Clap Happy – Gender Free Longways or Circle – Don Veino 20180115

Type: Longways or Circle Family/Ceilidh Dance – Gender Free
Status: Proven

Clap Happy being danced

Clap Happy dancers!

This dance always gets smiles with the right crowds. Very useful for those community dances where you want want to sense the crowd or provide some variety without the possibility of a crash and burn. Works well as a keeper with smaller kids paired to a bigger kid or parent. Can be used as a mixer with older kids or adults.

In larger crowds run this in multiple “longways for as many as will” sets with partners opposite.

In smaller venues as a circle dance, I get folks to take hands in a single circle with Partner, then have them adjust to have one person in each couple face me or put their back to me in the center so the couples form radial spokes for two concentric circles. Then I have them compare wingspans and move the bigger folks to face in on the outside circle and narrower wingspans to face out from the inner circle.

UPDATE 5/12/20: I created a “to Go” variation of this dance for the 2020 “Virtual” New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) – see the first comment below for details.

Starts facing Partner opposite:

A1
(8 @ 1 beat/move) Clap two hands over (own! 🙂 ) left leg, under left leg, over right leg, under right leg, in front at waist, behind back at waist, in front again and then two handed “high five” with Partner
(8) Repeat pattern
[Encourage adjustments for mobility issues as required – can clap high/low instead of over/under leg, etc.]

A2
(8) Partner Right Elbow turn 1x
(8) Partner Left Elbow turn 1x (so back at starting spot)

B1
(8,8) Facing Circles or Big Oval to your own personal RIGHT (opposite direction from Partner) and back left
[as a keeper, left is return to Partner – as mixer, go one person past Partner to next]

B2
(keep or new) Partner Balance & Swing (two-hand, whatever – end in place, facing in or out)
ALT: Partner Dosido & Swing

End effects: Never out
Tune suggestions: Bouncy 32 bar jigs, marches – bouncy A1 is key to the fun!
Video:
See also: Probably some traditional dances that are similar…
First called by me at Hancock UCC Barn Dance on 1/20/2018.

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1 Response to Clap Happy – Gender Free Longways or Circle – Don Veino 20180115

  1. Don says:

    As an accepted performer for the 2020 New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) I was saddened to hear that the April festival was to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news was that NEFFA later announced that they were going to do a “Virtual” festival and invited performers to submit video content for participants to enjoy.

    I worked up a “to Go” variation of this dance for the virtual event and partnered with Julie Metcalf (fiddle) and Max Newman (guitar) plus some local dancers to create a socially-distanced participatory dance experience. That video is available at the http://virtual.neffa.org site and I’ve permanently posted it to https://youtu.be/GyGlhGjYvj0 as well.

    The sequence is very similar to the original but is slated for singles or a couple alone – no lines or bigger set. The variation sequence is:

    Clap Happy (“to Go” Variation) – Family Scatter Dance – Don Veino

    Starts facing your (real or imagined) Partner

    A1 (8 @ 1 beat/move) Clap two hands over (own! ? ) left leg, under left, over right leg, under right, in front at waist, behind back at waist, in front again and then two handed “high five” with Partner
    (8) Repeat pattern

    A2 Partner Right Elbow turn 1x, Left Elbow turn 1x

    B1 (8,8) Wander Anywhere away from Partner; Wander Back

    B2 Partner Dosido & Swing (two-hand, whatever – end in place, facing P)

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