“Coronavirus Dances”

Duple improper contras

Duple proper contras

Becket formation contras

English country dances

DISCLAIMER
Because of the COVID-19 shutdown, none of the dances below has been danced in a group, nor will they be until it is safe. Normally, I would not release a dance “to the wild” without first testing it with real live dancers. These are not normal times though, and I’ve chosen to put these dances up for view without a road test. However, once we can dance together again and the dances are tested properly, I fully expect to alter or discard some of this work.

THANKS!
I owe a huge debt to tunesmiths who entrusted me with their work, especially under these unusual circumstances. Emily Askew, Tim Ball, Andrea Beaton, Judith Cooper, Nadine Dyskant-Miller, Debbie Jackson, Jonathan Jensen, David Kaynor, Jane Knoeck, John Krumm, Andrew Marcus, Daniel Roy, Dave Wiesler, Nicholas Williams, John Wobus, and others from centuries past, thank you — I love your tunes! Thanks also to Laurel Sharp, David Millstone, Carmen Giunta, Christine Robb, Anna Rain, Brad Foster and others (including my “deep dive” dancers) who have offered such helpful feedback on one or more of these dances.

-David Smukler


Buttermilk Biscuits
Duple improper

 A1 Ones half figure-8 down the set
Ones swing
 A2 Down the hall 4-in-line
Turn alone, return and face neighbor
 B1 Neighbors balance and swing
 B2 Long lines forward and back
Ones half figure-8 up the set

Composed July 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Phylla Mae Promenade
Duple improper

 A1 Circle left 1x and neighbors swing
 A2 Neighbors promenade 3/4 to face partner up or down
Partners do-si-do
 B1 Partners balance and swing
 B2 Balance the ring; spin one place to the right (as in Petronella)
Balance the ring; California twirl

My variation of Punxsutawney Promenade by Dan Pearl.

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Ross’s Reel #2 (revised)
Duple improper

 A1 Neighbors balance and swing
 A2 (4) Ones allemande right 3/4, same-role neighbors take left hands to form wave on right diagonal (depending on your role, it might be the current neighbor or neighbor 2)
(8) Balance the wave twice
(4) Neighbors allemande left once
 B1 Ones turn contra corners
 B2 Ones balance and swing, end facing down

Revised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have not yet been road-tested.

Finish the neighbor swing in time for ones to be ready with their right hands in A2. Then, finding the correct neighbor will be key to forming the diagonal wave.

The dance is named for Ross’s Reel #4, a grand old tune that fits the dance well. This is Ross’s Reel #2, because I revised the original version, “Ross’s Reel.”

(top of page)


Trip to the Shore
Duple improper

 A1 Neighbors do-si-do
Neighbors swing
 A2 First corners change places; partners balance
Partners swing
 B1 Second corners change places; partners change places
Circle left once around, hang on
 B2 Dive for the oyster, dig for the clam; shoot through the hole to the promised land

“First and second corners” are right diagonals and left diagonals respectively.

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


We’ll Dance Again
Duple proper
Starts with ones in the center of a line-of-4 facing up

 A1 Up the hall 4-in-line, ones turn as a couple in the center
Return improper and hand cast to form a ring
 A2 Balance the ring (4)
Neighbors roll away with a half sashay, rolling clockwise (right to left)
Right-hand dancers chain across
 B1 Same two do-si-do, and partners swing
 B2 Taking hands in a ring, balance and spin to the right (as in Petronella)
Ones: cross down between current neighbors, then down outside the next, arriving between these neighbors to form a new line-of-4 facing up

Composed May 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Wild Idea
Duple proper
Starts with ones in the center of a line-of-4 facing up

 A1 Circle left 1x
Balance the ring, spin to the right
 A2 Those now above down the center two-by-two, turn alone
Return, cast off with partner
 B1 Pass through across and partners swing
 B2 Right diagonals allemande left 3/4 to cross the set while others turn out over right shoulder and cast up or down the side, ending across from partner
Balance the ring; ones turn single while twos California twirl

Modeled on Martha Wild’s dance, Best of Friends.

B2 borrows unabashedly from English country dance, and uses what ECD people call “meanwhile figures.” The English turn single for the ones is a clockwise turn in four steps that ends where it began. It is often described to newcomers as dancing around an imaginary manhole (or pizza).

Composed May 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Beck and Call (revised)
Becket, clockwise

 A1 Long lines forward and back
Circle left 3/4, pass through along the set and form a wavy line-of-4 with new neighbors
 A2 Balance that wave, slide or spin to the right as in Rory O’More
Balance to the left, slide or spin to the left
 B1 Neighbors balance and swing
 B2 Circle left 3/4 and partners swing

Revised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes (albeit minor ones) have not yet been road-tested.

Written originally to fit into a medley of Becket dances that never happened. My goal was to write a Becket dance that used Rory O’More spins, similar to Becky Hill’s More of a Becket, but that progressed to the left instead of to the right. As often happens to me when I start tinkering with choreography, more things happened than just my original goal.

(top of page)


Pig Time
Becket, counterclockwise and double progression

 A1 Balance the ring and spin to the right as in Petronella
Balance the ring, California twirl
 A2 Next neighbors balance and swing
 B1 Pass through across the set, turn away from this neighbor
New neighbors swing
 B2 Circle left 3/4 and partners swing

The dance’s title refers to a joke whose punchline is, “What’s time to a pig?” It progresses counterclockwise. Time often felt like it ran backwards during the pandemic. That said, it is not a slow paced dance. It is double progression and includes swings with three different people!

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Ambidexterity
Duple minor longways
Tune: Thirtieth Anniversary Slip (Irish traditional)

A1 1-4 Four quick changes of a circular hey (start by passing partner)
A2 1-2 Ones right shoulder once around
3-4 Neighbors gate clockwise (first corners going forward)
B1 1-4 Hey-for-4 across (first corners pass left shoulder while second corners cast back over right shoulder to begin)
B2 1-2 …complete the hey, ending at home
3 First corners cross by right shoulder
4 Second corners the same
C1 1-3 Circle left all the way round
4 Partners 2-hand turn halfway
C2 1 Balance back
2-4 And partners back-to-back

Three steps per change on the circular hey.

