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Dances or versions of dances of mine I not longer use. They're alright, but I've written better. I'd recommend visiting my other two pages instead. Consider this an archival page, so you don't need the wayback machine.
A1 Partner right-hand balance  Spin to the right as in Petronella  Partner right-hand balance Spin to the right as in Petronella A2 Partner right-hand balance Spin to the right as in Petronella Partner right-hand balance Spin to the right as in Petronella B1 Partner balance Partner swing B2 Promenade counterclockwise (14)  Women turn back, give right hand to next (2)
The traditional dance "Petronella" is already almost a circle mixer. The only thing that doesn't fit is the right and left through. (And the cast.) Replacing it with a balance and swing also cures the Issue modern dancers have.
This is another mixer that I was surprised no-one had already written.
Deprecated because it's too repetitive for its own good, without teaching anything useful beyond the swing. A cute theoretical exercise, though.
A1 With partner, shift left (4) Balance, facing neighbor N2 across (4)  With partner, shift right (4) Circle right 1/2 with neighbor N1 (4) A2 With partner, shift right (4) Balance, facing neighbor N2 across (4) With partner, shift left (4) Circle left 1/2 with neighbor N1 (4) B1 Left diagonal ladies chain (to N2) Ladies chain to shadow B2 Partner balance Partner swing
An updating of an old dance, "California Reel." How old? I found it in an online manuscript from the 1860's.
Deprecated because it doesn't really fit the modern dance tradition, with the balances across. I kind of like the concept, though.Expanding the Ever-Expanding Circle
A1 Partner two-hand turn clockwise Partner two-hand turn counter-clockwise A2 Circle right in groups of four (with N1) Circle left B1 Entire set form a giant oval and circle/oval to the left  Entire set circle/oval to the right  B2 Right diagonal right and left through Women allemande right 1 & 1/2  C1 Neighbor N3 balance Neighbor N3 swing C2 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 Partner swing
A variant of "The Ever Expanding Circle" by Leonard Ellis. The original dance was a very neat concept, yet for once the piece count  seemed low, especially given the challenge in needing to know which side you should be on, and your progressed neighbor's identity. It was a good excuse to write a 48-bar sequence, as the only thing rarer than 48-bar dances are 48-bar dances with decent piece counts. Still, the musical limitations make my variant less generally useful than the original.
Deprecated because while it looks elegant on paper, circling for 22 seconds is a bit much.
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."
Deprecated because there's better circle-roll-circle-roll dances out there, without a 16-beat neighbor swing and a klunky B2. My current favorite is "Clipper" by Don Flaherty.Swinging Jenny
A1 Ones swing, face down (16)  A2 Neighbor swing (8) Ones swing, face down (8) B1 With next neighbors, down the hall in a line of four Turn alone, return  B2 Right and left through Right and left through
"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.
Deprecated because there's other more equal, better swing-to-swing-to-swing transitions out there.Trip to Lambertville Variant
A1 Women walk forward to long wave in center Balance long wave Women back out while men walk forward to long wave Balance long wave A2 Men allemande left 3/4 to wave of four Balance wave of four Neighbor swing B1 Circle left 3/4 Partner swing B2 Long lines forward and back Ladies chain
As the title indicates, a variant of Steve Zakon-Anderson's dance, but more generally a dance of the "Snake River Reel" lineage. While I love "Trip to Lambertville", coming out of the swing immediately to a right-and-left through is tough for new dancers. Which is a shame, since the distinctive A1 is very nice for beginners. So I've simplified it slightly, while keeping the essentials. On the plus side, in this variant men only once allemande left in the center. On the minus, the dance has been infected with a circle left 3/4.
Since putting this dance on the web, I've run across the above as a known variant of "Trip to Lambertville" -- the only difference is the A2 wave balance is omitted. So it's even more unoriginal than I originally guessed.
Deprecated because it's unoriginal.Vicky's Reel
A1 Ones sashay down  Ones sashay up, facing (new) neighbor  A2 Neighbor sashay down  Neighbor sashay back B1 Neighbor do-si-do Neighbor swing B2 Long lines forward and back Ones swing
A clean-up of the B2 (and the B1 to compensate) of "Good Queen Vic" by Martyn Harvey.
Deprecated because contra dancers aren't fans of constant sashays. And if they're not controlled, they can be dangerous with running into the other person.Yarn Dance
A1 Balance wave of four Slide right  Balance wave of four Slide left A2 Neighbor balance Neighbor swing B1 Give and take to man's side  Partner swing B2 Shift left Circle left 3/4 with N2 Neighbor do-si-do 1 & 1/4 to wave of four
This dance's name is an acronym: Yet-Another-Rory-Neighbor Dance. There's a large cluster of very similar dances with the pattern:
A1 Wave of four neighbor Rory o' More figure. A2 Balance and swing neighbor B1 Connecting figure to partner swing on sides B2 Set up next wave of four
Somewhere a progression is also slipped in, most typically at the bottom of the B2.
