swing, face next
B2 Forward and back (facing up/down) or circle left 1
   Ones swing, continue the dance with these neighbors.
Objects in Motion
Chris Page variant of a Lisa Greenleaf dance
Improper
A1 Star right 1 [1]
   Neighbor N1 pull by right [2]
   Neighbor N2 allemande left 1
A2 Neighbor N1 balance
   Neighbor N1 swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1
[1] Wrist-grip star, to transition into the pull-by.
[2] When teaching, I mention the pull-by is on the original side of the set, with your neighbor. Women may have to turn slightly to find their neighbor, though they should already have right hands from the star.

This started out with the A1, but quickly turned into a dance very similar to "Poetry in Motion."

A Proper Whoosh
Chris Page variant of a Becky Hill dance
Proper
A1 Grand right and left: Neighbor (same-sex) N1 pull by right
   Neighbor N2 pull by left [1]
   Neighbor N3 pull by right
   Neighbor N4 allemande left 1
   Neighbor N3 pull by right
   Neighbor N2 allemande left 1/2 to long waves [2]
A2 Balance wave
   Box circulate (second corners cross) [3]
   Partner swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor N1 swing
B2 Ones half figure eight up [4]
   Neighbor (same-sex) N2 do-si-do [5]
[1] End effects: Unlike most contra dances with grand right and lefts, you do not wrap around at the ends. Instead, turn around and stay in your same-sex line. It's like doing a hey with hands on the side.
[2] Man two and woman one face in. Man one and woman two face out. You are in progressed positions, and have neighbor N1 in your right hand.
[3] Circulate: Man two and woman one cross the set. Man one and woman two turn around, or loop into their same-sex neighbor's place.
[4] Above around the twos you just danced with.
[5] This identifies the neighbor that begins the next grand right and left.

I was toying around with proper dances, and which figures felt different with same-sex neighbors. A grand right and left seemed suitable, and the framework of "Whoosh" turned out to be a near-perfect fit.

The end effects are dangerous. When your number changes, so does your direction in the wave, and the people who cross. If dancers keep acting out their original roles, things will go badly, as there's no huge recovery spot. It may be worth emphasizing.

Sanders' Swing
Chris Page variant of a Jeff Kaufman dance
Becket
1A1 Shift left
    Circle left 3/4 with next neighbors
    Neighbor swing
1A2 Ladies chain
    Star left
1B1 Star right
    Swinging star [1]
1B2 Women swing, men drop out on original side [2]
    Partner swing
2A1 Shift left [3]
    Circle left 3/4 with next neighbors
    Neighbor swing
2A2 Ladies chain
    Star left
2B1 Star right
    Swinging star 
2B2 Men swing, women drop out on original side
    Partner swing
[1] At this point, dancers keep the right-hand wrist-grip star, and form a left hands-across star above that. Clockwise motion of the star continues with a buzz-step swing to the speed of the slowest dancer.
[2] Men drop out on their original side. Women maintain their left-hand connection, and join right hands for a cross-armed swing. Men get ready to catch their partner for a swing.
[3] The only difference between odd and even times through the dance is who does the same-sex swing.

I was really impressed with a dance written by Jeff Kaufman, "Good Morning Mr. Sanders," but kept tweaking and poking at it. The most significant change was making the same-gender swings alternate, but there are a few other bits and pieces.

This is a fairly non-threatening same-gender swing for the men, as the choreography forces it to be a cross-armed swing at arm's length.

Video: (#1)

Separation Anxiety
Chris Page variant of an unknown dance
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Left diagonal ladies chain to neighbor N2 [1]
A2 Hey (WR,SL,MR,N2L,WR,SL,MR) [2]
B1 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Pass through
   Partner swing
[1] Men should wait for the women to come to them, so that they'll be properly aligned for the next figure, across from their shadow.
[2] "S" is for shadow. You also circle with your shadow in the B2, and pass by them in the pass through.

This is my simplification of "Snowbound," but it can also be thought of as the twin dance to "Chrysalis" by Don Flaherty.

Swinging Jenny
Chris Page variant of a probably Ralph Page dance [1]
Improper
Double progression
A1 Ones swing, face down (16) [2]
A2 Neighbor swing (8)
   Ones swing, face down (8)
B1 With next neighbors, down the hall in a line of four
   Turn alone, return [3]
B2 Right and left through
   Right and left through
[1] Or possibly Sammy Spring. Certainty is lost in the mists of folk process.
[2] An alternate here would be long lines, ones swing.
[3] A hand cast gives this more of a chestnutty feeling, but a bend the line can also work.

"Swing Your Jenny" is an old enough dance that it's been folk-processed into a toolkit of various dance options, rather than just one particular form. It can be proper or improper. If improper, the B2 can be a ladies chain over and back. And the timing on the A's can be fudged.

My modification is making it double progression, giving a higher turnover between the roles of ones and twos. Since the cool part of the ride is reserved for the ones, this not only gives everyone a fighting chance for activity in lengthy lines, but also hastens your rest period. I've also done a "Haymaker's Jig" tweak by mutating the B1 into a down the hall in a line of four.

Take Some of the Credit
Chris Page variant of a Larry Edelman and Nancy Donahue dance
Improper
A1 Long lines forward and back [1]
   Circle left 3/4 to wave of four [2]
A2 Balance wave of four
   1/2 hey (PR,WL,NR,ML) [3]
   Balance wave of four [2]
B1 1/2 hey (PR,WL,NR,ML)
   Partner swing
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
[1] At this point, you may need to remind the dancers that they're progressed, and that they need to identify a new couple to circle with.
[2] The wave has men in the center holding left hands, and right hands with partner.
[3] The half hey starts by pulling past partner with the right hand. When men meet, they can join left hands as they pass to enter the wave.

A variant of "Take All of the Credit and None of the Blame" by Larry Edelman and Nancy Donahue. I was unhappy with the A1, which had a wave of four and then a quarter hey, potentially being confused with the full half heys in the main figure. And I patched in a neighbor swing.

Taking Turns
a Chris Page variant of a Margot Gunzenhauser dance
Becket
A1 Shift left
   Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back [1]
   Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
B1 Hands-across star left 1 [2]
   Women allemande left 1 & 1/2
B2 1/4 hey (NR,ML) [3]
   Partner swing
[1] At this point, I point out the other side to the men, since eventually they'll have to drop out of the star on that side.
[2] Women join behind their neighbors. Men let their partner in front of them.
[3] Or could just be taught as two passes (neighbor pass right, men pass left). But secretly it's a quarter hey.

Inspired by Margot Gunzenhauser's dance "California Carousel," though her allemandes were only once around in eight beats. This motif also appears in "The Birth and Death of a Star" by Adam Carlson, and more compressed in "Windup Star" by Bob Isaacs. All those stars are to the right, though.

Vous-Rendez
Chris Page variant of a Dan Pearl dance
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
A2 Ladies chain
   Circle right 1
B1 Shift right [1]
   Circle right 3/4 with N2 [2] 
   Men seesaw 1 & 1/2 [3]
B2 Partner balance [4]
   Partner swing
[1] With women leading their partner. Women have to lead a lot in this dance -- the entry into the circle right, the shift right, and they can even assist their partner into the seesaw.
[2] Until women are back on their original side. All are across from their partner.
[3] Seesaw is just a left-shoulder do-si-do.
[4] Or gypsy and swing.

A mirroring of the key circle/shift/circle figure from "The Rendezvous." The seesaw is meant to mirror the women's do-si-do, though you could just as well do a men's allemande left 1 & 1/2.

As indicated above, this is a good dance to encourage women to practice leading entries into figures.


Contras

Alexander's Swing-time
by Chris Page
Improper [1]
A1 Balance long waves
   Slide right [2]
   Neighbor N1 allemande left 1 & 1/2
A2 Neighbor N0 swing
   Neighbor N1 swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1 to long waves [3]
[1] Starts in long waves, men face out, women face in, right hand to current neighbor. At the start of the walkthrough I like to mention that your current neighbor is in your right hand, your previous neighbor is in your left hand, and both are important.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose.
They then catch left hands with N1. If they look past N1, at that moment they can see N0.
[3] Wrist-grip star recommended. To transition into long waves, keep left hand with this neighbor, take right hand with the next.

Written for Marilyn Alexander of the Los Angeles area from a raffle at the 2012 Santa Barbara Harvest Moon dance. She really liked the swing-swing transition from "Back From Vermont" by David Zinkin. This was my attempt to put the same move in a different context. You can also think of this as a hybrid of Bob Isaac's "United We Dance" and John Greene's "Jet Lag Rag."

The allemande and second swing will need to be prompted the longest. If the music supports 8-beat phrasing for the swings, then it may also make some dancers want to do the other half of the Rory o' More spins. I might switch this to Becket starting with the B2 if this becomes enough of a problem.

Some will be bothered the end effect of suddenly doing everything on the other side, messing with the muscle memory. Ones first look down to Rory spin, then up to allemande, up to swing N0, and down to swing N1. Lots of reverses of direction. If by habit they look in the same directions when they become a two, they create choppy waters. The worst point I've noticed is looking for N0.

And Another Thing
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   1/2 hey (NR,WL,PR,ML)
A2 Neighbor gypsy and swing
B1 Right diagonal ladies chain to shadow [1]
   Circle right 1 [2]
B2 Neighbor N2 1/2 clockwise pousette around partner [3]
   Partner swing [4]
[1] The progression secretly happens here.
[2] With shadow and new neighbor.
[3] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards. Takes about 4-6 beats.
[4] The swing entry is similar to the ricochet hey/swing transition. As the half pousette is almost done, men let go of right hand; women let go of left hand. Women raise their left arm, and step straight backwards as men catch their back with their right arm, going directly into the swing. (By this point you drop the other hand with your partner.)

A partner-swing version of "A Sure Thing" that I tested back on June 1, 2012, in San Diego. That night people had enough trouble with staying in the correct hands four after the chain that I dumped the dance, and wrote the simpler, if sloppier-timed "Trust." This dance got buried as a footnote in my dance programs.

Until Frannie Marr brought up the A2/B1 timing issues on "Trust." I mentioned this dance, and she decided to try it a few times. Thanks to her, it's gotten enough positive feedback to be brought back from the dead.

Video: (1)

Apogee

Moved to primary page.

Binary System
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Left diagonal ladies chain to shadow
B1 Hands-across star left 1
   Women allemande left 1 & 1/2 while men orbit clockwise 1/2 [1] [2] [3]
B2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
[1] Your partner is not in your minor set.
[2] To start orbiting, men push off with their left hand and loop/cast over their right shoulder, to go clockwise around the women.
[3] In tight quarters, it helps if men from other sets intersect by passing each other by right shoulders.

There is an alternate version where women orbit around the men, becoming a counterclockwise Becket dance. In the A2, the women would chain on the right diagonal. In the B1, men allemande left 1 & 5/8 while the women orbit clockwise slightly more than 1/2.

This could also be a blues-length contra by removing the long lines and partner gypsy.

This dance was inspired by my misinterpretation of "Planetary Convergences" by John Nance.

Blind Catch
by Chris Page
Improperish [1]
A1 Balance wave of four (left,right) 
   Slide left [2]
   Neighbor allemande right 1 & 3/4
A2 Balance long wave (right, left)
   Slide right [3]
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Partner promenade
   Circle right 3/4 to wave of four (men in middle, left hand to neighbor N2)
[1] Starts in an unusual wave of four, left hand to neighbor, men have right hands in middle.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their left, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin counterclockwise if they choose, which transitions better into the allemande.
[3] This time, everyone sidesteps to their right, past this neighbor and finding the next. They can spin clockwise, which makes a better transition into the swing.

My attempt to include my two favorite transitions (allemande and swing) out of Rory slides in the same two-swing dance. Unfortunately, if they're both to be in the same half of the music, the slide left must come before the slide right, which is counterintuitive. One way to teach around this is that both balances and slides start towards the same neighbor. Or you could begin the dance with the A2, and have the balances run across the music.

The name refers to the A2 action -- the first interaction with your new neighbor is negotiating a swing while spinning.

Blueshift
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Star left 1 (wrist-grip)
A2 Partner promenade, shift right to N2 [1]
   Hands-across star left 1 with N2
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
[1] The progression happens here. Promenade across, and in the courtesy turn loop a little further counterclockwise around the major set to face N2.

Right now I'm recommending different stars to help differentiate them -- each one starts on the other side, so it has confusion potential, especially for dancers coming in from the top/bottom of the set.

Blurring the Lines
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Circle left 1
A2 Neighbor clockwise pousette 3/4 [2]
   Neighbor lead clockwise around set [3]
B1 Turn alone [4]
   Lead counterclockwise around set
   Women allemande left 1 & 1/2
B2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
[2] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. It starts with men going forward, and finishes with women back-to-back in the center. Then couples face clockwise around the major set.
[3] Similar to a promenade, but the only hand-hold is man's right hand with woman's left hand. The transition from the pousette is merely letting go of the other hand, and facing the appropriate direction.
[4] Switch handholds. (Man's left with woman's right hand.) Dancers may start the turn alone too early.

The title refers to the lines between the various transitions of the dance, but it also could be about the lines between contra and English Country Dance.

Bound States
by Chris Page
Becket
[1]
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 (New) women on right diagonal allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Shadow allemande left 1 & 7/8 to long waves [1]
B1 Balance long waves
   Slide right [2]
   Balance long waves
   Slide left
B2 Partner swing [3]
[1] At the start of the dance, your shadow is beyond your partner.
[2] Right hand to partner. Men face out, women face in.
[3] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their partner. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) Men are still facing out, women facing in, with left hands to partner.
[4] Catch right hands with your partner and pull into a swing. Or insert a balance here.
The swing finishes facing new neighbors. Women should recognize the other woman across from them.

A basic partner "Rory o' More" on the sides dance. The name's a bad one, but it's too late now. The idea was from atomic theory, and vibrating around the other person, and, well, the only thing I can console myself with is that dances with far worse names have been written.

While I think I like the slide to swing transition without a balance, feel free to try B2 with a regular balance and swing.

This dance is structurally very similar to "Dancing With Amy" by Bill Olson.

Butterflies in the Barn
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 (new) Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner star promenade
   Counterclockwise butterfly whirl
A2 Women gypsy right 1
   Partner swing
B1 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor star promenade
   Clockwise butterfly whirl
B2 1/2 hey (ML, PR, WL)
   Neighbor swing

A weaker version of "A Bevy of Butterflies" suitable for a medley.

Carol's Reel
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor allemande left some amount (8)
   Neighbor allemande right some other amount (8) [1]
A2 1/2 hey (?L in center, ?R on sides, ?L in center)
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Gents chain [2]
   Star right 1
[1] The rotational speed of allemanding is up to the individual dancers. Depending on how the allemandes are negotiated, either the man or the woman could start the hey.
[2] Men pull by left, give right to neighbor. Women reach behind with left hand, and scoop up the men in a clockwise courtesy turn, men going forward and women going backwards.

This was a rewrite of the idea behind Dan Pearl's "Hey for Who?" In that dance, there was only a single allemande for eight beats, which made it hard to vary the entry. This dance provides more opportunities to change the hey entry, at the cost of half the hey. (There are versions of this dance that have a full hey, but either they lack any neighbor interaction, or have a bad transition for woman one.)

It's named for Carol, a dancer who made a memorable impression on San Diego before she left for the wintry hinterlands of Michigan.

Catch of the Day
by Chris Page
Indecent [1]
A1 Weave the line: Zag right past N1, zig left to N2 [2]
   Neighbor N2 swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   1/2 hey (PR,WL,N2R,ML)
B1 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing [3]
B2 Ladies chain
   Circle right 1 [4]
[1] Indecent formation has the woman on the left, man on the right.
[2] This is the progression.
Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the right past N1, then forward and to the left, reaching N2.
As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.
[3] Or balance and swing. Do what the music says.
[4] At the end of the circle, let go of your neighbor. Face your neighbor while keeping hands with your partner.

This is my experimentation with the weave the line/swing transition. It needs to be indecent due to hand issues -- those that need to connect first are the support hands on the back. (Men's left, women's right.)

Christmas Stars
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Ones star left 1 with woman two (M1 behind partner) [1] [2]
   Ones star right 3/4 with man two (W1 behind partner)
   Man one cross set to original place
A2 Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Long lines forward and back
[1] Here's what happens for the walkthrough. Woman one steps into the middle of the set, and shifts down until directly between the twos, facing down. Man one stands directly behind her. They stick out their left hand, and star left with woman two, returning to the center. They then stick out their right hand, and star right with man two, almost finishing the star. Once man one's facing across, man one ejects from the star and returns to his original side of the set.
It's a little fuzzier when smoothed out for the actual dance. Woman one can start a gypsy/allemande left 1/4 with woman two, and man one gets directly behind his partner to make it a star.
This is an unequal dance, so twos that later become ones may get confused.
[2] Update: It actually doesn't matter who enters the star first. If women enter it first, then the second star just goes around a bit more. Man one still crosses the set out of the second star, as soon as they're facing across. The A2 gypsy keeps the timing a bit flexible.
Second update: I've tested this, and it works better if woman one is in the lead, and man one follows his partner in both stars..

Written for a stars program, where I realized I didn't have stars of three. I took the vague idea of circles of three from "Christmas Hornpipe" (a.k.a. "Vinton's Hornpipe"), and tweaked from there. (See "Swing the Next" for detailed instructions on those.)

The Contra Matrix Resolution
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Hands-across star left 1 [1]
   Women allemande left 1 & 1/2
A2 Partner gypsy [2]
   Partner swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
B2 Hey (ML,PR,WL,NR,ML,PR,WL,NR)
[1] Women enter the star in front of their partner.
[2] Or balance and swing.

Inverting the key transition of "Washington Hey." There's a story behind the name, which I hope to tell in a few months.

