April Blum here. I will happily join the organizers group if you can point me in the right direction. On Jun 24, 2017 4:13 PM, Chris Weiler via Callers <callers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> The other SharedWeight lists are fairly low traffic, but there is something that people can do about that. The more people ask questions, the more the members of the list remember that it’s there as a resource and the more questions that are posted. The Caller’s list got started because I was a new caller and had lots of questions and got the ball rolling. The other lists (Musicians, Organizers & Web Content) need people to get the ball rolling. Once the momentum gets started, more people join and the more information gets shared. I hope that some of you will take it upon yourselves to join those lists and get things going.
> All the best,
> Chris Weiler
> Co-founder SharedWeight
> From: Callers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Meg Dedolph via Callers
> Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:32 PM
> To: Bree Kalb <breekalb(a)gmail.com>; callers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> Subject: Re: [Callers] Similar list for musicians?
> There is, though it's low-traffic. But people are generally responsive when someone asks a question. I think this is the link that takes you to a page that tells you about it.
> On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:03 PM Bree Kalb via Callers <callers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> A brand new baby contra band is eager to learn more. Is there a list like this one for musicians?
>> Bree Kalb
>> Carrboro, NC
>> Callers mailing list
Do you love traditional dance and music? Contribute now to support this exciting project.
The Dancingmaster is a whimsical musical portrait of the legendary contra dance caller, Dudley Laufman. Dudley almost single-handedly provided the link between the old days of rural contradancing in the hamlets of New England, and the vibrant network of dances taking place every week throughout the United States and beyond. The Dancingmaster tells his story in his own words, adapted by composer Lawrence Siegel from his interview with Dudley in 2011. The character “Dudley” is played by the great traditional musician, Keith Murphy. Becky Tracy and Larry Siegel provide the musical accompaniment. Mary DesRosiers, a dancingmaster in her own right, creates original choreography performed by a group of traditional dancers from the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.
These premiere performances are jointly sponsored by the Monadnock Folklore Society, Next Stage, and the Brattleboro Music Center. They will appeal to fans of traditional music and dance and at the same time to audiences for musical theater and classical music.
Note that we are fundraising now ... tickets will be on sale later in the summer for September 23/24 performances in Peterborough NH and Putney VT.
It isn't necessary to hire a person who can do a loud whistle - you can buy
a loud whistle for a few dollars, and hang it from a lanyard.
Here's another technique for calling for quiet which I have seen work,
although I haven't used it myself.
"If you can hear my voice clap once. <clap> If you can hear my voice clap
twice. <clap clap> If you can hear my voice clap three times. <clap clap
clap> ... "
The few people who hear you the first time clap, and that attracts the
attention of people near them, so more people hear you calling for them to
clap twice, which attracts more attention. Repeat until you have the
attention of the room. It won't solve the problem of keeping them quiet,
but it doesn't hurt to have more than one technique to draw on.
And it's easier on the ears than that loud whistle.
On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 12:50 PM, Linda S. Mrosko via Callers <
> Oh how I wish that would work. I've tried that technique over the years.
> They just ignore me. Shushing works, but I have to repeat the shhhhh into
> the mic lots of times. A big part of the challenge is the acoustics --
> it's worse than being in a gym. For instance, I get them quiet and then
> teach them the first move -- there is a roar -- I get them quiet again --
> teach the next move -- there is a roar -- I get them quiet again -- teach
> the third move -- there is a roar -- ad nauseam. The musicians crank up
> their music to the max for the dance, but even I can barely hear it over
> the din from the dancers. Short of hiring a person who can do that loud
> whistle, I'm at a loss. I've sort of grown used to it, but my temper is
> short and I really have to watch myself.
> On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 7:42 AM, Jeremy Child <jeremy.m.child(a)gmail.com>
>> To quiet a room I use the Girl Guides technique:
>> I raise my hand, and anyone who sees me knows to stop talking and raise
>> their hand too. More notice this (other peoples hands up and slightly
>> diminished volume). This snowballs quite quickly as peer pressure kicks
>> in, and is a very effective technique. You have to teach it to them first,
>> of course, but they pick it up quite quickly.
>> On 16 June 2017 at 20:10, Linda S. Mrosko via Callers <
>> callers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>>> I lead an annual dance for 200+ 18-year olds in a hall with terrible
>>> acoustics. Been doing it for 15+ years. If they all whispered at the same
>>> time, it would sound like a roar in that room. I can only do the most
>>> basic stuff most of the time...simple circles, longways with lots of
>>> sashaying, an easy folk dance. But I experiment every now and then, which
>>> lead me to come up with the following dances which, for the most part,
>>> worked. Am I stealing them from somebody? (I like to give credit where
>>> credit is due.)
>>> They call their dance "Swat the Flea". I searched for a long time for a
>>> very easy dance that had a Swat the Flea and finally wrote this one --
>>> BOX'NSWAT (Circle)
>>> A1 Women into the middle and back; Gents into the middle & back
>>> A2 All make a quarter turn to the right and walk single file to the
>>> B1 Women turn back to face partner -- all shake R hands with Partner &
>>> Box the Gnat; change hands, Balance & Swat the Flea
>>> B2 DSD Partner; Allemande R w/partner 1-1/2 to progress (women end
>>> facing into the center ready to go F&B)
>>> Since contra dances are almost impossible to teach to a loud,
>>> boisterous, energetic bunch of 18-year olds who have never heard of or seen
>>> a contra dance, I decided to give this a whirl -- and it worked -- mostly!
>>> It would probably be better with a smaller more sedate crowd.
