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© 2016 by Linda S. Mrosko.

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MY CONTRA DANCES

RYLA DREAM (June 2018) -- LONGWAYS/EASY/GENDER FREE

   Start:  All face up the hall, holding near hands with partner

     A1  Up a Double & Back 2x

     A2  Line A (traditionally the men's line) walk up & around partner, then Line B (traditionally the women's line)

          walk up & around partner

     B1  Do-Si-Do partner; two-hand turn partner

     B2  All others arch & top couple tunnels down to the bottom (can say top 2 or top 3 couples tunnel down if

          the lines are really long)

     NOTE:  For over 15 years, I've been invited to lead an annual dance for about 200 inexperienced high school

     students attending RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference) at Texas Women's University in

     Denton, Texas.  The hall for dancing has the worst acoustics in the world, so it's always challenging to find

     dances where up to eight contra lines (1) can hear me or the music and (2) dance together doing the same

     moves at the same time.  After reviewing all my dances this year, they all started to look alike (i.e., top

     couple sashay down the center & back).  So this dance came to mind.  It debuted on June 14 and was an

     instant success.  We had 4 contra lines of about 25+ couples.

LA BA CONTRA (Dup Imp) (July 1997) -- EASY/BEGINNER

A1  Long Lines forward & back twice

A2  Hands 4, Circle Left once around; Balance the Ring twice

B1  Men Arch left hand & Twirl Neighbor Lady into a Swing on original side

B2  Promenade across and back

[Alternative to Promenade: Right & Left Thru across & back or Ladies Chain across & back]

GREASE & GLUE (Gender Free Contra Lines - doesn't matter which line you're in as long as you have a partner across from you) (2017) - EASY/BEGINNER

A1  Couple 1 split Couple 2 & return to places (8); Couple 1 Do-Si-Do (8)

A2  Couple 2 split Couple 1 & return to places (8); Couple 2 Do-Si-Do (8)

B1  All 4 Star Right (w/hands) (8); Star Left (8)

B2  Couples Do-Si-Do 1-1/2 (16) (i.e., couples face each other holding near hands w/partner -- slide left 2

     small steps, walk forward 2 small steps (couples pass each other), slide right passing back-to-back with

     the couple you've been dancing with, take 2 small steps backwards (couples pass each other), slide left

     again passing face-to-face with that couple, walk forward 2 small steps, slide right & stop when you are

     facing the next couple (back-to-back w/previous couple)

NOTE:  Written for an enthusiastic, loud, boisterous crowd of 200+ 18-year olds as an introduction to contra dancing in a room where the acoustics are horrible.  It worked, mostly.  Would probably work better with a smaller, more sedate crowd.

NACOGDOCHES (Dup Imp) -- EASY/INTERMEDIATE

A1  Hands across, Star Right; Star Left

A2  Women change places; Men change places; Repeat, ending with all in original places

B1  Hands 4, Circle Left; Circle Right (Couple 1 face down, 2s face up)

B2  Balance the Ring twice; hold onto Partner; all Zig Zag to next Neighbors (i.e., with Partner,

     take two small steps to the left, step forward, passing current Neighbors, then take two

     small steps to the right to face your next Neighbors -- previous neighbors are behind you)

POT O' GOLD (Dup Imp) -- INTERMEDIATE

A1  Down the hall four in line (Couple 1 in the middle); turn alone; Return to place and cast off

A2  Right and Left Thru across and back

B1  Balanced Square Thru four hands (i.e., shake Right hands with Partner -- Balance & pull by

     to face the Neighbor you've been dancing with; left hand pull by this Neighbor and face

     Partner across; Balance with Partner and pull by to face Neighbor; left hand pull by this

     Neighbor) ("Give your 'good' hand to your Partner and your 'other' hand to your Neighbor")

B2  Couple 1 Balance & Swing in the middle

NOTE:  Written for an "Irish" theme dance.   A1-B1 is all about the search for the gold -- looking down the hall, across the hall, all around the hall.  Only Couple 1 gets the satisfaction of finding the "gold" (getting to swing in B2) and the other couple ends up disappointed (and many dancers do feel the disappointment, because they have the wind up, but not the satisfaction of the swing at the end).

