Tag Archives: petronella

Rockslide – DI – Don Veino 20180522

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

One of several related dances composed this date which were inspired by the new Becky Tracy tune Black Rock, off the Eloise & Co. album with Rachel Bell. Yeah, I love the tune. 😉

I was lucky to have the privilege of dancing this one to Steve Zakon-Anderson’s calling with Becky and Keith (Murphy) playing their tunes – IIRC, they started with Keith’s Epic Reel and when they switched to Black Rock the energy in the room zoomed from a 10 up to 12!

A1
Wave/4 across Balance Right & Left, Slide/Twirl Right
Wave/4 across Balance Left & Right, Slide/Twirl Left

A2
Neighbor Balance & Swing

B1
Gents (low) LH Balance & Pull By, Partner Swing

B2
Ring/4 Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl Right
Ring/4 Balance, California Twirl and form new wave/4
[CA Twirl and Gents shift to the ends to step into wave/4 with new Ns]

End effects: none
Tune suggestions: Bouncy and driving – composed to match Becky Tracy’s tune Black Rock, others include Circular Reel (Daniel Boucher), Epic Reel (Keith Murphy), etc.
Video: Portland (ME) In-Town Contra Dance (PICD) series 8/30/18
See also: You Caught My Eye, Becky’s Boulder
First called by Steve Zakon-Anderson at the 2018 CDSS Ogontz Family Camp.

Bonus Round/Repeatronella (in Dublin) – DI – Don Veino 20180726

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

This is a set of dances approaching the same two-Neighbor-Swing theme in different variations. Dancers seem to really like these and they can scale in difficulty from working with more beginner dancers or as a “dance trance” later program slot with experienced folk, through to some uniqueness with the “in Dublin” variations.

I sometimes use the base versions of these as a way to compensate after calling a beginner friendly no-Neighbor-Swing dance like Delphiniums and Daisies for a mixed capability crowd. One can also play with calling the variations in different combinations in a single program slot.

BONUS ROUND

A1
LLFB, (New) N Swing

A2
Line/4 Down the Hall, turn as couple,
Line/4 Up the Hall, bend the line
[“in Dublin” variation:
Line/4 Down the Hall as in Dublin Bay*,
Line/4 Up the Hall as in Dublin Bay, bend the line]

B1
Circle Left 3/4x, Partner Swing

B2
Circle Left 3/4x, Neighbor Bonus Swing

REPEATRONELLA

A1
LLFB, (New) N Swing

A2
Line/4 Down the Hall, turn as couple,
Line/4 Up the Hall, bend the line
[“in Dublin” variation:
Line/4 Down the Hall as in Dublin Bay,
Line/4 Up the Hall as in Dublin Bay, bend the line]

B1
Ring/4 Bal, Petronella to Partner Swing

B2
Ring/4 Bal, Petronella to Neighbor Repeat Swing

*Down|Up the Hall as in Dublin Bay: Line/4 takes 4 steps down, dancers turn single (in this dance, toward Neighbor as they do) to face up to re-form the line and continues down the hall 4 steps. Line/4 takes 4 steps up, turns single to face down, and continues up the hall.
Should be used sparingly – some dancers have a strong aversion to backing up blind.

End effects: none
Tune suggestions: high energy tunes – Repeatronella and “in Dublin” variations require strong 4 beat chunks – or smooth/flowing for Bonus Round, as a breather between higher energy dances.
Video: Repeatronella variation at Concord Scout House Monday Contras series, Bonus Round variation at Portland, ME PICD
See also:
First called by me at several places on several dates starting with Bonus Round in Dublin at Mystic, CT Pie Dance on 7/28/18 with Gotham Carnival Trio.

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 Oddball In Charge – Mixer for 5, 7 or ? Dancers – Don Veino 20171210, rev. 20180112

a.k.a. “The Magic Charm”

Type: Circle Mixer for odd number of dancers, Gender-free
Status: Proven

At smaller venue dances you may find yourself at the beginning or end of the evening below the comfortable number of dancers for a contra or square dance for an extended time. The Levi Jackson Rag or Triplets are nice but then you have the situation where you have 7 willing dancers or just 5 and there’s something up such that you as a caller can’t easily jump in to dance and call…

So I wanted to create another dance that would fit this situation and have some chance to work with beginning dancers – fitting the traditional tunes that smaller venue bands’ repertoires often contain. This is one attempt at such a thing.

