[Callers] Ted's MIxer (was[n't] Ice Cream in the Sink mixer)

James Saxe jim.saxe at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 11:40:54 PST 2012

On Mar 4, 2012, at 9:22 AM, Donna Calhoun wrote:

> Circle mixer
> A1) Into the center and back
>     Into the center, gents turn to face partner, pousette back
> A2) Do-si-do partner
>      Right Allemande partner
> B1) Left shoulder do-si-do partner
>     Left Allemande partner
> B2) Promenade the ring, gents turn back
>     Swing new partner
> A few years ago a caller ended our annual weekend event with this.  
> The great partner interaction gave us a wonderful 30 second  
> interlude to wish all of our partners farewell.

Several people have confirmed that this is not, as Donna had
thought, Kathy Hirsh's "Ice Cream in the Sink," but nobody so
far has suggested a correct title and author.

I believe the sequence above may be a folk-processed variant
of "Ted's Mixer" (not to be confused with "Ted's Solo Mixer")
by Ted Sannella.  Here are instructions for "Ted's Mixer":

     A1- All into the center and back
         In again, as ladies back out the gents
         turn to right to face partner and follow
     A2- Allemande right partner 1 1/2
     B1- Allemande left 1 1/2
         Promenade, gents reach back and ladies
         reach forward to take right hand with
         the next (forms a wavy “Alamo” ring
         with gents facing out and ladies in)
     B2- All balance twice
         Swing new partner (the one in your
         right hand), and face the center

The description above is taken from the 2010 Ralph Page
Dance Legacy Weekend syllabus:


The dance also appears in the 1997 RPDLW syllabus; in _Zesty
Contras_, by Larry Jennings; and in Ted's book _Swing the Next_,
where Ted supplies substantial commentary.  I'll add here some
comments of my own:

1.  The transition from the promenade to the wavy ring in the last
beat or two of B1 is extremely simple once dancers understand it,
but if you describe it during the walk-through by just using the
first words that happen to come out of your mouth, there may be
some dancers who find the description baffling.  For example, you
may see some men attempting to turn to the left instead of to the
right, or not turning at all and reaching back with their right
hands in some awkward way, or starting to allemande their current
partners.  So think about what words you will use.  If you can
forestall dancers from releasing their partners' left hands, that
will help avert some of the possible misinterpretations.

2.  Ted recommends that the promenade be done with gent's right
arms around their partners' backs, as in a courtesy turn.  This
promenade hold is more common in New England than in some other
regions, and in this dance it makes for smooth transitions both
from the allemande into the promenade and from the promenade to
the wavy ring.

3.  On the last few beats of the right allemande in A2, I like
to switch smoothly from an allemande hold (the one that looks
something like an arm wrestling) to a "modified handshake" hold
(as in a grand right and left or a "hands-across" star) and step
a little apart from my partner, so that on beat eight of the
allemande our positions and the balance of our weight are as they
would be on the last beat of a right-hand-in-right balance, ready
to pull into the do-si-do.  Not everyone will understand a verbal
description, or even a demo, of this action, but I think that
those who do will find it makes for a more satisfying transition
from the allemande to the do-si-do.  (If you don't understand
the preceding description, try this:  Get a partner, balance
with each other by right hands, and do-si-do.  Notice what the
transition from the balance to the do-si-do feels like.  Then
figure out how you would get from an allemande into position for
that kind of transition to a do-si-do.)

Does anyone know of an on-line video of "Ted's Mixer"?  I've
done a little searching, but the only one I found was actually
of "Ted's Solo Mixer".


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