Contra dances

These dances are Contra or in a Contra-style.

* "My Favourite Things" series

Across the Sea to Ireland Animation Back
A1Balance the wave (forward and back), women swing through
Balance the wave, partner allemande left 3/4
A2Hey for four, women pass right shoulder to start
B1Irish chain: women cross the set passing right shoulders (4 beats), neighbours allemande left 1 1/2 (8 beats), women change places diagonally passing right shoulder (4 beats)
B2Swing partner
Pass neighbour by the left shoulder, men staying near the centre of the set, all turn left, and walk forward to a wavy line with the next couple

I wanted to use a ladies chain move from an Irish set dance in a Contra. This lead to the name of the dance, which then had to have some waves in it.

Start in a wavy line, men joining right hands, left with neighbour.

Autumn Trail Animation Back
A1All forward to the centre and back
Do-si-do partner
A2Balance partner (4 beats)
Pull past, right hand (4 beats)
Gypsy new partner and finish facing them
B1Hey for four along the line: pass new partner by the right, gypsy the next by the left to face new partner again
Pass new partner by the right, gypsy the next by the left (original partner) to return to new partner
B2Swing new partner, finish facing the centre

A circle Contra. The hey around the circle is the main feature of the dance, leading into the final swing.

Banana Split Animation Back
A1Allemande neighbour right once around
Women cross passing left shoulder (as if in a hey), men move into the woman's place (4 beats)
Gypsy partner half-way (4 beats)
A2Swing partner
Men cross passing left shoulder (as if in a hey), women move into the man's place (4 beats)
Gypsy neighbour half-way (4 beats)
B1Swing neighbour
Right and left through, starting with partner
B2Do-si-do partner across the set by the left shoulder
With next neighbours (to the woman's right), women allemande left once around (elbow grip) (4 beats)
All women (including those standing out at the ends) cast to next position anti-clockwise around the entire set (second progression) (4 beats)

I've seen mixer Contras before, but these are all in a circle. I wanted to see whether I could create one in a normal duple-minor set. Couples progress as normal, but then the women progress again on their own.

The name comes from the fact that you lose your partner in this dance and that I'd run a session of Contra dances recently that all had food names.

Blue Fish Animation Back
A1Opposites allemande left once around
Partners allemande right once around
A2Hey for four, men start passing left shoulder
B1Swing partner
B2Circle left 3/4 and pass through
Star left 3/4 with new opposites

The fourth introductory dance (see One Fish) - featuring Becket formation and the hey.

Teach the hey using hands: men cross using left hands, then give right hands to the women and pass them by, turning to follow. The women then cross using left hands, and give right hands to the men to pass them before turning to follow them. Repeat to get back to your original place.

Bright Copper Kettles Animation Back
A1Allemande right partner
Do-si-do partner
A2Circle left 3/4
Swing partner
B1Do-si-do neighbour (across the set)
Circle left 3/4
B2Swing neighbour
1s cast down; while 2s cross up (4 beats)
All turn single (men anti-clockwise, women clockwise) (4 beats)

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Unfortunately copper kettles didn't suggest any moves, just something older or more traditional instead. Hence I wrote a dance in proper formation. Most of the moves are done with your partner and then repeated with your neighbour. Finally there's the traditional progression of a cast into the new position.

Brown Paper Packages Animation Back
A1All join inside hand with partner, 2s form an arch and 1s go under, all moving forwards; then 1s form an arch and 2s go under, all moving backwards
Chain all around starting right hand with neighbour, two beats (one bar) on each side
A2All join inside hand with partner, 1s form an arch and 2s go under, all moving forwards; then 2s form an arch and 1s go under, all moving backwards
Chain all around starting right hand with neighbour, two beats (one bar) on each side
B1Allemande right half-way with neighbour (4 beats)
Men allemande left 1 1/4 to face neighbour on the diagonal (4 beats)
Half hey for four on the diagonal, right shoulder start
B2Women start to circle left, men complete the half hey and join the circle behind their neighbour, circle 3/4 back to original positions
Balance the ring (4 beats)
1s form an arch and 2s go under to progress (4 beats)

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

The Danish dance Den Halve Kæde inspired this Contra dance by providing the opening moves. The arches and chains reminded me of wrapping parcels, while the hey ties off the string.

