Dale Wilson's Dances

Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss by Dale Wilson (2008)
Contra Improper
A1: Star left one time around (hands across star)
     Men drop left hands and make a turn out to the right, meanwhile Ladies continue the star 'til you get to your partner.  
     Partner allemande right.
A2: Ladies start a hey with left shoulders in the center
B1: Partner Gypsy 
      Partner Swing 
B2: Right and Left through, courtesy turn (3/4) until ladies can join right hands to begin a star
      Men join the star behind partner.
      Star about three places to reach next neighbors.

Last B2: R&L through, swing your partner

Note: I wrote this dance after a partner said, "I love the dances where I can keep moving from one movement to the next."   My goal was to keep the lady "flying around" through the entire dance.

When I teach B2 I say "Continue the courtesy turn until ladies can take right hands in the center to start a right-hands-across star.  Gents, join the star right behind your partner.   When I call it, I simply call "Ladies first star."

 


Gold Star Wednesday by Dale Wilson, (2012)

...because good days deserve gold stars, and Wednesday was a great Day!
Contra improper

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Right hand star 3 places; Invert the star(see the note below)
      Left hand star
B1 Gents loop right around neighbor (behind) then cross. Meet partner
      Ladies follow gent’s path around the loop but don’t cross.  Meet Partner.
      Partner Swing
B2 Circle left 3 places; Circle Balance; California Twirl


Notes   Identify Gent's Home place before start of dance.
Both stars end with the gent in his home place.

Invert the star means:
      Gents reach across their body (over the old star) with their free (left) hand
        to their neighbor who is behind them.  Ladies take gent's hand with their free (left) hand.
      Let go of the original star.  Make an arch.
      Gents step back slightly to allow ladies to step thru the arch.
       Joined left hands come down into LH Star.

Will Mentor called a square dance with this move at a Folk School event.  I had never seen this move used in a contra dance, so I wrote one.   

I thought the hard part to teach would be "invert the star" but people get that fine.  B1 seems to cause problems, though. The gents have trouble looping over their right shoulder away from the star.   I have learned to talk people through it, but a demo of both moves may be the easiest approach.

The invert-the-star gets the ooh-reaction during the walk-thru, but B1 is the move that can be truly wonderful when it's done right.  During the dance I call "Gents Loop, Ladies Follow, Gents Cross, Ladies Stay. Partner Swing" -- until they get it and I can drop out..

 


To Call a Mockingjay by Dale Wilson, (2016)

Contra Improper

A1: Neighbor do-si-do & Swing

A2: Gents Alemande Left 1 ½;

       Partner Swing

B1: Ring Balance, Petronella twirl (with a clap)

      Ring Balance Petronella (no clap)

B2: Star Left;

       Ladies (Right hands across star to) Chain

Notes:

Give the dancers permission to clap on the first Petronella (they will anyway), then strongly encourage them to skip the clap on the second one so it will flow right into the star.  Some of them will clap anyway because they can't help themselves, but most of them like the flow.

At the end of the star, tell ladies to reach their free hands across the star to each other, then tell them it's a ladies chain to their neighbors.  When I don't teach it this way I get ladies trying to chain with their left hands which is, at best, awkward.

Seth Tepper wrote a dance for one of the MockingJay movies that looked really good on film, but wasn't much fun to dance.   I borrowed some of his ideas an made them more danceable.


Roll, Roll, Roll Your Beau by Dale Wilson (2017)

Becket Contra

A1:  Ladies Chain; Right & Left thru
A2:  Ring Balance
       P Roll Away (across)
       N Roll Away (up and down)
       New N Roll Away (up and down)
B1:  Same new neighbor:
       Bal & Swing
B2:  Circle Left 3; P Swing

 

I borrowed the roll-away; roll-away; roll-away; sequence from a square dance, because it's fun. To make it work in a contra, I had to bend it around a corner.

You can make it double progression if you want, but I don't particularly like double-progression.

