As you know, contra dancers on this side of the pond have little or no patience for dances
without at least a partner swing. In fact I hear complaints if there are too many dances
in an evening that don't also include a neighbor swing. Dances like Illegal in Most
States, with a neighbor, shadow, and partner swing, are much more popular and well
received. A dance with no swings, or with a neighbor only swing, would prompt immediate
unhappy feedback from the floor. Just a different set of expectations.
Chorus Jig is the only familiar dance I can think of that doesn't leave you next to
your partner on the side of the set at any point. Many younger dancers I know don't
consider it a "real" contra, and find its lack of swings frustrating. (When
it's called at Glen Echo [rarely], many 2s add a swing in the middle of the set while
the 1s go down the outside, and often a second swing while the 1s swing in B2.) On Apr 10,
2017 4:25 AM, John Sweeney via Callers <callers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
My categories are a little different:
Dances I want to try once I am calling for a group that can handle them
Dances for beginners
My current set of favourite dances which I will use for most gigs
Dances to fall back on when something doesn't work
Chestnuts and other traditional dances
Contra style dances in other formations (Triple Minor, Double Contra, Hex,
Everything else is in alphabetical order - otherwise how can you find them?
- I work out which ones I want from my database
Then there are lots more categories for all the other genres I call
The stuff in alphabetical order doesn't get used as much. I would rather
use great dances. Most dancers are very happy to dance the favourites
I get very bored with dances which go "swing, circle 3/4, swing" or
someone Allemande 1 & 1/2, swing" and very rarely use them now unless the
other half of the dance is stunning.
April said, "I believe that at some point in every dance, you and your
partner are on the same side, usually swinging, so from that perspective all
dances can start in Becket".
But dances can be:
Partner Swing only
Neighbour Swing only
Partner & Neighbour Swing
And the Partner Swing doesn't have to be on the side - it could be #1s
swinging in the middle (or in an old dance everyone swinging in the middle)
So, no, they are not all Becket!
I use quite a few No Swing dances and everyone seems happy to do them -
though attitudes are somewhat different on this side of the pond.
Does anyone use No Swing contras at American contra dances?
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362
for Dancing in Kent
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