Cataract Animation Back
A1Men allemande right once around
Do-si-do neighbour
A2Women allemande right once around
Do-si-do partner
B1Face partner; slide sideways past the other couple, women on the inside (men to their left behind women, women to their right in front of men) (4 beats)
Partners box the gnat (4 beats)
Repeat slide and box the gnat back to place
B2Circle left once around
Swing neighbour

I was dancing Pat Shaw's Waterfall Waltz and thought that these movements would work well in a Contra dance. There were some minor modifications to suit the new style. The name indicates that it is a little more lively. With apologies to Pat Shaw.

Catherine Wheel Animation Back
A1Do-si-do neighbour
Swing neighbour, finish in half-ballroom hold facing clockwise around the large set
A2Catherine wheel: Promenade neighbour clockwise around the large set to come into line with the next couple (4 beats)
Star promenade with that couple half-way (4 beats)
Promenade neighbour clockwise around the large set to come into line with your partner and other neighbour (4 beats)
Star promenade with that couple half-way (4 beats)
B1Women allemande right half-way (4 beats)
Swing partner (12 beats)
B2Right and left through
Circle right 3/4 and pass through by the left shoulder

You swing and end in a line of four facing down. But what would happen if each couple ended up facing the opposite direction?

The star promenades reminded me of circling fireworks, hence the name.

Caught in the Nette Animation Back
A1Men and middle half hey for three, middle passing right shoulder with 2nd man to start; women turn out clockwise
Women and middle half hey for three, middle passing right shoulder with 2nd woman to start; men turn out anti-clockwise
A21s and 2s half rights-and-lefts around the middle, starting with partner
1s do-si-do; while 2s cross giving right hand and move to the end of a line of five facing down; middle steps back into the middle of the line on the last bar
B1Line of five down the hall (6 beats), ends (2s) turn alone, while middles turn man's side high, woman's side low (still holding hands, make an arch on the left and guide the person on the right through the arch to invert the line of three) (4 beats), back up the hall and bend the line (6 beats)
B2Circle left half-way and balance the ring
Middle and 1s arch down over 2s, all moving forwards (4 beats)
Middle takes nearer hands with new 2s below and draws them back between the 1s, 1s and 2s moving forwards (4 beats) (second progression)

For Jeanette "Nette" Pembroke's 60th birthday.

The middle person in each set doesn't progress, but the couples they dance with do! Hence they are caught in the net at that spot.

Make sure that both 1s and 2s keep moving forward in the last four bars to complete the double progression. The temptation is for them to stop after two bars.

Circlet Animation Back
A1Men cross diagonally passing right shoulder, finishing facing out to form long wavy lines (4 beats)
Balance the lines (4 beats)
Women allemande right 3/4 into their partner's current position; men cast to the right into their partner's current position, re-forming long wavy lines (4 beats)
Balance the lines (4 beats)
A2Swing partner
B1Box circulate: men cross the set, women cast to their right forming long wavy lines (4 beats)
Balance the lines (4 beats)
Women allemande right 3/4 into their neighbour's current position; men cast to the right into their neighbour's current position re-forming long wavy lines (4 beats)
Balance the lines (4 beats)
B2Swing neighbour

A variation on the box circulate movement.

Circuitous Animation Back
A1Balance the ring and Petronella turn one position to the right (anti-clockwise); any spare couples at the ends balance and roll across
Allemande left neighbour across the set once around; any spare couples at the ends allemande left their partner
A2With new neighbours from the next set; women cross passing left shoulder (4 beats), any spare couples at the ends continue allemande left once around (8 beats)
Men cross passing right shoulder (4 beats)
Do-si-do your shadow (the new neighbour along the lines in this new set) by the right shoulder; any spare couples at the ends do-si-do neighbour across the set
B1Swing that same neighbour (spare couples at the ends finish across the set with woman on the man's right); at the end of this swing everyone is back with their original set
Allemande right neighbour across the set once around; any spare couples at the ends allemande right their partner
B2Swing partner (spare couples at the ends finish across the set with woman on the man's right)
Circle 3/4 left and pass through; spare couples at the ends wait in position

I had just read Cary Ravitz's Web page on writing Contra dances and he mentioned a type of dance he termed "lose and find your partner", wherein partners are separated and then returned together unexpectedly. I thought this was a great idea and went on to write this dance.

Each couple is paired with their neighbour and then sent off to dance with people from the next minor set. Because of these interactions between sets, any spare couples at the ends get to dance most of the dance too. The name comes from the circuitous route that partners take to be reunited.

You will dance with the same shadow throughout the dance for the back-to-back and following swing. For those in the "men's" line their shadow is the person two down from their partner in the opposite line. For those in the "women's" line their shadow is the person two up from their partner in the opposite line. If there is no-one two up or down, then your shadow is the person next to you at the end of the lines.

Contraindicated Animation Back
A1Circle left 3/4
Swing partner
A2Men cross passing left shoulder (as if in a hey), women move to the man's place on the side (4 beats)
Gypsy neighbour half-way (4 beats)
Swing neighbour
B1Long lines forward and back
Star right half-way (4 beats)
Star left half-way with the next couple (4 beats)
B2Hey for four with this couple, women start passing left shoulder, men start turning out to the right into the woman's position

This dance has a reverse progression! The 1s progress up the set, while the 2s progress down.

One of Bill Olson's dances (David's Dilemma) had a reverse progression in a normal longways set. What a great idea!

End effects: when a couple arrives at the end after the first half star, they swap sides (normal duple improper positions) and rejoin the next second half star.

Contraption Animation Back
A1Circle right once around
Do-si-do by the left shoulder with neighbour
A2Circle left once around
Do-si-do by the right shoulder with neighbour
B1Gypsy neighbour by the right shoulder
Swing neighbour
B2Ladies chain across and back

As I was writing Serenity, I kept thinking that the opening moves would be great in a Contra – and this is the result. The dancers' motions reminded me of wheels and gears turning, and governors twirling around, hence the name – plus it started with "contra". I later rewrote the opening moves as they were too slow for a Contra dance.

Crazy Little Thing Animation Back
AMen allemande left once around, while women orbit clockwise half-way
Swing neighbour
BWomen, on the right diagonal, right allemande 1 1/2
With shadow gypsy left once around
CRight hand star once around with partner and opposites
Swing partner

The song by Queen inspired this dance.

Cream Coloured Ponies Animation Back
A1Circle left 3/4 and pass through; people left at the ends don't cross
Do-si-do new neighbour; couples left out at the end previously rejoin
A2Women allemande left 1 1/2 to swap positions
Men allemande right 1 1/2 to swap positions
B1Women allemande left once around while men orbit half-way clockwise
Swing partner
B2With partner gallop across the set, men passing back-to-back; people already at the ends don't cross (4 beats)
Turn away from your partner to meet your shadow (original neighbour) from the next set (or end couples that have been standing out) (4 beats)
With shadow gallop back across the set; people left at the ends cross back sideways, woman in front of man (4 beats)
Turn away from your shadow to meet your partner again (4 beats)

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Ponies certainly suggested a gallop move. I then had the insight that there are four gaits for a horse and four sections to a Contra round, so I tried to match them up: walk, trot, canter, and gallop.

Crisp Apple Strudels Animation Back
A1Double figure of eight: 1s cross down to 2nd position; while 2s cast up to 1st position (4 beats)
2s cross down; while 1s cast up (4 beats)
Repeat crosses and casts
A2Pot hooks: Women do-si-do by the right (wide) but come back to their neighbour's position; while men do-si-do by the left, starting slightly after the women, passing between them, and come back to their neighbour's position
Ladies chain across
B1Hey for four with women passing left shoulders to start
B2Swing partner
Ladies chain across

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Thinking of apple strudels reminded me of the woven pastry wrapping the strudel. Hence this dance incorporates several weaving movements. In particular is a seldom seen movement that I've only encountered in Saint Martin's – corners do-si-do but retire to their neighbour's place. One dance Web site called this movement Pot Hooks. The repetition of the ladies chain formed a nice link between the two halves of the dance.

Crossed Lines Animation Back
A1Cross right with opposite, turn right, and single file clockwise back to your original side, but now the men are on the right of the women (facing across)
Do-si-do opposite by the right shoulder
A2Star right once around
Swing partner
B1Cross left with opposite, turn left, and single file anti-clockwise along opposite side (around the whole set) to face new opposites (progression); spare couples join back in, having been waiting as they came out (with man on the right, woman on the left, facing in at the ends of the set)
Do-si-do new opposite by the left shoulder
B2Half hey for four, women passing left shoulder to start
Swing partner

I'd seen a dance recently that had a cross over and file around movement that I thought would work in a Contra. This is the result.

Crossroads Animation Back
A11 and 2, 3 and 4 do-si-do, starting right shoulder
The same swing (crossed hands)
A25 faces right and hey for three across the set with 2 and 4, starting right shoulders, while 1 and 3 orbit anti-clockwise all the way around the set
B15 faces up and hey for three up and down the set with 1 and 3, starting left shoulders, while 2 and 4 orbit clockwise all the way around the set
B21 and 5 two-hand turn 1 1/2 to change places
Balance the ring around the new 5 and Petronella turn to next position to the right (anti-clockwise)

People are numbered clockwise from the top 1 through 4, with 5 in the middle.

Repeat five times to return to original positions.

At the Bundanoon DanceFest Don Richmond presented a session on Dancing with Fives (people or couples). I wanted to add to his repertoire with this five person dance being the result. The progression had to be different from other dances in this formation that I had encountered and I settled on a swap for the centre and first person, followed by the Petronella turn to move everyone else along. The name derives from the formation.

For less experienced dancers omit the orbits around the heys.

Dance it five times through to return everyone to their initial positions.

Denis' Device Animation Back
A1Balance the ring and Petronella turn once place anti-clockwise
Swing partner
A2Circle left 3/4
Ferris wheel: as a couple promenade clockwise around the large set to pass your neighbours and come up beside the next couple, then turn clockwise as a couple back into the set to face that couple, finishing one place behind where you started facing your original position
B1Do-si-do neighbour 1 1/4 to a wavy line
Balance the wave and walk forward
B2Swing original neighbour
Long lines forward and back

For Denis Roche's 70th birthday. A "device" is also a fancy (cf. maggot).

Diamonds are Forever Animation Back
A11s arch over 2s, all moving forwards (4 beats)
2s arch over 1s, all moving backwards (4 beats)
Neighbours allemande right 1 1/2
A2Top neighbours (2nd man and 1st woman) arch over bottom neighbours, all moving forwards (4 beats)
Bottom neighbours arch over top neighbours, all moving backwards (4 beats)
Partners allemande right 1 1/2, moving towards the outside of the set to help line up for the next move, finish facing partner
B1On the diagonals (partners and couple on the opposite side from the next set): hey for four, passing partner right shoulder to start; spare couples at the ends balance and box the gnat twice
B2Continue into a half hey for four (progression); spare couples at the ends gypsy right shoulder
Swing partner; finish in new diamond

To get into diamond formation, start in improper Contra formation and each group of four turns 1/8 (1/2 place) to the left so that women are in a line down the middle and men are on the side. Diamond dances have a double progression.

I was working on new progressions for diamond formation dances and came up with a half hey on the diagonal. The rest of the dance developed around that.

Diana's Day Animation Back
A1Do-si-do partner by the right shoulder
Right hand star once around
A2Women turn inwards (right shoulder back) and swing neighbour
Men swap to opposite side (passing right shoulder) and swing partner, finishing on the side facing across
B1Do-si-do neighbour (across the set) by the left shoulder
Left hand star once around
B2Men allemande left half-way; while women turn out to the right (4 beats)
Balance (4 beats) and swing neighbour (8 beats)

For Diana Pascoe's 60th birthday.

The swing/men cross/swing combination I had seen in Canberra and wanted to use in a dance, although their version had the men passing back to back. Originally the second half of the dance was a repeat of the first half, but this seemed to be too much clockwise turning, so I reversed the direction for the latter half.