Ted Steele's Dances

First Star by Ted Steele - Duple Improper

A1: Balance & Swing neighbor
A2: Circle left, Circle right
B1: Ladies chain, over & back
B2: Left-hand star, right-hand star

An easy dance, but no partner swing.


Second Star By Ted Steele - Duple Improper

A1 Balance & Swing neighbor
A2 Ladies Chain
Swing partner
B1 Long Lines Forward and Back
Right and Left Thru & Roll-away Partner
B2 Right Hand Star 3/4
Left Hand Star

Written after “First Star” to add a partner swing


Heat Wave by Ted Steele - Becket

A1 Right-hand Star
Allemande Right Partner 1 1/4 to wavy line of four (men in ctr.)
A2 Balance Forward and Back, Men pull by
Swing Neighbor
B1 Ladies chain halfway
Promenade across
B2 Balance & swing partner
Slide Left


John Birch Reel by Ted Steele - Becket

A1 Right Diagonal Right and Left Thru
Circle right 3/4
A2 Allemande Right Neighbor
Right-hand Star 1 1/4 (5 places)
B1 Hey for Four (Ladies pass Right shoulders)
B2 Balance & Swing Partner

Comments: All moves are to the Right. (The John Birch Society was a radical right-wing political movement in the 1960-70s.)


Hey your Corner By Ted Steele -Square (H-S-H-S)

Head couples Forward and Back; Side couples Forward and Back
Head couples Right and Left Thru & roll away with a half sashay
Head couples Forward & Swing Opposite (face the sides)
Hey for Four (pass corner by right shoulder)
Box the Gnat with your corner & Pull by
Swing partner & Promenade Home

Based on “A Delicate Operation” by Sue Elbenger

Return to Top

 

Judy Bass' Dances

Starry Starry Night by Judy Bass  (2011) Contra Becket (progression is clockwise)

A1   (8) Star RIGHT 1 x round(hands across star)
(8 )Ladies Chain  (to neighbor)
A2   (4) Ladies Gypsy right shoulder (to Partner)
(12) Partner Swing
B1   (8) Long Lines F/B
(8) Right & Left Thru across
B2   (8) 1/2 hey (ladies pass right shoulder) (should be back where you originally started dance)
(8) gypsy right shoulder w/partner and slide left to face a new couple

 

Sarah Kaiser's Dances

Bated Breath by Sarah Kaiser      Beckett Contra

A1 Circle L 3 places
     Neighbor Swing
A2 Ladies Allemande by R 1 1/2
     Partner Gypsy
B1 Ladies Chain (Across)
     Ladies Chain - Right Diagonal
B2 Star Left Full with this 4
     Partner Swing
...Circle L 3

Epiphany   by Sarah Kaiser   Improper Contra

A1 Allemande Neighbor by R 1 1/2
     Pull by L 2nd Neighbor, Allemande R 3rd Neighbor
A2 Balance & Swing 2nd Neighbor
B1 Ladies Allemande by R 1 1/2
     Partner Swing
B2 Ladies Chain
     Circle Left Full
... Allemande THIS neighbor R

Faretheewell  by Sarah Kaiser   Improper Contra
A Tribute to David Keller

A1 Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Ladies Allemande by R 1 1/2
     Partner Swing
B1 Ladies Chain
     Circle Right Full
B2 Square Through 4
....New Neighbor Bal & Swing

Pancake Day by Sarah Kaiser Improper Contra

A1 Circle R 3 places
     Ladies Chain
A2 1/2 Hey
     Gents Cross again to Partner Swing
B1 Gents Allemande L 1 1/2
     Neighbor Swing
B2 Long Lines Forward & Back
     Circle Left Full
....New Neighbors Circle Right 3/4

Slice of Cake by Sarah Kaiser Beckett Contra

A1 Long Lines Slice & Take
     Neighbor Swing
A2 Gents DoSiDo (1x)
     Ladies Chain
B1 R & L Through
     1/2 Hey (Ladies Start)
B2 Partner Balance & Swing (No Slide)
...Long Lines Slice