Since writing this dance, I’ve not run into a situation where I could use it! I hadn’t wanted to share it until I had a chance to try it out with dancers but some local callers facing the same venues asked for the dance as word got around (we all dread the tiny crowd issue). It became a private joke because for a long time it held some weird form of protective charm power for our group – a caller would have 7 people and walk through this dance… and then a wave of dancers would show up such that they could swap to a conventional contra or square. We’d have an upcoming gig where we expected it would be used and then have to report back that we didn’t. And then one night Linda Leslie called to a crowd of 7 people at the start and 5 at the end of an evening – so they danced it twice as bookends with success.

Some people might object to the term “Oddball” – it’s not intended to be negative but rather as descriptive. I’d be sure to explain to dancers that we all sometimes feel like the Oddball in a situation, and this dance will give you several times to experience the power of that unique role. There can be a somewhat competitive aspect to the B parts – encourage folks to watch out for each other and be safe!

Starts with an even number of dancers in a ring with an extra dancer (“Oddball”) in the center. Minimum 5 or possibly up to 9 (or more?) dancers – works with any mix, i.e. “gender free.” If there’s any question of who does what, have dancers note the Oddball (the person in the center at the moment) is always in charge (so they select and raise their hand for the twirls, etc. – FWIW, some dancers have played this back as “the Oddball is always the Gent/Lark”).

A1
Ring Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl Right
Ring Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl Right

A2
Oddball picks any outside dancer to LH Balance & Swat the Flea to swap (center person lifts, outside twirls under)
New center/Oddball reaches out RH at angle to Balance and Box the Gnat (center lifts, outside twirls) to swap with the other adjacent outside dancer

B1
This New Oddball Circle Left 1x (with grace in 8 counts) with the dancers who did the twirls (anyone bracketed by this set of Oddballs if more than 5 dancers in set)
Oddball look away to Circle Right with the other remaining dancers (use up remaining 8 counts)

B2
Everyone find another dancer to Balance and Swing (Gender Free Swing in some form)
[end with the one dancer left over in the center and all the others form a ring to…]

End effects: N/A
Tune suggestions: Written for trad tune Petronella, other traditional tunes may work
Video:
See also:

First called (twice!) by Linda Leslie at the East Sandwich, MA Grange on January 20, 2018.

Force of Nature – DI or Becket – Don Veino 20180620

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper or Becket Right/CCW
Status: Proven

Shel Michaels made me write this… just kidding ;-). But he did suggest I write a dance to commemorate this event.

On 6/18/18 a microburst/tornado struck our neighborhood. Nobody was hurt but nature flexed its capricious muscle in snapping and tossing around many trees.

Duple Improper version:

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
Gents LH Chain (to P) with Courtesy Fling* to Wave/4 across (G by LH & RH to P)
[Easier teach alternative: Gents LH Pull By across, Partner Allemande Right 1x]
Wave Balance, Gents Allemande Left 1x (back to P)

B1
Partner Dosido (or whatever) & Swing

B2
Ring Balance, Petronella Twirl/Slide Right
Ring Balance, Partner California Twirl to next

Becket Right/CCW Version: Begin at the B2 above

*Courtesy Fling: in this instance, Lady stops their motion in the Courtesy Turn ~half way to face up/down the set (away from progression) and the Gent continues pivoting around their connected right hands to face the opposite direction to take left hands in a wave across.

End effects: Cross over at ends
Tune suggestions: Jigs, tunes with 4 beat accents in the A2 & B2
Video: Thursday Contras series at the Concord Scout House, Inc.
See also:

First called by me at the Wolfeboro, NH G.A.L.A. contra dance with the Old Favorite band on 6/23/18.

