Tag Archives: hey

A Long Courtship – Becket – Don Veino 20181209

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

This dance came out of a discussion Will Mentor and I had about writing a dance which built up and defied expectations regarding when you’d get together with your partner. It was briefly titled “Finally!” during testing. Have received really positive dancer feedback on this (it’s pretty cool when dancers seek you out at the end of the evening to praise/discuss a particular dance – you know it brought them joy. πŸ™‚ ).

A1
Ladies Chain, Mad Robin CCW (Ladies front first) & look away from these NBRs
(w/Next NBRs) Circle Left 1/4x and continue into…
[see alternate original A1 notation below]

A2
Circle Left 3/4x, Neighbor Swing

B1
Full Hey (Gents Pass Left to start) BUT LADIES BOUNCE BACK SECOND TIME

B2
Partner Gypsy & Swing

End effects: Wait out crossed over on left to slide into A2 circle.
Tune suggestions:
Video: Me calling at the Greenfield, MA Shooting Star Series, 3/8/19
See also:
First called by me at Concord Scout House Monday Contras Series on 1/28/19.

Feeling Gravity’s Pull – DI – Don Veino 20180710

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

I wanted something smooth and stately which swapped around the idea of who typically does certain sorts of moves (e.g.: in this dance, it’s the Ladies who cast the Gents – not the other way around) plus avoided overused elements like allemandes and circles to keep things unique. This one came along pretty easily, once I thought of deconstructing a normal Figure 8 so only one party would walk that path – which is what the Gents do in the A2 here.

Dancers report liking this very much and the Ladies “bounce-back” in the A2 was a dancer-invented alternative.

During development, this was also known as “The Eyes Have It” because of all the eye play possibilities, but I discovered that title was already taken. Yes, I’m a big fan of very early R.E.M. music.

A1
Neighbor Gypsy, Swing

A2
Gents Swap Places (passing left) and face out
Gents Loop Left *WHILE* Ladies Slide Left+ (so each move into Partner’s starting place)
(inside hands) Ladies Gate the Gents 1x
[+Alternative for the Ladies here: Walk forward on the slight left diagonal to bounce back into the left hand position next to Partner Gent]

B1
Pass Through straight across, Partner Swing

B2
Gents pass Left for a Full Hey (EXCEPT Ladies Bounce Back the FIRST time)

End effects: none
Tune suggestions: Smooth/romantic/driving
Video: First trial at Concord Scout House Monday Contras series
See also:
First called by me at Concord Scout House Monday Contras series on 9/17/18.

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.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish – 4 Face 4 – Don Veino 20180528

Type: Contra Dance, 4 Facing 4 – single progression, alternating sides
Status: Proven

Don't Panic!
Don’t Panic!

I’ve become slightly obsessed with Dolphin Hey dances. In this case I was striving for one that automatically alternates who gets to act as the traveling pair, so there’s no need to have differing choreography in alternating cycles. A 4-Face-4 achieves this – but note the resulting hey is unusual in that it’s Trail Buddies (not Partners) that are traveling as a pair together.

The key teaching point (over how to do the Hey) appears to be stressing who is doing the roll-away (I’ve found saying “the most recent person you swung” is better than “original corner”).

You may get a chuckle out of Hitchhiker’s Guide fans when you tell dancers the title. πŸ™‚

A1
Long Lines Forward & Back, Corner Swing
[Those swinging on the outsides of the set separate from their corner (take a step apart) after the swing and face across, so there are clear columns of 4 across the set. Trail Buddies who swung (in the center) face to their original left toward the outside of the set. Note partners are in separate columns/4.]

A2
Center Trail Buddy pair starts a Dolphin Hey* across the set (passing the solo Lady by the left with the TB Gent in the lead).
[after the hey, all end up back in their swing ending positions]

B1
Ring/8 Balance, Gents Roll Away their Original Corner (one you swung, R->L) and face Partner
Pass Partner by Right to Weave the Ring/8 half way
[back to Partner, in progressed location]

B2
Partner Balance & Swing (end facing direction of progression)

*Dolphin Hey: Borrowed from English Country Dancing, this is a hey for four traveling the path of a full hey for three. One “couple” (in this dance, the designated Trail Buddy pair) travels as a unit while the other dancers travel solo. The pair stay in their respective orientation relative to the sides of the hall so that they alternate the leading position as they travel the hey together. In this dance that means the Gents lead out to the left, then the Ladies lead the pass back across the set and the Gents lead the finishing partial pass back to the center.