The hey across takes 18 steps: all of B1 and the first half of B2. I don’t advise trying to count (8 changes in 18 steps…); you will find you have just enough time to fit in the corners crossing at the end of B2.

Originally composed July 2018. Revised in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Animal, by John Krumm

A1 1-4 First corners set and turn single
5-6 Same two right-hand turn halfway, changing places
7-8 Opposites all cross the set passing right shoulders
A2 1-4 New first corners set and turn single
5-6 Same two right-hand turn halfway
7-8 Partners all cross the set passing right shoulders
B1 1-4 “Follow the leader into a line-of-4” as follows: All begin to single file clockwise, dancers stopping one at a time to form a line-of-4 from left to right. The bottom dancer on the left file is the leader, and dances up and to the left, stopping after 1 bar to become leftmost dancer in the line. The next follows, stopping after 2 bars just to the leader’s right, etc.
5-8 Line-of-4 go up a double and back, bending into a ring as you fall back
B2 1-2 Balance the ring in and out, simultaneously moving one place to the left
(all are home)
3-4 Ones cast down one place while
Twos lead up and turn to face each other
5-8 Partners left shoulder once around

Composed February 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


At Cockcrow
Duple minor longways
Tune: New Dawn, New Day, by David A. Kaynor, © 2021

A1 1-4 Neighbors set and turn single
5-8 Neighbors 2-hand turn 1-1/2, changing places
A2 1-4 Partners set and turn single
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn 1-1/2, changing places
B1 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Partners back-to-back
B2 1-4 Neighbors back-to-back
5-8 Three changes of rights and lefts, starting with neighbor

Composed March 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Bastille Day
Duple minor longways
Tune: Peace Walk, by Debbie Jackson

A1 1-4 Circle left halfway, neighbors fall back on the side
5-8 Neighbors 2-hand turn
A2 1-4 Circle left halfway to home, face neighbors (partners retain hands) and fall back
5-8 Neighbors right-hand turn once around, ending in long wavy lines (first corners facing in and second corners out)
B1 1-2 Set in the wave
3-4 “Box circulate,” re-forming the long waves, as follows:
First corners (who are facing in) dance straight across to partner’s place
Meanwhile second corners (facing out) turn over right shoulder into neighbor’s place as if doing a right-hand turn halfway
5-8 Set again in the new wave; repeat the box circulate, with other corners crossing or turning to right (this time do not form a wave)
9-12 First corners change places; second corners the same
13-16 First corners change back; second corners the same
B2 1-4 Partners set and turn single
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn 1-1/2, open to face neighbor couple
9-12 Mirror back-to-back, ones between twos to begin
13-16 With new neighbors, mirror back-to-back, ones between twos to begin
Tag (last time only)
1-2 Partners step right and honor
3-4 Facing the presence, all step left and honor

This is one of a couple of dances I created to celebrate the birth of my grandson, Leo Horatio Smukler Barton. I asked Debbie Jackson to write a tune “worthy of the occasion” and she sent me “Peace Walk,” a tune I instantly fell in love with. Later she sent it to Karen Axelrod and the two of them played it “together” (Karen live with Debbie on the BOSE speaker) during Karen’s “In the Moment” FaceBook event on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, which by happy coincidence was the very day Leo was born!

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Behind the Mask
Four-couple longways
Tune: La Pipe, by Daniel Roy

A1 1-2 Foursomes single file clockwise one place
3-4 Balance into the center and back
5-8 Repeat
A2 1-4 Neighbors lead out a couple steps, gate turn halfway and return
5-8 Partners right-hand turn 1-1/2 (all are home)
B1 1-4 Circle left single file halfway around the entire set (skipping), face partner across
5-8 Partners back-to-back
B2 1-4 Circle right single file to home (skipping), face neighbor on the side of your foursome
5-8 Neighbors left-shoulder back-to-back
C1 1-2 Top four circle left halfway
3-4 Same partners change places across
5-8 Middle four repeat
B2 1-4 Bottom four repeat
5-8 Partners all set and turn single

The gate turn in A2 is counterclockwise: right-hand person forward; left backs up.

Composed December 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Borrowed Time
Duple minor longways
Tune: Is the Big Man Within? (Irish traditional)

A-parts in 9/8, 3 steps to the bar
A1 1-2 First corners change places passing right shoulders; second corners the same
3-4 First corners right-hand turn 3/4 to end in neighbor’s place while second corners dance up or down the outside into neighbor’s place (ends with ones above and all crossed over)
A2 1-4 Repeat A1 with new first corners beginning (all are home)
B-parts in 6/8, 2 steps to the bar
B1 1-4 Neighbors back-to-back
5-6 Circle left halfway
7-8 Balance the ring in and out
B2 1-4 Partners 2-hand turn once around, open out to face neighbor
5-8 Three changes of rights and lefts, starting with neighbor on the side

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Breathing Space
Four-couple square: partners on the left are ones; those on the right are twos
Tune: Nonpareil, by John Krumm

A 1-3 Ones weave individually counterclockwise, in front of your partner and behind the next, halfway round the set
4 Opposites right-hand turn halfway, trading places
5-7 Twos, similarly, weave counterclockwise halfway round
8 Partners left-hand turn halfway
9-12 Twos right-hand star halfway; opposites left-hand turn, folding into promenade position (begins like an open chain, but then “closes”)
13-16 Promenade halfway, finishing with two single steps (step-close, step-close)
B 1-8 (Sides face) Grand square “with breathing space”: 3 steps to meet or fall back, 3 more to turn and honor someone new, etc.
9-10 Set to current partner, right and left
11-12 Right shoulder once around the same
13-15 Ones left-hand star three-quarters
16 New partners right-hand turn halfway

Mixer: Ones progress one place clockwise each time; twos progress across and back, twice. Repeat three more times to original places.

Three Notes about the Grand Square:
1. Using waltz footwork helps the figure stay in sync with the tune.
2. Since the twos remain either heads or sides, the ones can rely on them to know which way to go to begin the figure.
3. On the final change, honor current partner (i.e., heads do not turn on the last three counts, but sides do).

Composed August 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


The Dandy’s Cravat (formerly “Brooklyn Dandy”)
Duple minor longways
Tune: Trip to Sligo (Irish traditional)

A1 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Ones single file chase clockwise halfway while twos meet and lead up (ones are below and improper)
A2 1-8 Full double figure eight (ones crossing up as twos cast down, etc.)
B1 1-4 Left-hand star with new neighbors
5-8 Right-hand star with original neighbors
B2 1-4 Ones 2-hand turn 1-1/2, face up
5-8 Lead up between the twos, cast back to progressed place
Repeat with couple 2 active:
A3 1-4 Circle left once around (with neighbor 2)
5-8 Twos single file chase clockwise halfway while ones meet and lead down (twos are above and improper)
A4 1-8 Full double figure eight (twos crossing down as ones cast up, etc.)
B3 1-4 Left-hand star with next neighbors
5-8 Right-hand star with current neighbors
B4 1-4 Twos 2-hand turn 1-1/2, face down
5-8 Lead down between the ones, cast back to place

This dance began life as a variation on a nineteenth century American contra dance called Dandy’s Hornpipe. Figures evolved from there and ECD styling seemed to suit. By now very little of Dandy’s Hornpipe remains. I created the dance in 2010; the latest revision is from November 2020.

Most of my ECD dance compositions start with a tune, but this one did not, and finding the best sort of tune took years. For a long while it was set to a very beautiful waltz, but eventually I saw reason and chose this jig.

The dance alternates who is active. With your first neighbors the ones are active (A1-B2). With the next it is the twos who are active (A3-B4), and you continue to alternate as you progress along the line. You can also choose to simplify by dancing only the first two As and Bs, so that ones are always the active couple.

Dedicated to Jennifer Staples, who made me a linen cravat… and tried valiantly to teach me to tie it.

Revised to this state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Distances
Duple minor longways
Tune: Distances by Dave Wiesler, © 2020, 4 steps per bar

A1 1-2 Partners “swirly” siding (starting left shoulder)
3-4 Two changes of rights and lefts
5-6 Partners 2-hand turn once around, open out to face neighbor on the side
A2 1-2 Neighbors right shoulder swirly siding
3-4 First corners aim left shoulders toward each other and change places with 4 slipping steps passing back to back (as in “The Black Nag”); second corners aim right shoulders toward each other and do the same (all are home)
5-6 Partners poussette clockwise 3/4 into a line facing up
B1 1-2 Line-of-4 up a double and back
3-4 Half hey-for-4: begin by partners passing right shoulder, end facing down
B2 1-2 Line-of-4 down a double and back
3 Centers (second corners) right shoulder ~3/4 round until facing partner
4 Partners pass right shoulder; first corners in the center right-hand turn halfway while others stand pat with right shoulder facing into the set
5 Neighbors gate turn counterclockwise 3/4 (first corners continuing to move forward, others backing up)

I describe bars 3-5 in B2 measure by measure, but they form one continuous sequence.

Although moving backward in the gate, second corners can continue the counterclockwise motion to flow smoothly into the siding at the top of each new round.

Composed December 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Doctor Fauci’s Maggot
Duple minor longways
Tune: Territorial Boys, by Debbie Jackson

A1 1-4 Right-hand star
5-8 All dance individually clockwise up or down your own line, wrapping around at the ends (skipping or skip-change step)
A2 1-4 Turn over left shoulder and return
5-8 Original foursomes left-hand star
B1 1-4 First corners change places passing left shoulder; when coast is clear, second corners change places passing right shoulders
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn 1-1/2, face new neighbors
B2 1-4 With these new neighbors, circle left, releasing hands a bit early to ease out to line
5-8 Partners set and turn single

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Doctor Fauci’s Return
Duple minor longways
Tune: Dr. Fauci’s Return, by Debbie Jackson, © 2021, 3 steps per bar

A1 1-3 Circle left
4 Partners cross passing right shoulders
5 Loop left to face back in
6-8 Partners left-shoulder back-to-back
A2 1-3 Circle right
4 Partners cross passing left shoulders
5 Loop right to face back in
6-8 Partners right-shoulder back-to-back
B1 1-2 First corners change places
3-4 Second corners the same
5-6 Partners the same
7-8 Ones cast up while twos lead down (all are home)
B2 Modified Petit Fours and Progress
  Ones: Twos:
1 Pass by right shoulder and immediately face down Fall back
2 Lead down the center Come up the outside
3 Fall back Pass by right shoulder and immediately face down
4 Come up the outside Lead down the center
5-6 Cross and cast down one place California twirl and lead up
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn Partners 2-hand turn

Composed February 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Eliza Doolittle Day (revised)
Duple minor longways
Tune: John’s March, by John Wobus

A1 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Partners back-to-back
A2 1-4 Circle right once around
5-8 Neighbors left shoulder back-to-back
B 1-4 Ones cross and cast down one place while twos meet and lead up
5-8 Twos cross and cast, and into the center of a line-of-4 facing up while
Ones lead up and cast out to the ends of the line
9-10 Up the hall 4 steps
11-12 Set to the presence
13-14 Fall back, ends closing in to form a ring
15-16 Circle left halfway (change hands with your partner to form a ring with the next neighbors)

Created on the twentieth of May (hence the title) 2009.

Revised April, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Exposed
Three-face-three, longways or Sicilian
Tune by Hieronymus Bosch & David Smukler, four steps to the bar

A 1-2 Lines-of-3 forward a double and back
3 Center with dancer on right: gate clockwise 3/4, center moving forward
4 Same center 2-hand turn your other partner halfway to change places; open up to face opposite of original direction
Meanwhile the lone dancer turn clockwise in place 3/4 more and rejoin line-of-3
5-8 Repeat measures 1-4 to end facing original direction but in a new order (if originally numbered left-to-right 1-2-3, you are now in 2-3-1 order)
B1 1-2 All six, circle left halfway
3-4 Opposites back-to-back
5-8 Turn contra corners from here: middles turn each other by right, first corner left, middles right, second corner left, end where you began
B2 1-2 Circle right halfway
3-4 Opposites left shoulder back-to-back
5-6 Lines-of-3 zig-zag to right and left to progress
7-8 New opposites 2-hand turn

The gate in bar 3 of the A-part ends with 2-facing-1 in each threesome. After bar 4 the line-of-3 has been reassembled in a new order facing the opposite direction from how it began. Although described bar by bar for clarity, think of bars 3-4 as one continuous action. The same moves are repeated in bars 7-8 with someone else in the center.