Doorbells and Sleigh Bells Animation Back
A1Circle left 3/4
Do-si-do neighbour
A2Push-off hey: men start passing left shoulder, pass women by the right shoulder (4 beats)
Women meet and push off each other and back out to the right (4 beats)
Men meet and push off each other to back out to the right (4 beats)
Women cross passing left shoulder; all finish on the opposite side from where they started (4 beats)
B1Swing partner
B2Men forward towards partner and clap (4 beats)
Women forward towards partner and clap (4 beats)
Circle left 3/4 and pass through to progress

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

The push-off hey move reminded me of bells in a church tower swinging back and forth, so it became the feature of this dance. In a similar vein, the lines advancing and clapping derived from a Cary Ravitz dance and also felt like bells being struck.

Dust Devils Animation Back
A1Long lines forward and back
Women allemande left 1 1/2
A2Men allemande right 1 1/2
Swing neighbour
B1Men allemande right 1 1/2
Partners allemande left 1 1/2
B2Women allemande right 1 1/2
Swing neighbour

I had envisaged a series of linked turns for a dance movement, which then developed into this dance. The motions reminded me of the small whirlwinds (willy-willy in Australia) seen in the outback, hence the name.

Etica Reel Animation Back
A1In groups of four on the ends, star right
Star left; finish with ends facing middles, middles facing nearest ends
A2Pass through using right hands up and down the lines (4 beats)
Those now in the middle turn single half-way around (anti-clockwise); while those now on the ends cross using left hand
Pass through using right hands up and down the lines
Those now in the middle turn single half-way around (anti-clockwise); while those now on the ends cross using left hand – all finish in their partner's position
B1In groups of four on the ends, balance the ring and Petronella turn one position right (anti-clockwise)
2nd corners (2nd man/1st woman, 4th man/3rd woman) balance forward and back, then cross to original positions, twirling woman under the man's arm (box the gnat)
B2In groups of four on the ends, right and left through, starting with partners
Middle four continue right and left through, starting with partners; while the ends balance in and out and change sides twirling the woman under the man's arm (box the gnat) – finish ordered 2, 4, 1, 3

This dance was written for Trecialee – its name being an anagram.

The dance started with the progression, then the hey around the end of the set. The balance and Petronella turn were added because I like the moves. At the same time I received a CD of Contra tunes and the first one, Hommage à Edmond Parizeau, was perfect – cementing this as a Contra-style dance.

Flynn's Legacy Animation Back
A1Do-si-do opposite
Do-si-do opposites as couples
A2Star right once around
Star left back
B1Promenade across the set (courtesy turn hold) and continue on (anti-clockwise around the set) to face the next couple
Right and left through (with new opposites) to finish in progressed position
B2Basket left twice around

Written for the Royal Flying Doctor Service charity Contra dance. Reverend John Flynn founded the service in May 1928.

The movements in the dance represent the community coming together, the propellers on the aircraft, picking up patients and taking them to hospital, and the support that the RFDS provides to the outback.

Couples coming out at the ends should wait on their new side and rejoin for the promenade and right and left through.

A Girl's Best Friend Animation Back
A1Circle left once around
Star right once around
A2Do-si-do neighbour
Swing neighbour, finish in neighbour's position with the men down the centre of the set
B1Gypsy partner
Swing partner, finish opposite original position with women down the centre of the set
B2Do-si-do neighbour
California twirl partner (4 beats)
Slide left into the next set, passing face-to-face with the couple going the other way; spare couples at the ends California twirl again (4 beats)

Another diamond formation dance with a different progression – a slide past the next couple.

To get into diamond formation, start in improper Contra formation and each group of four turns 1/8 (1/2 place) to the left so that women are in a line down the middle and men are on the side. Diamond dances have a double progression.

Girls in White Dresses Animation Back
A1Allemande right neighbour 1 1/4
Women allemande left 1 1/2
A2Swing partner
B1Ladies chain across and back
B2Ladies chain across
Allemande left partner

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

This dance had to feature the ladies, where they could swirl their (white) dresses. Thus a sequence of turns, swings, and chains make up this dance – the women never stop moving. Add a twirl to the ladies chain for more dress swirl.

Going Dutch Animation Back
A1Give and take, men drawing the opposite woman back with them
Swing opposite
A2Balance the ring and Petronella turn one place anti-clockwise
Balance the ring (4 beats)
Women allemande left 1 1/4 to face partner on the diagonal (4 beats)
B1Hey for four on the diagonal, passing partner right shoulder to start
B2Promenade with partner clockwise around the large set onto the next couple and swing partner there; couples coming out at an end finish facing into the set and rejoin in the next promenade

Inspired by a move from Pat Shaw's The Dancing Dutch.