End effects: none
Tune suggestions: Driving with strong 8-beat phrasing, or romantic with flowy A2 and well hinted 8 beats elsewhere. Not unsurprisingly, Tom Kruskal’s fits – it’s the tune for Christine Robb’s ECD, Sapphire Sea, which got me interested in the Dolphin Hey to begin with.
Video:
See also: Sapphire Sea; my other Dolphin Hey dances, not yet posted
First called by me at the NEFFA Thursday Contras dance at the Concord Scout House on 9/20/2018.

Hey, Ack is Back! – DI – Don Veino 20180711

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT

Named in celebration of Lynn Ackerson having completed her Veterinary Tech program and, hopefully, her return to the contra dance community. Lynn’s an all around good egg and was very welcoming and helpful to me as I started calling contras. Until deep in her school program, she was the person that organized and put together the contra medleys for the first few times I called the New England Folk Festival. Welcome back, Lynn!

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
Down and Up the Hall as in Dublin Bay, bend the line
[Dublin Bay = 4 steps facing down, turn alone, continue down backing up 4 steps. Come back up in similar style.]

B1
Ring/4 Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl 1 place, Partner Swing on side

B2
Gents LH Open Chain (G Pull By Left, N Allemande Right 3/4x) [or actual Gent’s Chain w/Courtesy Turn]
Half Hey (Gents Pass Left) to next

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Bouncy/driving high energy
Video:
See also: Butty Dance
First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE

The Bubbles Incident – Becket – Don Veino 20180620

Not THE bubbles incident - but close to another!
Not THE bubbles incident – but close to another!
Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CW
Status: DRAFT

I was playing with new ways to do a Down-the-Hall dance – in particular, how to achieve the progression. I hit on the idea of a ring of dancers going down and then twirling to change facing direction into a new ring before coming back up… and realized this could work in a duple longways as well as a 4-face-4 setting – this is the longways dance.

The title here was inspired by an event with our daughter in her first grade class at school. They were doing bubble painting, where the kids blow bubbles into liquid tempera paint with glycerin and then use the bubbles to create a design on paper. However, our daughter got so carried away with the fun and laughing that she forgot you needed to blow out and ended up sucking the painty bubbles into her mouth – yuck! The rings/4 here reminded me of the bubbles in that infamous family incident.

While not yet tried out, I expect you’ll want to have the lines stretch down a bit to make room for rings/4 going down the hall… but not too far.

A1
Long Lines Forward & Back
Circle RIGHT 3/4x (to the 1s face up, 2s down)

A2
(~7) Ring/4 Down the Hall (2s are walking forward, 1s backward as the 2s steer)
(~2) Turn Alone (inwards, glance at partner as continue turning to face next couple)
(~7) New Ring/4 Up the Hall (2s are walking forward, 1s backward as 2s steer)

B1
Ring/4 Balance, Gent Roll Partner Away across
Neighbor Swing

B2
Ladies Allemande Right 1+1/2x (Alt.: Circle Left 3/4x), Partner Swing

End effects: Wait out Indecent (Gent on Right, Lady Left) to enter the A2 Ring. The rest is somewhat straightforward but just to be complete: twos pay attention to the line’s movement so as to be in place to form the new ring at the bottom (and scoot out of the way when ejected at the top). New ones wait out at the top for the twos to come up the hall to you.
Tune suggestions:
Video:
See also: the 4-Face-4 mentioned above and another slightly crazier DI dance (coming soon!)

First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE

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.

Filet Mignon – DI – Don Veino 20170918

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

The instant I heard Simon Riopel’s tune L’Air Mignonne played by Eric Boodman I knew I must write a dance to match. This dance plays with dancer expectations re: Rory O’Moore moves, so it may take a couple of cycles for them to settle down into the A1 and then folks start to really smile and enjoy the tune. The dance had a couple of names through drafting but the final decision was made when Julie Metcalf told me she always associated “filet mignon” in conjunction with the tune – the band lobbied hard for that title. πŸ™‚

I originally featured a “funky” hey in the B2 (see below) – it fits the music perfectly and has a nice “snap” ending action via a catch right, half allemande with Neighbor to re-form the starting wave… but it requires a careful teach/demo and some dancers simply never get it. The primary version below is a simplification with a more conventional hey, which can end ~1 beat early – so encourage dancers to relax into the overall easy going pace to form the wave on the last beat. (Feel free to go with the Funky version if you have a suitable crowd.)