Composed August 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Fanny Dashwood’s Comeuppance
Three-couple longways
Tune: Miss Carmichael’s Minuet (1768)

A1 1-2 Top dancer on right file: set left and right acknowledging, in turn, corner and partner
3-4 Same top dancer cast to bottom; the line follows, inverting the line
5-7 Bottom two people right-hand turn 1x
8 Same two turn single left
A2 1-2 Top dancer on left file: set right and left acknowledging, in turn, corner and opposite
3-4 Same top dancer cast to bottom; the line follows, inverting the line
5-7 Ones (now reunited at the bottom) left-hand turn 1x
8 And turn single right
B1 1-4 All six, circle left halfway and fall back in lines (original positions, opposite sides)
5-8 Partners back to back (~3 bars) and then cross the set by right shoulder (1 bar), finish by taking hands-6 (all are home)
B2 1-2 Circle left one place with two single steps
3-4 Cast clockwise one more place
5-8 New partners 2-hand turn

Mixer: After once through, all have new partners, and those going into or out of second place have switched sides. Repeat twice more to original places.

Composed August 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Follow Me
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Call, by Judith Cooper (© 2006), 4 steps per bar

A 1-4 Right-file dancers lead a dolphin hey on the left file (see note): begin with 2nd diagonals passing left shoulder, switch leads twice, and finish with the tandem pair crossing back to their own side with #1 in the lead, ending in progressed place
5-8 Similarly, left-file dancers lead a dolphin hey on the right file: begin with 1st diagonals passing right shoulder, switch leads twice, and finish with the tandem pair crossing back to their own side with #1 in the lead
(All are progressed)
B 1-2 Ones, a long cast up to original places while
Twos meet, lead down, and fall back to line
3-4 Partners set and turn single
5-6 Half poussette clockwise
7-8 Same four right-hand star once around

The heys are oriented up and down on one side of the set, as in Jack’s Maggot. Changing the lead in these dolphin heys involves “going wide” rather than “going long,” so that crowding is reduced. Each #1 dancer, when they are leading the hey, begins by splitting the dancers in the opposite line and continuing wide. Their neighbor begins by following but immediately does a tight loop around the bottom dancer, thereby taking the lead. Coming around the top of the hey it is the #2 dancer who goes wide out the side, while the original leader does a tight loop to regain the lead before crossing the set to their home side. The progression is embedded in the heys.

Composed August 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


The Gap
Duple minor longways
Tune: Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch (Scottish traditional, 6 steps to the bar)

A1 1 All change places on right diagonal passing right shoulders, end facing up or down
2 Fall back along the line into partner’s place (two single steps)
3-4 Star right hands across, once around
A2 1-2 Similarly, all change places on left diagonal passing left shoulders, and fall back to original place
3 Circle left halfway
4 Partners 2-hand turn halfway, end facing up
B 1-2 Half double figure-8, ones cross up and twos cast down to begin
3-4 Twos gate the ones once around
5 Retaining neighbor’s hand, face across; step right and honor
6 Releasing hands, cross the set passing left shoulder
7-8 Same four star left hands across, once around

Note about the tune: This is a slow air, not a jig. It is a lament and should feel solemn. Typically, it would be played rubato, but for the dance it must be played with a regular beat.

The diagonal action in the A-parts followed by falling back will feel like a chevron, although it is not exactly the same. Here are some tips that might be useful:

  • If your first diagonal change is down, then all of them will be down. And if it is up, it will also always be so. This remains true after changing from one to two or vice versa.
  • First corners change places with current corner, but second corners change places with former corner. This gives the second corners a greater challenge. The star and circle are with the current neighbors behind them, not those with whom they just interacted.
  • When a diagonal change sends you out of the set at either end, dance with a “ghost” to end up in the correct place for the moves that follow.

In the B-part, after twos cross up for the half figure-8, a little flip to face in at the end of the phrase will make it easier to offer the correct hand for the gate.

Composed October 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Great and Small
Duple minor longways
Tune: Roslin Castle (no repeats, 4 steps to the bar)

A 1-2 Ones change places as in “Hole in the Wall”
3-4 Neighbors back to back
5-6 First diagonals change places; second diagonals the same
7-8 Neighbors right shoulder round 1-1/2
B 1-4 Open left-hand chain, as follows:
  First diagonals left-hand turn halfway, partners right-hand turn once
  First diagonals left-hand turn halfway, neighbors right-hand turn 3/4
5-6 Single file clockwise halfway (6), honor partner (2)
7-8 Ones half figure-8 up through the twos while twos cast and lead

In the first figure, ones change places in four counts ending close; then take four full steps back.

“Diagonals” in the instructions refer to current position, not original positions.

(top of page)


Hope Reclaimed
Three-couple longways
Tune: Hope Comes in Threes by Dave Wiesler, © 2021

A1 1-4 Ones cast out, others follow them into mirror stars
(left-hand star on L-file; right-hand on R-file)
5-8 As ones meet, “swap the stars”: each dancer in turn leaves the star they are in and joins the other star with the other hand (partners passing left shoulder to switch); end with all having changed stars, and the ones again coming to the top
A2 1-4 Ones: lead way up and a big cast down to second place; while
Twos: lead up to the top and turn single away; and
Threes: lead up and cast to bottom
(Dancers are now in 2-1-3 order, across from original side)
5-8 Partners, slow set and turn single
B 1-3 All six, circle left halfway
4 Cross the set (passing partner by right) and take hands in lines-of-3 facing out
5-6 Lines-of-3 lead out a double
7-8 Lines set right and left
9-12 Releasing hands, cast over right shoulder to spiral back to the center for a 2-hand turn with partner 1-1/2, end facing up

Ends in 3-1-2 order. Repeat twice more to place.

