[Callers] Mixers

David Millstone David.Millstone at valley.net
Sat Mar 3 11:21:37 PST 2012

At the Dare To Be Square weekend in November, we did several dances that started  
in a big circle, but the essence of the dance was a series of two-couple figures  
that took place anywhere on the floor.


This one was called by Larry Edelman. It started with couples dancing with other  
couples and moving on as a couple. Later during the dance, Larry changes the calls  
so that dancers swing the opposite person and keep that one for the next promenade.



This one, called by Phil Jamison, is related to:
Kentucky Reel


Borrowdale Exchange



This is another one called by Phil Jamison. It started in a big set, and it could  
have been two concentric circles because not much needs to happen in the circle.  
As you'll see in the video, starting around 1:00, couples are off on their own,  
moving at their own pace. No, it's not a mixer in the usual sense, but you and  
your partner get to interact in a fun way with lots of people and you certainly  
do a lot of swinging with others all over the hall.



This is a simple one in short lines, but you see in the video that after a while  
people find some pretty creaative ways of making things more interesting. No,  
this may not appeal to the dances Ralph Page termed "pickle faces," but that's  
where picking the right dance is the caller's responsibility.

Another fun dance, for the right people, is Julian's Jolly, which comes from the  
English ceilidh tradition:

Julian's Jolly   longways for 6-7 couples,
	works well with bouncy jigs such as Off She Goes or Tenpenny Jigs
A1	Couples sashay down and back
A2	R shoulder do-si-do; L shoulder do-si-do
B1	Clap your own knees 2x, clap right hand with partner 2x; repeat with left hands  

	Clap: Knees, Right, Knees, Left; your own together, your own behind back, clap  
both with opposite
B2	Swing person on R diag., while bottom man races to top of set to swing 1st  
The woman don't progress; they get a new partner by the men coming to them for  
the swing.


If there's not enough room to make one big circle, sometimes doing a dance where  
people are in lines of three facing LOD around the hall is a way of packing more  
into the space.

Larry Edelman called one he titled "Silly Threesome"


Brian DeMarcus, now in Anchorage but with deep roots in southern dance traditions,  
has a composition that starts with folks in that same formation

3x3 Bow Knot Mixer (Brian DeMarcus)
Lines of 3 like Spokes of a Wheel Facing ccw

A1  	Lines of 3 Walk Forward   (8)
	RH High, LH Low, Reverse Direction of Line (8)

A2  	Lines of 3 Walk Forward   (8)
	RH High, LH Low, Reverse Direction of Line (8)

B1  	LH High, Rt person duck under to center of set  (8)
             and Circle Left with others.  Two that made arch swing on
             the outside of set.  (8)

B2  	Outside Two Promenade, while insides Circle Rt
             Inside join up with any Twosome to reform Lines of 3

The transition from A2 to B1 is a continuous motion.

In a more New England vein:

Ted's Solo Mixer
Ted Sannella

Formation: individuals stand anywhere in the hall

A1 Find someone and promenade, anywhere

A2 LH turn, once and a half
	Left shoulder dosido

B1	Balance and swing

B2	Two-hand turn
	Dosido right shoulder, once and a half... and find someone new

Set a Crochet

A1	Promeande Quebecois style (gent on left with R arm around partner's waist,  
woman with L hand resting on his R shoulder)

A2	Gents hold on to partner, link L arms with another gent, all four wheel around  

B1	Ladies chain over and back

B2  Swing opposite, who becomes your new partner

GENERAL COMMENT: For anyone who gets this far, I'll just note that all of these  
don't take very long to teach, they shuffle people around in often unexpected  
ways, and that with cheerful music played at a good clip, they're lots of fun.  
No need to run 'em really long, certainly nowhere near as long as most contras  

David Millstone
Lebanon, NH

More information about the Callers mailing list