Starts in Wave/4 across, Neighbor by Right and Ladies Left hands in center.

A1
Rory Wave Balance Right & Left, Twirl/Slide Right, Catch Left hand
Neighbor Allemande Left 1+1/4 to long waves (Gents face out)
[Progression]

A2
Wave Balance Fwd/Back, Box Circulate (G loop right, L cross set)
Partner Swing

B1
Circle Left 3/4, (the new) Neighbor Swing

B2
Full (actually, 15/16) Hey, Gents Pass LEFT to start – end with Ladies catch left, RH to N
OR
[“Funky Hey” (two rights don’t make it wrong) version B2: Ladies pass TWO RIGHTS (Lady, Partner) to start a Full Hey (then Gents pass Left in center, N by R, etc.) ending by catching Right with N for an Allemande Right 1/2x to reform the Wave across. The double pass at the start saves ~2 beats which then get tagged on for the ending N Allemande Right.]

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Simon Riopel’s tune L’Air Mignonne, obviously. πŸ™‚
Video: “Funky Hey” Version at Monday Contras 5/7/2018
See also:
First called by me at Concord Scout House Monday Contras dance

Dosi Dude – DI – Don Veino 20171006

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

Let's Dosi, Dude!
Let's Dosi, Dude!

This dance is one of a set that grew out of my work on (Like) Juggling Chainsaws. There is a mirror role and move dance to this one, Swinging Chainsaws, which could be paired with this for an alternating dance.

The dance is pleasantly simple yet slightly different/challenging due to the relatively uncommon Gent’s Chain and Dosido to face away transitions. The Chain/CT and pull into the Dosido on the side works well. I carefully teach the Gent’s LH Chain to ensure folks turn properly (CW – Gents forward, Ladies backing up) in the associated Courtesy Turn so the flow is smooth and satisfying. Encourage the dancers to use the full measure of each phrase of the music for the moves – the dance can get “big” as a result.

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
Gents LH Chain
Gents Left Shoulder Dosido (See Saw)

B1
Partner Balance & Swing

B2
Gents LH Chain (keep RH connected with Neighbor as you face them up/down to pull into a…)
Neighbor Dosido (and look away to next)

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Bouncy Quebecois tunes, bouncy jigs
Video:
See also: (Like) Juggling Chainsaws, Swinging Chainsaws

First called by me at Concord Scout House Monday Contras on 10/23/2017 (I got a chance to dance it too – folks really liked it). We had a wonderful group of Quebecois musicians playing this evening and the tunes really drove the energy.

The Devils A Swinger – DI – Don Veino 20171012

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT

The actual title of this dance is “The Devil’s A Swinger” but WordPress currently won’t show the post if any form of apostrophe is used in the post title, so this is the second try without the punctuation. πŸ™

A respin on the traditional dance Devil’s Dream to incorporate swings yet retain much of the tradtional feel. This dance was inspired by the posting of Devil’s Dream on the Shared Weight Caller’s List – I really liked the A parts action of that traditional dance but know there would be dancer complaints about the no swings situation were I to call it at an average dance in the USA. I put a wrinkle in the A parts here (vs. Devil’s Dream) to get the dancers across the set and then set up and add the swings. I’ve refactored this further to create I ♥ Devil Dogs.

Starts with the 1s facing down in the center and 2s facing up on the outside.

A1
(6,2) 1s go down center/2s go up outside – 1s turn as couple, 2s turn alone
[I’d probably teach/prompt “centers as couples, outsides turn alone” as it fits both instances]
(6,2) 1s go up center/2s go down outside – Handy Hand Allemande 1/2x same role Neighbor to 2s in center

A2
(6,2) 1s go down outside/2s go up center – 2s turn as couple, 1s turn alone
(6,2) 1s go up outside/2s go down center – Right Hand Allemande 1/4x opposite role Neighbor
[NOTE: Couples promenade in the same direction both times]

B1
Half Hey (G Pass Left to start)
Neighbor Swing

B2
Long Lines Forward & Back [Alternative: Circle Left 1x]
1s Swing in Center, all face progression

End effects: Be mindful of the differences when changing couple numbers at the ends.
Tune suggestions:
Video:
See also: I ♥ Devil Dogs, The Devil’s Dream (below)

First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE [include links as appropriate]

Here’s the original traditional dance:

The Devil’s Dream – DI – Traditional

A1
1s face down and lead down the centre while the 2s face up and go up the outside
all turn alone and lead back to give neighbour nearest hand and half turn neighbour