In the first four bars of A2, couples come out of the two “decaying” stars one by one. Ones are already arriving at the top as the phrase begins, and they need a large sweep to fill four measures with their cast to second place. The twos follow them up, but remain at the top with a mirror turn single. The threes continue the trajectory of the star as it carries them back to the bottom.

Composed March 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


In the Moment
Duple minor longways
Tune: First Parish, by Andrew Marcus (November 2001)

A1 1-4 First corners back-to-back
5-8 Neighbors gate once around counterclockwise (second corners forward)
A2 1-4 Second corners left-shoulder back-to-back
5-8 Neighbors gate once around clockwise (first corners forward)
B 1-2 Neighbors fall back a double
3-4 Partners change places passing right shoulder, flip on last beat to face back in
Set and link, as follows
5-6 Neighbors take inside hands and set
7-8 Neighbors change places turning over right shoulder:
   Right diagonals roll through the center and end facing out, while
   Left diagonals cast up or down and end facing across
(all are now progressed and crossed over from their original side)
C1 1-4 Ones chase clockwise around the couple above: “First around two and your partner cut through”
5-8 Twos, similarly, chase clockwise around the couple below
C2 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn

In the A-parts, the active corners fall back to place and then continue to fall back in the gate figure. In a sense this is a “trust fall,” and a trustworthy neighbor–who steps into the gate and reliably catches their neighbor’s hand–is important to its success. At the end of A2, dancers can move in to end close to partner before (more!) falling back in the B-part.

The chase in C1 (first for couple 1 and then for couple 2) works like this: each first corner in turn begins by chasing their partner in an orbit around the neighbor couple, but takes a short cut by slipping between those neighbors. Transitions in this dance are improved if you stay facing your partner as you slip through (somewhat like a modern “Mad Robin” chase). You are crossed over when the chase begins, but partners exchange places because of the “cut through” and so C1 ends with all on their original side. The path is similar to the first figure in Cheshire Rounds (1710), and the figure has jumped from one dance genre to another over the years. It came into southern Appalachian round dancing as “the old side door,” and from there made its way into traditional squares. Ted Sannella imported it into his contra dance New Friendship Reel, after which many other contra dance authors, including Penn Fix, Roger Diggle, and Donna Calhoun, have featured it. (I should count myself in that list as well; the same chase appears in my Triplet #7.) With Gary Roodman’s use of the figure in his now classic English country dance The Homecoming, this particular chase has come full circle.

Composed October 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


The Justice
Three-couple longways
Tune: The Almond, by James Oswald (1710-1769)

A1 1-3 Partners left-hand turn
4-5 All turn single right
6-8 On the right diagonal, those who can change places as in “Hole in the Wall”
9-12 Circle left six hands halfway
13-16 Opposites back-to-back
A2 1-3 Opposites right-hand turn
4-5 All turn single left
6-8 On the left diagonal, those who can change places as in “Hole in the Wall” (passing left shoulders)
9-12 Circle right six hands halfway
13-16 Opposites left-shoulder back-to-back
B 1-4 Middles cast up or down clockwise into half of a right shoulder hey-for-3 on the side (see note)
5-6 Middles continue trajectory of the hey to dance outside (left shoulder) around one to the middle position of lines-of-3 facing up and down
7-8 Lines balance forward and back
9-12 Similarly, middles cast clockwise into half of a hey-for-3 across (pass the same “trail buddy” by the right to begin the second hey)
13-14 Middles dance outside around one to the middle position of lines-of-3 facing across (all are halfway round from where they began the B-part)
15-16 Lines balance forward and back
17-19 Opposites: “swirly” siding, 6 steps to cross by left shoulder, 3 steps back, then keep moving into…
20-24 Single file clockwise until all are home reunited with partner 
25-28 Partners 2-hand turn; ones face up, others retain hands
29-30 Ones cast to the bottom while others sidestep twice to move up one place
31-32 Ones turn single down while others turn single up

Middles (original #1R and #3L) are actives during the first half of the B-part. In the first hey they can catch partner’s eye as they cast, but they pass the one who is not their partner by right shoulders to begin the hey. In the lines-of-3 across the original L-file dancers are facing down and R-file dancers up. Measures 9-16 are a repeat of measures 1-8, with the figure turned 90°.

Bar 20 is the end of a phrase, but the single file circle does, in fact, begin here. Think of the siding as a slingshot into the chase. The single file circle has 5 bars to go 5 places around the set, ending with everyone in home places.

I chose this somewhat formal but passionate tune for my tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known for her brilliant mind, her ability to build consensus, and her fierce advocacy for equal justice. The dance was composed shortly after her death in September 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Lady Hamilton’s Tea
Duple minor longways
Tune: Lady Hamilton’s Tea by Jonathan Jensen, © 2021

Slip jig
A1 1-6 Right-file dancers, working in tandem, initiate a hey-for-3 on the left file (#1 leads throughout): 2nd diagonals pass left shoulders to begin; end by returning to own side with #1 still in the lead (right file is progressed)
7-8 Opposites right-hand turn
A2 1-6 Left-file dancers, similarly, initiate a hey-for-3 on the right file (#2 leads throughout); 2nd diagonals pass left shoulders to begin; end by returning to own side with #2 still in the lead (all are progressed)
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn
Minuet
B 1-2 In a ring-of-4, balance in and out
3-4 Circle left halfway
5-6 Neighbors, a short lead out and back
7-8 Ones cross and cast while twos 2-hand turn halfway and lead up

Both heys begin left shoulder on the second diagonal, and they are oriented up and down on one side or the other of the set as in Jack’s Maggot. However, unlike Jack’s Maggot, all four dancers participate in these heys-for-3, with two dancers working together “as a unit” within the hey. A “leader” (who begins on the second diagonal) initiates each hey and the leader’s neighbor follows them closely throughout. Note that this is not a “dolphin hey”; there is no overtake and pass. (There is no catching up with Lady Hamilton!)

Dancers can emphasize the difference between the two parts by using a skipping step for the heys. Those familiar with historical dance might use minuet footwork for the B-parts.

