I just had a gig like this! A friend of mine is heavily into MWSD and is always looking for ways to cross-pollinate the scene. She asked me to come and share an evening with the regular caller because they couldn't get a round dance caller for that particular night. I did not have a live band; I used recordings, and I provided my own sound gear and mic.
Here's what I learned: 
1. Long swings, of even eight counts, are not intuitive and you have to spell out exactly what you want. The one time I introduced an eight count swing, I counted it for them so they knew how long it was going to be - and some people did not care for it at all. It does mean that a lot of the easy contras I have, with 16-count swings that give people a chance to recover and get back on the phrase, do not work very well.
2. Many calls overlap, and you can use those to your advantage. I was trying to figure out if I was going to have to teach a ladies' chain, for example, and I asked a MWSD caller acquaintance what would happen if I said to the group, with no explanation, "Ladies, chain across the set," and when I realized it was exactly what I needed them to do, I relaxed a little. :)
3. Be prepared for something you say to *not* mean the same thing you intend, even if you think you are being exceedingly precise. I can't remember what it was - but I intended for people to end up back to back with their neighbor, facing a new foursome. What I got was people standing shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors in what a contra dancer might describe as a "short wavy line" without hands.

That point about becket dances perhaps being easier to understand progression in is something I noticed at another recent gig I called - interesting enough that it is making me rethink what I have flagged as "first three dances of the night."

Good luck and have fun!

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 12:22 PM Lisa Greenleaf via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
Check this out:


Clark Baker is a MWSD caller and a contra dancer, and he wrote an article explaining the differences.


> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 3:28 PM, Joseph Erhard-Hudson via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> I've been pretty low-key on calling for several years now, just a few local dances a year. Years ago I did close to one gig a month at home and around my local region, but cut back due to busy life. Now I've accepted an invitation for a regular gig that's going to be a bit different, so I'm back on this email list, and I seek your advice.
> A few people from the nearby Western Square Dance group came to one of our local contra dances where I was calling, and had such a fun time they have invited me, and the band from that evening, to come and do a monthly series in their hall, promoted and sponsored by them. The band and I decided we'd give it a shot.
> I've had barely any exposure to Western Square Dance, but I know their education system is formalized, calling is improvised, and the music is mostly recorded; whereas in contra dancing the education is more by assimilation, the calling is mostly fixed within a given dance, and the music is live and improvised. I anticipate we may feel like strange cousins to each other. Do any of you have any experiences or thoughts about crossing over into this parallel universe of traditional dancers? I'm particularly concerned about how I can best help them feel comfortable with the way Contra Dance is done, and how I can be a gracious presence in their space.
> Bonus question: they want to know how to split the gate, since they don't have experience paying bands. Your thoughts?
> Best regards,
> Joseph
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