A2
1s facing down the outside and 2s up the middle: lead up or down again
you promenade in the same direction both times
all turn alone and lead back to give left hands to neighbour

B1
turn neighbour into a full ladies chain across

B2
half promenade neighbour across set
half right and left back

Oh, The Indecency! (v2) – Indecent – Don Veino 20170802

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Indecent
Status: Proven

Grandma in shock photo
Grandma’s shocked at the indecency!
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 this would routinely be an Intermediate dance yet I was able to call it successfully for the first time with a mixed crowd following a single careful teaching with a Gent’s Chain demo (stressing the reverse direction of the courtesy turn). Several dancers came up to say how much they liked it. πŸ™‚

A1
Partner RH Balance, Cross-Trail to New Ring (pass P right across, N left along)
Ring Balance, Petronella Twirl to Right (face P)

A2
Partner Balance & Swing

B1
LLFB, Gents Left Hand Chain

B2
(G Pass Left) Half Hey, Neighbor Swing

End effects: Wait out crossed over, ready to join dancers for the second ring balance & petronella.
Tune suggestions:
Video: Lavender Country Folk Dancers Contra 9/30/17 (Gender-free, Larks and Ravens)
See also:

First called by me at the Woods Hole, MA Contra on 9/2/2017

Lobster Roll – 4 Face 4 – Don Veino 20170823

Type: Contra Dance, 4 Face 4
Status: DRAFT

Lobster and lobster roll
Classic New England seaside shack delight
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 recognized the same idea of a roll away into a hey would fit into a 4 Face 4 as well. This dance is the result – I paired very bouncy A parts to smooth Bs to give bands some sonic room.

The lobster roll is a classic New England gustatory treat – heck, even McDonald’s offers them here in season. Come visit, find a classic oceanside seafood shack and give one a try!

A1
Rings/4 Balance, Petronella Right 1 place
Rings/4 Balance, Petronella Right 1 place

A2
Rings/4 Balance, Gents draw Opposite Lady Back & Swing

B1
Ladies Chain (up/down to Partner)
Long Lines Forward, Lady Roll Away Partner (and face P across the set)

B2
Half Hey (Partner Pass Right)
Partner Swing, face progression

End effects: Remember to face progression at end of the Partner Swing!
Tune suggestions: Bouncy As, smooth Bs
Video:
See also: Strolling & Rolling, Wild Mouse

First called by me at the Jamaica Plain Gender Free dance on 9/30/17.

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 a roll to a swing – and there’s always been some significant flow issue, because the lingering tension from the last contact in the roll got in the way. This dance was crafted specifically to use that tension to launch the next action: entering a hey.

This is most likely an intermediate level dance due to the need for timely and slightly differing action in the A2 as well as the need for good dancer technique to make the roll to heys timing work and everyone end up in the right places. Because all the hey action is focused on Partners, the dance should provide effective recovery points that would keep it out of “advanced” territory.

So far this dance has been walked through successfully but not yet called/danced. I’ve since leveraged this roll to hey into a 4 Face 4 dance, Lobster Roll.

A1
Left Diagonal Circle 3/4x, Swing Neighbor
[first time through, circle is straight across]

A2
(8) Ladies Chain (to P) to face down the hall (so Courtesy Turn = different fractions for 1s and 2s)
(6,2) Down the Hall in Line/4, Gents Roll Partner w/HS (face Partner across set)

B1
Half Hey (pass P Left to start, end in mirror position of start, facing up, Ladies on left of P)
(6,2) Up the Hall in Line/4, Gents Roll Partner w/HS (face P across set)

B2
Half Hey (pass P Right to start, end in mirror position of start, facing P)
Partner Swing

End effects: Wait out on left diagonal to enter in the circle
Tune suggestions: Strongly phrased/driving smooth tunes
Video:
See also: Lobster Roll, The Right In Tension

First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE

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.

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 “wicked (very) smooth).” Depending upon programming needs, it can be run as a Duple Improper or Becket – it seems to fit tunes well either way.

Becket Version (Primary)

A1
Ladies Chain (to N)
Star Left 1x

A2
With NEXT Neighbors Circle Left 1x
Neighbor Swing

B1
(6) Mad Robin (Gents through center first/CW)
(2) Gents Pass Left to cross
Half Hey (Pass Partner by Right)

B2
Partner Gypsy, Swing

Duple Improper Version

Before walk through, have dancers Swing their Neighbor briefly to put the 1s below the 2s – this is their home position.