Lady Hamilton’s Decaffeinated Tea
This alternative version (created February 2021) replaces the tandem hey with a tandem figure-8:

A1 1-6 Right-file dancers, working in tandem, dance a full figure-8 through the left file dancers (#1 leading throughout): loop left below and right above, and end by returning to own side with #1 still in the lead
(right file is progressed)
7-8 Opposites right-hand turn
A2 1-6 Left-file dancers, similarly, dance a full figure-8 through the right file dancers (#2 leading throughout): loop left above and right below, and end by returning to own side with #2 still in the lead
(all are progressed)
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn
B 1-8 (as above)

Written to honor Darlene Hamilton of the Historical Tea and Dance Society. Usually, when I create a dance, the title is the last element to arrive. In this case, the title came first.

Composed January 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Live Stream
Duple minor longways
Tune: Sage Hen Waltz, by Tim Ball

A 1-2 First corners right-hand turn halfway
3-4 All single file clockwise halfway
5-6 Second corners right-hand turn halfway
7-8 All single file clockwise halfway
B1 1-2 Neighbors right shoulder round
3-4 Next neighbors left shoulder round
5-8 Original neighbors right-hand star, end in a line-of-4 facing up
(ones in the center, all improper)
C 1-2 Dance up the hall 3 steps, fall back 3
3-4 “Thread needle”:
The two dancers on the right end of the line make an arch; without releasing hands, left-end dancer dives under the arch drawing two others through, while those making the arch also move across the set one of them turning under own arm (line ends inverted and facing down, ones still in center, all on original side)
 
5-6 Neighbors gate turn, ones moving forward
7-8 Ones turn single while twos cast up above ones
B2 1-2 Ones 2-hand turn moving down while twos turn single
3-4 Ones cast up to place while twos 2-hand turn moving down
5-6 Circle left halfway
7-8 Partners change places across the set, passing right shoulder

Composed May 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Lost and Found
Triple minor longways
Tune: Happy 32-bar jig, such as Brendan Tonra’s

A1 1-4 #1L does 2 changes to end in third place as follows:
Right diagonal by right hand; left diagonal by left hand
5-8 Similarly, #1R does 2 changes to end in third place:
Left diagonal by left hand; right diagonal by right hand
A2 1-4 Bottom four (ones and threes):
Two changes of a circular hey, starting with partner
5-8 Top four (ones and twos) the same (all are home)
B1 1-2 Ones lead down the center
3-4 Ones set
5-8 Ones return (skipping) and cast down one place, twos moving up
B2 1-8 Top four:
Full double figure-8, ones cross up and twos cast down to begin

Lost and Found is my variation of an early American dance called Elegance and Simplicity. I have made several changes to the historical dance. The original A1 consists of stars halfway (moulinet), first by right hand and then by left. Down the center in B1 included a rigadoon step, and B2 would have been four changes of rights and lefts. The changes are mostly intended to make timing and flow more appropriate for modern dancers.

Composed August 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Maeve’s Tortoise*
*pronounced: “tour-toys”
Duple minor longways
Tune: Christy Barry’s (Irish traditional)

A1 1-6 First corners chase, as follows:
Top corner dance clockwise around partner while bottom corner follows; both end at home
7-8 All four take hands and circle left one quarter
A2 1-6 Other corners chase, as follows:
Current bottom corner dance clockwise around opposite while top corner follows; end where you began
7-8 All circle left one more quarter
B1 1-4 Ones half figure-8 up through the twos
5-8 Partners all 2-hand turn
B2 1-4 Twos half figure-8 down through the ones
5-8 Partners all set and turn single

The chase figure is borrowed from The Garter (The Dancing Master, 1688). There is plenty of time for it. Pace yourself to use up all 12 counts of music.

Composed October 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Never Better (revised)
Four-couple longways
Tune: Laurel’s Triumph, by Jane Knoeck (July 2017)

A1 1-4 Middle four join hands and make arches all round: ends cast down or up, dance into the side arches and out the ends to return to place
5-6 Within foursomes, couples exchange places with a half draw poussette clockwise
7-8 The four now in the middle (original ends) circle left three-quarters while new ends continue the draw poussette to orbit the set one quarter and re-form as a line of 4 couples across the hall (ends are now middles and vice versa)
A2 1-8 Repeat A1 to home places (roles reverse)
B1 1-4 Partners set and turn single
5-6 In fours, circle left halfway, face neighbor along the line
7-8 Two changes of rights and lefts around the (flat) ring of eight (second change is either up or down the side in the middle of the set, or around the ends)
B2 1-4 Next neighbors 2-hand turn 1-1/2, open out to face partner across
5-6 Neighbors fall back and come forward
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn once around
(New ends face out; middles make a ring-of-4)

Ends in 3-1-4-2 order. Those who began as ends are now middles. Those who began as middles are at the opposite end and have crossed over. Repeat 3x more to place.

At the top of each A-part, those starting at the ends are actives. They cast, take hands with an opposite-role neighbor, duck into the ring-of-4, immediately release the neighbor, and take partner’s hand to duck back to home places. If the middles are not tall enough to make those arches conveniently high, they can make “virtual” arches instead, lifting hands toward a neighbor rather than connecting.

The action in measures 5-8 of the A-parts can be disorienting. It may be helpful to visualize the draw poussette as a virtual circle halfway.

Originally composed August 2017 for my wife, Laurel Sharp, to celebrate a significant birthday. Revised in October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Newt’s News
Duple minor longways
Tune: Salamander’s Tea, by Nadine Dyskant-Miller

A1 1-4 First corners orbit counterclockwise halfway into each other’s place
5-8 Partners on the side, set and turn single
9 Partners right-hand turn halfway
A2 1-4 New first corners orbit clockwise halfway
5-8 Partners across, set and turn single
9 Partners right-hand turn halfway (all are home)
B1 1-3 All single file clockwise three-quarters
4-5 Partners 2-hand turn halfway into a ring-of-4 
6-7 In the ring, balance in and out
8-9 Spin to the right one place as in Petronella (all are in progressed places)
B2 1-7 Full double figure-8, ones cross up and twos cast down to begin
8-9 Reverse turn single cloverleaf, ones turning single up and twos down

In the final turn single, first corners are turning over left shoulder, and second corners over right.

Last time through, when B2 has 10 measures, use the extra measure of music after the turn single to face across and honor partner.

