Tag Archives: gypsy

Mad For Ogontz – DI – Don Veino 20180808

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

At CDSS Ogontz Family Camp 2018 Steve Zakon-Anderson wanted to teach Mad Robin to the 11s & 12s group but didn’t have a suitable dance. We couldn’t find one in my deck either, so I wrote this one. This one I wrote for MR newbies but an experienced dancer has since told me it is their “new favorite all-time dance” because of the “great smooth flow” :-).

Encourage dancers to really relax into the B1 & B2 timing to avoid arriving early for the A1 (you may need to stretch out the lines to allow for this). I’ve noticed dancers sliding past and curling back to their next Neighbor to smooth that out, should it happen (rather than stopping dead and then starting the Gypsy).

A1
Neighbor Gypsy, Swing

A2
Gents Allemande Left 1+1/2x, Partner Swing

B1
(8,8) Long Lines Forward & Back, Half Hey (Ladies Right start)

B2
(8,8) Ladies Chain, Mad Robin CCW (Ladies thru center first) to next

End effects: none
Tune suggestions: flowy with strong 8 beat hinting, particularly in the Bs
Video: Top Hill Music dance at the Greenfield, MA Grange
See also: Rainbows Over Ogontz, Fairly Nicked From Nick
First called by Steve Zakon-Anderson at CDSS Ogontz Family Camp on ~8/9/2018.

The Right In Tension (a.k.a. Synchro de Mayo) – Becket – Don Veino 20180430

Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CW
Status: Proven

I’ve written a series of dances playing with the residual tension from the last contact in a roll-away and this one I feel is my simplest solution to date for it feeding a hey (suitable for a mixed crowd). Some of my related dances are listed in See Also below.

I find it very helpful to demo the roll to hey transition for dancers and stress keeping the tension of the last contact to pull into the first pass right of the hey. Once dancers get this they’re pleasantly surprised that the move works smoothly and feels great.

The secondary name for the dance honors first calling it on Cinco de Mayo 2018 and my coming up with another substitute term for Gypsy – using “Synchronize” (Sync) for the move.

A1
Slide Left, Ladies Allemande Right 1+1/2x
Neighbor Swing (end facing down)

A2
Line/4 Down the Hall, G1 turns alone while G2 does RH High, LH Low to all face up (swapping the Ladies)
Line/4 Up the Hall, Gents Roll Partner Lady Away (w/half sashay) and KEEP last HOLD tension to face P across

B1
(pull into) Partner Pass Right Full Hey (P by R, L1 & G2 by L, Same Role by R, G1 & L2 R, etc.)

B2
Partner Synchronize (a.k.a. Gypsy) & Swing

End effects:
Tune suggestions: well-phrased, driving.
Video:
See also: Lobster Roll, Rolling & Strolling, Proof of Concept, Shaken Not Stirred, Stirred Not Shaken, … (yep, there’s a lot of them!)
First called by me at the Berlin Country Orchestra dance in Berlin, MA on 5/5/2018.

Counter Clock-Weiss – DI – Don Veino 20170729

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL

Eph & Raeden waltzing
Eph Weiss and our daughter Raeden doing their first waltz in 2013.

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 for doing a CCW Swing to give his knees some relief.

Eph had the grace to be able to substitute a CCW Swing for a conventional Swing and have it work smoothly. In this dance, I rely less on the skill of dancers to accomplish that by making all the moves in the dance facilitate CCW Swings. Because of that, the dance counts on ending the CCW swings (done in reverse ballroom position or other comfortable hold) with the Gent on the right. For a conventional swing respin of this dance, see Ephervescence.

Note that this dance and Ephervescence are sufficiently similar/tune equivalent that they could be easily medleyed to provide dancers the novelty of reverse action for a short while and then switch to conventional moves.

Unbeknownst to me while Eph was still dancing with us, some dancers had nicknamed him “Counter Clock-Weiss” – it seemed the perfect title for this composition!

