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.  B2 seems to cause problems, though. The gents have trouble looping over their right sholder away from the star.   I have learned to talk people through it, but a demo of both moves may be the easiest approch.

The invert-the-star gets the ooh-reaction during the walk-thru, but B2 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.