Two Hearts Beat As One – DI – Don Veino 20180203

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven

For my wife Sage on our 10th Valentine’s Day. Written independently but likely strongly inspired by my recollection of Don Flaherty’s Heartbeat Contra – the A parts are the same and the B parts are a sort of inverse, with a unique twist via a Gent’s Balance and Pull By.

A1
Ring/4 Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl
Ring Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl (now on side with N)

A2
Neighbor Balance & Swing

B1
Gents LH Balance & Pull By
Partner Swing

B2
Circle Left 3/4x, Ring/4 Balance
2s Arch, 1s Duck through to new Ring/4

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Jigs work great
Video: Monday Contras, 5/7/2018
See also: Heartbeat Contra by Don Flaherty
First called by me at the Concord Scout House Monday Contras dance on 5/7/2018.

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. 🙂

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

Wild Mouse – 4 Face 4 – Don Veino 20170823

Type: Contra Dance, 4 Face 4
Status: DRAFT, EXPERIMENTAL

Amusement park ride image, 1960s
The Wild Mouse ride at Revere Beach, MA sometime in the 1960s or early ’70s
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 thought of having the two Mad Robin (MR) figures be in opposite rotation with a cross-over (as in a figure 8) in the middle (a la the on the sides action in Sharon of the Green) but was concerned about the possibility of collisions while crossing.

The B1 “Experimental” bit below is my attempt to simplify the MR motion to be consistently in one rotational direction and avoid the collision issue by making the MR path for each dancer into something like a sideways “6” or “9”. The MR pieces in the B1 are in quarter multiples so the dancers can slide past each other across the set in the place between the couple dyads.

Once learned, I think this sequence will be easy to dance – given the Partners facing & associated guidance possibility in the B1 – but could be a challenge to teach!

The title of this dance comes from one of the last amusement park rides remaining at Revere Beach, Massachusetts in the late ’60s – that ride featured a series of loop-backs and sharp turns/feints that made it appear (at least to a ~8 year old) like you were going to fly off the track and land in the nearby Atlantic ocean! The B1 circuitous loops here made me think of that ride. Sadly, what was once quite a stretch of rides at that beach have since become an unbroken line of oversize condos forming a tall wall across from the sand.

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
(~4) Mad Robin CW 3/4x around Opposite, Gents L->R through center first (facing P up/down)
[so temporarily we have transitory columns of 4 up/down the set with Ladies face to face and two couples “outbound” to edge of set and two couples “inbound” to cross the set]
(~4) Outbound* couples continue MR 1/2 more, WHILE inbound* couples slide straight across set to other side (so Gs behind Ls)
[to temporarily form transitory columns of 4 up/down with opposite roles facing in mini cols of 2 – have swapped inbound and outbound couples]
(~4) Outbound* couples MR 1/2x, WHILE inbound* dancers slide across to other side (L behind G)
(~2,~2) All MR 1/4x+, Ladies Pass Left up/down WHILE Gents MR 1/4x+ to face P

B2
Partner Balance & Swing, end facing progression

[*Inbound/Outbound is relative to the dancer’s (couple’s) current vector at that moment]

End effects: Remember to face progression at the end of the Partner Swing!
Tune suggestions: Bouncy As, smooth Bs
Video:
See also: Lobster Roll

Here’s a video of a different but similar Wild Mouse ride than the one I rode as a kid. Note the complete lack of safety railings on the majority of the track – that’s what got me worried about flying off into the ocean when I was a kid.

First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE

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.

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 go from one to the other on Route 2 you pass through the town of Athol. Enunciate this dance title carefully! 🙂

Writtten in response to a calling colleague’s declaration that a Star 3/4 was “Evil, Don. Super evil.” See below links for other “not evil” Star 3/4 compositions.

A1
Circle Left 3/4x
Neighbor Swing

A2
(4,4) Ring Balance, Petronella Slide/Twirl 1pl Right (no clap)
(6) Star Left 3/4x
(2) Next Neighbor Allemande Right 1/2x (to long waves, G face in)

B1
(4,4) Wave Balance (fwd/back), Gents Cross, Ladies Loop (ends RH w/P, on away side)
(4,4) Wave Balance, Ladies Cross, Gents Loop (RH w/N, L @home)

B2
(4,4) Wave Balance, Gents Cross, Ladies Loop
(8) Partner Swing

End effects: Ends wait out crosssed over, enter via the A2 Allemande 1/2.
Tune suggestions: Atholl Highlander (contra 32 bar length version), Bouncy Jigs
Video: coming soon
See also: Shining Sparkle and Dance No Evil

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

Interesting tidbit: there’s a song from another era which plays on these unique MA signs and towns with person names – some versions mention Athol in the lyrics.

