Tag Archives: RH Chain

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. 🙂 ).

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.

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 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

¡Que Linda! – DI – Don Veino 20180211

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: Proven, Public

Linda Leslie photo
Linda Leslie

Here’s a contra in honor of Linda Leslie. I wanted to give Linda a dance more likely to be regularly called than my prior dance Linda’s Gifts (which is a waltz-time Contra or English Country Dance (ECD)).

Linda and I were in a correspondence around the Mad Robin to a wave idea I’d first used in my dance Super Robin. She’d written a couple of sequences (which are not published on her site but were called in her final few gigs, with lovely dedications) featuring the idea with different solutions around it. This was to be my choreographic response – using a CCW rotation instead of the Gents first/CW MR in those dances. Unfortunately, she never got to see this dance.

May it bring dancers joy – as did she. Linda spoke fluent Spanish and, I believe, would have appreciated the word play of the title.

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
Long Lines Forward & Back
Mad Robin CCW 1+1/4x (Ladies through center 1st, to Wave/4 across)
[N by LH, Ladies RH center]

B1
Balance Wave, Neighbor Allemande Left 1/2x,
Gents Pass Right to cross, Partner Swing

B2
Circle Left 3/4x, Ring Balance & CA Twirl

End effects:
Tune suggestions: Bouncy & driving – we used The Kitchen Girl & Stampin’ and Champin’ (Glen Loper) for NEFFA 2018 with the YFO. Reel Circulaire (by Daniel Boucher) is another good pairing.
Video: Scout House Monday Contras 20180507
See also: My Super Robin and Linda’s dances Creativity and Felicidades.

First called by me in final form at the FSGW Sunday dance at Glen Echo’s Spanish Ballroom with the Dead Sea Squirrels on 4/15/2018 and dedicated to Linda at the New England Folk Festival in a session with the Youth Festival Orchestra on 4/21/18. Earlier drafts were shared with the Portland Intown Contra Dance (PICD) and Scout House Monday Contras communities.

Swinging Chainsaws – DI – Don Veino 20171006

Type: Contra Dance, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT (but proven via transitive property…)

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, Dosi Dude, which could be paired with this for an alternating dance.

The dance is pleasantly simple yet slightly different due to the Dosido to face away transition. The Chain/CT and pull into the See Saw on the side should work well (the mirror move in Dosi Dude does). Encourage the dancers to use the full measure of each phrase of the music for the moves – the dance could get “big” as a result.

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
Ladies RH Chain
Ladies See Saw

B1
Partner Balance & Swing

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

End effects:
Tune suggestions:
Video:
See also: (Like) Juggling Chainsaws, Dosi Dude

First called by PERSON at VENUE on DATE.

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.

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

(Like) Juggling Chainsaws – DI – Don Veino 20170406

Type: Contra, Duple Improper
Status: DRAFT

For this dance the Chain to See Saw[1] 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 composition. To minimize dizziness risk, one can omit twirling in their See Saw, if desired.

This is most likely an Intermediate to Advanced level dance, given the lack of easy recovery points (like Long Lines) while containing quite a bit of disconnected motion.

UPDATE 20171005:

Since my original posting of this dance, I’d put it aside wanting to come back and refine it (I do this when I’m too engrossed in a particular sequence as a way to reset my brain and find “grace” or “simplicity” in the sequence later). Shortly thereafter a solution offered itself – which I’ve only just now transcribed from my notebook. The post has been updated to show my revised solution – I’ve left the original “experimental” draft at the end of this post so one may see the evolution (if interested).

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
(8) Gents LH Chain (to P)
(8) Gents See Saw 1+1/2x (or See Saw 1x and pass Lefts across)
WHILE
Ladies Orbit CW 1/2x (Pass RT shoulder w/next Lady)

B1
Partner Balance & Swing

B2
Ladies RH Chain, ending Courtesy Turn facing N (up/down, reverse of progression), keep left hands w/N
(pull into) See Saw 1x with THIS Neighbor, end facing NEXT Neighbor

End effects: Wait out crossed over for N to come to you out of B2 See Saw.

Notes:

[1] See Saw = Left Shoulder/CCW orbiting Dosido

[2] Original title ideas included “Concord Chainsaw Massacre” which I thought was pretty catchy/fun for horror movie fans (playing off the Texas named classic) but potentially off-putting to others. The new title still fits in the Chain & See-Saw play on words while hopefully being less discomforting. 🙂

See Also: There’s a series of dances featuring this Chain/See-saw concept and the Roll Away to Partner Shoulder Pass used in my Strolling & Rolling and Lobster Roll dances, which should be posted shortly.

ORIGINAL EXPERIMENTAL DRAFT:

If the timing turns out as I expect, the Orbit and Gent’s chain to Courtesy Turn transition should be a wonderful pairing of clockwork action and delicious momentum. Or an utter disaster. 🙂

A1
Neighbor Balance & Swing

A2
(8) Gents See Saw[1] 1x WHILE Ladies Orbit CW 1/2x (Pass RT shoulder w/next Lady)
(8) Gents LH Chain (to N)

B1
Gents Cross, Passing Lefts
Partner Swing

B2
Ladies RH Chain with partial CT to end facing CCW around oval, Ladies go forward along the side while Gents turn over their LT Shoulder
See Saw Next Neighbor

End effects: Wait out crossed over, ready to come in for the B2 See Saw.

Notes:

Of course, there are prior dances using a Ladies Chain to progress and Dosido as a linking move, either as the last of B2 or first of A1. I’ve not yet encountered a Chain to See Saw combination as used here – there may be good reason for that.

Should the original B2 above not work out well when danced, there’s a similar alternative which should:
B2
Ladies Pull by Right, Neighbor Allemande Left 1/2
(to face progression – Ladies CCW, Gents CW around oval)
Walk Forward and Dosido next Neighbor