Unfamiliar with dance cue terminology? Learn more here.
By Bill Johnston
Formation: Four couple contra sets, 1st couple active but not crossed over.
1-8 LEAD COUPLE BALANCE AND CAST OFF; Couple #1 balance to partner while remaining in pos, then cast off to #2 place, while couple #2 moves up to 1st place. Progression has taken place.
9-16 LEAD COUPLE TURNS BY THE RIGHT; Couple 1, giving R hands, turn once round and "a little bit more." For the fig which follows, dancers must conceive that #1 M has stepped up between #2 couple to face W #2, while W #1 has stepped down between the #3 couple to face M #3. Couple #1 should hold R hands until the last moment - there is a nice feeling for the #1 M as he guides his partner to her place between the 3rd couple and "hands her off" to the temporary custody of 3rd couple, so that they both flow directly into:
17-32 REELS OF THREE ACROSS THE DANCE; M #1 having momentarily faced #2 W begins a reel-of-three across the dance with the 2nd couple, by passing R shoulder to W #2. All three dancers begin the reel simultaneously and move in a Figure 8 pattern, #2 W moving to center after having passed R shoulder with M #1, and M #2 dances into center to pass L shoulder with W #2. Upon reaching the side of the dance, dancers make a R-face loop to come back into center, passing L shoulders with whomever they meet in the center. This is continued until #2 dancers are back in original positions. Meanwhile, W #1 reels with 3rd couple, beginning by passing R shoulders with M #3. Couple #1 ends the reel by dancing into the center, giving R hand to partner, pull by, and facing "first corner." That is, M #1 faces W #3, and W #1 faces M #2 (their "first corners" by definition).
33-40 TURN CORNER, THEN PARTNER; Couple #1 each turns their first corner by L hand, then meet again in center to turn each other by R hand about 3/4 round to face "second corners." That is M #1 faces W #2 and W #1 faces M #3 (their "second corners" by definition).
41-48 TURN CORNER, CROSS TO OWN SIDE; Couple #1 each turns their second corner by L hand, then cross to their progressed pos on their own (proper) side of the dance; that is, M #1 to pos between M #2 and #3, and W #1 to pos between W #2 and #3, and all flow into:
49-64 SIX HANDS CIRCLE RIGHT; All 3 couples join hands in a ring and circle to R one full turn around in 16 steps, and couple #1 are now ready to begin the dance again with the next two couples below them.
This dance cannot be prompted in the usual sense - the dancers are required to know something of the figures before hand.
In dancing this three-couple dance in a four-couple formation, the first time through the dance, the fourth couple simply watches the others dance, learning something of the movements. Then, the second time through the figure, the first couple dances with the third and fourth couples while the second couple (now at the top of the set) watches. At the end of the second time through the sequence, the first couple, now between couples three and four, quickly scoots to the foot of the set as the new top couple (the old second couple) begins the dance as a new first couple.
Alternatively, the dance can be danced in the "normal" manner with the caller waiting until the fourth time through the sequence before notifying the top couple that they are now "active." Dancers used to dancing duple contras must be informed beforehand that they will accumulate TWO non-dancing couples at the top of the set before the new active couple begins their turn on the next sequence.
Children | Community | Contra | Dash | Folk | Shilling | Round | Square | Alphabetical