Diagonella
by Chris Page
Diagonal/cross formation [1]
A1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn
A2 Balance ring
   Neighbor swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Long lines forward and back while man one rolls away neighbor N2 [1]
[1] A very unusual formation, known as either "diagonal" or "cross."
Begin with improper, then have man one roll away woman two. Men are now below the women, and all are diagonal from their partner in their group of four.
Re-entry at the top or bottom of the set is the standard improper progression.
[2] After the ladies chain, you're done with your current neighbors.
Only man one does the roll away.

A novelty dance, where you can look directly at your partner during the petronella ring balances.

Do-Si-Did
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 As couples, neighbor N1 do-si-do, turn alone [1]
   As couples, neighbor N0 seesaw, turn alone [2]
A2 Neighbor N1 do-si-do
   Neighbor N1 swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Balance ring
   Partner California twirl
[1] I recommend a single-hand handhold with your partner -- man's right and woman's left; then men's left and woman's right for the seesaw. It makes the turn alone transitions much easier. The alternate is a two-handed varsouvienne promenade position. (Women's right hand by her right shoulder, man's right hand behind her back. Left hands to left at shoulder height. When they turn alone, women's left hand will be by her left shoulder, man's left hand behind her back.)
The turn alone happens while the do-si-do is moving -- it's a 180 degree pivot to face the other couple.
[2] A seesaw is a left-shoulder do-si-do. In this case, a do-si-do for couples.

The name's one of my favorite malaprops for do-si-do. ("Swing the one you do-si-did.")

It's quite possible to modify this to include six do-si-dos. (B1: Men do-si-do 1 & 1/2, partner swing. B2: Mad robin, men seesaw 1 & 1/2.) It's also quite possible for the crowd to spontaneously surge to the front of the hall, and bounce the caller right out the front door.

Do What's Right
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Shift right to new neighbors [1]
   Circle right 3/4 [2]
   Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 [3]
A2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   1/2 hey with ricochet (WR,PL,M ricochet) [4] 
[1] With women in the lead.
[2] Until women are on their original side.
Women can use the connection of the circle to assist their partner into the allemande.
[3] Technically it's more of 1 & 1/4. Target is your partner.
[4] Men ricochet: Men, when they reach the center, extend both hands to each other and push off each other, going backwards and to their left. (Instead of crossing the set, they stay on their original side.) What they're doing is walking a small counter-clockwise circle on their side, while always facing the same direction. After looping around, women assist their partners by catching their free hand, and leading them into a shift right.

Written for Kelsey Hartmann, a dancer, caller, and friend from the greater San Francisco area.

There's also a twin version of this that has a shift left out of the ricochet. I hope to name it and put it on the website soonish.

Video: (#1)

Ebb and Flow
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 (6)  Weave the line: Zag right past N1, zig left until N2 women are right shoulder to right shoulder [1]
   (4)  Women right in the middle: Partner star promenade [2]
   (6)  Clockwise butterfly whirl [3]
A2 (8)  1/2 hey (ML,N2R,WL)
   (8)  Partner swing
B1 (6)  Circle left 3/4
   (10) Neighbor N2 swing
B2 (4)  Long lines forward
   (4)  Long lines back while men roll away neighbor N2
   (8)  Circle right 1
[1] This is the progression.
Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the right past N1, then forward and to the left, reaching N2, and then continuing to the left until in a two-faced line with N2, women right shoulder to right shoulder in the middle.
As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.
[2] At some point during the weave or star promenade, there needs to be a hand change, so that an arm is behind your partner's back, in star promenade hold. At the start of this figure, women also take right hands.
[3] Women back up, men go forward.
The timing on this is a little soft. For more experienced crowds, you could try to get them to go wide on the weave the line, have the butterfly whirl go around twice, or just let the dancers cope with a longer partner swing.

The weave the line/star promenade transition was inspired by "To Doris" by Birgit Rasmussen.

The Fifth Piece
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain [1]
A2 Square through (PR,NL,PR,NL) [2]
   Neighbor N2 allemande right 1 [3]
B1 Half hey (WL,PR,ML)
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
[1] I'm still wavering on the order of the two figures in the A1. This sequence is the standard one for things like "Friday Night Fever" and "Square Affair," but those start with balances. I may swap the order in the future, or you could try them the other way.
[2] No balances. Will take about ten beats.
[3] The progression happens here. The hey is done with N2.

Written after thinking about no-balance square throughs. Four beats per pass is far too slow, two beats per pass is a nightmare race. Three in eight beats works out very nicely (see "Jim's Whim") -- but what about adding a six-beat figure to about ten beats for a square through four hands?

This dance, "Squared Up," and "Squared Off" are the results.

The First Straw
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Women pass left
   Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
A2 Men pass left
   Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Right and left through (Pass through across, California twirl)
B2 Circle left
   Star left

Spurred by thinking about doing quarter-heys as swing entries.

Thank you to Martha Wild for noting that a gypsy in the A1 would help get the men in the right place, squared off from the other couple.

The Flying Trapeze
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Partner pousette clockwise 1/2 [1]
   Women roll away neighbor [2]
   1/2 hey (WL,PR,ML)
A2 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Circle right 1
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards. Takes about 4-6 beats.
[2] While still facing partner, take nearest hand with neighbor. Women roll their neighbor in front of them, and then are launched into the hey.

Fool Around For Lori
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
A2 1/2 hey with ricochet (ML,PR,W ricochet) [1]
   Circle left 7/8 [2]
B1 Women swing
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR)
[1] Women ricochet/push-back: Women, when they reach the center, extend both hands to each other and push off each other, going backwards and to their right. (Instead of crossing the set, they stay on their original side.) What they're doing is walking a small clockwise circle on their side, while always facing the same direction. After looping around, men assist their partners into the circle.
[2] Rather than mention the fraction .875 in public, have men note which side they're on now. Then have them circle almost once around until men are back to their original side, and women are in the middle forming a diamond.
Men can then gently assist the women into a swing.

A dance written for a very special friend, Lori Weiss. Gypsies and ricochets are some of her favorite moves. There was also a period of time when she had wrist pains from allemandes, so she'd often convert the women's allemande right into a swing, whereupon I'd then catch the person coming out of it for a swing on the side. The circle/swing transition is stolen from Gene Hubert's "The Diagonal Dilemma."

The name was chosen by her -- in that there's times where she likes to swap gender roles mid-dance.

Music that has clear 8-beat phrasing in the B1/B2 helps.

Fountains
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Pass through to a wave of four [1]
   Neighbor allemande right 1/2
   Women allemande left 1/2
   Partner swing [2]
A2 Pass through to a wave of four [3]
   Partner allemande right 1/2
   Men allemande left 1/2
   Neighbor swing
B1 Right and left through
   Star left 1
B2 Neighbor N2 do-si-do
   Circle left 1 [4]
[1] Pass through to a wave: pass your partner by the right shoulder. As men pass each other in the center, they take left hands, and then take right hands with their neighbor. Everyone has travelled to the other side, and is now in a wave of four, with the men in the center.
Pass through to a wave typically starts with the man on the left and the woman on the right -- the configuration in this dance will throw people just like a circle right would. Also, there is no balance so the wave is ephemeral. As soon as you take right hands with neighbor, men let go of left hands and the allemande right begins.
[2] It's quite possible to get a 9-beat swing. It's also quite possible to get a 3-beat swing.
[3] This is the standard pass through to a wave -- pass your neighbor by the right shoulder, women take left hands as they pass each other, and then right hands with their partner on the other side of the set. There is no balance, so the wave doesn't exist for any length of time. Women use left hands to change their orientation into that of a wave, and let go as soon as they have right hands with their partner, going directly into the allemande right.
[4] The circle with N2 needs to go all the way around. Once you're across from your partner, you can use the connection of the circle to tug each other across the set, into the pass through to a wave.

Four's a Crowd
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Ones partner balance (man's left hand, woman's right)
   Ones twirl to swap [1]
A2 Ones with woman two circle left 3/4 [2]
   Ones arch, pop woman two under to her partner [3]
   Partner swing
B1 Ladies chain
   Star left [4]
B2 Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
[1] This is the mirror image of a star through.
Ones raise their already joined hands. Woman one walks clockwise 180 degrees under the arch while crossing the set. Meanwhile man one crosses the set tracing a counterclockwise arc. It finishes with ones facing down, woman one on the left.
[2] Woman one leads her partner into the circle left. The circle continues until woman two is on the outside of the set, facing her partner, with the ones in her way.
[3] Ones make an arch and gently propel woman two under the arch and across the set, where her partner catches her for a swing. Ones then also swing their partner.
[4] Women cast/loop/turn over their right shoulder out of the star, and face the same neighbor.

Written after watching a video of "Three's Crowd" by Lisa Greenleaf. That dance (a variant of "Three's Company" by Paul Balliet) had a lot of very tall men trying to duck under the arch. Which got me thinking -- why not have the women go under? I kept changing and modifying the dance until I arrived at something very different from the original.

This dance is tweakable. Remove the long lines for a longer partner swing. Or for a double progression variant, make the B2 swing with new neighbors.

The unusual A1 (rather than long lines, ones swing) was done to improve the circle left/swing transition for the ones in the A2. The B1 was chosen to give some counterclockwise motion.


The Full Wind-up
by Chris Page
Becket
Double progression
A1 Left diagonal right and left through [1]
   Circle left 3/4 with N3
A2 Partner clockwise draw pousette 3/4 [2]
   Partner two-hand turn 2 [3]
B1 Hey (ML,N3R,WL,PR,ML,N3R,WL)
B2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
[1] Replace the courtesy turn with a California twirl for better flow into the circle left.
[2] Draw pousette is an English Country Dance figure described in "Wind-up Your Neighbor." The difference here is that the men back up as the women go forward. It all flows out of the circle left.
[3] Revised 1/2012 from 1 & 1/2, to better fit the timing. But it doesn't actually matter how many times around this goes. Just use the momentum to launch someone into the center of the set, passing left shoulders in the center.

This is perhaps the most pure version of the three Wind-up dances I came up with. It's unfortunately only done with your partner, so if neither you nor your partner can figure things out, you're in deep trouble. "Wind-up Your Neighbor" lets the main figure be taught through your neighbor.

Go With the Flow
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
A2 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B1 Balance ring
   Women roll away neighbor [2]
   Balance ring
   Women roll away partner [3]
B2 Gypsy star clockwise 3/4 (MR,WL) [4]
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
[2] On the side of the set. Note the men are rolling in front of the women.
[3] Or at least most of a rollaway. Men do a little bit less, and stop when they're facing across. Women do a little bit more, and after sidesteping, turn to face their partner across.
[4] Men take right hands. Women take left hands above that. Keep free hand with partner. The whole thing rotates clockwise.
Typo fixed 5/24/2016: Gypsy star only goes 3/4 around.

The name comes from the fact that men weren't going willing in the roll aways, but instead making women do all the work. So it turned into a teaching point.

There's also a twin dance:

Improper
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 [1]
A2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B1 Balance ring
   Women roll away partner [2]
   Balance ring
   Women roll away neighbor
B2 Gypsy star clockwise 3/4 (MR,WL) [3]
   Neighbor swing

[1] New men, on the left diagonal.
[2] On the side of the set. Note the men are rolling in front of the women.
[3] Men take right hands. Women take left hands above that. Keep free hand with neighbor. The whole thing rotates clockwise.

A Grand Day Out
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back [1]
   Star right 1/2 [2]
   Neighbor N2 courtesy turn
B1 Ladies chain (to partner)
   1/2 hey (WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] At this point in the walkthrough, I have them look at their current neighbor, then beyond them for their next neighbor. I tell them they'll soon meet each other on the other side.
[2] The star is done with original neighbors. The intent was to make this feel like a ladies grand chain.

First inspired by a contra with the typo "ladies gr. ch. (over and back)". It obviously was a standard chain over and back, but I got to thinking, and wound up with something similar to "Chain the Corner."

Half the Fun
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1
B1 Promenade [1]
   Shift right [2]
   1/2 hey (WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] The transition from star to promenade (especially how far to go around) is a little tricky during the first walkthrough. I'd recommend having people finish the star by retiring to face across in long ines. From there, promenade.
In the actual dance, it flows out of the star left. Recommended promenade hold is New England style, with man's right hand behind the women's back, rather than skater's hold, with both handholds in front.
[2] The progression happens here. Promenade across, and in the courtesy turn loop a little further counterclockwise around the major set to face N2.

Stealing the star/promenade transition from "Spring Fever" by Tony Parkes.

This is a very partner-focused dance.

Here and There
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Down the hall in a line of four, face across
   Ladies chain
B1 Women allemande right 1 [1]
   Partner swing
B2 Up the hall in a line of four, face across
   Circle left 3/4
   Pass through to next
[1] Typo fixed on 1/28/2009. Original erronious transcription had the allemande going once and a half.

The first dance I ever wrote on request. One of our local callers, JoAnn Koppany, was planning on calling an all-California-callers program of dance for her Shepherdstown, WV gig. And she was looking to fill a second-slot hole that included a down-the-hall, didn't start with a neighbor balance or do-si-do, was improper, symmetric, didn't have a circle left, couldn't have a full ladies chain, included a neighbor and partner swing, was simple, and also original from all other dances. After two bad attempts, I wrote the above, except starting with a neighbor gypsy, and ending with a partner promenade three-quarters around, facing the next. (That version is called "Shepherdstown Special.") But I think the above version is cleaner.

This dance requires more room below than a standard down-the-hall dance, because after going down the hall you need room to do contra figures. You can't just have the lines pile up in a sandwich against the back wall.

Video: (1)

Hey Rollers
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Women roll away neighbor [1]
   3/4 hey (WL,PR,ML,NR,WL)
B1 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing [2]
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Star left 1 [3]
[1] End the swing as normal, facing across and catching the man's right hand in the woman's left. Instead of stopping, use that connection and momentum to enter the roll away. Men may need to assist, especially if they're 200 lbs heavier yet don't give weight.
This is a move that could benefit from a demo.
[2] On the woman's original side.
[3] A hands-across star. Women join in behind their partners.

A second-generation dance rewrite experimenting with the swing to roll-away transition that I first encountered in Susan Sterne's "After Dinner Roll." One curious thing about this transition is it effectively ends the swing with the man on the right.

The Hidden Draw
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Partner clockwise pousette 1/2 around N1 [1]
   Partner counterclockwise pousette 1 around N2
A2 Gypsy star (with N1) clockwise 3/4 [2]
   Partner swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Right and left through
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards.
[2] Men take right hands. Women take left hands above that. Keep the other hand joined with your partner. The whole thing rotates clockwise, women backing up.

More experimenting with pousette timing, entries, and exits. See "The Secret Draw" for the neighbor version of this.

The title refers to the gypsy star, which is a draw pousette in disguise.

"It's All About Me!"
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1      Circle left 3/4
        Pass through
        Neigbor N0 allemande left 1
A2      Neighbor N1 gypsy
        Neighbor N1 swing
B1 (2)  Give and take to the men's side [1]
   (4)  Weave the line (right, left to N2) [2]
   (10) 3/4 hey with N2 (ML,PR,WL,N2R,ML) [3]
B2      Partner gypsy
        Partner swing
[1] Take two steps forward to your partner, and with free hand, men bring back your partner. (Men's left hand, women's right hand are joined.) At the same time, face the direction of your current neighbor up/down, which is your direction of progression, and begin the weave the line.
[2] Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the right past N1, then forward to the left, until standing in front of N2. (As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.)
Note in this figure the men are on the right, women on the left. Make sure the dancers don't try and fix this. The progression is indecent.
[3] The transition from the weave the line to hey is similiar to the pousette/hey transition from "Joyride." While facing your new neighbors, separate from your partner, women sidestepping a little more to their left. Men meet in the center, and curve around each other.

Written for Diane Duffy, of Arizona, the winner of a contra dance auction at the 2016 May Madness dance weekend.

Jess's Reel
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Circle left 1
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Ones gypsy right 1, woman one faces out [1]
B1 Ones: Lady around two and the gent cuts through [2]
   Ones: Gent around two and the lady cuts through
B2 Ones balance
   Ones swing, face next neighbors
[1] Actually, with experienced dancers, either one can lead the chase. Just as long as both don't turn away, or neither turn away.
[2] As in "New Friendship Reel" by Ted Sannella, woman #1 goes outside, faces up, goes past man #2, faces across the set, goes across the set to the outside, faces down, and goes past woman #2 into her partner's starting place. Meanwhile man #1 crosses the set (chasing his partner), goes outside the set, faces up, goes past man #2, and stops chasing his partner by going down the middle of the set between the #2s into his partner's starting place.
The second part of the chase figure is the same, except the roles for the ones (man/woman) are reversed. When teaching this, I typically demonstrate and mention the essential points are:
  1. It's a chase figure, so act it out.
  2. However you wind up doing it, end where you started.
  3. But please do not run down the poor twos in the process.

Typically I alternate this between the ones and the twos, like Jim Kitch's "Alternating Corners."

This was written after watching dancers really enjoy a more complicated dance with the chase figure. So I looked for the simplest expression I could of the figure. It's similar to Melanie Axel-Lute's "Thieves Without Honor" by virtue of convergent evolution.

Named for a cousin who's done some contra dancing in her past.

Kindred Spirits
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Shift left to new neighbors
   Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor do-si-do 1 & 1/4 to wave of four
A2 Balance wave of four
   Slide right [1]
   Neighbor pull by left
   Ladies chain
B1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Neighbor swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Partner swing
[1] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose. It ends facing that same neighbor, holding left hands, men roughly back-to-back in the middle.

Originally inspired by thinking about the MWSD figure "chain down the line," which doesn't fit into eight beats. When thinking about what could bring the piece count up to eight, I came up with the A2 fragment.

It turns out the A2 isn't original -- it appears in "Hamner Springs" by Bob Isaacs, which is fairly similar to my non-neighbor swing variant below.

The timing on the A2 is fuzzy. It's probably something like three for the Rory spin, two for the pull by, and seven for the chain.

There's a nice variant of this without a neighbor swing:

A1 & A2 as above
B1 Hey (WR,N2L,MR,PL,WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance and swing

Kitty-Corner
by Chris Page
Becket
Double progression
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner allemande right 1 & 1/2 to wave of four
B1 Balance wave of four 
   Box circulate on diagonal (Women loop right to partner's
       place. Men go forward on right diagonal to other side
       of next wave to opposite sex neighbor N2's place) [1]
   Balance wave of four
   Box circulate on diagonal (Men loop right, while women
       go forward on right diagonal to partner's place) [2]
B2 Balance wave of four [3]
   Partner swing
[1] Circulate: Men will pass left shoulders with another man as they walk forward on the right diagonal to a new wave, taking left hands with the second man, and right with N2.
End effects for the men: If there's a couple out at the end, switch with them. If there is no couple out at the end, just stay with your partner. More precisely, loop right into your partner's place instead of going forward on the right diagonal.
[2] Circulate: Women will pass left shoulders with another women as they walk forward on the right diagonal to a new wave, taking left hands with the second woman, and right with partner.
End effects for the women: Go find your partner. If there's a couple out at the end, switch with them. If there is no couple out at the end, just stay with your partner. More precisely, loop right into your partner's place instead of going forward on the right diagonal.
[3] Forming the wave helps establish the double progression, and make sure everyone's offset correctly after the partner swing.

My "simplification" of "24/7."

There's a more complex untested single progression version, where the only differences is you shift left before circling:

Net single progression [4]
A1 Shift left
   Circle left 3/4 with N0
   Neighbor N0 swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner allemande right 1 & 1/2 to wave of four
B1 Balance wave of four
   Box circulate on diagonal (Women loop right to partner's
       place. Men go forward on right diagonal to other side 
       of next wave to opposite sex neighbor N1's place)
   Balance wave of four
   Box circulate on diagonal (Men loop right, while women
       go forward on right diagonal to partner's place)
B2 Balance wave of four (with N2)
   Partner swing
[4] Dancers double progress forwards, then later single progress backwards. This creates multiple times out at the ends, and an interweaving of meeting neighbors.

This complicates the end effects by kicking out couples multiple times, with the double forward/single back progression. Use with caution.

Laddie's Chain
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left while men roll away partner [1]
   Men do a ladies chain to neighbor
A2 Hey (MR,PL,WR,NL,MR,PL,WR)
B1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B2 Give and take to women's side (original side) [2]
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
As they go back, men roll their partner in front of them.
[2] The give and take is a four-beat figure: Two beats forward to take both hands with the person across from you; one person gently pulls while the other resists on beat three, and then yields on beat four.

Nowadays with role-switching, having men do the ladies chain is rather passe. But this is my attempt to make the move as forgiving as possible, as well as putting the courtesy turn with your neighbor. It wound up being very close to "Slice of Life" by Bob Isaacs.

There is also an untested twin dance:

A1 Slice left while women roll away partner
   Women do a gents chain to neighbor
A2 Hey (WL,PR,ML,NR,WL,PR,ML)
B1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B2 Give and take to men's side (original side)
   Partner swing

This one will be significantly more unusual, as gents chains are rarely done. You probably want to teach it carefully. (Personally, I like the Lisa Greenleaf teach of doing an allemande right with that person, and then turning it into the men's courtesy turn on the fly.)

Left Out
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 1/2 hey (WL,PR,ML)
   Neighbor swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B1 Ladies chain
   Star left 1 [1]
B2 Left-hand square through (partner left-hand balance, 
     partner pull by left, neighbor pull by right, repeat all that) 
[1] A wrist-grip star is ideal here. Coming out of the star you can smoothly transition into a left-handed grip with your partner across the set from you.

This dance was built around the B2 figure. I used the transition from "Rod's Grits" to force entry into the unfamiliar left-handed square through. To do something with the left-hand square through that the right-handed version couldn't do as nicely, I added the "Goosebumps" (by Bob Isaacs) B2/A1 transition.

A simpler version of this dance is:

A1 Neighbor balance and swing
A2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
Lemniskating
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Clockwise gypsy star with N1 [1]
   Counterclockwise gypsy star with N0 [2]
A2 Neighbor N1 gypsy
   Neighbor N1 swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Balance ring
   California twirl
[1] Men take left hands. Women take right hands. Keep the other hand joined with your partner. The whole thing rotates clockwise, men backing up.
[2] With previous neighbors -- men take right hands. Women take left hands. Take free hand joined with partner. The whole thing rotates counterclockwise, men backing up.

The A1 requires significant teaching.

First, the men back up in both gypsy stars. Some will go by habit, and try and force the second gypsy star the other way. I've had to re-emphasize it during the prompting.

The second issue is the hand changes between the gypsy stars. The pair of hands in the center of the old gypsy star becomes the pair of hands you've got with your partner -- connect those hands, and bring them between you. The pair of hands you had with your partner becomes the pair of hands in the center of the new gypsy star.

The title is a portmanteau of lemniscate and skating.

Loops and Lines
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Down the hall in a line of four [1]
   Circle right 1 [2]
A2 Up the hall in a line of four
   Circle left 1
B1 Neighbor do-si-do
   Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Ones swing, face down
[1] Ones in the center.
[2] To start the circle, bend the line by twos taking hands with each other. To end the circle, woman one lets go of her partner, and opens up to a line facing up, with twos in the center.

Inspired by dances like "Hickman's Hey," and other more obscure ones.

Midwestern Rories
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 With partner, shift left to new neighbors
   Circle left 3/4 to wave of four [1]
   Balance wave
   Slide right [2]
A2 Balance wave
   Slide left [3]
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4 to wave of four [4]
   Balance wave
   Slide right
B2 Balance wave
   Slide left
   Partner swing
[1] Right hand to neighbor, women in the center joining left hands, ones facing down.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) Now the men are in the center of the wave of four, with left hands to neighbor.
[3] Catch right hands with your neighbor, and use that momentum to pull into a swing.
[4] Right hand to partner, women joining left hands in the center.

Currently I'm very interested in repetition. (Currently I'm very interested in repetition.) So I wanted to do the "Rory o' More" spins to swing transition for everyone, all the time. The circle to wave trick allowed a quick entry, and the structure for cramming all that in came from Orace Johnson's "Midwest Folklore."

Video: (#1)

Moments of Transition
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise [1]
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
A2 Neighbor N1 swing
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Neighbor N2 promenade, shift right to face shadow [2]
   Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
B2 Shadow swing
   Partner swing
[1] At the start, shadow is on far side of partner.
[2] Promenade across, and in the courtesy turn loop a little further counterclockwise around the major set to face shadow.

This is all about the swing/swing transition. I recommend having music that supports clear 8-beat phrasing.

While there's plenty of end effects, they're all fairly standard and expected.

If four swings aren't enough for you, convert the allemandes into same-sex swings. If six isn't enough swing, try Lindy.

It's interesting how this dance uses almost the same pieces as "Patience."

Mostly Danced
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Grand right and left (N1R,N2L,N3R) [1]
   Neighbor N4 allemande left 1
   Neighbor N3 pull by right
   Step to a wave with N2 (N2L, WR in middle) [2]
A2 Balance wave of four, face neighbor [3]
   3/4 hey (N2L,MR,PL,WR,N2L,MR)
B1 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor N2 do-si-do [4]
[1] Pull by neighbors on the side until you reach neighbor number four. Wrap around at the ends. See "Salute to Larry Jennings" for examples.
[2] Instead of pulling by left, take left hands with this neighbor. Women take right in the middle. You're in the same wave as your partner.
[3] Ideally, balance left and right. Then face this neighbor to pull by left into the hey for four.
[4] May require do-si-do twirls. The timing is forgiving to help everyone start the A1 on time. Appropriate muscial choice may keep them from starting early.

NEWSreel
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Down the hall in a line of four [1]
   Turn as couples, return
A2 Circle left 1
   Neighbor swing
B1 Neighbor promenade counterclockwise around the set
   Turn as a couple, promenade back
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Ones swing
[1] Ones in the center.

The name (a pun I'm surprised no-one else has already used) comes from North-East-West-South, as this dance puts you through just about every non-diagonal direction.

On the Other Hand
by Chris Page
Proper [1]
A1 Balance wave of four
   Slide right [2]
   Balance wave of four
   Slide left, ends slide two places [3]
A2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
B2 Ones half figure eight up
   Next same-sex neighbor (N2) do-si-do to wave of four
[1] Actually, starts in a proper wave, right hand to your same-sex neighbor, man one and woman two have left hands in middle. Ones facing down, twos facing up. Easiest way to get here is to start proper, and then have them do-si-do to a wave.
[2] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their same-sex neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) Now woman one and man two are in the center of the wave of four, with left hands to that neighbor.
[3] Everybody slides/spin to their left, until they've reached the side of the set with their partner. Middle people (woman one and man two) slide left one place. End people (man one and woman two) slide to the left two places, crossing the set.

More experimenting with proper moves. I wound up using the same get-out from proper to partner swing as in "Double Your Fun" by Bob Isaacs. In fact, this can be considered a more limited version of that dance, but with a neighbor swing.

Out of Circulation
by Chris Page
Improper (long wave) [1]
A1 Balance long waves
   Box circulate [2]
   Balance long waves
   Box circulate [3]
A2 1/2 hey (WL,PR,ML)
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1 to long waves [4]
[1] Starts in long waves, right hand to neighbor, men face out, women face in.
[2] Circulate: Women cross the set to their partner's place, men loop right to their neighbor's place.
[3] Circulate: Men cross the set to their neighbor's place, women loop right to their partner's place.
[4] Keep left hand with this neighbor, and take right with the next to form long waves.

Passing Through
by Chris Page
Indecent [1]
A1 Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
A2 Promenade
   Pass through to a wave of four [2]
   Neighbor allemande right 1/2
   Men allemande left 1/2
B1 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
B2 Promenade
   Pass through to a wave of four
   Partner allemande right 1/2
   Men allemande left 1/2
   Walk forward to N2
[1] Indecent means the man starts out on the right, woman on the left.
[2] Face across the set, and all pass partner by the right. Women take left hands as they cross the set, then take right hands with neighbor on the far side. All are facing the opposite of their original direction.
The wave is balance-free. The allemande right starts immediately.

More experimenting with "Hay in the Barn" alternates.

Path to the Past
by Chris Page
Improperish (Progressed, in a line of four) [1]
A1 Down the hall in a line of four
   Centers (twos) turn as a couple, ends turn alone
   Up the hall in a line of four, face across
A2 Same-sex right and left through with N1 [2]
   Same-sex right and left through with N2 [3]
B1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Partner swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Neighbor N2 swing, face down
[1] To get in the starting position from an improper formation, have people swing their neighbor and face down the hall.
[2] The courtesy turn for a same-sex right and left through involves the person on the left walking backwards, and the person on the right walking forwards, just like a normal courtesy turn.
[3] With new neighbors. After having made it through the first right and left through, all the dancers will be dancing the other role of the courtesy turn.
At the ends, people should wait out proper. This may be a problem at the top -- if the top couple switches sides, they'll be faced with a reverse-role right and left through. If they survive that, everything gets cleaned up in the B1 partner swing.

This is the more elegant but complex version of "Another for the Money." It teaches dancers both positions of a same-sex right and left through while still fitting modern sensibilities. (Two swings, all-active.)

Pinball Petronellas
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 [1]
   Neighbor right-hand balance 
   Two-person petronella turn 1 & 1/2, face N2 [2]
A2 Neighbor N2 right-hand balance [3]
   Two-person petronella turn [4]
   1/2 hey (N2 pull by L,WR,PL,MR)
B1 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] At the end of this figure, men are back to back in the center facing out, women are on the outside facing in, all in a line of four. (As if about to start a hey for four.)
[2] As in the original dance "Petronella," where only two people were active. It's equivalent to an allemande left 1/4, but without hands, and you individually rotate clockwise as you do so. For a similar movement, see the A1 of "Country Doctor's Reel" by Merilee Karr in the book "Give and Take."
The difference here is you keep rotating till you face your next neighbor -- though you end up on the same spot on the floor. In that way it's similar to "Pigtown Petronella," where each petronella has you facing a different minor set. The 1 & 1/2 refers to the extra 180 degree rotation, rather than moving further around N1.
The entire figure is positionally equivalent to 'Neighbor allemande left 1/4, then turn around and look at the person behind you.'
[3] The dance could have started here as a standard improper dance. But then the petronellas would have been split between the musical phrases.
[4] At the end of this move, you face the same person (N2), and catch left hands to pull into the half hey.

I've been interested in the two-person Petronella figure as first used in modern contras in "Country Doctor's Reel." It's inspired a few others -- I'm aware of "What's Up Doc?" by Ron Buchanan, and "Fiona Storming Across Asia" by Susan Kevra. This is my contribution -- adding the "Fiddleheads" effect of petronella turns into another minor set.

Videos: (#1) (#2)

Pioneer
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Right and left through
A2 Star left 1
   Shift right to N2 [1]
   Hands-across star left 7/8 [2]
B1 Men allemande left 3/4
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] Walk forward along the side of the set to new neighbors, shifting counterclockwise around the major set. Women in the lead, men follow partner.
[2] The exact amount of the star depends on where you consider the star begins. The numbers above assume the star doesn't start until you're both directly across from the new neighbors. But a better way to teach it is to tell the women to go once around and drop out on their starting side. Men follow their partner, and go once and a half around until they're with their neighbor.

This was taking the mirror image of the star/star transition from "Star Trek" by Mike Richardson, but with left-hand stars. I knew Luke Donforth had already gone there with "Voyager," but I wanted to try something else, with a neighbor swing.

The title is a nod to "Voyager", as Pioneer 10 and 11 also left the solar system, like Voyager.

Primrose Path
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 (new) Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 [1]
   Neighbor star promenade [2]
   Counterclockwise butterfly whirl
A2 Neighbor promenade counterclockwise around the set
   Turn as couples
   Promenade back
B1 Neighbor star promenade (women in center) [3]
   Clockwise butterfly whirl 
   Neighbor swing
B2 Men cross, passing right shoulders
   Partner swing
[1] The progression happens here. Men look on the small left diagonal for the next man to allemande. Meanwhile, women must sidestep to their left to stand between the men.
[2] At some point before the B1 neighbor swing, the woman's arm should be above the man's.
[3] Women take right hands in the center. With an especially heavy guy, they may just want to promenade.

Promenade Home
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Right diagonal ladies chain to neighbor N2
   1/2 hey (WR,SL,MR)
A2 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Neighbor N2 promenade counterclockwise 3/4 around shadow, face partner [1]
   Neighbor N2 promenade clockwise 3/4 around partner [2]
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] No courtesy turn. Promenade counterclockwise around shadow, men in the middle, curving slightly at the end to face partner. Positionally, this is the equivalent of women trading places, and all facing their partner.
[2] Promenade clockwise around partner, women in the middle, end on the sidelines facing across. The entire B1 is one big promenade figure, where you trace an "S" on the floor. At the end of the B1 you are facing your partner and on the opposite side from where you started the B1.

Using the key figure from "The Weaving Sloop" as a partner reunion device.

Racquetball Reel
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Long lines forward and back 
   (new) Women allemande left 1 & 1/2 [1]
A2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B1 1/2 hey with ricochet (ML,NR,W ricochet) [2]
   Neighbor clockwise butterfly whirl 2 [3]
B2 1/2 hey (ML,NR,WL) [4]
   Neighbor swing
[1] Men take a side-step to the left to square up with new neighbors.
This is an allemande left rather than right to add a bit of counterclockwise motion.
[2] Women ricochet: Women, when they reach the center, extend both hands to each other and push off each other, going backwards and to their right. (Instead of crossing the set, they stay on their original side.) What they're doing is walking a small clockwise circle on their side, while always facing the same direction. After looping around, men assist their neighbors into a butterfly whirl.
[3] As the women push back, they should lower their left hand by their sides. Men extend their right arms behind their neighbor's back. Once it's safe, women can raise their left arm behind their neighbor's back into a typical butterfly whirl position.
[4] A regular half hey, without ricochets. Some dancers may at first try and ricochet here, in which case the women will be on the wrong side.

More experimenting with transitions out of the ricochet hey.

Reroll Reel
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Ladies chain
A2 Balance ring
   Men roll away partner (across)
   Neighbor swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B2 Balance ring
   Men roll away neighbor (across)
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.

I presume this was the dance Bob Isaacs was trying to avoid writing when he composed "Roll Away Sue." But both halves are identical except for the figure following the swing, and the only different is that you progress at the top of the music. So it still seems to work.

As a variant, you could convert both ring balances into circle left 1/2s.

And yes, this dance's name is meant to be said twenty times fast.

Return Engagement
by Chris Page
Becket
Net single progression [1]
A1 Left diagonal right and left through [2] [3]
   Circle left 3/4 with N3
   Pass through (right shoulders with N3)
A2 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Ladies chain
   1/2 hey (WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] Dancers double progress forwards, then later single progress backwards. This creates multiple times out at the ends, and an interweaving of meeting neighbors.
[2] At the start of the dance, N1 is across from you, and N2 is on the left diagonal.
[3] Replace the courtesy turn with a California twirl for better flow into the circle left.

Video: (#1)

Ricochet Twins
by Bob Isaacs and Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 1/2 hey with ricochet (ML,NR,W ricochet) [1]
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Pass through
   Neighbor N2 allemande right 1 & 1/2
B2 1/2 hey with ricochet (ML,PR,W ricochet) [1]
   Partner swing
[1] Women ricochet: Women, when they reach the center, extend both hands to each other and push off each other, going backwards and to their right. (Instead of crossing the set, they stay on their original side.) What they're doing is walking a small clockwise circle on their side, while always facing the same direction. After looping around, men assist their neighbors/partners into a swing.

A case of being in the right place at the right time. Bob Isaacs was in town for a calling tour during 2009, and the day after during lunch at the San Diego Zoo, he discussed an inelegant solution to a double-ricochet-swing dance he'd been working on. I worked backwards from an allemande right entry (since a swing entry was out of the question), and quickly stumbled upon this A2/B1 solution.

Rounding Third
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Long lines forward and back while men roll away partner [1]
   1/2 hey to long waves (MR,NL,WR,PL) [2]
A2 Balance long waves
   (Left) box circulate [3]
   Balance long waves
   (Left) box circulate [4]
B1 Balance long waves
   (Left) box circulate [3]
   Neighbor N2 swing [5]
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
[1] This roll away is here to keep the B1 progression improper rather than indecent.
[2] To long waves, men face in, women face out, left hand to partner.
[3] Circulate: Men cross the set to their neighbor's place, women loop left to their partner's place.
[4] Circulate: Women cross the set to their partner's place, men loop left to their neighbor's place.
[5] Immediately look for the next neighbor to swing.

An experiment of circulate to swing the next. The left circulates will be as confusing to experienced dancers as a circle right -- best to emphasize the loop to the left in the walkthrough and early prompting, along with who's facing in/out.

Scooped
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Shift left to new neighbors
   Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Ladies chain
   Hands-across star left 7/8 [1]
   Men allemande left 1/4 while women sidestep out of star [2]
B1 Partner star promenade
   Counterclockwise butterfly whirl
   1/2 hey (WR,NL,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] Precise fractions are for diagramming purposes only, not teaching. At this point dancers form a diamond, women on the outside, men in the middle.
[2] Women let go and sidestep away from each other enough to make room for the men. Women are facing opposite of their direction of progression.
As for the men, it's probably best not to use the word "allemande" or they'll overshoot the mark. Try something like "men keep left hands, scoop up/pick up your partner for a star promenade."

Experimenting with entries into the star promenade. I expect someone else has already tried this transition.

The Second Ring
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
Double Progression
A1 Partner promenade
   Right and left through
A2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [1]
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Left diagonal ladies chain [2]
   Ladies chain across
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [1]
   Partner swing
[1] Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 means do a "petronella turn" and then keep turning till you face a new group of four.
[2] To your shadow.

Yet another "Fiddleheads" variant. Or a simpler version of "Roadkill" gotten by relaxing the single-progression constraint.

Note the A1 could be dropped completely if you wanted a 24-bar contra to fit an unusual of music, like a blues tune.

End effects: Neutral couples should wait out with the man on the right.

To make this single progression, and a bit more confusing, replace the A1 promenade with "promenade and shift right to face N0."

The Secret Draw
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Partner promenade, shift right to N2 [1]
   Balance ring
   Men roll away neighbor N2
A2 Neighbor N2 clockwise pousette 1/2 around partner [2]
   Neighbor N2 counterclockwise pousette 1 around shadow
B1 Gypsy star (with partner) clockwise 3/4 [3]
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] The progression happens here. Promenade across, and in the courtesy turn loop a little further counterclockwise around the major set to face N2.
[2] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards.
[3] Men take right hands. Women take left hands above that. Keep the other hand with your neighbor. The whole thing rotates clockwise, women backing up.

More experimenting with pousette timing, entries, and exits. See "The Hidden Draw" for the partner version of this.

The title refers to the gypsy star, which is a draw pousette in disguise.

Seeing Eye to Eye
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Single file promenade clockwise 3/4, women turn around [1]
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR,NL)
B1 Mad robin (women in front) [2]
   Single file promenade clockwise 3/4 with N2, men turn around [3]
B2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
[1] Within your group of four. This could be a circle left 3/4 if you wished.
[2] A mad robin is a sideways do-si-do, women starting in front of their neighbor.
[3] Within your (new) group of four.

Experimenting with mad robin to circle transitions. Trouble is, somewhere along the line I lost the circle.

Slalom Slide
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 As couples, neighbor seesaw [1]
   1/2 hey (MR,PL,WR) [2]
A2 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B1 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Circle left 1 & 1/4
   Weave the line (zig left, zag right to N2) [3]
[1] A seesaw is a left-shoulder do-si-do. In this case, a do-si-do for couples.
[2] Let go of your partner and then step forward until you're in the position of a wave of four, men in the middle, left hands to neighbor. (But hands aren't actually taken.) The hey then starts by men passing right shoulders.
[3] Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the left past N1, then forward to the right, until standing in front of N2.
As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.

Yet another "Joyride" knock-off, stealing the B2 from "Rockin' Robin".

Sneaker Reel 2
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Balance long waves [1]
   Circulate (Women cross, men loop right) [2]
   Partner swing
A2 Hey (ML,NR,WL,PR,ML,NR,WL,PR)
B1 Men pass left
   Neighbor swing
B2 Right and left through
   Star left 1 to long waves [3]
[1] Starts in long waves, right hand to neighbor, men face out, women face in.
[2] Circulate: Women cross the set to their partner's place, men loop right to their neighbor's place.
[3] Wrist-grip star recommended. To transition into long waves, keep left hand with this neighbor, take right hand with the next.

A rewrite of one of my earliest dances, "Sneaker Reel." (Original is here.) This removes the double progression, so you interact with all neighbors.

Soaring

Moved to primary page.

Spinout
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B1 Ladies chain
   Women allemande right 1 & 1/2 to wave of four [1]
B2 Balance wave
   Women slide right while men cast over right shoulder [2]
   Hands-across star left 1
[1] Left hand to partner.
[2] Here's where all the action takes place. The goal is a left-hand star, where everyone is progressed. To get there:

Splitting Hairs
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor do-si-do
   Neighbor swing
A2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1
B1 Women turn over right shoulder to face partner [1]
   Partner gypsy right
   Partner swing
B2 Partner promenade 3/4 around, face next [2]
   As couples, do-si-do new neighbors (N2)
[1] This is just to assist the flow from star to gypsy.
[2] There is no courtesy turn. Instead of just promenading halfway, you promenade three-quarters of the way around to your progressed position, finishing by curving slightly to face new neighbors.

I have found the following helpful for teaching the promenade 3/4 around, facing the next: Have them identify their future neighbors on the left diagonal. Then have them face their current neighbors, promenade around them until they can take hands-four with new neighbors, for teaching purposes only.

If you find a quicker way to say that, I'm all ears. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Spin Cycle
by Chris Page
Indecent [1]
A1 Balance ring
   Men roll away neighbor [2]
   Men roll away partner
   Men roll away neighbor
   Men roll away partner
A2 Weave the line with partner right, then left to N2 [3]
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
[1] Indecent formation has the woman on the left, man on the right.
[2] Each of these rollaways is three beats long. Experienced dancers may try and do four beats per roll away, and then assume there are only three roll aways.
[3] This is the progression.
Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the right past N1, then forward and to the left, reaching N2.
(As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.)

An extension of a simpler dance that I'm still tweaking.

During the walkthrough, I'd recommend emphasizing two things:

  1. There are four rollaways, and they're three beats each rather than four.
  2. The progression has men on the right, in the lead. Don't try to fix it.

Squared Off
by Chris Page
Becket [1]
A1 Shift left
   Circle left 3/4 with N2
   Neighbor N2 swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain [2]
B1 Square through (N2R,PL,N2R,PL) [3]
   Shadow allemande right 1
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] At the start of the dance, your shadow is next to you in line.
[2] I'm still wavering on the order of the two figures in the A2. This sequence is the standard one for things like "Friday Night Fever" and "Square Affair," but those start with balances. I may swap the order in the future, or you could try them the other way.
[3] No balances. Will take about ten beats.

Another variant of the idea from "The Fifth Piece."

Squared Up
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Ladies chain
A2 Square through (PR,NL,PR,NL) [2]
   Neighbor N2 allemande right 1
B1 Neighbor N1 balance
   Neighbor N1 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
[2] No balances. Will take about ten beats.

Another variant of the idea from "The Fifth Piece."

Squirrel!
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 (6) Clockwise mad robin around neighbor [1]
   (4) Single file promenade clockwise 1/4 [2]
   (6) Clockwise mad robin around partner [3]
A2     Men pass left
       Neighbor swing
B1     Circle left 3/4
       Partner swing
B2     Right and left through
       Ladies chain
[1] A mad robin is a sideways do-si-do, women starting in front of their neighbor.
[2] A no-hands circle left 1/4 in your groups of four. Essentially women cross the set while men sidestep to their left along the side of the set.
[3] Here you look at your neighbor across the set, and men start by going forward to their right, women behind to their left, men passing in front of partner.

More experimenting with the timing of mad robin. Named for the A1 of the dance, where you suddenly switch your attention.

There's also a perfectly solid alternate second half:

B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain

Stellar Evolution
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Hands-across star right 1
   Balance star 
   Women slide right [1]
A2 Gypsy star 1 clockwise [2]
   Partner swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Star left 1
[1] As in the dance "Rory o' More," women sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with each other. They can spin clockwise if they choose. They then take left hands.
Men left go of right hands long enough for women to spin past.
It's important that at the start of this figure, the women stay facing their original directions, keeping right hands in a 2-person wave. Otherwise during the walkthrough the women may face each other as soon as the men let go.
[2] Women keep left hands. Men take right hands below that. The other free hand is joined with your partner. The whole thing rotates clockwise, women backing up.

Not an original idea (see "Thimble Mill" by John Meechan, or "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Martha Wild), but this is my take on it.

Unfortunately kind of clockwise.

Summer Azure
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner star promenade
   Counterclockwise butterfly whirl
B1 Women allemande right 1
   Partner swing
B2 Long lines forward and back
   Circle left 3/4
   Pass through

Named after a butterfly species.

Super Swooper Scooper
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
A2 Star left 1
   Neighbor N2 allemande right 1 & 3/4
B1 Men pull by left [1]
   Partner star promenade 
   Butterfly whirl
   Women gypsy right 1
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] This is where the dance speeds up. As men pull by left, women have to turn around (using the momentum of the allemande right, so they're facing the correct direction for the star promenade.

An experiment with entries into the star promenade. While you could pack a neighbor swing into this, the dance becomes significantly more complex.

You could have a women's allemande instead of a gypsy in the B1, but then they are more likely to confuse it with the chain.

Surprise Through
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Ladies chain
   Star left 1 [1]
A2 Left square through (NL, PR, NL), face across [2]
   Right and left through with next neighbors (N2) [3]
B1 Women allemande right 1
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] This works best as a wrist-grip star, because it ends with holding left hands with neighbor on the side.
[2] No balances. Face neighbor on the side of the set as you transition from star to handshake grip. Neighbor pull by left, pull by right across the set with partner, pull left by neighbor on side, and face across.
[3] The progression happens here.
Ideally done with a pull by, rather than a pass through. Pull right by your partner, and courtesy turn with a new neighbor.
End effects are interesting. If neutral dancers join in with the pull by section of the right and left through, they need to wait out indecent, with the man on the right. If neutral dancers join in starting with the courtesy turn, they should wait out improper, with the woman on the right. When I called this, dancers tended to wait till they were needed (the courtesy turn), so waiting out improper should work okay.

This dance was later simplified into "The Zen of Dance."

Swap Meet
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Long lines forward and back
   Counterclockwise mad robin, men in front to start [1]
A2 (5) Partner counterclockwise 1/2 pousette [2]
   (6) Circle right 3/4
   (5) Neighbor counterclockwise 1/2 pousette
B1 Balance ring
   Partner swing
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
[1] A mad robin is a sideways left-shoulder do-si-do, men starting in front of their neighbor.
[2] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Both pousettes in this dance start with the men moving forwards.

This came from misunderstanding a dance where I thought there were two half pousettes and a full circle in 16 beats. It seemed rather tight, so I wondered what would happen if the circle was three-quarters around, saving two beats. In the actual dance the timing isn't tight because dancers will steal a beat or two from the mad robin figure.

Swing the Next
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
Double progression
A1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
A2 Neighbor N2 swing
   Neighbor N3 swing
B1 Ladies chain
   1/2 hey (WR,N3L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing [1]
[1] Finish facing N3, prepared to swing them again.

This is taking the swing/swing transition to its illogical extreme. Ideally dancers should be advanced enough to help their neighbors in and out of the swing/swing transition. I recommend music that has strong eight-beat phrasing.

The title has nothing to do with Ted Sannella's classic book, but rather the call I use to help establish the A1/A2 timing.

While you could make this dance single progression (for instance have the chain on the left diagonal), there's no real need. You already get to swing every neighbor, and it'd just make things more complex.

A Thing of Trust
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Partner 1/2 clockwise pousette [1] [2]
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Circle left 3/4
B1 Neighbor 1/2 clockwise pousette [1] [2]
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Circle right 1
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards. Takes about 4-6 beats.
[2] The swing entry is similar to the ricochet hey/swing transition. As the half pousette is almost done, men let go of right hand; women let go of left hand. Women raise their left arm, and step straight backwards as men catch their back with their right arm, going directly into the swing.

A smushing together of the B2/A1 of "A Sure Thing" and A2/B1 of "Trust," to put both transitions in the same dance. Written back in 2012 and posted to the untested dance page. Finally tested on 1/1/2016, but it took me another year and a half to make the promotion official.

Three Ways Out
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Partner swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
B1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [1]
[1] Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 means do a "petronella turn" and then keep turning till you face a new group of four.

Named because you exit the petronella turn in three slightly different ways.

Trail Markers
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Promenade
   Ladies chain
A2 Crosstrails through (PR,NL) [1]
   Neighbor N2 swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   1/2 hey (PR,WL,N2R,ML)
B2 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
[1] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor, then pass through along the set by left shoulder. This is the progression.

Written as a simple crosstrails through dance.

Video: (1)

Trail to the Stars
by Chris Page
Becket [1]
A1 Ladies chain
   1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR)
A2 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B1 Crosstrails through (PR,NL) [2]
   Star right 1 & 1/4 with N2 [3]
B2 Shadow gypsy left [4]
   Partner swing
[1] At the start of the dance, your shadow is next to you.
[2] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor, then pass through along the set by left shoulder. This is the progression.
[3] Until you're back on your original side of the set with your partner and shadow.
[4] If you really wanted, you could call the dance without the shadow gypsy. Just go straight into the partner gypsy and swing.

I've never been happy with crosstrails through timed at four or eight beats. This dance is my attempt to split the difference.

True Grit

Moved to primary page.

Trust
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Circle left 3/4
B1 Neighbor 1/2 clockwise pousette [1]
   Partner swing [2]
B2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with women moving forwards. Takes about 4-6 beats.
[2] The swing entry is similar to the ricochet hey/swing transition. As the half pousette is almost done, men let go of right hand; women let go of left hand. Women raise their left arm, and step straight backwards as men catch their back with their right arm, going directly into the swing. (By this point you drop the other hand with your partner.)

The partner-swing version of "A Sure Thing." Fast dancers will start the pousette slightly early, but I think this flaw is outweighed by the gain in simplicity -- the tighter timing variants of this dance always seemed to go outside the minor set with shadow effects.

There's also "A Thing of Trust," which combines "Trust" and "A Sure Thing."

Videos: (#1) (#2) (#3)

Uplift
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B1 Left diagonal ladies chain to N2
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn
B2 Balance ring
   Men roll away shadow
   Partner swing

The whole point of this dance is the roll-to-swing transition, so it may be worth teaching time to talk about the connection in the roll-away, and making sure both parties enter the swing nicely.

Video: #1

Vector Analysis
by Chris Page
Indecent
A1 Ladies chain [1]
   Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
A2 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Star left 1
[1] Chain is to partner, with courtesy turn on the side of the set.
You did notice the dance is indecent, right?

The gimmick here is subtle. The whole point of the dance is the B2/A1 transition. The ladies chain starts with everyone facing up/down, and finishes with everyone facing across.

The first time I teach the dance, I have everyone facing across, indecent-fashion, and do the ladies chain from there. After the final star, I explain the dance starts again, with a ladies chain just as before, except you start from a different angle. Women right-hand turn each other just a little bit till you can face your partner. Men use the forward momentum of the star to walk along the side of the set, meeting their partner for the courtesy turn. (Kind of like a regular ladies chain, where once the women pull by, the men should sidestep into that woman's position.)

Victory Rose
by Chris Page
Improper
A1     Neighbor balance
       Neighbor swing
A2 (4) Circle left 1/2
   (6) Partner 1/2 clockwise pousette [1]
   (6) Women allemande left 1 while men orbit clockwise 1/2 [2]
B1     Partner balance
       Partner swing
B2     Ladies chain
       Star left 1
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Women start by moving backwards.
To transition into the next figure, men take a step back from their partners and let go. Women sidestep slightly to their right to end in the center of a line of four, facing each other, then take left hands for an allemande. Men sidestep slightly to their left to the line of four across the set, then continue moving clockwise in an orbit around each other
[2] In tight quarters, it helps if men from other sets intersect by passing each other by right shoulders.

"Joyride" is only based on part of "Companions". The full second half of "Companions" is a pousette/hey/orbit transition. The above sequence just tosses the hey.

This dance ended up in the same family as "The Baby Rose". After grafting in a branch from a Victor Skowronski dance, the hybrid was a 'Victor - yish Baby Rose'.

Visions
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Shift left
   Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Mad robin (women in front)[1]
B1 Circle right 7/8, men step in front of partner [1]
   1/2 hey (PL,WR,NL,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] A mad robin is a sideways do-si-do, women starting in front of their neighbor.
[2] The circle/hey transition is stolen from "Mood Swings" by Sue Rosen. The circle is actually 7/8, till women are on the outside forming a diamond. Men then step into the middle, ending back-to-back and facing their partner. The hand-hold from the circle lets the women assist them through that transition.

Wander Rings
by Chris Page
Becket [1]
A1 Shift left to new neighbors
   Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Neighbor promenade counterclockwise 3/4 around partner, face shadow [2]
   Neighbor promenade clockwise 3/4 around shadow [3]
B1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Balance ring
   Petronella turn
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [4]
   Partner swing
[1] At the start of the dance, if you hold hands in long lines, your shadow is in one hand next to you.
[2] No courtesy turn. Promenade counterclockwise around partner, men in the middle, curving slightly at the end to face shadow. Positionally, this is the equivalent of women trading places, and all facing their shadow.
[3] Promenade clockwise around shadow, women in the middle, end on the sidelines facing across. The entire A2 is one big promenade figure, where you trace an "S" on the floor. At the end of the A2 you are facing your shadow and on the opposite side from where you started the A1.
[4] Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 means do a "petronella turn" and then keep turning till you face a new group of four.

Using the key figure from "The Weaving Sloop" as a partner separation device.

The Weaving Sloop
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Partner promenade counterclockwise 3/4 around neighbor, face N2 [1]
   Partner promenade clockwise 3/4 around neighbor N2 [2]
A2 Circle left 3/4 [3]
   1/2 hey (N2R,ML,PR,WL)
B1 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
[1] No courtesy turn. Promenade counterclockwise around N1, men in the middle, curving slightly at the end to face N2. Positionally, this is the equivalent of women trading places, and all facing the next neighbor.
[2] Promenade clockwise around N2, women in the middle, end on the sidelines facing across. The entire A1 is one big promenade figure, where you trace an "S" on the floor. At the end of the A1 you are progressed and on the opposite side from where you started the dance.
[3] The circle/hey transition is stolen from "Mood Swings" by Sue Rosen. The circle is actually 7/8, till men are on the outside forming a diamond. Women then step into the middle, ending back-to-back and facing their neighbor. The hand-hold from the circle lets the men assist them through that transition.

More experimentations with promenades, in trying to find 16-beat promenade moves. This prompted a string of dances involving weave the line ("Curves and Ways"), partner separation ("Wander Rings") and partner reunion ("Promenade Home").

The A1 weaving figure times out nicely in an uncrowded hall like San Diego. It may be a little soft, timing-wise, in more crowded/compact halls. In those cases, a clockwise courtesy turn a the end of the promenade might help.

I have been unable to find the correct words to teach this figure. A demo works very well, though. If you do find a good set of teaching words, please email me! (Though see "Splitting Hairs" for a way to teach the first half.)

Wind-up Your Neighbor
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Circle left 1
A2 Neighbor draw pousette clockwise 3/4 [2]
   Neighbor two-hand turn 1 & 1/2 [3]
B1 1/2 hey (ML,PR,WL)
   Neighbor swing
B2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
[2] Draw pousette is a figure from English Country Dancing, so if you don't understand the rest of this, go ask an ECD regular to demonstrate.
A draw pousette is a pousette where you rotate as a couple while you are moving.
As used in this dance, your body is in the same place as it would be for a circle left 3/4. You face your neighbor the entire time, so the woman backs up as the man goes forward. To be overly technical, the imaginary line connecting you and your neighbor is perpendicular to the line connecting the center of your hands-four to the midpoint between you and your neighbor.
A demo is advised for this move, as it's worth at least 132 words. It's really a lot simpler than it sounds.
[3] Technically it doesn't matter how many times around it goes. Just use the momentum to launch someone into the center of the set, passing left shoulders in the center.

This started from an interest in the pousette to two-hand turn transition, and kept building from there. It has a different ECD-like feel.

Other variants include "Wind-up Your Partner," where most of the action is done with your partner; and "The Full Wind-up," where all the action is done with your partner.

This was originally written as a double progression dance, but was converted to a single in 2/2012, tested a year later.

The Wraparound
by Chris Page
Indecent (long wave) [1]
A1 Balance long waves [2]
   Box circulate [3]
   Partner swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B2 Star left 1 to long waves [4]
   Balance long waves
   Left box circulate [5]
[1] Dancers waiting out at the ends rejoin with the man on the right, woman on the left. However, if they enter on the wrong side and don't panic, things get fixed up with the partner swing. The "not panicking" is key here.
[2] Starts in long waves, right hand to neighbor, men face in, women face out.
[3] Circulate: Men cross the set to their partner's place, women loop right to their neighbor's place.
[4] Wrist-grip star recommended. To transition into long waves, keep left hand with partner, take right hand with shadow. Men face out and women face in.
[5] Circulate: Women cross the set to their neighbor's place, men loop left to their partner's place. The A1 then starts by identifying new neighbors.

An experiment with circulate in one hands four to circulate with the next.

Yours Truly
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor N0 gypsy left 1 [1]
   Neighbor N1 swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B2 1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR)
   Neighbor N2 gypsy right 1 [2]
[1] Go wide.
The pattern between the B2 and A1 is a hey-for-three on the side of the set.
[2] Embiggen this gypsy. Otherwise the A1 will start early, and there'll be a longer neighbor swing.

My experimentation with the gypsy/gypsy on the side transition. There's also a simpler variant that swaps the order of the gypsies:

A1 Neighbor N1 gypsy right
   Neighbor N1 swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B1 Long lines forward and back
   Ladies chain
B2 1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR)
   Neighbor N1 gypsy left 1 & 1/4

The Zen of Dance
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Left square through (NL, PR, NL) [1]
   Right and left through [2]
A2 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward and back [3]
   Star right 1
[1] No balances. Starts with the left hand. Finishes facing across from your partner.
[2] Depending on how you look at it, the entire A1 could also be thought of as "left square through four, neighbor courtesy turn." Either way, this figure will encourage dancers to pull by right hands for the start of the right and left through.
[3] Teaching point courtesy of Bob Isaacs: At this time, your current neighbor is in one hand, and your future neighbor is in the other hand.

More experimentation with left-handed square throughs and no-balance square throughs.


Slip jig contras

A slip jig is a tune played in 9/8 time. From a practical point of view, this means 12 steps per phrase, rather than 16. Slip jigs can be played at the same tempo as regular contras, and some bands like playing them for variety. Including a number of San Diego bands.

There aren't many contra dances written for them. The only ones I knew of are "Another Jig Will Do" and "The Peacock Follows the Hen" by Mike Richardson, "Fan in the Doorway" by Gene Hubert, and "The Joy of Six" by Rick Mohr. And the last two require AABBCC tunes.

(A few more recent ones: "Waxmyrtle," "Green Dreams," and "Hardiman the Fiddler.")

Slip jigs then let you work with a different set of figures, ones that fit in sixes, rather than fours and eights, giving a new set of choreographic possibilities. So I've had fun writing some of my own, exploring that design space. This section should grow over time.

Across the Way
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (12) Neighbor swing
A2 (6)  Men allemande left 1  
   (6)  Hands-across star left 3/4, men turn around [1]
B1 (12) Partner swing
B2 (6)  Ladies chain
   (6)  Crosstrails through (PR,NL) [2]
[1] Women join behind their partner. It's sooner than some expect, as women are used to joining a star after men allemande once and a half.
[2] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor, then pass through along the set by left shoulder.

More generic experimentation with slip jigs of the format swing/connector/swing/progression.

Crosstrails through is another figure whose timing fits much better in 6 counts than 4 or 8.

Bugaboo
by Chris Page
Improper
Slip jig
A1 (3)  Neighbor N1 box the gnat
   (3)  Neighbor N1 pull by right
   (3)  Neighbor N0 swat the flea [1]
   (3)  Neighbor N0 pull by left
A2 (12) Neighbor N1 swing
B1 (3)  Men pass left
   (9)  Partner swing
B2 (6)  Ladies chain [2]
   (6)  Crosstrails through (PR,N1L) [3]
[1] A left-handed version of box the gnat. Join left hands, make an arch, and trade places, women going underneath the arch.
[2] No (or very little) time for twirls. In the walkthrough and prompting, I refer to this as a "quick ladies chain".
[3] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor, then pass through along the set by left shoulder.

The A1 is a mutant hey for three with hands.

Circular Logic
by Chris Page
Indecent [1]
Slip jig
A1 (12) Neighbor swing
A2 (4)  Circle left 1/2 [2]
   (2)  Shift left to next couple (shadow)
   (4)  Circle left 1/2
   (2)  Shift left to partner
B1 (3)  Men pass right [3]
   (9)  Partner swing
B2 (6)  Long lines forward and back
   (6)  Star left 3/4 [4]
[1] Note this dance is indecent.
When facing across at the start of the dance, your shadow is the opposite-gender person on right diagonal. And is probably not worth identifying.
[2] You hang on to your neighbor throughout the A2.
[3] In other words, men just walk straight across the set to their partner swing.
[4] It's worth mentioning that the progression out of the star is with the woman on the left, man on the right. Dancers are very used to the more standard improper progression, and women may bail out of the star early to swing on the wrong side.

More leaving the minor set. This dance is indecent because of the B2 progression -- only 3/4 of a star fits in six counts.

Gate Expectations
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (6)  Ones do-si-do [1]
   (6)  Long lines forward and back
A2 (6)  Ones gate up and forward with N0 [2]
   (6)  Ones gate down and forward with N1
B1 (12) Ones swing, face down
B2 (12) Neighbor N1 swing
[1] This is quick. No time for twirls.
[2] A gate is a figure from English Country Dance. It's equivalent to a hand cast. Both people are facing the same direction, holding nearest hands with good connection. They then walk around in a circle, using the joined hands as the pivot point. One person walks forwards, the other backs up. They are always both facing in the same direction.

A good example of the gate/gate transition is in Corelli's Maggot.

I've struggled hard to fit the timing of gates into a contra dance, especially the gate/gate transition. Once again, slip-jig timing is a much better fit.

This dance can also be done alternating, using:

2A1 (6)  Twos do-si-do
    (6)  Long lines forward and back
2A2 (6)  Twos gate down and forward with N0
    (6)  Twos gate up and forward with N1
2B1 (12) Twos swing, face up
2B2 (12) Neighbor N1 swing

Gemini Six
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (6)  Neighbor allemande right 1 & 1/4
   (6)  Women allemande left 1 while men orbit clockwise 1/2
A2 (12) Partner swing 
B1 (3)  Men pass right [1]
   (9)  Neighbor swing
B2 (6)  Long lines forward and back
   (6)  Men allemande left 1
[1] Men may want to pass left from habit. That's fine as long as they don't collide. I chose a right-shoulder pass partly to avoid interference confusion with the B2 allemande.

Orbit is another figure that works naturally in sixes. The B2 is a bit unusual, expectations-wise, as men typically allemande once and a half, not once.

In Jig Time
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (12) Square through (NR, PL, NR, PL) [1]
A2 (12) Neighbor swing
B1 (3)  Men pull by left
   (9)  Partner swing
B2 (8)  Ladies chain
   (4)  Star left 1/2
[1] Note there are no balances in the square through.

The (no-balance) square through is one of those moves that seems a natural fit for 9/8 timing. I'm not as happy with the B2 timing broken down in fours, but I needed something for the men that wasn't clockwise.

Structurally this dance is fairly similar to "Round the House" by Bob Isaacs.

Jamie's Jig
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (12) Neighbor swing
A2 (6)  Neighbor promenade
   (6)  Star left 3/4, men turn around
B1 (12) Partner swing
B2 (3)  Long lines forward
   (3)  Long lines back, while men roll away partner [1]
   (6)  Circle right 3/4 [2]
[1] This roll-away is quick, and happens as dancers are backing up. Men then assist their partner into a circle right.
[2] To transition into the new neighbor swing, drop hands, individually rotate to face your partner, and keep rotating to catch a new neighbor for a swing.

A feasibility study. This was to see if the format of [long swing/connector/long swing/connector] was viable in slip jig format, without being terminally clockwise. (Many transitions into and out of swings are clockwise, and such a format is already 50% clockwise swings.) I stole the star left 3/4 to swing transition from Ted Sannella's "CDS Reel", and the circle right to next neighbor swing from Cary Ravitz's "Whitewater."

Jamie is a San Diego contra dancer who has a low physical tolerance for continuous clockwise motion -- this dance is dedicated to her.

Pousette Sextet
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (6)  Partner pousette 1/2 counterclockwise around N1 [1]
   (6)  Partner pousette 1/2 clockwise around N2 [2]
A2 (12) Neighbor N2 swing [3]
B1 (3)  Women pass right
   (9)  Partner swing
B2 (6)  Partner promenade [4]
   (6)  Circle right 3/4
[1] See the glossary for an explanation of pousette. Starts with men moving forward.
[2] Women forward to start.
[3] The swing entry is similar to the ricochet hey/swing transition. As the final half pousette is almost done, men let go of right hand; women let go of left hand. Women raise their left arm, and step straight backwards as men catch their back with their right arm, going directly into the swing. (By this point you drop the other hand with your partner.)
[4] There's little time for twirls. You might want to mention this during the walkthrough.

This was the original inspiration for "A Sure Thing." Trying to fit two swings and 12 counts of pousetting into 48 counts forced me to look closely at the pousette/swing transition.

A Slip in Time
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (6)  Partner promenade
   (6)  Circle right 3/4 
A2 (6)  Neighbor N1 gypsy left 1
   (6)  Neighbor N2 gypsy right 1 [1]
B1 (12) 3/4 hey across (ML, PR, WL, NR, ML)
B2 (12) Partner swing
[1] This is just a hey for three on the sides.

My first slip jig contra, written for one of San Diego's bands, Gray Beard.

Slip Sliding Away
by Chris Page
Improper
Needs special music (slip jig)
A1 (12) Neighbor swing
A2 (3)  Slice right forward to shadow [1]
   (3)  Slice back, men rolling away neighbor at same time [2]
   (6)  Circle right 3/4 with shadow, turn alone [3]
B1 (12) Partner swing
B2 (3)  Women allemande right 1/2
   (9)  Neighbor allemande left 1 & 3/4 [4]
[1] Slice: Face the new couple on the _right_ diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet. With your neighbor, look at the couple on the right diagonal, and go forwards towards them.
[2] The slice is modified so as you go back, men roll away your neighbor. This roll is to simplify the re-entries to different hands fours -- they're all with the man on the left, woman on the right. It also provides an assist into the circle right.
[3] To transition into the partner swing, drop hands, individually rotate to face your shadow, and keep rotating to catch your partner for a swing.
[4] Until you see your new neighbor.

There's less time in a slip-jig to add a lost-and-found storyline, especially a counterclockwise one, but this is an attempt at such.


Complex contras

24/7
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
Double progression
A1 Women pass right shoulders
   Neighbor allemande right 1/2 to long wave, women face in [1] 
   Balance long wave [2]
   Box circulate [3]
A2 Balance long wave
   Box circulate [4]
   Neighbor swing
B1 Circle left 3/4 to short wave of four [5]
   Balance wave of four
   Box circulate on diagonal (Women loop right to partner's
       place. Men go forward on right diagonal to other
       side of next wave to opposite sex neighbor N2's
       place) [6] 
B2 Balance wave of four [7]
   Box circulate on diagonal (Men loop right, while women
       go forward on right diagonal to partner's place)
   Partner swing [8]
[1] The 1/2 is approximate, the end position is the key.
[2] Men face out, women face in. Neighbor N2 is in your left hand, and will be an important walkthrough reference later.
[3] Circulate: Women walk straight across the set to their partner's place while men loop right to their neighbor's place.
[4] Circulate: Men cross the set to their neighbor's place, women loop right to their partner's place.
[5] Right to partner, women have left hands in center.
[6] End effects: If there's a couple out at the end, switch with them. If there is no couple out at the end, just stay with your partner. More precisely, loop right into your partner's place instead of going forward on the right diagonal.
[7] Your right hand is holding neighbor N2. Men are in the middle of the wave of four. [2]
[8] Finish facing neighbor N3.

First written while trying to go to sleep, imagining the the box circulate from Steve Schnur's "The 24th of June" perpendicular to its normal axis, as in Robert Cromartie's "Mad About Dancing" B2. Followed shortly by realizing it didn't work, then why (it has to be done with neighbors), and figuring out it could work on a sharp diagonal. And after that a few more months gestating while I tried to find the best moves for the top of A1 and B1.

See here for a variant.

An Other, Whirled
by Chris Page
Becket [1]
A1 Ladies chain
   Long lines forward and back, while woman one only rolls away new neighbor N2 [2]
A2 Ones allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Same-sex neighbor (N2) star promenade
   Clockwise butterfly whirl [3]
B1 Twos allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor N2 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] Becket, yet it has ones and twos. When I teach this, I have dancers chain, then take hands four with new neighbors. This is when you identify ones, twos, and woman one.
[2] The point behind this roll-away is to prevent set drift. There's so many ways this move can go wrong:
Teaching this is the key to the dance working well, though as long as they work with new neighbors it won't crash.
[3] Ones push off to start moving backwards as the twos go forwards.

More experimentation with proper moves. There is no good starting point formation for this dance, so I've left it as a Becket with ones and twos.

The challenges in this dance are changing roles between ones and twos at the ends, and having a dance without a recovery/rest point.

Curves and Ways
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor balance
   Neighbor swing
A2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B1 Partner promenade counterclockwise 3/4 around neighbor, face N0 [1]
   Partner promenade clockwise 3/4 around neighbor N0 [2]
B2 Circle left 3/4 with N0
   Weave the line: Zig left past N0, zag right past N1, zig left to N2 [3]
[1] No courtesy turn. Promenade counterclockwise around N1, men in the middle, curving slightly at the end to face N0. Positionally, this is the equivalent of women trading places, and all facing the previous neighbor.
[2] Promenade clockwise around N2, women in the middle, end on the sidelines facing across. The entire B1 is one big promenade figure, where you trace an "S" on the floor. At the end of the B1 you are backwards-progressed and on the opposite side from where you started the B1.
[3] Holding hands with your partner, go forward and to the left past N0, then forward and to the right, passing in front of N1 until outside the set again, and finally forward and to the left until standing in front of N2.
As in "Weave the Line" (video) by Kathy Anderson.

Putting the key figure of "The Weaving Sloop" into a more complex dance -- in this case mixing it with a thematically similar weave-the-line.

Doubling Back
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Slice left [1]
   Ladies chain
A2 Crosstrails through (PR,NL) [2]
   Neighbor N0 swing
B1 Crosstrails through (PR,N0L) [3]
   Neighbor N1 swing
B2 Circle left 3/4
   Partner swing
[1] Face the new couple on the left diagonal, come forward, and push straight back. A progressive form of forward and back, as in "Hey Man" by Paul Balliet.
[2] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor, then pass through along the set by left shoulder, and find the previous neighbor.
[3] Pass through across the set, passing partner by right shoulder. Turn to face neighbor you just swung, then pass through along the set by left shoulder, and find the current neighbor.

While you leave the minor set, all progressions are with the man on the left, woman on the right.

Hidebehind Reel
by Chris Page
Indecent [1]
[2]
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Partner allemande right 1 & 1/2
A2 Shadow allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Ladies chain
B1 Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [3]
   Partner swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 [3]
   Neighbor N2 swing
[1] Indecent means the ones are not crossed over, but the twos are. This adds more fun to the end effects. The dance could be Becket by starting at the B2 -- the downside is the petronella turns would be split musically between the A's and B's.
[2] Shadow finding -- if at this point you took hands in long lines, your shadow would be on your left diagonal.
[3] Petronella turn 1 & 1/2 means do a "petronella turn" and then keep turning till you face a new group of four.

What makes this dance challenging is the end effects. In some places you come in with the man on the right, and in some places with the woman on the right, and I've yet to find any convenient rules. The best I can do is to tell the dancers that the people at the ends need to adapt to the people inside the dance, as the people inside the dance know better what they're doing.

(If couples at the ends force people in the dance to adjust/cross over for them, the result will at best be dancers staying out at the end multiple times through the dance.)

Written as a " 'Fiddleheads' for everyone, all the time" type of dance.

Jam Doodle
by Chris Page
Improper
Net single progression
A1 Neighbor N1 allemande right 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor N2 allemande left 1 & 1/2
A2 1/2 hey (WR,PL,MR) [1]
   Neighbor N1 swing
B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Partner swing
B2 Ladies chain
   Star left 1
[1] Hey with neighbor N2, then look in reverse direction of progress for N1.

Dancers progress forwards twice, then backwards once. Re-entry is always with the standard man on the left, woman on the right, so couples out for the first part of the A2 should switch sides quickly.

Written by free-association while listening to a late-night jam session during the 2010 Dance in the Desert. The first pass through the music didn't have a partner swing. This was the second pass.

Just Elegance
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise
A1 Circle left 3/4
   Neighbor swing
A2 Right and left through with N1 [1]
   Right and left through with N2 [2]
B1 Men allemande right 1 & 1/2
   1/2 hey (PL,WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] A normal right and left through. Pull right by your partner, women put their right hand on their hip, men reach behind with their right hand to get into courtesy turn position, and courtesy turn with men backing up and women going forward.
[2] Not a normal right and left through. It's done with next neighbors, and dancers are doing the role of the other gender. Pull right by your partner, men put their right hand on their hip, women reach behind with their right hand to get into courtesy turn position, and courtesy turn with women backing up and men going forward.

I was writing a dance to teach a same-sex right and left through, and decided to have everyone learn from unfamiliar positions. I came up with the above dance and really got excited about the A2 transition, until a week later when I realized "Elegance and Simplicity" had beaten me to the punch by over 200 years. Oh well. So in honor of this I gave my dance the pretentious title "Just Elegance," because it's certainly not simple. Then again, neither is the original.

For other modern takes on this same idea, check out "Pleasantly Surprised" by David Smukler, "Double Plow" by Al Olson, or "Needham Reel" by Herbie Gaudreau.

Mary Loo's Reel
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Long lines forward and back [1]
   Men allemande left 3/4 [2]
   Next men allemande right 3/4 [3]
A2 Neighbor N2 balance
   Neighbor N2 swing [4]
B1 Ladies chain to shadow
   Circle right 1 with shadow [5]
B2 Circle left 1/2 with partner
   Partner swing
[1] At this point, your future neighbor is on the left diagonal. Your shadow is next to you in line.
[2] After the first allemande, men are in a temporary long wave in the center, facing their partner.
[3] End effects are tricky. Women should stay put during the A1. At the ends, lost men need to find a woman who isn't being swung. That's probably either their partner (if part of a hands four) or their shadow (if a lone couple out at the end).
[4] Finish facing shadow.
[5] To do the circle right/left transition, everyone needs to drop hands and turn alone.
One nice teaching I've seen of this is to hold the circle right, then face your neighbor and take two hands with, and then open up into the circle left with the other folks.

I couldn't recall the circle left/circle right transition in "Momma Loo's Reel" being used as a reunion device. So I perpetrated this dance. The steal of the signature move from "Mary Cay's Reel" was happenstance -- it seemed a clean way to set things up while trying to minimize the confusion.

The circle left is only 1/2 instead of once around to give more recovery time.

This dance has several end effects, though they're fairly standard. Be alert.

Not a Trip to Vegas
by Chris Page
Becket, counterclockwise [1]
A1 Partner star promenade 1/2 (women have right hands in middle) [2]
   Women allemande right 1/2 [3]
   Neighbor swing
A2 Ladies chain
   Partner promenade
   Shift right to N2 [4]
B1 Star left 1 with N2
   Shadow allemande right 1 & 1/2 to long waves [5]
B2 Balance long wave
   Slide right [6]
   Partner swing [7]
[1] At the start, if you took hands in long lines, your shadow is next to you.
[2] The B2 partner swing ends in star-promenade position (convenient arm on each other's back), with women in the middle, taking right hands. The star promenade goes to the other side, where women leave their partner. There is no butterfly whirl.
[3] This combination of figures (star promenade, women allemande right 1/2, other person swing) has been coined "revolving door" by Ron Buchanan.
[4] The progression happens here. Promenade across, and in the courtesy turn loop a little further counterclockwise around the major set to face N2.
[5] Men face in, women face out. Right hand to shadow. Left hand to yet another shadow.
[6] As in the dance "Rory o' More," everyone sidesteps to their right, passing nose to nose with their shadow. They can spin clockwise if they choose.
[7] Finish the swing next to N2, in star promenade position, women have right hands in center.

Written for the wedding of Frannie Marr and Bill Ralston. The Rory o' More spin to swing is one of Bill's favorite moves, while the revolving door is one of Frannie's favorites. And the shadow allemande allows for partner swapping, for those that sometimes enjoy a little chaos....

The name comes from a pre-wedding joke before they were engaged. On April Fool's Day, they suddenly changed their Facebook statuses to married, only commenting they were visiting Las Vegas. This dance was written for their real wedding, and hence is, "Not a Trip to Vegas."

Videos: (#1) (#2) (#3)

Oscar's Oddity
by Chris Page
Improper/Proper [1]
A1 Circle left 1
   Neighbor swing/two-hand turn until progressed [2]
A2 Long lines forward and back
   Star right 1
B1 Right and left through [3]
   Right and left through
B2 Ones half figure eight above
   Twos swing, face next
[1] Odd times through the dance (including the first time), it's improper, even times through the dance it's proper. Couples waiting out at the ends should pretend the dance is improper for re-entry purposes.
[2] The two-hand turn option is for people allergic to same-sex swings, or those that would be confused with having the ones end below the twos in a same-sex swing. In this case, the two-hand turn once and a half works fine. This will only happen even times through the dance.
[3] Half the time it's the traditional but very unfamiliar same-sex right and left through. You always start by pulling right by your partner, though.
The courtesy turn for a same-sex right and left through involves the person on the left walking backwards, and the person on the right walking forwards, just like a normal courtesy turn. It's just the genders may be in unexpected places.

A dance that started from the gimmick. What was interesting is that the ones could not swing each other, because the swing is an information-destroying figure. Regardless of which side/facing you start at, you must end in the same orientation. So any information of that previous arrangement is lost. (Technically, you could specify different variations for odd and even times through the dance, as per "Gipsey Hornpipe," but you'd melt everybody's brain.)

Not recommended for general use, but good to pull out for April 1st, or if the dancers are seeking novelty.

If you're interested in another take on this, look at "Impropriety," an English Country Dance by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett, that I first encountered a few months after writing "Oscar's Oddity." Or check out "Person of the Pond" by Jim Saxe.

Quite Right
by Chris Page
Becket
A1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   Neighbor swing
A2 1/2 hey (ML,PR,WL) [1]
   Neighbor N2 counterclockwise two-hand turn 1 & 1/2 [2]
B1 Circle right 3/4 [3]
   1/2 hey (PL,WR,N2L,MR)
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] Progression is after this hey. It might help to identify N2 at the beginning of the dance, on the left diagonal.
[2] A two-hand turn crossed with a circle right. Finishes with man on the left, woman on the right.
[3] The circle/hey transition is stolen from "Mood Swings" by Sue Rosen. The circle is actually 7/8, till women are on the outside forming a diamond. Men then step into the middle, ending back-to-back and facing their partner. The hand-hold from the circle lets the women assist them through that transition.

A clockwise two-hand turn is rare enough. (Usually because it can just be replaced with a swing.) I don't recall any dances with an isolated counterclockwise two-hand turn, so this is my attempt at such.

This is more difficult than it looks. The conventions are unusual -- not just the counterclockwise two-hand turn, but also women leading the entry into the circle, and the curl into the hey.

Roll Reversal
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 Neighbor gypsy
   Neighbor swing
A2 Circle left 3/4
   Shift left with partner to next neighbors [1]
   Circle left 1
B1 Partner swing
B2 Gents chain [2]
   Women roll away men after courtesy turn [3]
   1/2 hey (WL,PR,ML)
   Face same neighbor (N2)
[1] Note the women lead this shift left.
[2] Men pull by left, give right to neighbor. Women reach behind the man's back with left hand, and scoop up the men in a clockwise courtesy turn, men going forward and women going backwards.
[3] There's a quick hand change between the courtesy turn and roll-away. Women need to change from the right-to-right and left-to-left handhold of the courtesy turn into a handhold of her left hand and his right hand, still standing side-by-side. This should lead naturally into the women rolling away the men. This is similar to the hand change men do with the ladies chain and roll-away transition in other dances.

This dance started with the name, a pun bad enough that I had to come up with a dance to match. What makes this dance hard is the change in gender roles of men leading and women following. In my mind, it's a good thing, but it can push this dance into the difficult level.

SwingCatcher
by Chris Page
Improper
A1 (new) Men allemande left 1 & 1/2
   1/2 hey (PR,WL,NR,ML) [1]
A2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
B1 Ladies chain
   Long lines forward
     and back, while women roll away N1
B2 Neighbor N0 swing
   Neighbor N1 swing
[1] Original dance transcription had an error, and listed the passes as (ML,PR,WL,NR). Fixed 3/24/2010.

This started as a test dance for a shadow-to-partner swing dance I needed for a medley. It turned out a better one already existed. ("Ten Strings Attached") But I kept the original test dance.

In writing this sequence I was influenced by Bob Isaacs's discussions on neighbor sequences. In this dance you size up your neighbor via standard interactions (hey, chain) before navigating the B2 transitions, which are challenging to do well.

When teaching this dance, I first have everyone turn around and introduce themselves to N0 behind them.

I've since bumped this up to the complex dance section, as while intermediate dancers can get through it fine, it only really shines with dancers who have a good sense of timing and connection, to bring out the most of the roll-swing-swing transitions.


Four-face-fours

Contra Canon
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
   ---First couples--- [1]          ---Second couples---
A1 Forward and back                 Partner swing continues
   Partner promenade halfway [2]    Forward and back
A2 Give+take to man's side [3]      Partner promenade halfway
   Neighbor swing                   Give+take to man's side
B1 Ladies chain                     Neighbor swing
   Ladies chain                     Ladies chain [4]
B2 Women allemande right 1/2 (4)    Ladies chain (8) [5]
   Partner swing (4)                
   Partner swing continues (8)      Women allemande right 1/2 (4) 
                                    Partner swing (4)
[1] This dance is seriously weird.
Dancers assume one of two roles: "first couples" or "second couples," and keep this identity throughout repetitions of the dance. The "second couples" do everything the "first couples" do, but eight beats later.
The "first couples" essentially only interact with each other. Their instructions are above in the left-hand column. The "second couples" instructions are in the right-hand column.
The first time through the dance the "first couples" are those on the left-hand side of their group of four, facing each other on their right diagonal. The others are the "second couples." The next time through the sequence dancers have traded sides, but they have not changed roles.
[2] The promenade is halfway around, counterclockwise, into each other's spot. They go behind the "second couple" as the "second couple" does the forward and back. After the promenade, the "first couple" is in their progressed position.
[3] This is not a zesty give-and-take. It's four beats forward, taking two hands with your neighbor, and four beats backward. Women should offer resistance until the "second couple" has promenaded past.
[4] An ordinary ladies' grand chain.
[5] The net effect is: Women star right 1/2. "First couples" swing their partner. "Second couples" courtesy turn their neighbor.

A canon is when everyone is doing the same thing, just not simultaneously. "Contra Canon" is an eight-beat canon, where half the dancers are eight beats behind the other half. It's metaphorically similar to singing a song in rounds.

Pat Shaw wrote several amazing dance canons. "John Tallis's Canon" demonstrated how it could work. "Nibs Goes West" (a partial canon) showed how to get partner interaction. These inspired a 4-beat canon of my own, and then the above 8-beat canon.

In this dance, I call half the dancers "first couples" and the other half "second couples." These labels are arbitrary -- I could have instead used "head couples" and "side couples." If you think up better nomenclature, I'd love to hear from you.

In any starting line of four, one of the couples is "first couple" and the other is the "second couple." They essentially do not interact with each other. (There's some subtle stuff, like joining in the star.) All the action is done with the other same-numbered couple in the other line of four.

At the ends, couples should just turn around and face back in. They should not trade places. That way they do not change roles.

Teaching: This dance introduces some very unfamiliar concepts. It definitely needs walkthroughs with two sets of neighbors, to get through the concept that roles do not change, though locations do. Right now, I'm also first walking it through for just the first couples, as the second couples stand still. Then the same for the second couples, though that part I hope to eventually drop. That's a minimum of three walkthroughs, a very worrying number.

Prompting: It's not easy. Calling this was the first time I'd had to read from a card in years. You need to call two dances in the timespace of one. I use beats three through eight of the previous phrase, like "Second couples promenade, first couples give and take." I also recommend calling the second couples' actions before the first. This way you repeat the same instruction twice in a row, which makes memorization less painful.

The roughest patch of prompting is the first half of the B2. Right now my solution is to call "Women star right halfway" in the last four beats of the B1. Then on beats 1-4 of the B2 immediately say "firsts swing, seconds (courtesy) turn," followed by "second women allemande right half" in beats 5-8.

Cross Purposes
by Chris Page
Four facing four
A1 Lines forward and back
   Crosstrails through [1]
A2 Corner C3 gypsy [2]
   Corner C3 swing
B1 (1-8)  Heads right and left through [3]
   (5-12) Sides crosstrails through [4]
   (9-16) Heads crosstrails through
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] Pass the one you're facing by right shoulder. Men turn right, women turn left to face the one you're travelling with. (Partner.) Pass partner by left shoulder, go on to the next in your group of eight.
[2] This gypsy will probably start a little early.
See the glossary for an explanation of C3.
[3] Overlapping moves in the center. As soon as the heads have passed through, the sides start the crosstrails through.
[4] Pass the one you're facing by right shoulder. Men turn right, women turn left to face the one you're travelling with. (Corner C3.) Pass them by left shoulder, and keep facing in that direction. At the end of the B1, your partner should appear.

Putting crosstrails through in two different contexts.

The Dancer's Duty
Chris Page variant of an Al Olson dance
Four-face-four
A1 Lines of four forward and back [1]
   Opposite (person across from you) allemande right 1 & 3/4
     to position of a wave of eight
A2 1/2 hey for eight, start by pulling past that person by right
B1 Original opposite swing [2] [3]
B2 Circle left 1/2 in groups of four [4]
   Partner swing, face next
[1] A nice teaching trick here is to have everybody rotate a quarter turn to their left. This is the wall they'll need to face for the beginning of the hey. (But actually it doesn't matter. The pair of dancers can go either way -- since it's half a hey, they'll end where they start. What matters is they don't panic and in so doing take out the entire line.)
[2] To shorten the swing length, make it a gypsy and swing. Or if you want the hey to be an exercise in timing, make it a balance and swing.
[3] You face your partner coming out of the swing.
[4] There's other choices for the circle left 1/2 -- for instance balance the ring and women roll away their neighbor.

I really liked the idea of Erik Hoffman's "Major Hey," but wasn't happy with its extra 16-count piece. I then ran across "The Devil's Duty" by Al Olson in the back of Zesty Contras, and realized it was exactly what I was looking for. Except both swings end in the middle of the phrase. The above is a simple fix-up. I also changed the entry into the hey -- in the original dance, you turned away from the neighbor you allemanded in order to start the hey, as in "The Astonished Archaeologist." (ECD dance by Phillipe Callens.) But that requires extra teaching to tell people at the ends which way to loop.

The name has no intended meaning, even though I could pretend it did and people would think deeply while trying to come with a better answer than I could ever imagine. But the truth is I was trying to tweak the original name of "Devil's Duty," narrowed the choices to Angel or Dancer, flipped a coin, and Nevada it was.

Another similar fix for this dance is "Devil's Dervish," written by Linda Leslie.