This is one of a couple of dances I created to celebrate the birth of my grandson, Leo Horatio Smukler Barton. Nadine wrote a sweet and unusual tune for me to use for this purpose, and called it Salamander’s Tea. In one of my messages to her, I accidentally left out the apostrophe-s, and for some reason Nadine was dismayed by the notion of “salamander tea”….

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


The Nuthatch
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Nuthatch, by Nadine Dyskant-Miller

A 1-2 Circle left halfway
3-4 Turn single left
5-6 Left-hand star to home (L-file face down; R-file up)
B 1-2 All dance forward a double one place up or down your own line
3-4 Fall back on the diagonal to cross the set (ending in partner’s place)
5-6 Fall back on the other diagonal, crossing the set again
7-8 Dance forward a double to your original place, face across
C1 1-4 Partners left shoulder-to-shoulder siding, turn single right to home
5-8 Three changes of rights and left, starting with partner
C2 1-4 Partners set and turn single
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn

When falling back diagonally, pass (current or former) corner by right shoulders. At either end of the set, those waiting out can participate. Also when at the ends of the set, some of the corners you pass might be “ghosts”; dance through the entire pattern anyway.

Composed March 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


On Eagle’s Wings
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Noon Moose of Maine, by Andrea Beaton, 4 steps to the bar (mostly…)

A1 1-2 Ones cross and cast down while twos lead up and turn out
3-4 Mirror hand turns, ones between twos to begin
5-6 Ones back to back
7-8 Ones 2-hand turn
A2 1-2 Twos cross and cast down while ones lead up and turn out
3-4 Mirror hand turns, twos between ones to begin
5-6 Twos back to back
7-8 Twos 2-hand turn (end with ones above twos, all improper; ones step between twos to form a line-of-4 facing down)
B 1-2 Down the hall four steps, turning toward neighbor at the end of bar 1 to face up; fall back four steps to keep moving down the hall
3-4 Up the hall four steps, turning at the end of bar 3 to face down; fall back four steps moving up the hall, end by “bending the line” (ones release hands and back out)
5 All cross the set passing partner by the right, and re-form the line facing up with ones still in the center
6-7 Line-of-4 dance up the hall (4 counts), honor the presence (2), and fall back (4)
8 Neighbors gate, ones going forward, to end progressed

Bar 6 of the B-part has an extra 2 counts, which are used for a small bow or courtesy to acknowledge the “presence” (musicians and dance leaders we appreciate so much). Note that there is not enough time to “step and honor”; it is simply a brief, 2-count honor.

I originally called this “Counting to Ten.” However, when I shared it with a group of dancer friends, they said, “David, we like the dance, but you need to call it something else!” I am not sure why they did not like “Counting to Ten,” a classic anger management trope. However, I was not especially attached to the old title, so I went ahead and changed it. “On Eagle’s Wings” is intended to reflect feelings that the tune evokes in me. Also, my wife had recently shared that she saw several bald eagles from the vantage point of a local mall’s parking lot!

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Prospero’s Promise
Duple minor longways
Tune: Introduzione, adapted from Oboe Concerto by Domenico Cimarosa
(4 steps per bar)

A 1-2 First corners right-hand turn once around
3-4 First corners turn out over left shoulder and orbit counterclockwise to change places while second corners right-hand turn once around
5-6 Second corners turn out over left shoulder and orbit counterclockwise to change places
7-8 Facing neighbor and taking partner’s hand: advance and retire
9-10 Twos cast down while ones lead up and turn single away (six steps)
B 1-2 Partners 2-hand turn  
3-4 Neighbors right-shoulder swirly siding
5-6 Partners left-shoulder swirly siding
7-8 Two changes of rights and lefts, starting with partner

Composed February 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Rebecka Reimagined
Duple minor longways
Tune: Rebecka Ridinghoode (1714)

A 1 Ones cross down through twos and turn away from each other
while twos cast up and face down, into…
2-4 Neighbors mirror back-to-back, twos between ones to begin
5-6 Ones half figure-8 down through the couple below (next neighbors)
7-8 Ones two-hand turn and face up
B1 1-2 Ones lead up through current neighbors and cast down to place
while twos dance down the outside and lead up to place
3-4 Ones lead down through next neighbors and cast up to place
while twos dance up the outside and lead down to place
B2 1-3 Circle left once around
4 Ones turn single up while twos turn single down (twos then continue dancing up the outside for the next round of the dance)

Rebecka Ridinghoode was published in 1714 with these directions:

“Rebecka Reimagined” is loosely based on the original figures, but is not a reconstruction of the historical dance. Andrew Shaw and others have interpreted the 1714 directions in ways that are certainly more true to the historical text. I have adapted the choreography freely, diverging in several ways from the original, and I have no pretensions whatsoever to historical authenticity. Nevertheless, I hope these figures suit the tune and capture some of its beautiful qualities.

Note that the cloverleaf turn single at the end of B2 is reversed from what happens in many dances. It is a farewell to the current neighbors, rather than a greeting to the new ones.

Created November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Slippery Slope
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Icy Drive, by Nadine Dyskant-Miller

A1 1-7 Parallel heys-for-3, ones and twos pass neighbor by right shoulder to begin
8 To finish the hey:
  – Ones gate counterclockwise halfway to change places, while
  – Twos cross up from the bottom to end in middle place on each other’s side, and
  – Threes finish the hey on the same side and face up
A2 1-7 Parallel heys-for-3, ones and twos pass neighbor by left shoulder to begin
8 To finish the hey:
  – Ones gate clockwise halfway to change places, while
  – Twos cross up from the bottom to end in middle place on home side, and
  – Threes, again, finish on their original side
B1 1-4 Top four, circle left halfway; those partners change places by right shoulder
5-8 Bottom four the same
B2 1-4 Lines-of-3 fall back a double; drop hands and come forward turning single
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn

Ends in 2-3-1 order. Repeat twice more to place.

Remain aware of your partner throughout the heys, both to make your paths parallel and because it is fun with this trance-inducing tune!

The same person goes forward or backs up for both gates.