NOTE if dancers are habituated to slide left the slice may ride the B2-A1 transition, or be swapped for a give & take

Wash Day by Sarah Kaiser Improper Contra

A1 Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Ladies Chain
     Circle Right
B1 Gents Allemande Left 1 1/2
     Circle Left Full
B2 (2s Drop Out) 1s Balance & Swing
...End swing facing down the hall, New Neighbor Bal & Swing

 

 

Return of Spring by Sarah Kaiser   Improper Contra 

A1 - In a line of 4 (2s btwn 1s) go down the hall,
       turn as couples and return
A2 - Keep this line and face in, 1s begin a full hey for 4
B1 - 1s meet in the middle, gypsy & swing
B2 - New Neighbor Balance & Swing
.....with these neighbors down the hall

NOTES: Begining the walkthrough with the B2  swing may easy the teaching of the A1 line of 4 with 2s in the center.

By alternating whether you turn as couples or alone, you should be able to trick this dance into alternating the long swing between the 1s and 2s, remember that for the twos, thier new neighbor is up, for the 1s its down.

 

 

Red's Robin  by Sarah Kaiser            Improper

A1:    Neighbor Do-si-do, and swing
A2:    Ladies chain
         Ladies start a Mad Robin
B1:    Ladies start half a hey
         Swing your Partner
B2:    Gents Allemande 1½ , (this) Neighbor, See-Saw
         (Turn to face new Neighbor)

 


Green Grocer    by Sarah Kaiser     Improper Contra            

A1: Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2: Star by Right 3/4
      Partner Swing
B1: Long Lines Forward & Back
      Ladies Chain w/Courtesy Turn
B2: Square Through
... To new neighbor balance & swing


Cup of Joe   by Sarah Kaiser    Improper Becket  

A1: Circle Left 3/4
      Balance, roll Partner away across
A2: Neighbor Balance & Swing
B1: Mad Robin (gents in front)
      Gents Allemande by Left 1 1/2
B2: (Optional Balance) Partner Swing & Slide Left
...to Circle Left


Mr. Roger's Delight   by  Sarah Kaiser   Improper Contra  

A1:  Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2: Long Lines forward,
       Gents give & take, Partner Swing
B1: Long Lines forward & back
      Ladies Alamande 1 1/2
B2: Same Neighbor balance & Swing
...release to New Neighbor for balance & swing


Pocket Change   by Sarah Kaiser                  Improper Becket

A1: Ladies Chain
      Double Swing Through
      (Ladies R, Partner L, Gents R, Neighbor L)
A2: Ladies Pull by Right
       Swing Partner
B1: Right & Left Through
      Circle Left 1/2, Roll Neighbor Away (across set)
B2: Circle Left 1/2, Roll Partner Away
      Circle Left 1/2, Slide Left

...to ladies chain


Summerfly    by Sarah Kaiser    improper Contra

A1: Partner box the gnat, neighbor swat the flea, partner box the gnat, neighbor swat the flea
A2: Neighbor balance & swing
B1: Circle left 3 places
      Partner swing
B2: Long lines forward & back
      Ladies chain
....extend right to partner across for box the gnat

 


Right of Way    by Sarah Kaiser     Improper Contra

A1 Circle Left Full 
    Neighbor Swing
A2 Pass through to an Ocean Wave
     Balance the Wave
     Ladies Allemande Left 1 1/2 
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Gents Allemande Left 1 1/2
     Circle Right Full
     Turn to face New Neighbor for Circle Left


Throwed Roll   by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra 

Begin in Long Waves with Gents facing out
A1 Long waves balance & Roll (rory o moore w/neighbor)
     To new neighbor swing
A2 Long Lines give & take
     To Partner Swing
B1 Full Hey
B2 Circle L 3/4
     DoSiDo neighbor 1X  to Long waves w/Current Neighbor

....Balance & Roll

NOTE: The progression is at the front of the dance, make long waves with your current neighbor.


