[Callers] Gender Neutral Dance Request

Winston, Alan P. winston at slac.stanford.edu
Mon Jul 23 13:25:47 PDT 2012

Joseph --

Unless you've had a bunch of experience calling longways duple minors to non-dancers  -- I actually do, but it's in the context of people who wanted to learn about Jane Austen-era dances and so are up for a party with some lesson in it, aren't drinking, and won't wander away if they don't get it instantly; this lets me get away with a somewhat rocky first longways and then things get better - I would stay away from contras generally.

Don't know if by "Virginia-reel type dances" you mean "small set dances with a ones-to-the-bottom progression".  If you do, then I think you've got this covered.

Even so, some suggestions:
Orcadian Strip the Willow
(Long line of couples.)

Top couple right-elbow turn 1.5 and face neighbor in the other line
Left elbow 1x with neighbor
Right elbow 1x with partner
Left elbow 1x with next neighbor 
Repeat until end of line, where that couple turns to their own side (or not, in gender-neutral version)

Every 16 bars another couple starts the sequence while previous couples are still going.  (So at 
the top of A1 and the top of B1 every time through the tune).  

Biggest problem is keeping people from starting too soon.  This is probably even an easier dance gender-neutral than gendered because if people go too far or not far enough you can still just get them to turn the one they come to rather than stopping and trying to fix it.)

["Orcadian" means "of the Orkney Islands", incidentally.]

Falling Masonry
Easy, ceilidh
4-couple longways; 32-bar jigs.

A1: Hands in lines, forward and back, drop hands, cross over, stay facing out.
    (Variants possible here with arching).

A2: Hands in lines, backward into the set (touching glutes optional), forward,
    drop hands, cross backward (same shoulder) into original lines.

B1: "Falling Masonry" figure (like a collapsing chimney):
     Tops gallop down while everyone else moves up (important);
     new tops the same, until all four have galloped down.
     (A new couple starts every two bars).

B2: 1s to the bottom again, others move up, all swing when you arrive
    in progressed place.


And since I just got back from the Cumberland Gap dance week, here's two functionally gender-free
dances named after Cumberland (in England):

>From "Barn Dance Book"
Four-couple longways
32-bar JIGs

A1: 1s and 2s only, RH*, LH*.

A2: 1s take two hands, gallop down to the bottom and back again.


1-8:1s cast out to their own sides, lines following,
    then make an arch at the bottom;
    everyone goes through with their partner.

9-16:When the new 1s get to the top, they lead a double cast left and back
     up the middle to start the dance again.

(Funny notation was because the suggested tune in the book had a 16-bar B, not repeated.
Read that as B1, B2 if you want.)

CDM1 - Tune is "My love she's but a lassie yet" or any 32-bar reel or jig.
Square set

A1: Tops galop across and back; men pass back-to-back first time, women
    second time.  (But you don't have to express it that way.  Try "couples pass 
    keeping to the right each time, as if you were driving".)

A2: Sides the same.

B1: Tops: right hands across, left hands back.

B2: Sides the same.

A1: Tops basket.

A2: Sides the same.

B1: All eight circle left - polka or skip-change step.

B2: Change direction and promenade to place.  [Left-side partner from square formation is on
    The left (inside) in the promenade; right-side partner is on the outside.]


-----Original Message-----
From: callers-bounces at sharedweight.net [mailto:callers-bounces at sharedweight.net] On Behalf Of JsphDeP at aol.com
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 11:58 AM
To: callers at sharedweight.net
Subject: [Callers] Gender Neutral Dance Request

Hi All,
                  Just checking  to see if someone would have a few gender 
neutral dances to  share with me.  I will be calling to a large group of 
non-dancers that  will mostly be same-sex couples.  I was thinking of calling a 
few  circle mixers, Sicilian circles, Virginia reel type dances and perhaps 
a  few contras. 
                 Any  feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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