I've found that, even if they are never called, writing dances has really helped me understand how dances actually work!  So, please contact me and absolutely let me know what happens if you try them out on the dance floor!!

Walk Before Me - Gen. 17:1
A1     8    Ones cast off one place as twos step up (essentially switching places with neighbor)
        8    Ladies start 1/2 hey
A2    8,8   Neighbor gypsy, swing
B1    8    Ladies allemande R 1 1/2
        8    Partner swing
B2    8    Star L
       8     Circle L 3/4

Where Have You Come From and Where Are You Going? - Gen. 16:8
Contra, improper
A1    8    Shadow allemande L (shadow is next to you)
       8    Neighbor swing
A2    8    (new) ladies allemande L (look to your right to find this new lady!  Men need to take a step to their left for...)
       8    Partner swing
B1    8    Long lines Forward and Back
        8    Right and Left through (with these new neighbors)
B2     8    Men start 1/2 hey, Ladies ricochet (men pass by L, ladies touch hands and push off to ricochet back to place)
         8    Circle Left all the way, pass through to shadow

Number the Stars
April 16, 2011 - Genesis 15:5
Contra, becket (to find shadow, look away from partner up or down the set)

A1     8    Star Right
        8    Shadow Allemande L
A2     8    Star Right with original neighbors
         8    Circle Right all the way
B1     8    Partner do-si-do
         8    Partner Swing
B2     8    Right and Left through
         8   Partner promenade quickly across the set, face neighbors, then slide Left to face new neighbors while putting R hand out for star.

Into the City and Back
Written on 9/24/10 after figuring out how to get from Crestmont to Chelten on Regional Rail...
Contra, becket

A1    8    On left diagonal, go forward to new couple then straight back (first time is simply long lines forward and back)
        8    Ladies chain to Neighbor
A2    8    Ladies start 1/2 hey
        8    Neighbor swing
B1    8    Promenade w/ neighbor across the set
        8    Ladies allemande R
B2    4,10    Partner balance, swing

**Bread and Wine (REMIXED!)
May 7, 2010 - Genesis 14:18-20 
(See "Swingonella" by Paul Rosen or "Cure for the Clap" by Bob Isaacs)

Contra, improper

A1    8,8    Balance, petronella turn, partner swing
A2    8,8    Balance, petronella turn, neighbor swing
B1    8       Ladies start half hey
        8       Ladies chain across
B2    8       Circle L 3/4
        8       Balance the ring, pass through

Bread and Wine 
May 7, 2010 - Genesis 14:18-20

Contra, improper

A1    8    balance, petronella turn
        8    Partner swing
A2    8    balance, petronella turn
        8    Neighbor swing
B1    8    Ladies chain across to partner
        8    Right and Left through
B2    8    Circle L 3/4
        8    Balance the ring, partner california twirl

Count the Dust
May 2, 2010 - Genesis 13:16

Contra, becket formation

A1    8    On left diagonal, go forward to new couple, then straight back (for walkthrough, simply go forward and back with your original neighbors)
        8    Ladies chain across
A2    8    Balance ring, spin one place to R
        8    Circle L 3 places
B1    8    Neighbor do-si-do
        8    Neighbor swing
B2    8    Gents allemande L  1 1/2
        8    Partner swing

The Great Tree
May 1, 2010 - Genesis 12:6

Contra, improper

A1    8   Circle L
        8    Neighbor Allemande R
A2    8    Ladies allemande L 1 1/2
        8    Partner pass by R to start half hey
B1    8    Partner allemande R
        8    Ladies do-si-do 
B2    8    Hands 4, circle L 3 places
        8    Everyone swing partner in middle of set, end facing up/down to new neighbors....

Scattered All Over
April 30, 2010 - Genesis 11:1-9

Circle Mixer

A1    8    Hands in a circle, into the middle and back
        8    Into the middle and back
A2    8    Corner pull by R, #2 pull by L, #3 allemande R all the way
        8    #2 swing, end in promenade position looking counter clockwise
B1    8    promenade, ladies cast off
        8    Everyone keep on walking forward (gents continue counterclockwise in an inside circle, ladies walking clockwise in outer circle)             
B2    4,12 Balance and swing ANY person (if you don't find anyone, run into the middle, find someone, swing, join the circle anywhere!)