Note that the hey should be done on the diagonal, not across the set.

Hacksaw Reel Animation Back
A1Men allemande left once around, while women orbit half-way clockwise
Swing neighbour
A2Circle left half-way (4 beats)
Men roll away in front of neighbour who sashays left (4 beats)
Long lines go forward (4 beats)
Men slide left as they retire, drawing their partner with them on their right (4 beats)
B1Do-si-do opposite
Right and left through
B2On the right diagonal, individually pull past with right hand (same-sex) (4 beats)
Face into the set and pull past with the person opposite with left hand (4 beats)
Swing partner

Similar to Bucksaw Reel, but with smaller teeth.

It works best with an even number of couples. Spare couples at the ends face into the set with woman on the man's right. Join in from the diagonal cross.

Jacob's Ladder Animation Back
A1Star left once around
Star right back to place
A2Hey for four, men passing left shoulder across the set to start
B1Hey for four with the next couple (to the man's left facing across the set); men passing right shoulder to start
B2Partners allemande left 1 1/2
Do-si-do partner by the left shoulder

Someone mentioned a hey leading into another hey and this dance developed from that idea. The name derives from the two heys with different couples – resembling two rungs in a ladder up and down the set.

End effects: couples coming out of the first hey with no-one to face should move to normal improper positions at the ends of the set and wait. When the second hey starts next time they rejoin, with the woman moving into the man's position when he vacates it.

Kingston Hunt Animation Back
A1Mirror allemande once around with neighbours, 1s between the 2s to start
1s lead down the middle, while 2s come up the outside, past original neighbours and the next ones, then all turn right – the women are facing out of the set with their partners behind them
A2Single file 1/4 clockwise around your current small set, then single file around the whole set back to your original neighbours and single file with them 1/4, finishing in your partner's original position
Swing neighbour
B1Broken half hey: men cross passing left shoulder, women meet and allemande right 3/4 back to original side
Swing partner
B2Circle left 3/4
Balance the ring (4 beats)
1s duck under an arch made by the 2s (4 beats)

For the wedding of Suzanne Kingston and Stuart Hunt.

The movements include a walk down the aisle and the exit of the married couple under the church's arch.

Lampposts Animation Back
A1Women do-si-do
Swing partner
A2Men allemande left 1 1/2
Swing neighbour
B1Hey for four, men pass left shoulder to start
B2Long wavy lines (men facing in, women facing out) balance (4 beats)
Men cross the set, while women slide right (4 beats)
Long lines balance (all facing out) (4 beats)
Men act as pivots (not moving but turning on the spot) and turn their partner half-way around anti-clockwise to progress (reverse direction) and face the next couple (4 beats)

While reviewing dances by Bill Olson, who includes lots of waves, I wondered what would happen if you slid in a box circulate instead of turning around on the end. This dance is the result, with an unusual progression producing a reverse Becket dance. The progression reminded me of Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, hence the name.

End effects: couples coming out of the pivot with no-one to face just wait in place on their original side. They rejoin in the balance section, both crossing when the other men cross, then balance and pivot as before.

Left Lying Around Animation Back
A1Do-si-do opposite by the left shoulder
Men allemande left once around and end in original position facing out
A2Balance in long wavy lines (4 beats)
Allemande partner left half-way (4 beats)
Balance in long wavy lines (4 beats)
Allemande partner left half-way (4 beats)
B1Hey for four with women starting passing right shoulder
B2Star left once around; open out at the end to progress anti-clockwise around the set to meet the next couple, with women leading their partner
Star left once around with new opposites

The balance and turn movement came into my head late one night – a carry over from the box circulate movement in Cary Ravitz's CrossWalk that I had called recently. I wanted the rest of the dance to flow nicely from that – producing a Becket formation dance with a reverse progression. The name comes from the fact that most moves are left hand around.

Life's Porpoise Animation Back
A1Mirror do-si-do neighbour, 1s going outside 2s to start
Mirror balance neighbour, 1st man and 2nd woman right hand, 1st woman and 2nd man left hand (4 beats)
Mirror allemande neighbour 3/4, 1s going outside 2s to start, using same hand as balance (4 beats)
A2Dolphin hey: hey for three, with the 1st couple acting as a single unit, however they change the lead at each end of the hey, 1st couple pass 2nd woman by the right to start; finish in a line of four facing up, 1s in the middle
B1Line of four up the hall and turn individually towards your neighbour to face down (4 beats)
Line of four down the hall (4 beats)
Mirror allemande 1 1/4, 2s turning in on the spot to face up to start, 1s going down between the 2s – 1st man and 2nd woman left hand, 1st woman and 2nd man right hand
B2Double figure of eight, 2s start by crossing down, 1s casting up

After dancing Sapphire Sea by Christine Robb recently I wanted to incorporate a dolphin reel into a Contra dance.

And life's purpose is ... dancing!

Liffey Outflow Animation Back
A1Gypsy opposite
1st man and 2nd woman (at the bottom of each minor set) do-si-do and finish facing down, while the others cross (right shoulder) and move to the end of a line of four facing down, men on one side, women on the other
A2Dublin Bay: lines of four back up (up the hall) and then come forward, turning individually half-way (toward same-sex neighbour) at the last moment to face up
Lines of four back up (down the hall) and then come forward, turning individually to face same-sex neighbour at the last moment
B1Half hey for four passing same-sex neighbour right-shoulder to start
Circle left 3/4 (men together and women together) back to original side, those in the centre pass their neighbour right shoulder to follow them into the circle
B2Swing partner
Slice left: advance towards the couple on your left diagonal, then retire straight back from them (progression); spare couples wheel onto the opposite side

Following online discussions about the Dublin Bay movement I decided to create a dance that incorporated it.

The River Liffey flows into Dublin Bay.

Mt Coot-tha Picnic Animation Back
A1In groups of four at each end right-hand star
Left-hand stars to return (keep hold of your partner's left hand at the end)
A2Ladies chain up or down the set to neighbour who courtesy turns them
Ladies chain back up or down the set to partner and courtesy turn (keep hold of the left hand at the end)
B1Allemande left your partner
Allemande right your neighbour (keep hold of the right hand at the end)
B2With your neighbour, balance and pass through by the right shoulder
Middle four with your new neighbour, ends with their partner, balance and pass through by the right shoulder

Repeat four times to return to original positions.

Dance Kaleidoscope joined a picnic in the vicinity of Mt Coot-tha to celebrate Anita Hürlimann's 10 years in Brisbane. I already had a dance progression that I had developed and incorporated it into another Contra-style dance.

The music for its first outing was a little slower than usual since we were dancing on grass with beginners in the group. I chose Round the Horn.

Needle in a Haystack Animation Back
A1Gypsy neighbour 1 1/4, finishing in a line across, men on the outside facing in, women facing out
Half hey for four, passing neighbour right shoulder to start
A2Swing neighbour
Broken half hey for four; men half hey passing left shoulder to start, women allemande right 3/4 when they meet to return to their original side
B1Swing partner
Men allemande left once around finishing where they started but facing out, women orbit clockwise half-way
B2Hey for four, women passing right shoulder to start, while men cast left to start

I'd been toying with the idea of a dance with different types of heys in it. This combined with a move from an English dance where one couple individually circled the other to get into position for a hey. The name was obvious from the stack of heys in the dance! Or should it be Heystack?

One Fish Animation Back
A1Circle left once around
Circle right once around
A2Neighbours allemande left once around
Partners allemande right once around
B1Star right once around
Star left once around
B2Partners allemande left once around
Balance with neighbour and pass through

This dance is the start of an introductory series for Contra. It contains only basic moves with the progression at the end and directly to face new neighbours.

The name comes from the title of a Dr. Seuss book – an introduction to reading.

On the Rebound Animation Back
A1Give and take, women drawing their partner back with them
Swing partner
A2Women allemande right once around; men orbit clockwise half-way
Neighbours allemande right 1 1/2
B1Hey for four, women passing left shoulders to start
B2Turn 1/4 around neighbour to face down (1s) or up (2s), single file in columns to come into line with the next neighbour and allemande right half-way
Return and swing original neighbourr

The hey/progression is based on The Peterborough Assembly by John Patcai, an English country dance, that I'd recently animated.

