sending this to you in order to cast a wider net for my Boston-area
dance friend and fellow caller, Dan Pearl, who has PKD (Polycystic
Kidney Disease.) He's actively looking for a living donor that's
willing and able donate a kidney (especially someone with type O blood,
although as you can learn in the paired donor info on the website, it
could work with an interested and qualified donor of another blood
Dan's story, his health details, and more information (including specifics for individuals who might consider being a donor) can be found at http://danskidney.info.
If you can think of other groups or individuals to forward this to, in order to further spread the net, please do.
Many thanks to all who responded, both on and off list, to my 45->CD query. Great suggestions and resources, and I'll pass them along to the person who's spearheading the revival of the square dance revival.
Chrissy brings up some good points about the cast off. It's
interesting that I found a definition of gate on a web site that was
maintained by an English country dance leader. That definition
mentions that the person backing up in a gate makes a smaller
circle. And, I'm informed by dance master Jim Morrison that the
gate probably evolved from cast off.
If the person backing up does make a smaller circle, is the pivot
point closer to the person backing up??
One dancer who used to dance in Nelson in '69 mentioned that during a
cast off, the men never touched!
Depending on your equipment, it's not that hard to do yourself, assuming you
have a way to play the records. Hook up a connection from an amplifier to your
computer-- I use RCA lugs into an adapter that takes two RCA inputs (L & R
channel, though most of those old recordings are mono) and ends in a mini-plug,
which goes into my computer. (Note: you do better go through your amplifier than
directly from the record player.)
to record the program and to trim the scratches at either end. Audacity is free,
and has audio editing capabilities that allow you to clean up the sound.
I also recommend ClickRepair:
as a wonderful program-- though not free--for getting rid of clicks and crackles
that come with old records.
It's also worth checking iTunes or Amazon's music downloads to see if any of the
material in question is already available. A surprising amount of older material
is already available in digitial format. At $.99 a cut, it's often simpler to
pay the money and let others have done the work for you.
Wondering if anyone out there in Shared Weight land has suggestions for ways (or places) to have music transferred from 45 rpm recordings to CD/digital.
I'm asking on behalf of a community of folks here in Maine who are reviving a generations-old tradition of square dancing, and for many of the people who grew up in the tradition, hearing the particular familiar version of the music is a big part of their connection to (and nostalgia for) the various dances.
Donna Hunt mentioned the possibility that CDSS has resources on starting a
new contra dance series. They have a wide range of material, much of it at:
The "college" and "community" links lead to much more information.
On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM, <callers-request(a)sharedweight.net> wrote:
> On 2/25/2011 12:47 PM, Dhuntdancer(a)aol.com wrote:
> > Hi:
> > Someone asked me how to go about starting new contra dance? series.?
> > than start from scratch making a list of everything to? consider when
> > starting out, I'm wondering if any of you have a list or if? there is an
> > resource for this.? Perhaps CDSS has something?
> > Donna Hunt
> > "Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while? we're here we should
> > dance." -unknown
> > _______________________________________________
> > Callers mailing list
> > Callers(a)sharedweight.net
> > http://www.sharedweight.net/mailman/listinfo/callers
> Callers mailing list
> Callers mailing list
> End of Callers Digest, Vol 78, Issue 28
Cast Off variations:
In my experience as a dancer & caller (mostly in northern New England) it's called a cast off when someone approaches another person from a disconnected position (as in actives coming up the center of the set and walking around the inactives). Sometimes it's done w arms around back, sometimes no hands w the connection just eye-contact. In this case, active always walks forward, inactive backs up.
I think of a hand cast as being a similar figure, but starting from a connected position (as in line of four down center, return, hand cast to face across.) In this case it's done w a hand hold (nicely elastic tension) and the center people walk forward while the ends back up (giving the center folks a great whoosh/momentum sensation, sometimes w a bit of a crack-the-whip feel).
I think of a wheel around as being either the hand hold or the arm around the back. Somehow I think of that term more in squares, although I use 'wheel around' when explaining how to (a) turn as a twosome for a same gender R&L thru or (b) turn as a couple midway through a four in line down the hall & back.
In all of these cases, I think of it as both people moving, but with the person who's moving forward doing more of the moving (so their path is longer) especially on the hand cast. The backer-upper moves in a circular track/arc too (they're definitely not the pivot point) but it's unequal... they move in a smaller arc than the mover-forwarder, again especially on the hand cast. And I think that if you took a long exposure photo of a hand cast and had a light on the joined hands, that connection would also be an arc. But who knows!
There must be a physics concept to illustrate this pivot point thing. I'd love to see the formula. Or, alternatively, the time release photo.
Fun to explore language concepts!
Query: How do you do the Cast Off in your area?
I am surprised that the only variation mentioned so far is where the
pivot point is (and I would agree with Colin on that - it is always
intended to be between the two dancers, but anything can happen!).
Depending on the background and skills of the dancers I also see
variations such as:
- the gatepost faces in the opposite direction to the active dancer
instead of the same direction
- connection can be via hand-hold, elbow-hook hold or arm around the
- if connection is with the hand then it can follow the convention of
man offering from below, or gatepost offering from below
The face-opposite-directions and elbow-hook hold is great for doing an
extra half turn and switching partners if the dance allows for it :-)
There is also variation in naming - Cast Off, Hand Cast, Wheel Around,
I am not sure it is a regional thing - more a matter of where and how
you first learnt to do it.
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362 &
07802 940 574
http://www.modernjive.com for Modern Jive Events, Instructional DVDs and
http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Contra Dancing in Kent