April 26, 2010 - Genesis 10:8-9

Contra, improper

A1    8    Gents allemande R once
        8    Neighbor swing
A2    8    Long lines forward and back
        8    Gents pull by Left, partner allemande R once around about 3/4
B1    8     Gents do-si-do, 
        8     Partner swing
B2    8    hands across star L
        8    Ladies drop out, gents keep L hands, turn once around, put out R hand to new gent and       
             dance begins again!

The Bow* is in the Clouds
April 21, 2010 - Genesis 9:16
* "Bow" as in "rainbow"

Contra, improper, start in a line of 4 facing down the hall, ones in the middle

A1    8    Line of 4 go down the hall, turn alone
        8    Up the hall, bend the line
A2    8    Circle L all the way
        8    Neighbor swing
B1    8    ladies chain to partner
        8    Ladies chain back to neighbor
B2    8    Long lines forward and back
        8   Ones swing in the center, end facing down the hall in line of 4 with a new couple

April 17, 2010 - Genesis 8:1

Contra, improper

A1    2,2,4  sort of a hey along the set:  Neighbor #1 pass by R, Neighbor #2 pass by L, Neighbor #3 pass by R, turn over R shoulder to face back way you came
        8      Neighbor #2 swing (progressed!!)
A2    8      Ladies chain across to partner
        8      Star L
B1    8      Circle L
        8      Partner Swing
B2    8      Ladies chain to neighbor
        8      Take inside hands with partner across set, balance, California twirl to face same neighbor, and the dance begins again

Springs of the Great Deep
April 14, 2010 - Genesis 7:11

Contra, improper

A1    4,12    Neighbor balance, swing
A2    8        Star Left
        8        Neighbor allemande L
B1    8        Ladies Allemande R 1 1/2
        8        Partner Swing
B2    8        Long lines forward and back
        8        Ladies chain

Two by Two
April 13, 2010 - Genesis 6:18-22

Contra, improper

A1    4,12 Neighbor Balance, Swing
A2    8      With neighbor, promenade across the set
        8      Ladies gypsy 1 1/2
B1    8      Partner swing
        8      Partner promenade across the set
B2    8      Balance the ring, petronella turn
        8      Balance the ring, pass through

Give and Taken Away
April 12, 2010 - Genesis 5:24

I'm not thrilled with the progression.... thoughts?  

Contra, becket

A1     8      Long lines forward w/ same neighbors.  When going back, give and take to gent's side
         8      Neighbor swing
A2     8      Long lines forward.  Give and take to lady's side
         8      Partner swing
B1     8      Ladies chain across
         8      Right and left through
B2     8      Ladies chain back to partner
         8      Forward and back on L diagonal to new neighbors.

Carrots, Salmon, Marmalade and Sour Cream

Wanted to practice writing a dance with a different kind of mood.  Was struck by the weird grocery list I had on 4/9/10, decided to make it the title!  Not sure how it'll go!

Contra, becket

A1  8  On left diagonal, forward to new couple, straight back (when dancing first time, just go  forward and back with your starting neighbors)

        8  Ladies chain across to neighbor

A2    8  Circle L all the way

  8  Neighbor swing

B1    8  Ladies chain back to partner

  8  Take R hands with neighbor across set, balance, pull by, let go, turn a bit over R shoulder to face back in, take hands in a ring

B2     4,12  Circle 1/2, partner swing, look on L diagonal and dance begins again!

Rounding First

I was cleaning out my spring purse today (4/9/10) when I found a small notebook with this dance written in it.  I'm not sure WHEN I wrote it, but it was probably during one of my husband's softball games.  I think I need to redo the progression, but here it is so far!