Dances that resemble this include "Beck and Call" by David Smukler, "Black Bird in the Night" by Don Flaherty, "Earl & Squirrel" by Chris Weiler, "The Good Life" by Bob Isaacs, "Rock the Cradle Joe" by Ridge Kennedy, "Saturday Night Line" by Joseph Pimentel, "Theory of Mind" by David Smukler, "Two More" by Tony Saletan, and "You Can Get There From Here" by Linda Leslie. And there's yet others I've seen in videos.
Yet none of them had a B2 that made me completely happy. In the simplest ones, the B2 seemed either a beat short or long. That's what motivated me to try this particular combination of figures, which otherwise wound up being very similar to Joseph Pimentel's version. Using the give-and-take saves one beat from the progress and circle left because couples are already offset. And putting the do-si-do after the progression (which several others dances do) leaves dancers better able to catch up to the A1 balance.
Update, 1/2012: And it turns out that "YARN Dance" isn't original. It's almost identical to the folk-processed version of "Cheat Lake Twirl" by Perry Shafran. The only difference is that "Cheat Lake Twirl" adds a balance before the give-and-take.
Deprecated because it's already be done, probably before I wrote this one.
A1 Long lines forward and back Right and left through  A2 Balance ring  Petronella turn Partner swing B1 Men allemande left 1 & 1/2 Neighbor swing, face up B2 Up the hall in a line of four Centers (twos) turn as a couple, ends turn alone Down the hall in a line of four Face across
Written for Frannie Marr, who was going to be calling "Money Musk" in Anaheim, CA. She was interested in a teaching dance with a same sex right and left through that didn't require learning a half figure eight, and was all-active with plenty of swings. Since I didn't know of any, I wrote this instead.
Needs room at the top of the set for the up the hall. May drift down.
Deprecated because while it does the job nicely, it's got all the elegance of a water buffalo caught in an oil slick. Stick with "Path to the Past" instead.Common Courtesies
A1 (new) Women allemande right 1 & 1/4  Partner swing A2 Long lines forward and back Ladies chain B1 Women gypsy right 1 Neighbor swing B2 Neighbor promenade Right and left through
This is a dance without a purpose. Its original goal was to include all three courtesy turns with your neighbor as a teaching exercise. However, there are no 16-beat figures, and the progression is subtle, making it tricky if you have a significant number of beginners. (And if you don't, you probably don't need the drill.) For this purpose I now prefer "Contra Primer" by Melanie Axel-Lute, in her book "One Good Tern."
Which leaves "Common Courtesies" out in the cold. It's still an interesting dance for the women, but it's not one I use often.
Deprecated because of interference issues, and there's other dances that do this better.Sneaker Reel
A1 Left diagonal right and left through  Circle left 1 with N3 A2 Partner allemande right 1/2 Women cross set while men loop right (box circulate) Neighbor N3 swing B1 Hey (ML,PR,WL,N3R,ML,PR,WL,N3R) B2 Continue hey (men pass left while women loop) Partner swing
So named because it's possible to sneak up behind the person you're swinging. (Women with their neighbors, men with their partners.)
Deprecated because it's double progression. I've since written a single progression version: "Sneaker Reel 2."Trip to San Diego
A1 Ones lead down the center Ones turn as a couple Ones return Ones cast around twos  A2 Ones cross set, pass by right shoulders Neighbor swing B1 Neighbor gypsy right 1  Promenade single file in group of four clockwise 1 B2 Ones balance Ones swing, face down
I include this dance with trepidation, because it's intentionally not a happy dance, and hence in some ways goes against the basic philosophy of contra dance.
I was moving away from my original dance community in Philadelphia, and wanted to express my feelings about leaving as best as I fumblingly could. Saying goodbye hurts, and this dance was meant to act this out with your neighbors. The kernel of the idea came from the swing-gypsy transition, followed by the rule that you couldn't touch your neighbors after the swing. The rest of the dance just supports those odd requirements.
Use at your own risk, though its uniqueness may warrant the risk. Or inspire other, better dances by you.
Deprecated for reasons stated above. It's not a happy dance.Wind-up Your Neighbor, 2007 double progression version
A1 Left diagonal right and left through  Circle left 1 A2 Draw pousette neighbor N3 clockwise 3/4  Two-hand turn neighbor N3 1 & 1/2  B1 1/2 hey (ML, PR, WL) Neighbor N3 swing B2 Women allemande right 1 & 1/2 Partner swing
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.
Deprecated because I've rewritten this as single progression, so you don't skip neighbors. Go see the revised version.
A1 Partner balance Partner swing A2 Down the hall in a line of six, turn as couples (centers go a bit further before turning, to hook up with a new group of six.)  Up the hall. Sides face across. Ones (centers) face right  B1 Three ladies chain:  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) Partner gypsy left (8 or 4) 
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 or five, a very 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."
Deprecated because I cleaned up the progression. Go see the revised version.