Jeff Spero and I are calling the Brentwood (LA) dance together: I happen to be in LA
this weekend for another calling gig; he wants to play a prank on his home dance
community, so many months ago, we decided to share the evening... It's been fun to
have someone to bounce ideas off of and create this together.....
I've never called an April Fool's dance, and I'm glad to be part of creating
one. And, I've never danced somewhere on April Fool's day when the caller or band
did anything unusual or tricky.... I did see some comments last year around this time on
trad-dance-callers. I started setting dances aside a few months ago and making notes....
Most of what I've thought about doing are things that are a bit unusual, that have
some twist on what we're "used to" doing... Some ideas, not in any
1. "The Tease" by Tom Hinds, already mentioned
2. "B&B" by Robert Cromartie. When cpl waits out at the bottom or top of
the set, wait out "the wrong way": w/ lady on the LEFT.
3. "Open Doors" by David Kaynor. ... it's got some unusual order of
figures together: A2: Down 4, return, then B1: Long Lines ( ! ), rather the typical
"circle left.." B2: LL F&B, then circle RIGHT ( ! ) , turn alone, face new
N's .... You got to think a bit during this one, which I kind of like....
4. A medley (ok, this I got from Robert Cromartie).... dance 1: no P swg, dance 2: no P
swg; finally dance 3: includes P Swg! Something like that.... you could even do 3 with
no P Swg, then P Swg....
--> I haven't picked out the dances for this yet..... Can anyone suggest
simple no P swg dances that would do well in a medley?
5. Triple progression is a bit unusual: "Eleanor's Reel" by Bill Olson
is a good one. Likewise, Bill Olson's "Scrod Pudding's Trip to the
Mall" has a two-handed box the gnat rather than one-handed, again, just a different
twist on common moves. "Weeks on the Road" by Bill Olson.... it's a
backwards becket (which Gene Hubert pointed out to him...), to start, get in improper
formation, women trade places. On side w P, but Gent is on the Rt..... (OK, so I just
spent two wknds w/ Bill Olson and Ti'Acadie in California, can you tell??!!).
6. Similarly.... calling an "indecent" dance, where the two's cross over,
instead of the one's crossing..... Jim Kitch's "Dancing the Winter
Away", Joseph Pimentel's "Oh Geez!"
7. The "clap trap" type of dances where there is a figure after the
Petronella-turn-to-the-right, making it (nearly) impossible to clap twice after the spin:
"Princeton Petronellas" and "Cure for the Clap" (this one, don't
say the name of the dance before calling it; say it afterwards; otherwise, they'll try
to clap!) both by Bob Isaacs. "ContraQuad Reel" by Seth Tepfer.
8. "Bases Loaded" by Jim Saxe, Tom Thoreau and Lydee Schudder, offers an
unusual pattern (a "diamond" type interaction in the A1, A2)
9. A friend mentioned: call a dance so that it doesn't progress! Actually, I did
this once, by mistake! so I have one, should I decide to do this! ("Pigtown
Petronella" by Cary Ravitz... yes, I got a dble progression dance to not progress at
all! I can tell you how, for those that want to know!). The dancers were laughing and
smiling, and I went up to a minor set and said "what's up"? A dancer
answered "we really like our neighbors, and we're having a good time, but we
haven't progressed!"... they were laughing hysterically....
10. Jeff Spero had the idea that since we both have wireless mike's we could do some
sort of "ventriloquist" thing..... one person could be up on stage
"calling" (moving your lips), and the other calling it from the back of the
room, or somewhere not visible to the dancers.... obviously, a male voice coming from a
female caller (or vise verse) would be a bit unusual....
11. I also suggested to Jeff that he could dress as me and I as him.... gee, didn't
hear back on that one! I think he'd look great in one of my North Carolina
12. Any suggestions from musicians? on tricks the band could play? (NOT ON THE
CALLER!!!! but working TOGETHER on a prank for the dance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)..... ; ^ ) (no
crooked tune surprises! .... ) Now, Bill Olson this past weekend in California called a
dance to a 48 bar tune.... it worked well and the dancers seemed to like the different
feel to it....
I do like the "hokey pokey" idea, having the band play that....
PS: .05 cents royalties for any ideas used..... just kidding!!
Barb K writes:
i was thinking about calling a medley of mecket dances - alternating ones
that progress CW with ones that progress CCW...
This sounds like a challenge. Love to hear how it works out.
Also, on a walk-through of a dance that ends with "circle left 3/4, pass
thru," after having the dancers circle, but not pass thru, George Marshall has
been heard to say something like:
"If this were April 1, I'd leave you right there, but since it's
-- erik, with a 'k'
There is no way to peace; Peace is the way.
~ A. J. Muste
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