Two dances to share.
I was coordinating at the Thursday Night Dance in Mt. Airy
(Philadelphia) a few weeks ago with a band led by my son, Ben. We
were talking about doing a dance that would go well with a medley of
jigs that were fairly smooth in the As and very chunky in the B parts.
I searched my dance collection and found an old dance that I made up
nearly 20 years ago and had not called since. I made it up to go with
a specific tune – Maggie Brown’s Favorite – that has a chunky A and
smooth B. So, as we do with a lot of dances, after shaking the
cobwebs off it, I swapped the parts of the dance around and rolled it
out and . . . darn . . . it went very nicely and dancers seemed to
have a very fine time. Back when it was created, dancers seemed to
struggle quite a bit with the balance and square thru part. That’s
become pretty commonplace now. The dance, titled Maggie Brown’s
Favorite, goes very well with the name tune as written. If you want
smooth A and chunky B, just swap the parts around.
The second dance, Maggie Brown’s Other Favorite, is one I’ve used a
fair amount over the years. I think it’s a pretty nice dance, also.
Both dances feature a “meanwhile” figure with women allemanding once
and a half with men orbiting around them – that’s the raison d’etre
for the dances. But the balance and square thru part of the original
is good and the element of surprise when you turn around to balance
and swing your neighbor in Maggie Brown’s Other … that’s a very nice
little moment indeed.
If anyone cares to test drive, let me know what you think.
Maggie Brown’s Favorite
Contra, Duple, Becket, Clockwise
Ridge Kennedy - 9/96, rev. 12/2001
A-1 Balance Partner (4) Pull by Right, Pull By Neighbor with Left (4)
Balance Partner (4) Pull by Right, Pull By Neighbor with Left (4)
A-2 Balance and Swing Your Partner (16)
B-1 Circle Left Three Quarters, Pass Thru (8) Swing Next New Neighbor (8)
B-2 Long Lines Forward and Back (8)
Women Allemande Left 1 1/2
Men Promenade around One time (8)
Notes: Features an “orbit” and requires space along the lines. See
also Maggie Brown’s Other Favorite, a better dance I believe. Goes
very well with title tune or other bouncy/smooth jigs. Title honors
band with same name that included Carl Friedman and Ralph Barthine of
Maggie Brown’s Other favorite
Contra, Duple, Becket, Counterclockwise
Ridge Kennedy;/May ‘97
A-1 Circle Left Three Quarters (8) Neighbor Do Si Do (8)
Turn Around and face New Neighbor (Surprise!)
A-2 Balance and Swing New Neighbor (16)
B-1 Long Lines Forward and Back (8)
Women Allemande Left 1 1/2 (8)
Men Promenade Clockwise Once Around (8)
B-2 Balance and Swing Your Partner (16)
Notes: Need space up and down for the orbit figure. If too crowded,
men can just wait on side.
Ridge Kennedy [Exit 145]
When you stumble, make it part of the dance. - Anonymous
And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at
least once. And we should call every truth false which was not
accompanied by at least one laugh. - Friedrich Nietzsche