I can only speak with reference to calling at NEFFA, as I have never applied to DownEast. As some of you may know that Linda Leslie is NEFFA's program chair, I will note that the program chair does not select performers for contra sessions.
Regarding NEFFA 2007, the following notice is now posted at http://neffa.org/perf_app.html - The Program Committee is not prepared to take your application at this time, since it is too late to apply for this year's NEFFA Festival. Please note that the application to perform is always available during the month of September, with a deadline in October. If you'd like to get an e-mail notice of application availability, send a blank e-mail to NEFFA_Performers-subscribe(a)yahoogroups.com
So you can note on your calendar that September is a good time to check the NEFFA web site, and also arrange for a notice to pop up in your e-mail.
The NEFFA application invites you to come up with a briefly-described theme for your session, with a title of 20 characters or less. IMO, use your own judgment as to how important the theme is. If you are offering a concept that's really meaningful to you, don't be afraid to describe it. If what you really want to do is just call some hot contras, then IMO I wouldn't go overboard on the theme.
Unlike Northwest Folklife, callers and bands apply SEPARATELY to the New England Folk Festival. And I believe that this is a very good thing for beginning callers who hope to have a chance at getting onstage. This mix-and-match policy gives a fresh perspective for experienced performers, and can be an eye-opening experience for newcomers who may get to work with seasoned veterans. I will never forget calling at NEFFA with Northern Spy, a band that has worked with caller David Millstone for 25 years. And where was David during this session? Out on the floor, happily dancing to the music of his own band. NEFFA's selection process made that wonderful hour possible for me.
For what it's worth, the first year I successfully applied I asked for a "Festival Orchestra" slot, which means that instead of calling a themed, hour-long session I called two dances in the Main Hall with the assembled orchestra and then got off the stage as the next Festival Orchestra caller had a turn. IMO, the key here (as well as in submitting a session proposal) is to choose dances that you know by heart, can teach well, fully believe in, and love to share with a crowd. You don't want to have second thoughts as you approach the microphone.
If you're wondering why performer applications are required so far in advance of a festival, note that NEFFA may have 1700 performers, many of whom perform in multiple sessions (perhaps performing alone, and with a participatory dance group, and also with a concert performance group!). You can't doublebook a performer (or larger groups to which she may belong), you have to give her time to move from one venue to another, plus a bunch of other scheduling etceteras that would drive me loony to contemplate further. How scheduling was done in the days before computers is beyond me.
Robert Jon Golder
164 Maxfield St
New Bedford, MA 02740
The Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend committee is happy to announce
that the 2014 weekend will happen on MLK weekend in January at the
University of New Hampshire. We are also happy to welcome Dudley
Laufman and Susan Kevra as our featured callers, along with music by
Calliuope and Maivish. The Friday night dance will include calling by
Lisa Sieverts and Trip to Nelson, along with Susan and Dudley at the
Details at the website: http://www.ralphpage.neffa.org/
The present time of Munroe's story would have been about 1945, so this is about a period maybe 20 years before, in rural Ontario.
…. A strange desperate sort of haste…. a special facility
"When my mother was growing up, she and her whole family would go to dances. These would be held in the schoolhouse, or sometimes in a farmhouse with a big enough front room. Young and old would be in attendance. Someone would play the piano – the household piano or the one in the school – and someone would have brought a violin. The square dancing had complicated patterns or steps, which a person known for a special facility would call out at the top of his voice (it was always a man) and in a strange desperate sort of haste which was of no use at all unless you knew the dance already. As everybody did, having learned them all by the time they were ten or twelve years old. "
-- Opening paragraph of Voices, autobiographical story by Nobel Prize-winner Alice Munro, in her most recent book Dear Life, published 2012 by Vintage International.