A1
Neighbor LEFT Gypsy 1x
Gents Pass Right, Half Hey

A2
Neighbor LEFT Gypsy & CCW Swing (end with Gent on RIGHT)

B1
Give & Take to Gents, Partner CCW Swing (end with Gent on RIGHT)

B2
Long Lines Forward & Back
Star Right 3/4x to next

End effects: Wait out crossed over.
Tune suggestions:
Video:
See also: Ephervescence

This has been dry run with some dancers on the sideline successfully, but not yet called/danced.

Ephervescence – DI – Don Veino 20170729

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

Eph & Raeden waltzing
Eph Weiss and our daughter Raeden doing their first waltz in 2013.

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 nearly his 93rd birthday. See Counter Clock-Weiss for the original composition.

A1
Neighbor Gypsy 1x
Ladies Pass Left Half Hey

A2
Neighbor Gypsy & Swing

B1
Give & Take to Gents, Partner Swing

B2
LLF & G Roll Away Partner on way Back
Star Right 3/4x to next

End effects:
Tune suggestions:
Video: First trial
See also: Counter Clock-Weiss

First called by me at the Greenfield, MA Guiding Star Grange on 8/18/2017.

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 offered my recent dance Oh, Yeah! as a possible theme fit. A couple of days later the idea for this sequence arose, which riffs off that dance but now includes a shadow figure plus orbiting in various forms for theme fit. 🙂

Could also be called as a Becket CW dance, starting at the B2.

The title is a nod to the classic Pink Floyd album containing their tune Eclipse, which ends:

and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

A1
Neighbor Gypsy & Swing [ALT: Dosido & Swing]

A2
Long Lines Forward & Back
Gents Gypsy Left 1x in center
     WHILE
Ladies Orbit CW 1/2x, pass Partner by right shoulder

B1
Gypsy Left with Shadow (back to)
Partner Swing

B2
(6) Circle Left 3/4x
(8) Couple Dosido Current Neighbors 1x
(2) Pass Through to next

Looking across at your Partner in your original hands four, Shadow will be on your right diagonal.

End effects: Don’t cross over until after your Shadow move. If you swing your Partner out of the Shadow Gypsy, you’ll end up naturally crossed over at the ends.
Tune suggestions: Note tune choice will affect A1 move selection.
Video: First trial run.
See also: Oh, Yeah!

First called by me at the Greenfield, MA Guiding Star Grange on 8/18/2017 with music by Annika Amstutz (fiddle), Daniel Plane (cello) and Becky Hollingsworth (piano). As I was explaining the provenance of the dance to the hall, Daniel slipped in a fun snippet of Pink Floyd (from the correct album) on cello which had us cracking up!

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 link), because Bob Isaacs’ dance Redbeard Reel (commissioned by Robin for her husband – John Wasser) features one as well.

When mentioning the title, I think it’s fun to give it proper super hero intonation: “SUP-er Robin!” 🙂

A1
Neighbor Gypsy (or Balance) & Swing

A2
Mad Robin CW 1+1/4 (Gents start Forward & Right, to Wave Across, G by LH in center)
Short Wave Balance Right & Left, Twirl/Slide Right (Ladies Super Twirl across)

B1
Partner (Balance &) Swing

B2
Circle Left 3/4 to Wave (L by LH in center, facing progression)
Wave Balance Fwd/Back, Dance Fwd to next

End effects: Wait out crossed over
Tune suggestions: Note tune choice will affect A1 and B1 move selection. Dancers seem to enjoy twirling straight into the B1 Partner Swing.
Video: N/A
See also: N/A

First called by Linda Leslie at the Guiding Star Grange Extravadance on 5/27/2017.

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 Mad Robin sequence investigation. In this dance I revisit a theme from my prior “Cricket’s Reboot” dance inspired by Kent Koeninger’s “Cricket’s Delight” – in this case the rest of the dance resolves differently (and – I think – with more elegance).