Y2 BECKET (Becket) (2000) -- INTERMEDIATE

A1  With "next" Neighbors, Circle Left 3/4 (leaving one couple facing down and the other couple

     facing up -- remember this Neighbor because you'll be coming back to him/her); pass this

     original Neighbor by the right to face your next Neighbor and Do Si Do

A2  Star Left with these Neighbors once around and look for your original Neighbor; Swing your

     original Neighbor

B1  Men allemande Left 1-1/2 to face Partner; Hey halfway (pass Partner by the right)

B2  Balance & Swing Partner on original side; slide left along the line with Partner to face next

     Neighbors

NOTE:  Written for Fiddler’s Dream Midnight Madness 2000 dance camp at Lake Texoma, on the Oklahoma side.

MR. OSKO'S HOLIDAY (Dup Imp) -- EASY/INTERMEDIATE

A1  Balance & Swing your Neighbor; end facing down the hall

A2  Down the Hall four in line; turn as a couple; Return to places and cast off

B1  Long lines forward & back; all Gypsy Partner in the middle

B2  All Balance & Swing Partner in the middle

NOTE:  Written to fill a need.

HALLOWEEN VIII (1998-ish) (Dup Imp) -- EASY

A1  Pass thru across; Swing your (next) Neighbor

A2  Ladies cross passing right shoulders; Swing your Partner

B1  Promenade across; Ladies Chain to Neighbor

B2  Sashay round Neighbor (Sashay=move sideways around Neighbor - women moving in front first)

     (Alt.:  Couple #1 Gypsy right shoulders once around in the center); Long Lines go Forward & Back

MR. OSKO'S JAMBOREE (1998-ish) (Dup Imp) -- EASY

A1  Couple #1 dances down the middle below 2 couples; separate & return to places up the outside

A2  Couple #1 Do-Si-Do; Couple #1 Balance & Box the Gnat

B1  Couple #1 pull by right to Swing their Neighbor; face across

B2  Right & Left Thru across & back

 

NOTE:  When you are the Active Couple, you get plenty of partner interaction; however, your Neighbor gets the best part of you.

PEEKABOO STREET (1998) (Dup Imp-Double Progression) -- EASY

A1  Couple #1 Balance & Swing; end facing down in the line of four

A2  All dance down the hall (Couple #1 in the middle); pass Right shoulders with your Neighbor to end facing

up the hall (Couple #2 in the middle); all return to places; Couple #2 arches & Couple #1 dives thru

B1  All Balance & Swing next Neighbor

B2  Right & Left thru across & back (Alt:  Chains or Hey)

PING PONG (Dup Imp) (1997) -- EASY/INTERMEDIATE

A1  THE SERVE:

           Ladies dance into the center (4) to an ocean wave (THE NET) along; Balance right & left (4)

     Ladies turn single to the Right (4) end facing Partner—Balance Partner (THE BOUNCE) (4)

     and...

A2  Short swing with Partner and face across (8); Long Lines Forward & Back (8)

B1  THE RETURN:

     Men dance into the center (4) to an ocean wave (THE NET) along; Balance right & left (4)

     Men turn single to the Right (4); end facing Neighbor -- Balance Neighbor (THE BOUNCE)

     (4) and...

B2  Short swing with Neighbor & face across; pass thru across; California Twirl Neighbor, ending

     facing Partner across

                [ALTERNATIVE:  Instead of pass thru & California Twirl, do a R&L Thru across]

FUZZY COZY (Dup Imp)  -- INTERMEDIATE

(Written for Fiddler's Dream 2002 Dance Camp for the Contradance Scramble by Linda Mrosko, John Rapp, David Salonimer, Karen Carlile, Phillip McPheeters)

 

A1  Circle Left once; Swing neighbor and end facing down in a line of 4

A2  Down 4 steps - get "cozy" - arch with Neighbor, turn your back to neighbor & turn under

          your own arch, ending facing up (8 beats)

          Return up the hall; outside couples (Couple 1) arch over Couple 2 in the middle of the line

          to form cloverleaf (8 beats)

B1  Cloverleaf circle left (8 beats) -- DO NOT DROP HANDS!

          Unwind the clover to make an inside-out circle -- follow your left hand and circle Left

          halfway (8 beats)

B2  Pull partner into a swing in the middle and end facing next couple