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 order to ease the A2 swing entry. An alternate approach is to have the marching start CW and continue CW all the way around the 4 sides of the box back to the start – but I prefer it as written below.

The title for this dance was supplied by our 5 year old daughter Raeden and she made this illustration to go along with it (I’m the tall guy on the right pushing the swing):House of Love drawing

A1
(Facing CCW around your hands/4 – think of the hands/4 as a box with the dancers at the corners)
(4,4) March 4 steps & turn 90 deg. left, march 4 steps more & turn to face center
[have walked around 2 sides to opposite the starting spot, facing back at original spot]
(4,4) Take 4 steps to center, loop/turn single over right shoulder to face CW back at this corner spot

A2
(Facing CW around your hands/4)
(4,4) March 4 steps & turn 90 deg. right, march 4 steps more & Ladies turn back over right shoulder
[have walked around same 2 sides back to starting corner spot]
(8) Neighbor Swing

B1
Give & Take to Gents, Partner Swing
[Alternate tune fit: Ring Balance, Gents draw Partner back to Swing]

B2
(4,4) Ring Balance, Petronella Twirl/Slide Right
(4,4) Ring Balance, Pass Through Up/Down

Tune: Softly Good Tummas still works. For others suggest bouncy/march tunes, e.g.: Keith Murphy’s Reign of Love, The Wren, Burning of the Piper’s Hut, etc.
Video: First test at the Berlin, MA Country Orchestra dance 6/3/2017

(I’ll Take) What’s Behind Door #2 – DI – Don Veino 20160822

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: Public, Proven

A1
Star Right
Neighbor Allemande Rt. 1+1/2

A2
Next Neighbors Star Left
Original (Allemande) Neighbor Swing

B1
Circle Left 3/4, Partner Swing
[alt. music fit: Give and Take to Gent’s Side, Swing]

B2 (Author preferred)
Ring/4 Balance, Slide/Twirl Right 1x
Neighbor Left Hand Balance, Pull By Up/Down (leisurely)

B2 (Easier alternate)
Ring/4 Balance, Slide/Twirl Right 1x
Ring/4 Balance, Pass Through Up/Down

Tune: Written to match with the tune Door County #2 by Larry Unger.

Charlie’s Free Flowing Elixir – DI – Don Veino 20160827

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: Public, Proven

Updated 8/18/2017 (see below and comment).

Charlie Harvey wrote a nice dance, New Elixir, which I liked in concept and used several times but it had some flow issues which I’d had dancer comments on. I wanted to keep calling the dance but needed to address the problems, which included a need for Gents to cross their arms at one point while entering an Interrupted Square Through after a Swing. In looking at the issues I realized I could simply swap his B1 and B2 parts to retain the feel yet fix the flow, which resulted in this dance. It has since been rotated (as of 18 August 2017) to begin with the Interrupted Square Through vs. the Neighbor Balance and Swing (based on a report from Linda Leslie’s calling in Greenfield MA).

Note there’s also an alternate Becket Right/CCW version, starting at the B2.

A1
RH to N, Interrupted Square Thru 2 @ 2x (all within the current group of 4*) and with this N…

A2
Neighbor Balance and Swing

B1
Gents Allemande Left 1+1/2x, Partner Swing

B2
Ring/4 Balance and Petronella, Ring/4 Balance and Partner California Twirl
#PROGRESSION

(*RH to N up/down, Balance, Pull By N RH along, across Pull by P LH across, RH to N on side, repeat)

First called by me at the Cambridge, MA BIDA Contra Dance on 9/2/2016 with the Neighbor Balance and Swing as A1. The revised version has been called successfully now as well by myself and others.