[Callers] Teaching a Ricochet Hey

Andrea Nettleton twirly-girl at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 7 15:09:34 PST 2010

I teach a ricochet hey like a slice of pizza.  You go in up the side of 
the slice, angle back out down the other side of the slice, and curve 
back to place along the crust.  The other dancers dance the crust first 
then either cross, or in a double ricochet hey, go into the center and 
back out along the sides of the slice of pizza. Worked when I taught my 
dance, Mambo, to my skit cast for West Side Contra.  I wrote a move 
which I believe is novel, which I called a Half Ricochet Allemande Hey.  
It actually returns all participants to their original places, which are 
already progressed, but gets them moving in the right direction.  In it, 
the ladies travel the pizza slice as described above, but the gents, who 
are across the set from their partners, travel the crust first, and 
instead of passing by the right to cross over, continue the circle they 
began by allemande-ing back to place and on to meet their new neighbor.  
It has a beautiful  flow, the circle folding in on itself like waves 
tumbling over one another in the ocean.  Here is the dance, not as we 
danced it in the skit, which we had to do shifted forward a half phrase 
to accommodate the hits in the music, but as you would teach it to a 
hall of dancers, but probably not one full of newbies.  :-)

MAMBO!   (Improper)

A1 Partners face and Mad Robin

      Circle L 1x

A2 Balance the ring, Spin R 1 place (Petronella)

      Partner Swing

B1 R & L Through

      Ladies Chain

B2 1/2 Ricochet Allemande Hey [OR California Roll] *See below

      New Nbr. Gypsy

*In a 1/2 Ricochet Allemande Hey, the Ladies, who are coming out of the 
Courtesy Turn following the Ladies Chain, go into the center, ricochet 
(push one another back and to the left.)  They arrive at their Nbr's 
place turn and curve out and towards their starting place, then beyond 
for the gypsy.  The Gents curve back and to the right then into the 
center for an Allemande L (some would call it a 1/2, some 3/4, I say 
till they are back where they began the 'Hey'), and continue past the 
starting place to Gypsy a New Nbr. to Gypsy.  It isn't exactly a Hey, 
though that's where I started with the move.  It does have a nice 
folding quality to it and spits everyone out moving toward the New Nbr.  
I think of the Ladies as doing a slice of pizza, making the tasty point 
first, ending with the crust, while the Gents do a whole pie, starting 
with the same bit of crust the Ladies will later do.  Tasty for all.

To do the California Roll in this dance: when the Ladies come out of 
said Courtesy Turn, all free up their hands and face into their original 
hands four as they would if they circled,  with Partners standing across 
the set.  Partners take the handy hand, which is the Lady's R, the 
Gent's L, lift joined hands, the lady curls in toward her partner and 
walks under while he walks past, to swap, reverse direction, and face 
New Nbrs.  Not yet proper, they immediately do a Roll Away with a Half 
Sashay to swap places but continue to face the New Neighbors, whom they 
might then Gypsy.  I used the move to end the dance.  It gives very 
elastic and satisfying connection with the partner for such a purpose, 
but could also function as a perfectly good progression.  It is less 
good in that capacity for this dance because the first New Nbr. 
interaction is a forward moving one.  It might be more properly termed a 
Nevada Roll due to the starting positions, but who can resist something 
as funny and catchy as a California Roll?

On 12/7/2010 4:32 PM, Martha Edwards wrote:
> I find that if it's a regular hey (ladies start by the right shoulder) a
> ricochet hey feels a bit like a reverse Mad Robin - walking a sort of dosido
> track while facing across - adding, of course, the push-off...
> M
> E
> On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 11:43 AM, John Sweeney<info at contrafusion.co.uk>wrote:
>> The key thing for the caller to understand is that when the two dancers
>> ricochet they take each other's place in the hey, and are now going
>> backwards.
>> This means that they must NOT just bounce back the way they came, or to
>> a neutral position on their own side - they have to follow the looping
>> flow of the hey.
>> I never actually explain that though.  I just tell them to bounce back
>> at the opposite angle to the way they came in.  Describing it as a
>> triangle usually helps. And one quick demo usually solves 90% of the
>> problems.
>> The other 10% of the problems come from people who bounce back and then
>> stop!  They are still part of the hey and have to keep moving.
>> So instructions like these sometimes work: "As you come to the middle
>> you will meet someone on a diagonal; bounce off that person and head
>> backwards on the other diagonal, then move left* and come in again; you
>> are going around the same triangle over and over again."
>> *or right, depends on the dance.
>> Note: As you bounce you change direction by just under 90 degrees, it is
>> very easy to let that rotation continue and throw a couple of spins in
>> :-)
>>             Happy dancing,
>>                         John
>> John Sweeney, Dancer, England   john at modernjive.com 01233 625 362&
>> 07802 940 574
>> http://www.modernjive.com for Modern Jive Events, Instructional DVDs and
>> Interactive Maps
>> http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Contra Dancing in Kent
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