Jenny in Pairs
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
1A1     Lines of four forward and back
        Corner swing [1]
1A2 (6) Same person promenade counterclockwise halfway in group of four couples [2]
    (2) Women roll back to partner as men go forward two steps [3]
    (4) Partner right-hand balance
    (4) Partner box the gnat [4]
1B1     Men single file promenade clockwise around women [5]
        Men turn alone
        Men single file promenade counterclockwise around women
1B2     Partner balance
        Partner swing [6]
2A1     Forward and back [7]
        Corner swing
2A2 (6) Same person promenade clockwise halfway in group of four couples [8]
    (2) Men roll back to partner as women go forward two steps [9]
    (4) Partner left-hand balance
    (4) Partner swat the flea [10]
2B1     Women single file promenade counterclockwise around men
        Women turn alone
        Women single file promenade clockwise around men
2B2     Partner balance
        Partner swing
[1] If you're in the center of your line of four, it's the person next to you who's traveling in your group of four. If you're at the ends, it's the neighbor facing across from you.
[2] Standard promenade direction. Men are on the inside of this circle as you promenade.
[3] The outside people (women) turn over their right shoulder and let go of the person they're promenading. (This has nothing to do with the contra figure "roll away.") The end position is in progressed location, right hand to partner, men in the center of the eightsome with women on the outside. As with many four-face-fours, you switch sides as you progress.
[4] At the end of this, women are in a tight circle in the inside.
[5] Out of the box-the-gnat, clockwise should be the natural direction.
[6] Facing new neighbors, the dance begins again, but like "Alternating Corners" by Jim Kitch, it alternates between two symmetric forms.
[7] Don't be scared by the number of footnotes.
[8] Now women are on the inside of the promenade.
[9] The outside people (men) turn over their left shoulder to face the person behind them -- their partner -- in their progressed position.
[10] A left-handed version of the box-the-gnat. (I prefer calling it "twirl to swap.") It ends with the men in a tight circle in the inside, and the women outside, ready to go around the men.

A rewriting of a very old English Country Dance, "Jenny Pluck Pears," in contra form.

When waiting out at the ends, I'd recommend not switching sides for simplicity. That way, you'll always be doing one form of the dance when swinging your neighbor, and the other form when swinging your other partner/shadow.

Piston Pousettes
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
A1 Forward and back
   Right and left through [1]
A2 Star left
   Circle left [2]
B1 Half pousette hey (ends, centers, ends, centers) [3]
B2 Balance ring of four [4]
   Partner swing
[1] With the obvious couple, facing up/down.
[2] In groups of four.
[3] For a description of a regular pousette, see the glossary. You do the pousette with the neighbor you faced at the beginning of the dance.
A pousette hey is similar to a couples hey for four. Each end group of two couples does a 1/2 clockwise pousette, with the men passing back to back. Then the center two couples do a 1/2 counterclockwise pousette, with the women passing back to back. Then the end groups do a 1/2 clockwise pousette, and finally the center two couples do a 1/2 counterclockwise pousette.
As in a regular hey for four, the end loops are bigger than the middle loop. But in this context the dancers may not be aware of it, and may stall at the ends rather than going wide -- unless you point this bit out. The end couples need to take about eight beats, requiring them to go extra-wide. I recommend a demo.
[4] Open up the two-hand pousette hold into a ring of four. If everything went well, your partner should be next to you.

If dancers don't take the end loops wide, this dance will go badly. See comment [3] for details.

It's possible to patch in a neighbor swing, at the cost of making this significantly less forgiving:

Piston Pousettes Plus
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
A1 Men pull by left
   Neighbor (opposite) swing
A2 Ladies chain to partner
   Circle left [2]
B1 & B2 as above

A Properly Proper Hey
by Chris Page
Four facing four [1]
A1 Lines forward and back
   Half figure eight across [2]
A2 Same-sex neighbor do-si-do [3]
   1/2 hey across (R,L,R,L) [4]
B1 Balance ring [5]
   Petronella turn
   Neighbor swing
B2 Balance ring
   Petronella turn
   Partner swing
[1] Ones are facing down, twos are facing up.
[2] The goal is to have the one's line all men, and the two's line all women.
To do this, work in groups of four. The half figure eights are across the set. In each hands-hour, the active half-figure eighters are the women in the line of ones, and the men in the line of twos. I chose to say "the couples closest to the bulletin boards," but that was only because I was lucky enough to have a distinctive wall.
[3] In your same-gender line.
[4] In your same-gender line. Begin by passing the one you do-si-did. Finish the half hey facing them.
Important tip! While there are four passes of the hey, each dancer only experiences three of them. (The fourth is the looping around.) If you tell them to pass four times, like I did the first time I called this, people will pass an extra time, fail to progress, and, well, just please learn from my woe....
[5] Groups of four. Your partner should be diagonally from you in your hands-four.

I'd always wondered how to do a proper four-face-four. This isn't it, but it temporarily goes there.

Rush Hour
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
A1 Partner balance
  Partner swing [1]
A2 Lines forward and back while women roll away partner [2]
   C3 corner swing, form square [3]
B1  --- Heads ---                      --- Sides ---
                                       (1-8) Forward and back [4]
   (5-12) Right and left through
                                      (9-16) Right and left through
  (13-16) Ladies chain (begins)
B2  (1-4) Ladies chain (finishes)
                                       (1-8) Ladies chain
   (5-16) Ladies chain
                                      (9-16) Ladies chain [5]
  (13-16) Extra courtesy turn [6]
[1] Finish the swing in the direction of progression. The swing is the first move rather than the last to contain the muddy timing to the B1/B2 section.
[2] Note the men roll in front of the women. You could do it the other way, but this way you go from clockwise motion to clockwise motion.
[3] See here for the explanation of C1/C2/C3 notation.
After the roll away, your corner C3 is next to you in the circle of eight.
[4] The moves come fast. While one pair of couples is courtesy turning on the side, the others are charging through the center.
The prompting comes even faster. As an example, starting with the second half of the A2:
"- - - - / Side couples forward and back"
"Head couples right and left through / Side couples right and left through"
"Head couples ladies chain / Side couples ladies chain"
"Head couples ladies chain / Side couples ladies chain"
"with extra courtesy turn / Find your partner, balance and swing"
Now you can think about breathing.
[5] During the walkthrough, remind dancers to do the full courtesy turn, rather than women pulling by right and going straight to their partner.
[6] Head couples either do nothing for four beats or an extra courtesy turn.
At the end of the dance, everyone should have their partner next to them, in a different courtesy turn.

Here we have overlapping moves in a square. It was inspired by the zesty version of the original Queen's Quadrille, as called by Beth Molaro.

Watching that video link should explain the above dance -- as soon as one pair of couples clears the center of the square and is busy with a courtesy turn, the other couple starts the next figure.

Tandemonium
by Chris Page
4-face-4
A1 Forward and back
   Corner C1 swing [1]
A2 Balance ring of eight
   As couples petronella turn (equivalent of circle right 1/8) [2]
   Balance ring of eight
   As couples petronella turn (equivalent of circle right 1/8) [3] 
B1 Corner C1 star promenade 1/2 (men in the middle with left hands), back out and reform square [4]
   Grand ladies chain to corner C3 [5]
B2 Partner balance [6]
   Partner swing
[1] See here for the explanation of C1/C2/C3 notation.
[2] As couples: Put your arm on the back of the person you swung, as if about to do a butterfly whirl. The couples petronella turn can also be considered a clockwise butterfly whirl, shifting right one eighth of the way around the circle.
The one eighth is a very important thing to emphasize, since many dancers will legitimately assume one-quarter. I tried the following teach:
Have them form a square after the corner swing. Then have them individually petronella turn one place, and "form a diamond". Notice where they are, then bring them back to the square, and have them do a couples petronella turn, reforming that exact same diamond. And then in the prompting, I'll say "Couples petronella turn, form that diamond."
[3] After the second petronella they've back in a square, at least for the teaching. Sometimes I'll say "form a square" during the prompting, to avoid people getting askew. In the actual dance, the petronella turn is a quarter more until the men are in the middle.
[4] Men make a left-hand star in the middle. Hold on to your corner and star promenade halfway around.
Finishing this is tricky. There's no time for a butterfly whirl -- couples merely back out to a square. The prompt "reform the square" is extremely helpful here.
[5] Women star right 1/2, courtesy turn with that person. Before chaining, everyone can look across the square for their target person.
[6] Men look left, women look right. Your partner should be next to you.

An unusual 4-face-4. It needs careful teaching to avoid some traps, but it got very positive feedback.

Thank you to Martha Wild for the name.

Terpsicontrante
by Chris Page
Four-face-four [1]
A1     Partner balance
       Partner swing
A2     Right and left through across (with your line of four)
       Right and left through along (with new opposites) [2]
         (face same opposites)
B1 (4) In groups of four, circle left 1/2 [3]
   (4) Centers serpentine [4]
   (4) In new groups of four, circle left 1/2
   (4) Centers serpentine [5]
B2 (4) In new groups of four, circle left 1/2
   (4) Centers serpentine
   (4) In new groups of four, circle left 1/2
   (4) Centers serpentine
[1] Technically this is an indecent 4-face-4, but because of the A1 no-one ever needs to know that.
[2] Start this move facing your direction of progression, end facing against your direction of progression.
[3] The group of eight breaks into two groups of four to circle left. Note that the entire B1 and B2 section ends exactly where it starts.
[4] Serpentine: The signature move from the final section of Gary Roodman's English Country Dance composition "Terpsicourante." If you already know the dance, the differences are:
  1. Women lead it, rather than men.
  2. It's done with your neighbor, rather than partner.
  3. It's done four times, rather than three, so you end the B's where you started.
But let's assume you're not familiar with "Terpsicourante." So, "serpentine" described in all its gory detail:
The four people in the center trade places as couples. It's as if the four people in the center joined hands in a circle while facing out, and circled counterclockwise 1/2. Except you only hold on to your neighbor that you did the circle left 1/2 with, so it's more like a backwards arc.
[5] At this point, everyone is where they were swinging their partner in the A1.

A contrafication version of Gary Roodman's English Country Dance, "Terpsicourante." Given that, there was only one possible name for this dance.

Turnstyles
by Chris Page
Four-face-four
A1     Lines forward and back while women roll away partner [1]
       Opposite swing, face partner across [2]
A2     Four ladies chain in a line:
   (4)   Groups of four ladies chain [3]
   (4)   Centers ladies chain
   (4)   Groups of four ladies chain
   (4)   Centers ladies chain, face nearest end [4]
B1     Other neighbor balance [5]
       Neighbor swing [6]
B2     Men star left 1/2
       Partner swing
[1] Women are rolling away men so you have clockwise rotation going into the swing.
[2] Everyone now facing a side wall, and finish directly in front of their partner. Those facing out are considered middle couples. The middle couples are back-to-back with each other. The A2 keeps the men in the same place, but moves the women.
[3] This is similar to the three-ladies-chain figure. Middle men start by facing the nearest end couple. They do a ladies chain, but the middle men do just a half-courtesy turn, until they face each other in the middle. Those four people only do a ladies chain, middle men doing a half courtesy turn to face the same ends. (While the ladies chain in the middle is happening, the end men are finishing a full courtesy turn.)
All the above repeats. Each chain takes four beats. Middle men are acting like revolving doors, or turnstiles.
[4] The final person you chain to is your "trail buddy", or the opposite sex person travelling with you from your original line of four. This makes for a nice target.
[5] Your original neighbor on the diagonal.
[6] Men face their original directions. All roughly facing partner.

I'd gotten stymied in putting the three-ladies-chain figure in a four-face-four. An A1 of long lines, opposite swing set up the figure, but finished with both men and women in the wrong place, and I could only find messy contortions to bring everyone back together. The solution turned out to be the roll-away in the A1 (similar to that of "Lovely Lane Chain"), which set up the women to finish in progressed positions.

In this dance you get to swing both neighbors.


Triple Minors

Because It Was There
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Triad Formation [1]
Double progression [2]
Needs special music (slip jig [3])

A1 (6) Forward and back (as couples) [4]
   (6) Circle left 1/2 [5]
A2 (6) Partner allemande right 1
   (6) Corner C1 allemande left 1 [6]
B1 (12) Grand right and left (PR,C2L,C1R,PL,C2R,C1L) [7]
B2 (4) (grand right and left finishes)
   (8) Partner swing, face next [8]
[1] Starting formation: Take a standard proper triple minor. Ones and twos cross over, and then twos and threes circle left 1/4. I describe it as ones improper, twos and threes Becket. For more on Triad formation, see "TLC Tempest."
[2] Twos and threes progress up, staying with each other, but swapping sides as they travel up. Ones progress down past two couples.
End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. The both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait until the time after that.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to form. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
[3] Done to a special tune. See the section on slip jig contras for details.
[4] As couples, form a triangle, and go four steps into the center of the triangle and back.
[5] All six. It finishes with everyone progressed.
[6] See corner identification for details on C1/C2. C1 is your original corner.
[7] Begin by facing partner, and stay within your minor set. This will take more than 12 counts.
[8] Ones finish facing down. Twos and threes face uppish, having swapped sides.

There's no need to mention who are twos and threes. Just call them "side couples".

The idea of a slip jig triple minor contra dance started as a running gag between myself and Bob Isaacs, but with one too many Facebook posts I realized I had something viable, with low piece count. While it crosses the phrase, it's probably the best I'll be able to do in a long while.

That being said, you probably don't want to do this unless you're doing a weekend session on really unusual contras.

Minor Hey
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Triad formation [1]
Double progression [2]
A1 Ones lead down to next side couples [3]
   Down the hall in a line of six
   Turn alone [4]
   Up the hall in a line of six
   Women turn around, form wave of six
A2 Balance wave of six [5]
   Middle four slide right, ends turn around [6]
   Balance wave of six
   Middle four slide left, ends turn around [7]
B1 Partner right-hand balance
   1/2 hey for six (PR,L,R,L,R,L) [8]
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing [9]
[1] Starting formation: Take a standard proper triple minor. Ones and twos cross over, and then twos and threes circle left 1/4. I describe it as ones improper, twos and threes Becket. For more on Triad formation, see "TLC Tempest."
[2] Twos and threes progress up, staying with each other, but swapping sides as they travel up. Ones progress down past two couples.
End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. They both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait until the time after that.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to form. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
[3] At this point, it's probably best if the twos and threes (side couples) face across. Then they can make sure that the ones lead down until they're between new neighbors. Then the side couples can also pivot to face down, to form the new line of six.
[4] There's a bit of upwards set drift because of the progression, so it's best if the turn alone is delayed by an extra beat or two longer than usual.
[5] Men face up, women face down, left hand to partner.
[6] As in the dance "Rory o' More," the middle four people sidestep to their right, passing nose to nose with their neighbor. They can spin clockwise if they choose. (Counterclockwise when they later slide left.) They reform the wave with left hands to this neighbor.
Meanwhile the two end people just pivot in place/turn around to face the other direction. There's probably a cool way to do this, but I haven't figured it out yet.
[7] Everyone keeps turning untill they face their partner.
[8] Starts with a pull by. Finishes when they see their partner again.
[9] Ones face down. Others face across.

This dance actually benefits from packed sets in the up-down direction, as it puts six people in the space of four. To compensate, it bloats out to the sides, so you don't want too many sets.

The Rory o' More interaction in the A2 could be done with partner if the men turn around at the end of the A1. But I chose this more complex version to give some desperately needed neighbor interaction.

This dance started as a hey for six triple minor dance. But since I needed more filler, I added the "Rory o' More" interaction, and then realized the similarities to "Major Hey," an Erik Hoffman dance with a half hey for eight. Hence the name "Minor Hey."

Right and Left Triangle
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Triad formation [1]
Double progression [2]
A1 Twos and threes right and left through [3]
   Ones and twos right and left through [4]
A2 Ones and threes right and left through
   Ones and twos right and left through
B1 Partner promenade halfway, face next [5]
   Forward and back [6]
B2 Partner balance
   Partner swing
[1] Starting formation: Take a standard proper triple minor. Ones and twos cross over, and then twos and threes circle left 1/4. I describe it as ones improper, twos and threes Becket. For more on Triad formation, see "TLC Tempest."
[2] Twos and threes progress up, staying with each other, but swapping sides as they travel up. Ones progress down past two couples.
End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. The both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait until the time after that.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to form. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
[3] Side couples right and left through. (There's no need to identify twos and threes by number when teaching or calling.)
[4] The rest of the A1/A2 is driven by the ones. They do a series of right and left throughs, going around a triangle to visit each spot in their minor set. First they face down and to the right, then across, and finally up towards their original position.
[5] Counterclockwise, in your group of six.
[6] The progression happens here. Ones face down. Twos and threes face uppish, having swapped sides. This is an "into the center and back" rather than "long lines forward and back."

Because the triple minor formation is very unfamiliar to most contra dancers, any sequence needs to be more forgiving, repetitive, and/or simpler. The above is a simplification of an untested version with a neighbor swing.

Something Borrowed
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Triad formation [1]
Double progression [2]
A1 Ladies grand chain one place [3]
   Ladies grand chain one place
A2 Hands-across star left [4]
   Hands-across star right
B1 Make an arch. Bottom man pulls his partner into a swing. [5]
   Next man does the same, then third.
   All partner swing
B2 Partner promenade halfway, face next [6]
   Forward and back [7]
[1] Starting formation: Take a standard proper triple minor. Ones and twos cross over, and then twos and threes circle left 1/4. I describe it as ones improper, twos and threes Becket. For more on Triad formation, see "TLC Tempest."
[2] Twos and threes progress up, staying with each other, but swapping sides as they travel up. Ones progress down past two couples.
End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. The both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait until the time after that.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to form. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
[3] Women star right, passing their partner, then courtesy turn with the next man.
[4] All six hands-across star left. Everyone should have left hands with their partner.
[5] At this point, everyone raises their joined hands in the star. One pair has their hands below the others. The man of that couple gently pulls his partner under the arches into a swing, which happens at about the same location as where they started the dance.
For the remaining two couples, the now-bottom couple has the man pull his partner into a swing. And then the final man pulls his partner into a swing. All this should take 4-8 beats until everyone is swinging.
[6] Counterclockwise, in your group of six.
[7] The progression happens here. Ones face down. Twos and threes face uppish, having swapped sides. This is an "into the center with your partner and back" rather than "long lines forward and back."