Some callers would disqualify this dance based on a CW beat count using the simplistic “40 CW beats” filter for potential dizziness. I’ve investigated the “dizziness power” of CW moves and my contention is that certain moves with fixed facing direction have effectively zero dizziness impact (e.g. Mad Robin) and others are perceived in proportion to the radius of the move and the degree to which dancers face along the radius (Swings = most dizzy). This dance is an experimental proof of concept to test my theory – chock full of CW goodness! I welcome you to give this ostensibly dizzy (56 to up to 64 CW beat count) dance a trial and prove to yourself it’s not “Too Dizzy”.

Can also be called as a Becket CW dance, starting at the B2. Several B2 alternatives included below for anticipated live testing.

The title is a nod to the classic Mello Yello song and I encourage you to say it the same way. 🙂

A1
Neighbor Gypsy & Swing [ALT: Dosido & Swing]

A2
Mad Robin 1x (Gents L->R through Center first, facing P across)
Gents Gypsy Left 1x
     WHILE
Ladies Orbit CW 1/2x

B1
Partner Gypsy & Swing

B2 (preferred, but will timing work?)
(6) Circle Left 3/4x
(2) Half Zig Left (forward & left 2 steps, to pass current N Couple by Right Shoulders)
(6) Next Couple Dosido 3/4x (to face this second couple)

B2 Alternative 1 (preserves CW motion theme but I like the feel less; easier end effects?)
(6) Circle Left 3/4x
(8) Current Neighbors Couple Dosido 1x
(2) Pass Through to next

B2 Alternative 2 (good feel if Roll well done; doesn’t fit CW theme as well)
LLF & Ladies Roll Gents L->R on way back
Star Left 3/4x

B2 Alternative 3 (double progression; doesn’t fit CW theme as well)
(6) Circle Left 3/4x
(4,4) Couple Zig-Zag, to left around current Neighbors, to right around 2nd, to face 3rd couple

Holy Cannoli! – DI – Don Veino 20160415

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

I wrote this dance on the way home from the 2016 New England Folk Festival’s Friday session, after indulging in some delicious cannoli in the food hall.

Suggest dancers take hands in Long Lines to stretch out up & down and then reform their hands/4 to ensure there’s enough space for the A2 action.

First called by Linda Leslie at the Monday Contras series at the Concord Scout House on 4/25/2016.

A1
(4,12) Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
(6) Circle Left 3/4 (to face up/down, looking at your P – on Gents’ home side)
(10) Mad Robin 1+1/2 (moving – instead of looking – across set, Gents going Left to Right through center first)
[so this is at a right angle to what most people think a Mad Robin orientation is typically]

B1
(16) Partner Gypsy & Swing (on Ladies’ home side)

B2
(8) Ladies Chain
(8) Half Hey, L Pass Right to start (and look towards progression…)

See also my Madly in Love dance for a similarly rotated Mad Robin across the set.

Tale of the Tricky Triple Timer – DI – Don Veino 20170218

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL

I’m still playing with this one a bit.

This dance features two “deconstructed” chains – one for each role. Regular chains with Courtesy Turn would be functionally equivalent and may be used instead, but I wanted to provide an opportunity for eye play and also to avoid the need to free hands out of the Courtesy Turn for the subsequent Balance. For related themes, see also my Dirty Rotten Double Crosser and Double Crossed Again! dances.

A1
Neighbor RH Balance, Square Through 2 (pull by N right, P left)
Neighbor Swing (on away side)

A2
Ladies Pull by Right, Walk Around* Left/CCW Partner to all face in
[this is effectively a Ladies Chain with an eye contact Courtesy Turn – encourage Partner eye connection through the Walk Around]
Neighbor across RH Balance, Square Through 2 (N right, P left)

B1
Shadow Balance and Box the Gnat/Pull by back to P [or Shadow’s choice, e.g.: Allemande Right, Walk Around*, etc.]
Partner Swing (on Gent’s home side)

B2
Gents Pull by Left, Walk Around* Right/CW Neighbor to all face in
[this is effectively a Gent’s (LH) Chain with an eye contact Courtesy Turn – encourage Neighbor eye connection through the Walk Around]
Partner across RH Balance, Square Through 2 (P right, N left) to next N up/down

*Walk Around is also known as Gypsy.