I just called a tiny dance last night, and went through several of my
triplets along with a big pile of English 3-couple dances that we did to
old-time tunes (that was a little weird for me but the dancers enjoyed
them, so what the heck). I was grateful to have the few triplets I had,
and I'd like to expand my collection. The ones I used were
Microchasmic, David's Triplet #7 and Ted's Triplet #24, which all have
distinctive bits in them (contra corners, round two/drop through, and a
cast to invert then 1s lead up, respectively). I like triplets that
have some choreographic substance to them, something for the dancers to
Do you have favorites you enjoy dancing as well as calling? I get the
impression sometimes that triplets are "that thing you do to fill time
until the real dancing starts," but 3-couple sets can be a whole lot of
fun. And sometimes they can save your butt as a caller.
We had lots of odd numbers last night, so in addition to the triplets
and 3-couple English dances I used dances like Domino 5 (5 dancers) and
Pride of Dingle (for 9). For a short while we had 4 couples and did
contras but most of the evening was "other." Got any good dances for
On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 2:57 PM, Delia Clark via Callers <
> It will ultimately be a good thing if there is a generally accepted set
> of words (certainly not a strict requirement, but something that’s
> generally accepted across the country, if possible) that meet the range of
> criteria, along the lines of those suggested by Ron in his matrix.
There is an assumption behind this statement which is often made, but
which I find very disturbing.
The assumption is that it is an unalloyed good thing for there to be
standardization. This is the kind of thinking that led the Modern Western
Square Dance movement to standardize all of their calls, and all of their
teaching programs. They wanted any square dancer to be able to go to any
square dance club in the country, or in the world, and immediately know
exactly what was meant by everything that was said. There are some
advantages to that kind of standardization, especially if you happen to be
a globe-hopping square dancer who enjoys dancing hot hash, but it comes at
a tremendous cost.
It comes with a loss of the opportunity to experience, adapt to, and
appreciate regional differences. I don't care about being able to go to a
new place just to find that things there are done in the same way that I'm
used to them being done back home. I care about being able to go to new
places and learning the way things are done there.
What this means for the current discussion, from my point of view, is that
it's a good thing if dance callers and producers discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of using different terminology, and consider what language
will work best for their dance. It would be a BAD thing if anyone switched
terminology JUST BECAUSE that's what other people were doing.
It may well be that a certain set of terms will become generally accepted
because it works better for the dancers in a lot of places. It may well be
that dances which were written to be gender-neutral will be generally
accepted because they work better for the dancers in a lot of places. In
the meantime, if you find yourself assuming that it would a good thing if
there was standardization across the country, please give some thought to
what advantage you are trying to achieve, and what the disadvantages would
I recently called a dance and had trouble with my Shure wireless headset
system. I had feedback as I called from the floor/field. That indicates
that the mic pattern is probably to wide, since the volume was not that
It also droped out as I walked around the field at the outdoor dance.
Can anyone recommend a good quality headset system for a singing caller who
is often on the floor as he calls?
I'm calling a dance this weekend at Comicpalooza, a large comic book
convention. The crowd will be at least 95% people who have never danced.
What are some dances that you all recommend for this sort of crowd?
I thought I'd saved a fairly recent discussion on 'transgressive contras'...there was one posting that had a link to a video of 2 contra lines where the 1's bounced back and forth from line to line in subsequent verses. Could some kind soul who did save that please email me the link and any relevant discussion they saved at catherineaura(a)yahoo.com. Sadly I do not know how to access any archives...tried googling 'transgressive contra shared weight' and just brought up a long discussion from 2006
At the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend (RPDLW) in January, Carol Ormand
called a fun & silly little dance that I liked: Monkey in the Middle. I
think there were 4 couples plus 1 extra person ("the monkey"). I don't
think that the 2015 RPDLW syllabus is available yet online. Would anyone
have instructions they're willing to share? Val Medve, Essex, Vermont (
My new email address is val.medve(a)gmail.com