Tilt    by Sarah Kaiser    Improper Contra

A1 Neighbor Allemande L 1 1/2
     Ladies Chain
A2 Full Ricochet Hey
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Ladies Dosido 1 1/2
     Neighbor R Balance & Box the Gnat
... Turn to face new Neighbor for Allemande L

 


 Morwenna    by Sarah Kaiser     Improper Contra

Begin in a short wave
A1 Pass through to Swing New Neighbor
A2 Ladies Chain
Right & Left Through (courtesy fling)
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Circle Left 1 & a bit (5/4), ooze into a wave, balance wave.

Morwenna is Welsh for Ocean Wave
The progression is at the front of the dance and the ocean wave at the end of the dance is with your current set.


Full Moon Fling  by Sarah Kaiser     Improper Contra

A1 Circle Left Full
     Ladies Allemande R 1 1/2
A2 Partner Balance & Swing
B1 Gents Allemande L 1 1/2
     Neighbor Swing
B2 Circle Left Full
     Pass Through to an Ocean Wave (Gents keep going like an orbit)
     Balance the Wave (forward & back) & Walk Forward

...to New Circle Left

This dance features collapsing circles - the first to a chain, the second to a wave.
The circle, wave, circle transition is reminiscent of the moon pulling the tide.


Squirrel Moon Pass   by Sarah Kaiser    Improper Contra

Begin in line of 4 with 1s between 2s (2G1L1G2L)
A1 Down the hall in line of 4 turn as a couple (gate (wheel) your neighbor, don't twirl), return, bend to a ring
A2 Balance & Petronella Turn
     Partner Swing
B1 Gents Allemande 1 1/2
      Neighbor Swing
B2 Pass through across, turn alone & circle 1/2
     Balance the ring, 2s  split & pass up as 1s pass down  between new 2s 
NOTE: 2s will split, move up, and turn alone to go down the hall with new 1s between them


Kaiser's Turnstyle    by Sarah Kaiser    Improper Contra

Begin in Long Wavy Lines Men facing out
A1 Balance waves & slide R, Allemande R the next 1x
A2 Balance & Swing your Neighbor
B1 Circle Left 3/4
     Swing your Partner
B2 Ladies Allemande R 1 1/2
     Allemande Neighbor L 1 (and a bit) 
     to form wavy lines with Men facing Out


Fascinator by Sarah Kaiser  Four facing Four Contra

A1 Forward & Back
Ladies Grand Chain
A2 Centers pass through, separate, go around one, all swing corner 
B1 Allemande Corner by Left, Gents Star Right 1/2 way
B2 Partner Balance & Swing
End swing in your line of 4, facing your direction of travel

 Note: A2: This figure ends in a square,  moving centers meet & swing as remaining Non-centers turn 1/4 to face each other and swing


You And I  by Sarah Kaiser  Beckett Contra

A1 Ladies Chain
Half Hey
A2 Neighbor R Shoulder Gypsy & Swing
B1 Clirle L full
Gents Allemande L 1 1/2
B2 Partner Gypsy & Swing
Slide left ....to Ladies Chain

Teaching Note: for the circle, people are not begining from a home spot, it may help to emphasize this spot to return to when teaching

 


Caprese  by Sarah Kaiser Improper Contra

A1 Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Ladies chain, Allemande R the next along the line 1x  
B1Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Ladies Allemande R 1 1/2
Neighbor Allemande L 1 1/2 (ish)
...to find new neighbor to Balance & Swing

 


Good Omens  by Sarah Kaiser    Improper Contra   Start in a Short Wave

A1 Balance the Wave, walk to ta new wave & Balance
Swing Through (Neighbor by R, Gents by L)
A2 Partner Balance & Swing
B1 Ladies Allemande R 1 1 /2
Neighbor Swing
B2 Circle L Full
Balance the ring, Pass through to a wave
....balance the wave


Clear the Aisle by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra

A1 Gents walk to the center, form a long wave & balance -stay put
Ladies walk to the center, form another long wave & balance
A2 Give & Take to Gent's side
Partner Swing
B1 Ladies Chain
Ladies Dosido 1x
B2 Neighbor Balance & Swing
...Gents to the center

Note: The Ladies chain in the B1 is the first contact with new neighbors, if the lines are jogged from the give and take it may help to emphasize this.