Contra, improper

A1   4,12 Neighbor balance, swing

A2    8  Long lines, forward and back

  8  Hands-across star L

B1    8  Men let go, Ladies by the L one more time, gents orbit half way to other side

  8  Partner swing

B2   8  Rights and Lefts

  8  Circle L 3/4, pass thru to new neighbor

A Thousand Steps at Sundown

Written at 8:16 pm on 12/30/09 in honor of our stay at Simsbury, CT, and skiing in New Hartford.  The name of the ski resort was called Ski Sundown, and "Thousand Steps" was a technique taught to me by an instructor there first to remind me to relax and second to remind me that I have two feet!  First called at the New Haven Contra Dance.  

Contra, improper

A1    8      Neighbor #1 Allemande R 1 ½

  8  Neighbor #2 Allemande L 1

A2    4,12 Neighbor #1 gypsy, swing

B1   8  Ladies allemande R 1 ½

  8  Partner Swing

B2  8  Circle L ¾

  8  Neighbor #1 do-si-do  1 ½, walk forward to new neighbor (formerlyN#2)

Just called recently at the Glenside dance. Went well, but reconsidering the do-si-do at the end, which takes a bit more time than the dancers have.  Here's a possible solution:  

B2 circle L 3/4, neighbor allemande L 1 1/2

Worldly Wanderings

November 17, 2008 - Genesis 4:12    

Contra, improper


A1    4,12 Neighbor balance, swing

A2   8  Ladies chain on L diagonal

  8 Chain back to original neighbor

B1   8  Circle L ¾       

  8  Partner swing

B2    8  Long lines

  8  Circle L ¾, pass through

Minor 6th

November 17, 2008

The title was inspired by the musical sight-reading practice called solfegge:
  "do si do"
represents the musical interval of a minor 6th (or an augmented 5th, if you're really fancy, but the Minor 6th is a bit easier to say!).  This dance has not been called yet.

Contra, improper 

A1    8  Neighbor do-si-do

  8      Neighbor swing

A2     8  Long lines forward and back

  8  Gents allemande L 1/12

B1    8  Partner do-si-do

  8  Partner swing

B2    8      Right-Left through

        8      Ladies chain to neighbor


By the Sweat of Your Brow

November 09, 2008 - Genesis 3:17-19   

Contra, improper

A1    4,12 Neighbor balance and swing

A2    8  Ladies chain

  8  Ladies chain back to neighbor

B1   4,4  Long lines, give and take to gent's side (to partner)

  8  Partner swing

B2  8  Circle L 3 places

  8  Same neighbor do-si-do 1 ½, look for new neighbor?.

The Third Day *

October 27, 2008 - Genesis 1:9-13    

Contra, becket

A1    8        Slide L, Circle L ¾

       2,2     Neighbor #1 Pass through, Neighbor #2 pull by L

       4        Neighbor #3 Allemande R all the way


A2    2        Neighbor #2 pull by L

       6        Neighbor #1 gypsy

       8        Neighbor Swing


B1    8        Ladies Chain to your Partner

       8        Ladies Chain to your Neighbor


B2    8        Circle L 3/4

       8        Partner Swing


*Note:  this dance has not been called yet!  Feedback is appreciated!  I'm particularly interested in two things: 1) making sure that couples are progressing in the right direction and 2) that the timing on the Gypsy is ok...


Why Not Try Putting It In Park?

October 23, 2008

This dance starts in a wavy line of four. Ladies should walk into the center and take L hands, give R hands to your neighbor. Avoid a fast tempo, particularly because dancers must shift directions from the circle lefts to the petronellas to the right. 

My first complete dance!! I wrote this dance at midnight following the Glenside contradance on 10/23. I left the dance a bit early, got in my car, turned my key, and nothing happened! I went back in to the building, met Jim Kitch who agreed to help me, and he fixed the problem in about 10 seconds. When I asked what he did, he told me he just put it in park! So there ya go, my inspiration! The balances remind me of the many times I tried to turn the key in the ignition!

Contra, improper, begin in a wave of 4, ladies in the middle 

A1    4,4     Balance the wave, Neighbor allemande R 1/2 

       4,4     Balance the wave, Gents allemande L 1/2

A2   4,12   Partner balance and swing 
B1   8        Circle Left 3/4 

      4,4      Balance the ring, petronella turn (spin one place to the R)

B2  4,4      Balance the ring, petronella turn 

      4,4      Balance the ring, pass through to new neighbors, form new wave