>>> GREASE & GLUE (Contra formation -- Gender free -- all you need is a
>>> A1 Couple 1 split Couple 2, return to places; Couple 1 DSD
>>> A2 Couple 2 split Couple 1, return to places; Couple 2 DSD
>>> B1 Star R; Star L (w/hands)
>>> B2 Couples face each other -- Couples DSD 1-1/2 ending back-to-back,
>>> facing next couple
>>> As an aside -- how do you quiet a room with terrible acoustics full of
>>> loud people? Thanks!
>>> *Looking forward,Linda S. Mrosko*
>>> *102 Mitchell Drive*
>>> *Temple, Texas 76501*
>>> *(903) 292-3713 <(903)%20292-3713> (Cell)*
>>> *(903) 603-9955 <(903)%20603-9955> (Skype)*
>>> *contradancetx.com <http://www.contradancetx.com>*
>>> *www.zazzle.com/fuzzycozy* <http://www.zazzle.com/fuzzycozy*> (Dance
>>> buttons, t-shirts, & more)*
>>> Callers mailing list
> *Looking forward,Linda S. Mrosko*
> *102 Mitchell Drive*
> *Temple, Texas 76501*
> *(903) 292-3713 <(903)%20292-3713> (Cell)*
> *(903) 603-9955 <(903)%20603-9955> (Skype)*
> *contradancetx.com <http://www.contradancetx.com>*
> *www.zazzle.com/fuzzycozy* <http://www.zazzle.com/fuzzycozy*> (Dance
> buttons, t-shirts, & more)*
> Callers mailing list
View my Arlington Food Pantry fundraiser at
Allen Ortep's First Contra was shared with this group in November, 2012.
Just wondering if anyone has successfully called this dance. I ask because
I've tried a few times with some adventurous and skilled dancers and have
never gotten it to work. So I'm wondering if I have the instructions right.
I tried searching the SharedWeight archives and am not getting any results.
(In fact, I get no results even if I search for Contra. So now I'm feeling
very technologically challenged!)
Below are the instructions as I copied then and then double-checked them.at
Does anyone see any mistakes or have any other thoughts? Thanks.
Allen Ortep’s First Contra
by Michael Fuerst
(8) LH star
(8) R diag R & L thru
(4,4) LL F & B, On way back, Gents roll Partner R to L
(6,2) Circle R 3/4, Pass thru (along)
(16) New Neighbor B & S
(4,4) Rings balance, Spin to L
(8) Partner swing
In the recent "easy dances" thread there was a brief discussion about
attracting attention and keeping dancers quiet enough to hear the walk
through, using humor.
what tricks/words do you use to get people laughing (and therefore paying
attention)? Here are a couple of things that I use. I find that as soon as
they are laughing with me, they are also paying attention.
1. Men (or everyone, or ladies), Identify your right hand. (Then use it for
a star or allemainde)
2. Take hands in a ring. Look at the person in your right hand. They don't
know you are looking at them, because they are looking at someone else....
(Before a petronella turn)
It's often just enough to make them smile, and pay attention, too. What are
some other possibilities?
Erik Barry Erhardt wrote:
> This is Lloyd Shaw's index of dances.
Jonathan Sivier wrote:
> I'm assuming that the Docey Doe in this dance isn't just a dos-a-do,
> but is a more complex set of movements. I know I've done some
> similar figures in the past, but is there an explanation for this
> somewhere on the web site?
One of the links in the index is to a “Docey-Doe and Visiting Couple Square.” The instructions for the docey-doe are at the bottom of that page. Those instructions (which I suspect are the work of Bill Litchman) include some variations and a helpful timing note for callers.
One caveat: Where it says “The instructions… in ‘Cowboy Dances’… are not quite correct,” it would be more accurate to say that the instructions in Shaw’s book and those on the LSF webpage describe two related-but-different versions of the docey-doe. And I wouldn’t say, referring to the first move, that one version is the reverse of the other; they’re just different.
Brief descriptions: In Shaw’s book, from a circle of four, the ladies pass left shoulders and face partner. On the webpage, from a circle of four, ladies do a rollaway with their opposite to face partner. In both versions, continue with left hand to partner, pull by, right hand around opposite, courtesy turn with partner.
The rollaway version seems to be more fun and also easier to teach and to understand. It’s the version in every film or video that I’ve seen that includes a docey-doe. (I suspect that Shaw and/or his teenage dancers came up with the rollaway version, too late for it to be included in Cowboy Dances. The book did have a print life of more than a decade, during which the description could conceivably have been changed; but there was a long series of photographs illustrating the figure, and perhaps the publisher balked at reshooting them.)
New book! Square Dance Calling: An Old Art for a New Century
(to be published Summer 2017)
I'm way out in the boonies teaching square dance to a group of campers, and they asked for a dance called Roll Like Thunder. I did figure out that it's probably a square called Swing Like Thunder, but I'm not having much luck tracking down the actual moves. WiFi is really spotty out here, so I can't watch a video or listen to a recording. Does anyone have this dance in your collection? Thanks for any help.
Deborah Hyland St Louis
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
The move for two couples is also known as a California Show Basket,
an Appalachian Big Set/Square dance move.
I have the full Swing Like Thunder as:
First Couple out to the Right : Circle Up Four
Take Hands Across: Men take hands; Ladies take hands below
Ladies Bow: Men raise arms over Ladies' heads and bring them down to waist
Men Bow: Ladies lift arms over Men's heads to their shoulders - or keep hold
behind the Man's backs
Swing Like Thunder (Basket); Drop Hands; Circle Left
Pick up each next couple and repeat with 6 and 8 dancers:
Men Take Hands: Men step in and hold hands in a Circle
Ladies Bow: Ladies duck under the Men's Arches and take hands
The rest as above
You can see it danced at:
You can also have a lot of fun with Reverse the Basket - see 7:22 in this
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362
http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent