When I was at Farm & Wilderness in the 1960s, we had several favorite squares - though
we typically didn't work up to them until mid-summer, and I wouldn't use most of
them at a one-nighter: (singing) Alabama Jubilee, Just Because, My Little Girl, (patter)
Swing Like Thunder aka The Basket, Texas Star, Grapevine Twist.
One F&W favorite that I do use at one-nighters is the full version of Duck for the
Oyster. It takes a bit of teaching, so I use it in the middle of the evening, after
I've gained the group's confidence. Unlike many squares, it's totally
gender-free. Active couple lead right and circle four halfway around, then "Duck for
the oyster": Active couple ducks under, then changes their mind. "Dig for the
clam": Hosting couple does the same. "Duck through the hole in the old tin
can": Active couple ducks under, rolls back to back, raises their joined hands, pulls
the hosting couple under, then the hosting couple unwinds. Hosting couple should keep
their joined hands in front of their faces while being pulled through, rather than
unwinding too soon. Simpler version (if lots of kids, therefore big height differences):
Active couple ducks under, drops partner's hand while keeping neighbor's hand,
goes around the outside, forcing hosting couple to turn under own arms, and re-forms the
circle. In either version, end with active couple ducking through and going to next
My all-time favorite ONS square, good for almost any group, is Kitchen Lancers (a
rough-and-ready version of the fifth figure of the Lancers Quadrille):
The main figure begins at 0:35. Note that the figure begins with the active couple
promenading, so avoid ending any breaks with a promenade.
The dance is gender-free except for the single file bit, where I often call "Right
hand people go round," then "Left hand people go."
At 1:08, with most ONS groups, instead of "Active couple through the middle, others
follow, separate to lines, forward & back, swing partner to place," I usually
call "Face your partner, back away, forward again and swing partner to place - all
forward & back twice." The video is from Dare To Be Square 2011, where all the
dancers were experienced, so I called a version closer to the original ballroom Lancers.
Billerica, Massachusetts, USA
From: Charles Abell via Contra Callers <contracallers(a)lists.sharedweight.net>
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2020 9:12 AM
Subject: [Callers] Re: square dances for teens
Hey all, What are your favorite square dances for older teenagers in a one-night-stand
setting? These could be Southern, New England, or other. Looking for a few new options...
Less interested in non-squares (circles, mixers, etc.), but if you have something you
really like in one of those categories, feel free to share it.