Category Archives: Contra

Oh, The Indecency! – Indecent – Don Veino 20170802

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Indecent Status: Proven Indecent formation = ones proper, twos crossed over Not much to say about this one other than I hope dancers really enjoy the novelty of the formation and somewhat uncommon moves. I’m guessing … Continue reading

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Wild Mouse – 4 Face 4 – Don Veino 20170823

Type: Contra Dance, 4 Face 4 Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL This sequence re-imagines the B parts from my dance Lobster Roll. I wanted to find another way of resolving a 4 Face 4 than has been done to date. Originally I … Continue reading

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Lobster Roll – 4 Face 4 – Don Veino 20170823

Type: Contra Dance, 4 Face 4 Status: DRAFT This sequence re-uses a concept I’d first developed for a down the hall dance Strolling & Rolling. When thinking about the commonality of facing lines/4 and a line/4 down the hall I … Continue reading

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Strolling & Rolling – Becket – Don Veino 20170725

Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CW Status: DRAFT This dance sprang out of my interest in doing something unique out of a Partner Roll Away. I’ve experienced other callers’ attempts at making a roll away feed something with Partner focus like … Continue reading

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Counter Clock-Weiss – DI – Don Veino 20170729

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL This dance was written in memoriam to Eph Weiss. Eph was an active dancer in many folk styles in the Boston, MA area up until nearly his 93rd birthday and was known … Continue reading

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Ephervescence – DI – Don Veino 20170729

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: Proven This is a conventional respin of my all-reverse dance Counter Clock-Weiss, written in memoriam to Eph Weiss. Eph was an active dancer in many folk styles in the Boston, MA area up until … Continue reading

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Wicked Smooth – Becket or DI – Don Veino 20170803

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper or Becket Left/CW Status: Proven There’s been a dance “seed” on my whiteboard for some time, which germinated today into what I think is a wonderfully smooth dance (what we New Englanders might describe as … Continue reading

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Poussettey Spaghetti – DI – Don Veino 20170715

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: DRAFT This dance came out of a comment my wife, Sage, once made while we were walking down to the dance hall at Ogontz camp in Lyman, NH. There was an English Country Dance … Continue reading

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Poussette in Boots – Becket – Don Veino 20170715

Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CW Status: Proven This dance came out of playing with Poussettes towards my dance Poussettey Spaghetti, intended to be simpler than that dance. At the time of it’s composition, our daughter Raeden was obsessed with getting … Continue reading

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(Riding in the) Zoomy Car – DI – Don Veino 20170717

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: Proven The A parts of this composition were inspired by Lindsey Dono’s work-in-progress composition Working Title (WT), which I’d become involved in discussing. Lindsey, several others and I were challenged to date in finding … Continue reading

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Dance No Evil – Becket – Don Veino 20170710

Type: Contra Dance, Becket CW/Left Formation Status: Proven Another in a series of my “not evil” Star 3/4 explorations. See Shining Sparkle for my original Star 3/4 composition and motivation. This dance counts on the “New England Style” Promenade and … Continue reading

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Trip Through Athol – Becket – Don Veino 20170609

Type: Contra Dance, Becket CW/Left Formation Status: Proven US Route 2 is a significant road connecting contra dances in the eastern and western parts of Massachusetts (in particular at the Concord Scout House and Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield). To … Continue reading

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Shining Sparkle – DI – Don Veino 20170609

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: Proven Alternate Title: During testing this was temporarily known as “The 75% Solution” and “Stellar Redemption.” While discussing a caller’s draft dance with colleagues, one persisted that a Star 3/4 was always “Evil, Don. … Continue reading

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Trip to Santa Fe – Circle Mixer – Don Veino 20170622

Type: Circle Mixer Status: Proven During a trip to New Mexico for other reasons I arranged to be booked for the Santa Fe FolkMADS Contra Dance. Shortly before the event I was informed that a group of 20+ international students … Continue reading

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House of Love – DI – Don Veino 20170529

Type: Contra, Duple Improper Status: Proven This is a re-imagining of my dance Soft Gummy Tummies to provide everyone partner and neighbor swings plus allow for greater tune flexibility. Note the A-parts marching direction is reversed here vs. SGT in … Continue reading

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Dark Side of the Moon – DI – Don Veino 20170526

Type: Contra, Duple Improper Status: Proven In the Contra Dancers Facebook group Emma Rushton posted to ask if anyone had or was planning to write a contra themed for the August 21, 2017 total eclipse of the sun. I originally … Continue reading

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Super Robin – DI – Don Veino 20170523