A dance built around the key figure of "The Borrowdale Exchange" by Derek Haynes. Given that, there was only one name for this dance, even if it's been used before as a triplet by Stew Shacklette.

When teaching this dance, I first like to give the short version of the dance -- all six circle left 1/2, swing partner, then face the next -- ones face down, others face across and uppish. That gives them their final target positions. Then I have them come back and do the real dance.

There is no need to give the twos and threes numbers. Just refer to them as side couples.

The timing on this dance is forgiving. In the B1, couples should not get out of order from their original circle, but this can be fixed in the promenade.

TLC Tempest
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Modified Tempest/Triad formation [1] [2]
Double progression [3]
A1 Partner balance
   Partner swing
A2 Down the hall in a line of six, turn as couples
   Up the hall. Sides face across. Ones (centers) face right [4]
B1 Three ladies chain: [5]
   Women 1 and Woman 2 chain (4)
   Woman 2 and Woman 3 chain (4)
   Woman 3 and Woman 1 chain (4)
   Woman 1 and Woman 2 chain (4)
B2 Three ladies chain continues:
   Woman 2 and Woman 3 chain (4)
   Woman 3 and Woman 1 chain (4 or 8)
   Ones lead down to next side couples (4) [6]
      while twos and threes partner gypsy left (4 or 8) [7]
[1] Take a standard triple minor set-up: hands six, ones progress down, twos and threes progress up. Have the ones cross over to become improper. Twos cross over, and circle one quarter with the threes so they're Becket-like. Twos and threes then step away from each other, and ones lead down about two steps till they're between the other couples, as if ready to form a line of six facing down the hall, ones in the middle and twos on one end, threes on the other.
This dance could be thought of as Tempest formation with only one couple #1 between each pair of twos. (As in "Garbology" by Erik Hoffman, from "The Contrarian.") Or it could be thought of as a double progression triple minor where twos and threes are becket, and ones are improper between the twos/threes. This is similar to "Alamo Triad" and "Twenty-First of May Contra" by Bob Marr; and "Bastille Day Reel #1 and #2" by Al Olson. (All those dances are in "Give-and-Take.")
[2] End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. They both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait another time. Entry is at the bottom of the B2.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to come to them. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
For teaching purposes, the most important end effects are at the top.
[3] Note the twos and threes never trade roles as they work their way up the set. The dance is pretty symmetric between the roles of the twos and threes, but the end of the A2 could be tweaked to make it alternating. [4]
[4] It actually doesn't matter whether the ones face the side couple on the left or on the right. However, the notation for this dance transcription assumes couple 1 faces couple 2. To make it perfectly fair [3] and a bit more complex, the facing direction of the ones could alternate; or done to random dancer choice.
[5] The three ladies chain figure is a sequence of six two-couple ladies chains. The middle man only does half-courtesy turns, alternating the direction of the ladies chain. (He acts as a kind of revolving door.) It all ends where it starts. A standard full ladies chain (over and back) is to a hey for four as a full three ladies chain is to a hey for six.
[6] After the final courtesy turn, the ones face down, and lead down until they're between the next group of side couples. This is where couples waiting out at the top get into the dance. (If there's two couples waiting out, they take turns. One goes in this time, the other goes in next.)
This move will cause the dance to drift downwards. To fight this, try:
[7] The left-shoulder gypsy should theoretically take eight beats. Except the threes will probably finish their courtesy turn of the last ladies chain. So for them the gypsy will only be four beats long.
Unless prompted a few times, some dancers will miss this bit and freeze after the three ladies chain. Thankfully this is only an aesthetic problem.

The three-ladies chain figure is a traditional western square dance figure from the first half of the 20th century. (Now watchable on Youtube.) In that context, the number one couple would lead out to the right, and interact with both side couples simultaneously.

For a triple minor, this dance is rather forgiving. It has a piece count of four, a forgiving progression, and a long partner swing. And it's all-active, except for waiting out once or twice at the top/bottom.

For the teaching, you never need give the numbers of the side couples. Just call them "side couples."

(This dance was revised in December 2011 to clean up the progression. The original version had the progression in the middle of the down-the-hall.)

Wagon Reel
by Chris Page
Triple Minor -- Triad formation [1]
Double progression [2]
A1 Twos and threes (side couples) balance ring [3]
   Man two and man three trade places [4]
   Ones swing twos, face across [5]
A2 Lines of three forward and back [6]
   Wagon wheel clockwise 3/4 [7]
B1 Partner gypsy
   Partner swing
B2 Down the hall in a line of six [8]
   Ends turn as couples, centers (ones) turn alone
   Up the hall
   Bend the line and face across [9]
[1] Starting formation: Take a standard proper triple minor. Ones and twos cross over, and then twos and threes circle left 1/4. I describe it as ones improper, twos and threes Becket. For more on Triad formation, see "TLC Tempest."
[2] End effects at the top: Every third time through the dance, two couples get spit out at the top. They both wait out improper, one below the other. One will get in the next time, the other will have to wait until the time after that.
End effects at the bottom: Couples just wait out on the sides, Becket-like, for a full hands-six to form. Since this is double progression, there shouldn't be any couples at the bottom accidentally trapped there forever.
[3] Twos and threes can be thought of as side couples -- no numbers are needed when teaching or calling.
[4] Man two and man three pass right shoulders, trading places. Twos face up, ready to swing the ones.
[5] Ones face down, and swing the person immediately below them.
[6] Only hold hands with those in your minor set. Everyone is facing across.
[7] Wagon wheel: Ones link elbows with either person on their side/line, still facing across. Ones then take a two-hand hold with each other. The whole contraption rotates 270 degrees clockwise ending with everyone facing their partner up or down.
[8] Ones in the middle.
[9] At the end of the B2 ones face down, twos and threes face across. Twos and threes will have switched sides.

There's a number of square dance figures called "Wagon Wheel." This particular one I got from a "Forward Up Six and Six Fall Back" variant called "Wagon Wheel." (See "On the Beat With Ralph Sweet" for details.) It could be thought of as a kind of gypsy star for six.


Triplets

Three-couple set dances created by Ted Sannella. Couples are numbered one, two, and three, and switch places each time through the dance. They are traditionally danced nine times through. See "Zesty Contras" for more details.

Over, Under, and Through
by Chris Page
Triplet
Ones and twos improper [1]
Ends 3-1-2
A1 Circle left 1/2 [2]
   Lines of three forward and back
A2 Right-hand-high, left-hand-low [3]
   Ends swing neighbor [4]
B1 Down the hall in a line of six [5]
   Right-hand-high, left-hand-low [6]
   Up the hall in a line of six
   Bend the line [6]
B2 Circle left 1/2
   Top and bottom couples swing partner [7]
[1] Twos could be proper or improper. Ones must be improper, threes must be proper. This is very important.
[2] Until across from partner. There's a little extra time to "fall back", meaning lines of three back up from each other.
[3] Led by the center person in each line of three. This results in everyone facing out.
Right-hand-high-left-hand low is a way to invert a line of three without ever dropping hands. The center person raises their right arm to make an arch. He/she brings both ends in front of them -- the left-end person stays close to the center person and goes under the arch. The right-end person takes the outer counterclockwise track. The ends have then exchanged places. Towards the completion of this, the center person turns clockwise 180 degrees under his/her own right arm so the line of three faces out.
[4] The center person now brings their two end people in front of them to swing (on the outside of the set). Centers stay in the middle, facing down, eventually to be a line of six facing down.
If the centers sneak in a swing, it will change the configuration of the line of six, but the dance will still work.
[5] Shorter than dancers expect. Only about four steps.
[6] Done in threesomes.
[7] Threes are at the top, twos are at the bottom.
Middle couple could swing their partner, but then they have to be alert to transition into the middle of the circle left for all.

The core of this dance was the right-hand-high, left-hand-low to swing transition. But there was room for another use of the figure in the B1.

I recommend music with distinctive A and B parts, as there's two circle lefts.

The name comes from the lyrics of the song, "Over, Under, Around and Through."

Right and Left Triplet
by Chris Page
Triplet
Ones improper
Ends 3-1-2
A1 Ones and twos right and left through, with power turn in the middle [1]
   Ones and threes right and left through, with power turn in the middle [2]
A2 Twos and threes neighbor balance and swing while
     ones partner balance and swing [3]
B1 All six right and left through [4]
   All six right and left through
B2 Circle left 1/2 [5] 
   Partner swing [6]
[1] A right and left through facing up/down. The couple finishing in the middle (the ones) does an extra half courtesy turn, called a power turn, until they face the threes.
[2] The couple finishing in the middle (the threes) does an extra half courtesy turn, until they face up towards the twos.
[3] "Balance and swing the one you face."
[4] End the swing by facing into a circle/triangle for six. Your current corner is on the man's left, and the woman's right. Your current opposite is straight across from you.
To do a right and left through for six, pull by your current corner with right hands, and meet your opposite for a courtesy turn. Face back into the circle of six.
[5] All six circle until you're across from your partner.
[6] Finishes with top couples (new ones) facing down, others facing up.

Inspired by Colin Hume's discussion on hexagonal squares. I got rid of the three side couples and wrote a triplet.

TLC Triplet
by Chris Page
Triplet
Ones improper
Ends 2-3-1
A1 (8) Ones and twos right and left through, with power turn in middle [1]
  Three ladies chain: [2]
   (4) Woman 1 and Woman 3 chain at bottom
   (4) Woman 3 and Woman 2 chain at top
A2 (4) Woman 2 and Woman 1 chain at bottom
   (4) Woman 1 and Woman 3 chain at top
   (4) Woman 3 and Woman 2 chain at bottom
   (4) Woman 2 and Woman 1 chain at top [3]
B1     Ones and threes neighbor balance and swing [4]
B2     Forward and back [5]
       Partner swing [6]
[1] A right and left through facing up/down. The couple finishing in the middle (the ones) does an extra half courtesy turn, called a power turn, until they face the threes.
[2] See "TLC Tempest" for a description of a three ladies chain. Or see this video.
[3] Finishes where it started with ones in the middle facing down, threes at the bottom facing up.
[4] Meanwhile, twos could balance and swing their partner.
[5] If twos swing their partner, have all six go into the center and back instead.
[6] Top couple finishes facing down, others face up.

This puts the three ladies chain figure into its most logical formation -- a triplet. See "TLC Tempest" for this figure set in a contra.


Squares

Not an area of active choreographic interest, because I haven't called or researched them enough to truly understand them. But once in a while inspiration hits...

Xenotransplantation
by Chris Page
Square
Mixer, HHSS
Corner C3 [1] progression (Right-hand lady)
A1 Heads forward and back
   Heads swing opposite (C2), face nearest sides [2]
A2 Four ladies chain in a line:
   (4) Groups of four ladies chain [3]
   (4) Centers ladies chain
   (4) Groups of four ladies chain
   (4) Centers ladies chain, face nearest sides
B1 Corner C3 balance and swing
B2 Corner C3 (new partner) promenade to man's home
[1] See here for the explanation of C1/C2/C3 notation.
[2] All are facing original corner, C1. Heads have their backs to their partners.
[3] This is similar to the three-ladies-chain figure. Head men start by facing the sides. They do a ladies chain, but the head men do just a half-courtesy turn, until they face each other in the middle. Those four people only do a ladies chain, head men doing a half courtesy turn to face the same sides. (While the ladies chain in the middle is happening, the side men are finishing a full courtesy turn.)
All the above repeats. Each chain takes four beats. Heads end up with their partner, sides end up with their opposite. All are facing their C3 corner.

Call heads, heads, sides, sides. With breaks to taste.

I took a variant of a traditional square figure, and grafted it into a square to appeal to modern contra dancers. Hence the name.


Square dance breaks

Rolling Break
by Chris Page
Square dance break figure
A1 Forward and back (all eight) [1]
   Men roll away corner [2]
   Men roll away (new) corner
A2 (Newer) corner swing (original right-hand lady/left-hand gent)

   Forward and back (all eight)
B1 Men roll away corner
   Men roll away (new) corner
   (Newer) corner swing

B2 Forward and back (all eight)
   Men roll away corner
   Men roll away (new) corner
C1 (Newer) corner swing

   Forward and back (all eight)
C2 Men roll away corner
   Men roll away (new) corner
   (Newer) corner swing (original partner)
[1] All eight hold hands in a ring throughout this figure.
[2] This starts a quick series of catch and releases.

Remember, corner is a position, not a person. Men always look left, women always look right to find their new corner.

Once again, a way to swing everyone with a repeating pattern. My idea was the forward and back is done completely (all eight counts), and then still holding hands start the two consecutive roll aways. But if you find it better to do the roll away as the lines are going back, that should also work.

This break ends with everyone on the other side of the set, so you'll need the equivalent of a circle left 1/2 to get everyone home. If you want to phrase this nicely to 32-bar tunes, you could try one of the following:

D1 Partner promenade 1/2
   Partner do-si-do
D2 Partner balance
   Partner swing

or:

D1 Corner allemande left 1
   Grand right and left (PR,L,R,L)
D2 Partner balance
   Partner swing

or something of your own devious devising.


Other

Stuff that defies easy categorization.


Chocolate in the Peanut Butter
by Chris Page
Sicilian Circle
Needs special music (see below)
1A1 Ones balance [1]
    Ones swing, face new neighbors [2]
1A2 Circle left 1
    Neighbor swing [3]
1B1 [4] Twos individually go clockwise around the outside of the set, [5]
       meet in the center [6]
1B2 Twos waltz counterclockwise in the central corridor between the ones,
      back to place [7]
2A1 Twos balance
    Twos swing, face new neighbors
2A2 Circle left 1
    Neighbor swing [3]
2B1 Ones individually go clockwise around the outside of the set,
       meet in the center [8]
2B2 Ones waltz counterclockwise in the corridor between the ones,
      back to place [9]
[1] Originally ones are facing counterclockwise, twos are facing clockwise. This is also the direction they face to look for new neighbors.
[2] The "new neighbors" clause is only needed for later times through the dance. First time through they face original neighbors.
[3] The progression happens here.
[4] This part is done in waltz tempo. The B1 is eight measures, or 24 steps long. So is the B2.
[5] As per the A1 of "Chorus Jig," the twos are travelling outside the set. Woman two is on the inside track, man two on the outside.
[6] The "center" here has the same meaning as the middle of the set for a contra line.
[7] Twos continue to where they started the B1, stopping just as they see the neighbors they swung.
"Counterclockwise" refers to the path they take around the room/set, not the clockwise waltzing motion of the two dancers around each other.
Those that don't know how to waltz can just lead around the central corridor.
[8] Note that ones and twos both travel in the same clockwise direction. There's some broken symmetry here, as it's not perfectly alternating. This time, man one is on the inside track, woman one on the outside.
[9] Ones need to waltz past the neighbors they just swung to return to place.

A very unusual dance. The A-parts are done contra-tempo, while the B-parts are waltz-tempo. Meaning the band needs a special tune, or to take half of two existing tunes and solder them together.

This dance has two obscure inspirations. One is a Dudley Laufman dance from the early 1970's, "My Home." In that dance the same music is played at jig tempo for the A1&A2, and as a waltz for the B1&B2. The second is the "Spanish Waltz," a mid-19th century waltz contra.

When writing this dance, it didn't work as a contra. With a short set, most of the action would happen beyond the last set of twos. With a long set, the twos would never be active. And in either case you'd need an excessive amount of room at the bottom of the set. So it became an alternating Sicilian circle. The broken symmetry between the ones and the twos was done so that both couples would waltz in the standard counterclockwise line-of-direction.

Sevenpins
by Chris Page
Three-face-three with a seventh person (sevenpin) in the middle [1]
Double progression for the threesomes
Semi-mixer [2]
A1 Lines of three promenade past two "couples," facing new sevenpin in original direction. [3]
A2 Six people star right [4] while sevenpin orbits counterclockwise [5]
   Six people star left while sevenpin orbits clockwise [6]
B1 Sevenpin chooses someone, and balances and swings that new sevenpin
   Others return to original lines [7]
B2 Old sevenpin joins line of two, lines do basket swings for three while
    new sevenpin stays in middle. [8]
[1] The set-up is a "standard" three-face-three, sort of like a proper/improper dance, but with partnerships of three people rather than two. There are no gender roles in this dance. Between each hands-six is a lone seventh person, called the "sevenpin."
[2] During the course of the dance, the sevenpin will switch with one of the other six people, joining that new threesome and creating a new sevenpin. The threesomes progress onwards, while the position of the sevenpin stays put.
[3] Like a standard promenade, the left-hand person passes left shoulders with the groups promenading the other way. They also pass left shoulders with the sevenpins, who stay put. Unlike a standard promenade, it's done with groups of three, so choose whatever handholds you like.
The progression is till the threesomes are facing/surrounding a new sevenpin. If they reach the end, they need to immediately turn around.
For compact sets, there might be time for a forward and back.
[4] At this point, the sevenpin needs to sidestep out of the way, as they're currently standing in the star's ground zero.
[5] Actually it doesn't matter which direction the sevenpin goes around the star. They just need to be ready to choose someone to swing.
[6] An alternate A2 would involve six people circling left and right around the sevenpin in the middle. I may end up changing the dance to that version.
[7] At this point there will be a line of three and a line of two, each facing original direction. At the end of the B1 swing, the old sevenpin joins the line of two as a new partner. The person he/she swung is the new sevenpin.
[8] The basket swing finishes facing the same people.

You probably don't want to call this one. While it is danceable, it's too far outside of the standard contra repertoire. I include this more to get people to think more about alternate formations, and different ways the contra tradition could have evolved.

This dance started as an attempt to include the figure "Birdie in a Cage" into a contra dance. But it kept diverging and mutating till I realized I had something closer to the traditional square dance "Ninepins."

My first attempt at the dance had the other five dancers circling around the swingers in the B1, but it turned out to be too complex for people to sort themselves out in time for the B2.


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