A1
(6) Mad Robin (Gents through center first/CW)
(2) Gents Pass Left to cross
Half Hey (Pass Partner by Right)

A2
Partner Gypsy, Swing

B1
Ladies Chain (to N)
Star Left 1x

B2
With NEXT Neighbors Circle Left 1x
Neighbor Swing

End effects: Wait out crossed over and rejoin the dance via the Circle.
Tune suggestions: Well phrased romantic/sultry tunes
Video:
See also:

Becket version first called by me at CDSS Family Week 2017 at Ogontz Camp on 8/10/2017. Received well with a very mixed crowd – two caller colleagues present asked for the choreography. Finally got a chance to dance it myself when Nils Fredland called it with a really gorgeous tune by Elixir at the Concord Scout House Challenging Contras series on 10/6/17.

Poussettey Spaghetti – DI – Don Veino 20170715

Type: Contra Dance, Duple ImproperImage of Camp Ogontz logo
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 session going on and Sage was ahead of me in getting towards the hall – I asked her what was going on and she said something to the effect of “I don’t know – some form of Poussettey Spaghetti.” Well that immediately went into the notebook as a future dance title!

It took me nearly a year to finally come up with the dance to fit the name – I’d penned an unpublished one earlier which worked but was too much to teach for contra dancers (used a draw poussette in addition to the conventional one here). When this simpler sequence with similar feel popped into my head I knew Poussettey Spaghetti was finally born.

A1
Neighbor Gypsy & Swing

A2
Circle Left 1x (Face P across and take 2 hands)
1/4 Poussette CW, 2 Hand Turn 1/2 CCW, 1/4 Poussette CW, separate, Gents pass Left

B1
Half Hey, pass Partner Right to start
Partner Swing

B2
Long Lines Forward & Back
Gents Pull By Right, Neighbor Allemande Left 1+1/4x (to next N…)

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Romantic yet with definite cadence
Video:
See also: Poussette in Boots

Poussette in Boots – Becket – Don Veino 20170715

Type: Contra Dance, Becket Left/CWPuss in Boots image
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 a cat as a pet and talked about it constantly – for that reason the play on words re: “Puss in Boots” for the title was forward in my mind.

A1
Left diagonal Circle Left 3/4x (G face back at P to take 2 hands)
Half Poussette CW, separate from Partner
Gents Allemande Left 1x (to face N)

A2
Full Hey, pass Neighbor Right to start

B1
Neighbor Gypsy & Swing

B2
Give & Take to Gents, P Swing

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Romantic yet with definite cadence
Video: coming soon
See also: Poussettey Spaghetti

First called by me at the Concord Scout House Monday Contras series 7/24/2017.

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 – Slide – Gents Pass & P Swing sequence. Here the extended motion Mad Robin sets up parallel full Heys where the partners diverge & travel separately (with a Shadow) to subsequently reconnect.

NOTE: this dance can also be danced without the parallel Heys, if the A2 Mad Robin is 1+1/4x around instead. In this case, the Partners will dance together (without Shadows) for the full Hey but they may come back together a beat or two before the B2 phrase – such that having the Ladies do a Bounce Back to let the Gents pass right to start the Hey may be more appropriate for timing.

A1
Slide Left, Single File Promenade CW 3 places, Ladies Turn Back (or, of course, Circle Left 3/4x on diagonal)
Neighbor Swing

A2
Ladies Chain (to P)
Mad Robin 1+1/2x (looking across at a Neighbor) until Partners slide into separate adjacent columns, all facing center
[Gents slide right on the outside, Ladies slide left and are facing in middle. Shadow is the opposite role person closest to you in this column, MR Neighbor is the furthest.]

B1
Full Hey, Ladies Pass Right to start

B2
[look to adjacent Hey]
Partner Balance & Swing

End effects: To be confirmed – should be somewhat funky but workable. When ejected from the Mad Robin, dancers can either do the Full Hey with a Neighbor and the couple waiting out (which should include at least one shadow), or Hey with ghosts (if nobody’s there), or simply wait for their partner to return from their own Hey. When really out, wait on the left side and enter via the A1 Slide Left.

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. Despite the date, that’s not an April Fool’s joke – don’t you wish they all came that easily? πŸ™‚

This is one of a series of dances I’ve written featuring a Hole in the Wall* move taken from English Country Dance. Like Mad Robin, this is not a literal lift of the move here but rather a modification for contra dance use. For other compositions with a similar move, see my The Love Pirate & Ladies, Whirled, Linda’s Gifts, Give the Gents a Whirl and Another Gent-le Whirl dances.