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: Proven Dedicated to Robin Humes – family friend and super volunteer in service of the Concord Scout House area contra community. It’s only fitting this dance include a Mad Robin (besides the obvious eponymous … Continue reading

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Bang a U-Ey! [V2] – DI – Don Veino 20140321

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper Status: Proven but revised 20170528 I wanted to create an improper dance which provided the opportunity for cross-set play so often available in proper contras. Originally the A1 action was for the ones and then … Continue reading

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The Mighty Mommy Mole – Proper Triplet – Don Veino 20160327

Type: Proper Triplet Status: Proven This is my first Triplet dance. I was inspired to come up with this after seeing Bob Isaacs’ dance Cinnamon Cruller on the SharedWeight Caller’s List. I love the transition from the star into the … Continue reading

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Oh, Yeah! – DI – Don Veino 20170428

Type: Contra, Duple Improper Status: DRAFT Alternative Title: When I’m Sixty Four as in (sung to the refrain of the Beatles tune of the same name): Am I too dizzy? Will you still dance me? When I’m sixty four? More … Continue reading

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Hey, Aren’t You With Me? – Becket – Don Veino 20170416

Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CW Formation Status: DRAFT Another dance playing with Mad Robin transitions (see similar posts). In a way this is a return to one of my earliest dances (Raeden’s Curls), which used a Mad Robin 1+1/4 – … Continue reading

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(Like) Juggling Chainsaws – DI – Don Veino 20170406

Type: Contra, Duple Improper Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL For this dance the Chain to See-Saw progression idea (the “experimental” part) came first. Then the title[2], which implied there must be more than a single Chain/Saw, which drove the rest of the … Continue reading

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Soft Gummy Tummies – DI – Don Veino 20170415

Type: Contra (or ECD), Duple Improper (or Gender Role Free) Status: Proven The inspiration for this dance came from Jeff Kaufman on Facebook. He related a story where his band The Free Raisins were asked to play the English Country … Continue reading

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Spring Fling – Becket – Don Veino 20170404

Type: Contra, Becket Left/CW Status: Proven A relatively simple/straightforward composition containing two uncommon points: a Mad Robin figure (easy, once taught – and which I feel flows wonderfully into a chain) and a Courtesy Fling*. Dancers often rush a Mad … Continue reading

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The Whole Slice – Becket – Don Veino 20170401

Type: Contra, Becket CW/Left Status: Proven I was reviewing candidate dances for the 2017 New England Folk Festival, and this dance literally wrote itself. It came to me in a straight stream of consciousness, in a little under a minute. … Continue reading

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Spicing Up Your Dance Collection with Pepperplate

In this post I will lay out some history of how I have managed my dance collection and what I am currently exploring as a way to greatly simplify the work of building and maintaining that collection and making it … Continue reading

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Westford PCA Barn Dance 3/23/2013

Tonight I’m calling a Barn Dance at the Westford, MA Parish Center for the Arts (PCA), working with the house band OH, CONTRAire! Despite being called a Barn Dance, I confirmed with the organizer that they are looking for/happy with … Continue reading

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Concord Monday Contras 11/26/2012

A great night at my home dance in Concord! I got to work with musicians I like this evening, including: David Kaynor (fiddle), Debby Knight (piano), Jack O’Connor (mandolin, banjo, percussion) & Cal Howard (bass). My called program: Broken Transcription … Continue reading

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Gardner Contra Dance 11/24/2012

A fun dance! The crowd was filled with a large proportion of first time dancers, so I significantly revised my planned program below. As I did that on the fly and spent a lot of time down on the floor … Continue reading

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Sweet Scent of Sage – Contra Dance

I’ve been toying with a very partner-centric dance I’ve named for my wife Sage. Below is the original (successfully tried) and two new variations I hope to try out soon. The AFAIK unique A1 Mad Robin to A2 slide left … Continue reading

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Concord Monday Contras 9/3/2012

This post is one of a series documenting my hobby of calling (leading) Contra dancing, building off of my original post on this topic. This dance evening marked my first “full evening” calling debut at the famous Concord, MA Scout … Continue reading

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Contra Dance Calling Log

I started dancing Contra dances on September 10, 2007. One year later, I started writing dances. I now periodically call (lead a hall full of other dancers) one or more in an evening. This is my log of that calling … Continue reading

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What Ho, Bertie?

SB has been talking about trying English Country Dance ever since she had her “amazing Money Musk moment” (paper cranes – humans) at a contra dance at Pinweoods camp a while back.  So we went to check it out this … Continue reading

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