I've been thinking about half figure eights, and variations on them. Is
anyone familiar (in ECD, contra, or other traditions), where instead of the
1s or 2s half figure eight, having the gents or ladies do the move from
As soon as you have something like the ladies do a half figure eight from
duple improper; they're either going to have to shift where they land, or
the gents are going to have to get out of the way. It seems to me (during
my insomnia, not with actual dancers in a house party) that you could have
the gents cast off and over to a ladies place. i.e.:
*Ladies half figure eight, passing left shoulder in the middle to take
neighbor gents' place*
*Meanwhile, gents cast over left shoulder to take partner's place*
(head of hall)
(head of hall)
Which ends in the same place as everybody doing a half figure eight, but
without 4 people trying to go through the middle at the same time. I think
it can still happen in 8 beats of music, with nobody standing around.
Is that a sequence people have danced or used?
Here's a wrapping to put the whole thing in context.
Improper contra by Luke Donforth
Long lines forward and back
Ladies half figure eight, passing left shoulder in the middle to take
neighbor gents' place
Meanwhile, gents cast over left shoulder to take partner's place
Neighbor Right Shoulder Gyre and Swing
Circle Left 3/4
Promenade across set with partner, courtesy turn
Ladies chain to neighbor
The name, and idea, comes from my older daughter (4), who wanted a
"Calliope's Cross" dance for herself after hearing about "Tamlin's
for her sister. Calliope like riding figure 8s on her bicycle.
I've deliberately kept this simple, instead of trying to get a gents figure
8 while ladies cast in for symmetry. I'm not sure how I'd teach that from
the stage; and think I'd have to use a demo.
I look forward to hearing the experience of the group!
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