Matheney's Magic  by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra

A1 Balance a Ring & Petronella Turn (R 1/4)
(Catch) Partner Swing
A2 Long Lines Forward & Back
Circle Left Full
B1Pass Through - Ladies Catch Left hands as you pass 
Ladies Allemande L 1/2 to (Catch) Neighbor Swing
B2 Gents Start Full Hey
...new ring balance

Named for Hall of Fame Catcher Mike Matheney - catch!


Atom Heart  by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra

A1 Neighbor Allemande 1 1/2
Next Neighbor Swing
A2 Ladies Chain
Star by L Full
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Long Lines Forward & Back
Balance a Ring & Petronella
....Allemande THIS neighbor 1 1/2


Warson Wave  by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra

A1 Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Pass through across, Ladies catch L, Allemande 1/2
Partner Allemande R 3/4, Shadow Allemande L 1x
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Ladies Chain
Right & Left Through
....New Neignbor Balance & Swing

NOTE: The A2 is Zesty and operates like a multi direction swing through. The ladies begin as soon as their hands meet, the gents are finishing their pass through, they arrive in time to Allemande with thier  partner and send each other up or down the line to the shadow allemande before returning to the rewarding swing. When it locks into place it's very satisfying.


You Send Me  by Sarah Kaiser   Improper Contra

A1 Circle L 3/4
Dosido Partner
A2 Partner balance & Swing
B1 Ladies Chain
1/2 Hey
B2 Neighbor Balance & Swing
...New Circle Left

Note: watch the transition on this, the neighbor swing has to release to facilitate the circle - You Send Me -to a circle with new neighbors.


Rouleau  by Sarah Kaiser  Improper Contra

A1 Balance Ring, Roll Neighbor ladies to trade thier places
Balance Ring, Roll Neighbor Gents to trade their places
A2 Star by Right 3/4
Partner Swing
B1 Gents Allemande Left 1 1/2
Neighbor Swing
B2 Long Lines Forward & Back
Righ & Left Through
...New Ring balance

Note: There is no 1/2 sashay on the roll aways here the RollER stays put, the RollEE moves. It's an assisted ECD corner swap in a contra style.


Call the Plumber  by Sarah Kaiser  Beckett Contra

A1 Circle Left 3/4
Neighbor Swing
A2 Hands Across Star by Right 3/4, gents drop out
Ladies Allemande Right 1X (twice is fine too)
B1 Partner Balance & Swing
B2 Long Lines Forward & Back
Long Lines Forward & Slice
...to new circle Left

Inspired by a conversation with Doug Plummer regarding simpler dances with flow.

 

 

Shakedown Breakdown
Improper Contra by Sarah Kaiser

A1 Down the hall in line of 4 (1s between 2s)
Turn Alone, return up the hall
A2 Bend the line to a Star by the Right 3/4
Neighbor Swing
B1 Long Lines Forward & Back
Circle Left All the Way
B2 (2s drop out) 1's Swing, break swing between new 2's


 

Sunday Swing
Improper Contra by Sarah Kaiser

A1 Neighbor Balance & Swing
A2 Ladies Chain, 1/2 Hey
B1 Partner Gypsy & Swing
B2 Long lines forward & Roll Away back
Star by the Right 3/4 to new neighbor

There is a strong chance this is just a dance that I remember and really liked doing. If it's yours, let me know and I'll take it down/ credit you.
Smooth flow is the order of the day here.

 

 


 

Chrissie Chapman's Dance


video coming soon

Prairie Fire by Chrissie Chapman  (2014) Becket

A1: Ladies Chain
Circle Right all the way around

A2: Twirl to swap with your Neighbor
Neighbor Swing

B1: Long Lines Forward and Back
Ladies Allemande Right 1 ½

B2: Partner Balance and Swing
Slide left, (Ladies chain to new Neighbor)