Greetings fellow callers,
I recently wrote a dance, but can't think of a name. I'm calling it this
evening, so I'm hoping something will happen that makes a funny story as to
how the dance got its name. Failing that, I was wondering if any of you had
????? (Ben Hornstein)
ccw becket wave (starts with partner in right hand, men have left hands in
A1) balance wave, P allemande R 3/4 (to long waves)
balance waves, circulate waves
A2) balance waves, circulate waves
B1) circle L 3/4
zig-zag to new N
B2) M see-saw
M allemande L 1, P allemande R 1
I'm also open to thoughts about the dance itself.
Yikes, this doesn't look good. Maia, have you been hacked?
>From: Maia McCormick <maia.mcc(a)gmail.com>
>Sent: Nov 14, 2013 8:44 AM
>To: Caller's discussion list <callers(a)sharedweight.net>
>Subject: Re: [Callers] Dance in Need of a Name
>On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM, Alan Winston <winston(a)slac.stanford.edu>wrote:
>> You could call the dance "Ziggy and the Waves", or "Zigsaw", or "Second
>> Wave", or "Wave Goodbye".
>> Hope this helps!
>> -- Alan
>> On Nov 9, 2013, at 11:10 AM, Ben Hornstein <bhornstein5189(a)gmail.com>
>> Greetings fellow callers,
>> I recently wrote a dance, but can't think of a name. I'm calling it this
>> evening, so I'm hoping something will happen that makes a funny story as to
>> how the dance got its name. Failing that, I was wondering if any of you had
>> any suggestions.
>> ????? (Ben Hornstein)
>> ccw becket wave (starts with partner in right hand, men have left hands in
>> the middle)
>> A1) balance wave, P allemande R 3/4 (to long waves)
>> balance waves, circulate waves
>> A2) balance waves, circulate waves
>> P swing
>> B1) circle L 3/4
>> zig-zag to new N
>> B2) M see-saw
>> M allemande L 1, P allemande R 1
>> Any ideas?
>> I'm also open to thoughts about the dance itself.
>> -Ben Hornstein
>> Callers mailing list
>>> Callers mailing list
>> Callers mailing list
>Callers mailing list
I'm writing a dance for 6 couples (in a rectangle, one at the top and
bottom, two on each side), and I want to know if one of the moves I wrote
already has a name.
Bottom couple makes an arch. Top couple splits and walks around the outside
of the set, each taking the side couples with them. They then go up through
the arch and back to place.
If this move doesn't have a proper name, I'm just going to call it "peel
the banana" because I feel that's the best way to describe it.
I'd be most surprised if this dance hadn't been written already (it
occurred to me because I thought I'd danced part of it somewhere, but
I just found that the progression transition is like Amy Kahn's Sweet
Music). Does anyone recognize it?
A1. gents allemande left 1+1/2; P star promenade
A2. ladies do si do; P swing
B1. circle left 3/4; N swing
B2. long lines; right hand star
I have enjoyed studying old moves called "dosido" (or some variant
of the spelling that sounds roughly the same!) and thought I would try
getting some of them into a contra dance. I know the Rang Tang has been
used before in contras , but I haven't seen a Mountain Dosido in a contra
This is the result:
DosiWhat? by John Sweeney
Contra; Becket (C)
A1: Men Dosido; Ladies Dosido 1 & 1/2 - Men turn to the Left and take Mans'
Right Hand to Partner's Left Hand to face a New Couple (progression)
A2: Mountain Dosido ("DoSi the Ladies"): Lasso Partner AC around self and
along to the other Man; Neighbour Swing*
B1: Open Ladies' Chain: Ladies Pull by Right; Partner Allemande Left -
continue into a
Rang Tang (Dosido): Men pass B-to-B; Neighbour Allemande Right; Men
pass B-to-B, weave into a
B2: Partner Gypsy Meltdown
Notes: Teach the Ladies Dosido as Dosido and Pass Thru, otherwise they will
spin and face where they think they are going.
Lasso means the man raises his right hand and leads the lady around him - he
doesn't move (except to help the ladies avoid any crashes)
*"You swing mine and I'll swing yours"
I called it for the first time yesterday at Barrie Bullimore's
Sunday afternoon contra and it went well.
Feedback appreciated if you try it :-)
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362
http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent