On 1/26/2016 7:53 AM, Don Veino via Callers wrote:
I've agreed to an extremely last minute "Hoe
Down" gig this Saturday
for a local church, where I'm promised 25-75 people of mixed ages. No
dance experience at all.
I've reset their expectation to a family/barn dance - no cowboy
outfits on the performers, no line dances. They asked for some squares
- ok. If the crowd is really that size, I'm all set. Have the
material, live music with a contra and squares, etc. fiddler & piano
player. Good to go.
My nightmare is there's only 5 people that show, say: a toddler, a
teen, 2 parents and a grandparent. I have a few things I might do with
that small number of inexperienced folks, but not enough to fill 2
Any ideas on what you'd do/use in that instance? I'm all ears!
The toddler is kind of a challenge, since they'll be like half a dancer
and not good at following instructions.
You can get a good 10 minutes starting up by taking hands in a line (you
at the lead) and wandering around the hall; as the music comes around,
bend the line into a circle, circle left and right, into the center and
back twice, peel off and wander around the hall some more, etc, never
letting go of hands. That kind of group doesn't know that they need
more than that to have fun. Keep your speed down to what the slowest
walker can manage and don't worry about much phrasing, except form your
circles at the top of a phrase.
If you have people old enough to follow directions:
COTTONTAIL RAG (or Hot Tub Rag) by Steve Schnur
Circles of 5 dancers; each circle pick jack/jill to start
A1. Left-hand star; jack/jill rolls out, walks clockwise around circle while
others continue single file
A2. Jack chooses anyone, balance and swing
End facing the others who are three in line
B1. Two face three, forward and back
Do si do: the twosome with the center person in the line of three (who
will become new jack/jill)
B2. New jack faces out of circle with hands crossed, others face in and all
join hands in a ring. Jack pulls two individuals through an arch
made by his
upper arm to form a basket, and all basket swing to the left.
Finish to form
new l.h. star.
Polka Dots (? author) (4/4 G Green Mountain Petronella - in several tune
books, and I have music as well)
5 people - a diamond with #1 in middle, #2 with back to the music)
via Mary Devlin
A1 1 & 2 start hey for 3, R sh (up & down hall)
A2 1 flow into hey for 3 (L sh) across with #3 & #5
B1 1 & 2 set; R-hand turn 1/2 to change places
2 & 3 set; R-hand turn 1/2 to change places
B2 3 & 4 set; R-hand turn 1/2 to change places
4 & 5 set; R-hand turn 1/2 to change places
(and 5 is now #1)
Collected from Tony Saletan Houston '93? [Not by me]
Circle of 5 people
A1 Circle Left; Same way single file
A2 Jack (the "it" person) turn back and weave in and out
B1 Jack swing somebody; Swing their opposite
B2 Hey for 3
A1 Jack swing somebody you haven't swun; Swing their opposite
A2 Hey for 3
B1 Circle left; Jack raise left hand and pull himself and 1 other
B2 Basket swing
12/3/2004 Alan Winston
five people in pentagon formation
moderate-tempo 32-bar waltz
count off numbers before you start; #1 might be the point toward the band.
A1: All set R&L into center, turn single R, circle left.
A2: All set LEFT and RIGHT, turn single LEFT, circle RIGHT;
#1 exits circle early and finishes next to choice for B1.
B1: #1 and #1's choice, orbit outside the set, waltzing or promenading
the other three right-hand star in the center, left hands back.
[#1 drops his or her choice off at home and cuts back through the set
to home place.]
B2: #1 & #5, RH 1/2.
#1 & #4, LH 1/2.
#1 & #3, RH 1/2.
#1 & #2, LH 1/2.
(Try B2 with "step left and close; pull by right ..." etc if you prefer.)
[For ECDers or a less prankish crowd, instead of randomly picking somebody
out of the set and having to hustle home, have #1 and #5 (who is one place
CCW from #1) promenade and finish at home, then start the progression in
THE LESSER WEEVIL
12/2/2004 Alan Winston
5-person-set, line of 2 facing line of 3
5x 32-bar jig, reel (contra sound for either), or waltz (!)
A tip of the hat to Richard Mason's "The Weevil"
A1: 1-4: Lines balance forward (step close) and back (step close), cross
5-8: The same back to place.
A2: 1-2: Stepping into "waves" with hands up and joined, balance forward and
3-4: Allemande right with right-hand neighbor (if any).
5-8: Waves balance f+b, allemande left into line (no hands).
B1: 1-4: Right-hand neighbors do-si-do back into line
5-8: Four changes of a Right shoulder straight hey for five
B2: 1: Top person jumps out to THREE side.
2: Next person jumps out to TWO side.
3: Next person jumps out to THREE side.
4: Next 2 people jump out to correct side (having had time to
5-8: 2s swing each other WHILE 3s basket or circle 3; open in the same
position you started the swing.
PEGGING THE NEEDLE
12/3/2004 Alan Winston
5-person-set, in a line holding hands, facing to right of line.
32-bar jig, reel, polka
A1: Thread the needle: keeping hold of hands, #1 leads line
through arch made by 4+5. Finish in circle facing in.
A2: #2-#5 join hands in ring, raise to make four arches;
they sidestep slowly left throughout WHILE
#1, with any stepping and path, goes in and out through the arches.
B1&2: (0) #2 and #5 break; #1 takes #2s hand, and the other arches stay up.
1&2 go under the 2-3 arch;
1&2&3 go under the 3-4 arch;
1&2&3&4 go under the 4-5 arch and draw the line straight in any
#1 and #2, holding hands only with each other, raise the joined hands
as an arch and take it over the heads of 3-5, finish at bottom
into line, with #1 in fourth place, #2 in fifth place.
NOTE: This has the potential to wander all over the floor.
If there are five danceable 10-year-old+, you can join them and then you
can do three-couple sets. Plenty of simple-enough triplets, but here's
some one-night-stand stuff I like:
(Got it from Jonathan Coxhead - Easy, Ceilidh)
three-couple longways. 1x= 3x32 bar jigs.
("Fair Jenny's Jig" rocks with this dance)
A1:1-4: M1 sets to W2, W3, W2, W3
5-8: Those three circle left and right; M1 finishes at home
A2: -- The same led by W1 with M2 and M3.
B1: 1-4: 1s gallop down
5-8: 1s gallop back
B2: 1s cast off to bottom place (skipping?), swing when they get there
2s and 3s right hand star, left hands back, all four drifting up to
longways set 3 or 4 couples. 32-bar jigs or reels * # of couples.
Easy, ceilidh, vigorous.
A1: Men hold hands and 1st man leads weaving through the women's line.
(16 steps; with 4 couples, they have to keep moving).
[I think this is weave from top to bottom and into the men's line]
A2: Ditto for women, weaving through men's line.
B1: 1s galop as far as possible down the room (8 steps) then back to
BOTTOM of set.
B2: Sides take hands and lines sidestep down the room (8 steps) and back
(8 steps), led by the 1s who are now at the bottom of the set.
From "The Willow Tree" Easy, ceilidh
3-couple longways, 32-bar New England single reels
(Gives "reel de Ti-Jean" and "Green Mountain Petronella")
A1: Lines go forward and back then cross to the other side THUS:
middles turn right hand one and a half WHILE
ends do a half right and left four around them (hence the title)
A2: Repeat to place.
B1: Right hand star for six; left hand star for six.
B2: 1s down the middle to the bottom while the others move up and swing.
Hope this helps!