Emphasize with the dancers that the Hole in the Wall bit takes a full 8 beats or it’s likely they’ll rush it (by design, the circle and swing can absorb that). One way to do this would be to tell them it’s effectively a hands-free Long Lines Forward & Back – except you swap facing direction with your Neighbor halfway through. Having a partner target for the left diagonal chain helps anchor dancers.

A1
(4,4) Slice Forward on left diagonal, Fall Straight Back
(8!) Hole in the Wall* (with N straight across – “Go Forward, Neighbor Swap, Fall Back”), look away from Partner

A2
(6) Circle Left 3/4 (w/same N & your shadow)
(10) Neighbor Swing

B1
(8) Left Diagonal Ladies Chain (to P)
(8) Half Hey Ladies Pass Right (straight across)

B2
(4,12) Partner Balance & Swing

End effects: When ejected for the circle, swing your neighbor on the left diagonal and be ready for the Ladies Chain. Wait out with your Partner on left diagonal to enter via the slice.

*Hole in the Wall: Borrowed from an English Country Dance move, you walk forward 3 steps to face N across, Gypsy Right 1/2x to swap places with the Neighbor and back out 3 steps. It’s very similar to a hands-free Long Lines Forward & Back (with the same cadence) – except you change places/facing direction with your Neighbor in the middle. For contra dancers, I call this with something like “Forward, Neighbor Swap, Fall Back” – I avoid using Hole in the Wall to limit the terms in play.

First called by me at the Monday Contras series at the Concord, MA Scout House on 6/5/17.

Hey, Mary Cay! – Becket DP – Don Veino 20160723

Type: Contra, Becket Double Progression
Status: DRAFT

In the past I’d played with the idea of a butterfly whirl to a Ladies allemande in the center leading into a diagonal hey, but didn’t write a complete dance with that (and worry about the inertia involved = injuries). The seed of that motion idea germinated into this dance. Made out of whole cloth, it was only after the fact I realized it shared a similarity in the A1 to a reverse role Mary Cay’s Reel. Partner Hey start was chosen to try to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

A1
LLFB
Gents Allemande Left 3/4 (to transitory wave in center)
New Gents Allemande Right 1x (to face P on left diagonal)
[encourage Gents to use the last bit of arm connection to boost each other towards P]

A2
Left Diagonal Half Hey (pass P Left to start)
#PROGRESSION
Straight Across Ladies Allemande Right 1+1/2 (to N)

B1
N Balance & Swing

B2
Give & Take to Ladies’ side, P Swing

End Effects: (to be verified) Never really out. Wait out on left diagonal, Gent will enter first via the A1 Allemande Right, Lady via the A2 Half Hey.

Slicing the Waves – Becket – Don Veino 20160918

Type: Contra, Becket
Status: DRAFT

One of two takes on a similar theme – for a zestier dance see my Slice AlleMANde.

A1
Slice Forward Left, to Gents form Wave in Center
Gents Wave Balance Right & Left *WHILE* Ladies Fall Straight Back
[or even better, Ladies Loop over their Left shoulder 3/4 to face CCW on the side]
Gents Allemande Right 3/4 to short Wave, P in LH, Wave Balance

A2
Gents Rory Slide/Twirl Right to cross set to N
Neighbor Swing

B1
Ladies Chain
Half Hey, Ladies Start by Right

B2
Partner Balance & Swing

Reluctant Robin – Becket – Don Veino 20161103

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: Public, Proven

I really like Mad Robins, just in case that isn’t obvious. I was wondering what else could be done with them, whether they could be used as a progression, facing direction changed, etc. This dance came out of some of that thinking.

First called at David Kaynor’s Friday Night Dance at the Greenfield, MA Grange on 11/14/2016.

A1
Gents Allemande Left 1+1/2
Half Hey, pass N by Right to start

A2
Neighbor Balance & Swing

B1
Mad Robin 1+1/2, Gents through Center 1st, Lt-Rt/CW
[ending in long waves with Gents Facing OUT, Ladies In (this N by RH), looking at P’s back]
Long Wave Balance Right, Left, Slide Right
#PROGRESSION

B2
Long Wave Balance F&B, Box Circulate (Gents Loop, Ladies Cross)
Partner Swing

End Effects: Wait out crossed over to join the second long wave in B2

Alternative A1, not yet tried…
L Chain to N
L Gypsy Rt 1x
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