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Surge
Duple minor longways
Tune: Surge, by David Smukler (2020)

A1 1-2 With partner across: right shoulder side-by-side siding, turn single left back to place
3-4 First corners orbit halfway counterclockwise, end in each other’s place
A2 1-2 With partner on the side: left shoulder siding, turn single right
3-4 Second corners orbit halfway clockwise, end in each other’s place
B1 1-2 Circle left halfway (all are home)
3-4 With former neighbors, left-hand star once around
5-6 Original foursomes circle right halfway
7-8 With next neighbors, right-hand star once around
B2 1-3 Partners back to back
4 Partners right-hand turn halfway, tug into…
5-8 Four changes of rights and lefts

In B1, the half circles have ample time, and at the end of the phrase dancers orient as needed for the star. (In each case one partner walks right into the star while the other does a bit of a flip to get going.) Then the stars surge forward to get all the way around in six steps.

Composed December 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Take the Long View
Duple minor longways
Tune: Our Cat Has Kitted (English traditional)

A1 1-2 First corners left-hand turn, into…
3-4 Dance behind your neighbor moving along the set to the place beyond them (temporarily losing partner)
A2 1-2 Second corners, similarly, right-hand turn, into…
3-4 Dance along the set behind the one who replaced your neighbor (partners are reunited)
B1 1-2 Partners right shoulder once around
3-4 Partners 2-hand turn, end facing down
B2 1 Ones cast up while twos lead down (to meet original neighbors)
2-4 Original neighbors mirror back-to-back, twos between ones to begin; as the figure ends, first corners turn over left shoulder to meet the next

The dancers who are not moving in each A-part (second corners in A1 and first corners in A2), should stand their ground, resisting the urge to accommodate the neighbor traveling behind them.

The A-parts result in a (temporary) double progression. In B2, dancers back-track one couple to their actual progressed place. At the ends of the set, participate where possible, even though it will sometimes be necessary to cast around an imaginary neighbor.

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Take the Oar
Duple minor longways
Tune: Take the Oar, by David Smukler

A 1-3 First corners right-hand turn
4 Turn single left
5-8 Neighbors on the side, left-shoulder back to back
9-12 Partners half poussette counterclockwise
13-15 New first corners left-hand turn
16 Turn single right
B 1-3 Circle left
4-6 Partners 2-hand turn
7-8 Cloverleaf turn single, ones down and twos up

Neutral corners may choose to participate if they wish by also turning single during the A music (bars 4 and 16).

Composed June 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Tiptoe to Narnia
Duple minor longways
Tune: La Gueussinette, by Stephen Jones (played without repeats: AB)

A 1-2 Neighbors Petronella turn:
All turn single right such that neighbors face each other in a line-of-4 across (first corners on the outside facing in, second corners on the inside facing out)
3-4 Two changes of a hey-for-4 across, neighbors passing right shoulders to begin
5-6 Partners 2-hand turn 3/4
7-8 Circle left just 1/4 using a waltz step on the 1st bar and a single step (step-close) on the 2nd bar (all are in progressed place)
9-10 Balance the ring, in and out
11-12 All turn single right
13-16 Partners right-hand turn 1-1/2
B 1-4 Ones split half figure-8 on the left diagonal (see note)
5-8 Twos the same (all are again in progressed place)
9-12 Partners back-to-back
13-16 Four changes of rights and lefts, starting with partner

The turn single at the top of the A-part is a 2-person Petronella twirl.

Dancers can use alternative footwork in bars 7-8 of the A-part, as long as the circle only moves one place to the left.

The split half figure-8 in the B-part accomplishes the same thing as a more typical half figure-8 — changing places with partner. Face on the left diagonal, dance up or down between the couple above or below you, and then loop to the right around one person. Although you do not go through the same couple as your partner, you will see a shadow. Avoid collisions with the shadow by staying close to the stationary dancer that you dance around. At the ends of the set, either you or your partner will be dancing through an imaginary couple and looping to the right around no one.

I wrote a dance to this evocative tune in 2014 called “Finding the Lamppost.” Several years later, while reworking that dance, I noticed after a while that only the split half figure-8 remained. So, it became a new dance with a new title in 2020.

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


We the People
Three-couple longways
Tune: Heady Days, by Emily Askew

A1 1-2 Partners lead up and fall back
3-4 Ones cast down to middle place and then go diagonally left to form lines-of-3 facing up at the top and down at the bottom
Meanwhile twos lead up and turn single out to the ends of the line that faces up, and threes turn single down and out to the ends of the line that faces down
5-6 Lines lead up or down, and fall back
7-8 Ones take a step forward and then cast to the right to end in middle place improper while twos and threes 2-hand turn with partner
(end facing up)
A2 1-8 Repeat A1 with ones and twos reversing roles
(end facing in, 1-2-3 order, ones and twos improper)
B1 1-2 All six, circle left halfway
3 Turn single left
4-5 Circle right
6 Turn single right
B2 1 Bottom four, right-hand star halfway (3)
2 Same four, dance straight out of the set towards opposite walls, one partner chasing the other; at the end of bar 2 the one being chased flips to face partner (3)
3 Dance back into the set while facing, one partner moving forward and the other back (3)
4-6 Top four repeat bars 1-3, starting again with a right-hand star halfway (9)

Ends in 3-1-2 order. Repeat twice more to places.

Advanced version:
Insert a clap on beat 4 of each circle in B1 (while continuing to circle single file).

Composed November 2020 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)


Worth the Wait
Duple minor longways
Tune: Jig du dimanche après-midi by Nicholas Williams

A1 1-4 Partners left shoulder round
5-8 Partners set and turn single right
A2 1-4 Circle left halfway, balance the ring in and out
5-8 Circle left halfway, turn single left
  First corners: Second corners:
B1 1-2 Left shoulder side-by-side siding  
3-4 Turn single right to return Left shoulder side-by-side siding
5-6 Change places passing right Turn single right to return
7-8 Loop right to face back in Change places passing right
B2 1-2 Right shoulder side-by-side siding Loop right to face back in
3-4 Turn single left to return Forward and pass by right shoulder
5-8 Left shoulder round each other 3/4 crossing the set (to progressed place) Turn single right into home place, and cast up or down to progress

Composed January 2021 during the time we could not dance because of COVID-19. Consequently, it has not yet been road-tested.

(top of page)