Outside the Box Animation Back
A1With neighbour, balance and box the gnat
Pull past neighbour right hand, past 2nd neighbour left hand, face partner across the set and pull past right hand, face back to original position and pull past 2nd neighbour left hand
A2Balance and swing neighbour
B1Men allemande left once around, while women orbit half way clockwise
Swing partner
B2Do-si-do left shoulder with neighbour and men cross passing left shoulder
Star left once around

Pull pasts away from your normal set – so, outside the box.

If you pop out at an end during the dance, keep dancing with ghosts to rejoin correctly.

When arriving at an end, don't cross with partner. Just turn around and join in the pull pasts.

Paul's Puzzle Animation Back
A1Men allemande right 1 1/4, women move into men's positions on the side
Swing opposite on the side
A2Men with man from next set allemande left 1 1/4, finish facing partner on the diagonal, men standing back to back in the centre
Half hey for four on the diagonal starting right shoulder with partner – this is your new group of four
B1Balance partner and box-the-gnat (aligning back to side lines with the other couple from the hey)
Gypsy partner right once around
B2Circle left half-way (4 beats)
Swing partner (12 beats)

For Paul Barber-Riley's 70th birthday. He complains that my dances are too complicated. Let's see if he can work this one out.

Perfect Composite Animation Back
A1With partner in half-ballroom hold, men put left hands in and star promenade anti-clockwise
Turn as a couple to star promenade back with the women joining right hands
A2Women return to place, men left star once around
Women right star once around
B1Gypsy partner once around, 1st couple finish facing their sides, others face partner
Half hey for three on the sides, starting with 2nd/3rd couples passing partner right shoulder
B2All cross the set passing right shoulder – 1s with their partner, 2s and 3s with their opposite (4 beats)
Swing partner, 1s finish facing down, 2s and 3s face across (12 beats)

A three couple Contra in the formation of Bastille Day Reel #1, by Al Olson, which I had been reviewing. The 1st couple faces down, while the 2nd and 3rd couples face each other across the set. All have the woman on the right of the man.

At the end of each round the 1st couple has moved onto new 2s and 3s, while the 2s and 3s have swapped sides and moved up. At the top, 2s miss one turn and come in as 1s, 3s miss two turns before returning. At the bottom, 1s must drop to the end once there are no longer two couples below them.

Six is both a perfect number (the sum of its divisors, 1, 2, and 3) and a composite number (non-prime).

Polka-geist Animation Back
A1In ballroom hold, gallop across the set, the couple on the women's normal side separating to let the couple on the men's normal side pass through (4 beats)
Polka balance towards the centre of the set (4 beats)
Gallop across the set, the couple on the women's side separating to let the couple on the men's side through (4 beats)
Polka balance towards the centre of the set (4 beats)
A2Polka once around the other couple and continue anti-clockwise around the set to progress to the next couple
B1Allemande partner right half-way (4 beats)
Balance the long wavy lines (make a face or say boo to your neighbour) (4 beats)
Allemande partner right half-way (4 beats)
Balance the long wavy lines (make a face or say boo to your neighbour) (4 beats)
B2Men's chain across and back, left hand to other man, right hand to opposite woman and turn

Someone at dancing mentioned "Polka-geist" as a pun. What a great dance name I thought. So developed a Contra dance with a polka feel and scary and back-to-front moves.

Raindrops on Roses Animation Back
A1Star left and turn out to the right at the end
Star right and men turn inward (right shoulder back) at the end
A2Gypsy partner by the right shoulder
Swing partner, finish facing down
B1Lines of four down the hall; spare couples at the ends join in (4 beats)
Turn as couples – men moving backwards, women forwards or California twirl; except any spare bottom couple that turns individually (4 beats)
Lines of four up the hall (4 beats)
The couples on the right end of the lines (and at the bottom) continue forward and turn 1/4 anti-clockwise into progressed position; while the couples on the left (and alone at the top) wheel 3/4 anti-clockwise into progressed position (reverse progression); end couples finish across the set from partner (4 beats)
B2Ladies chain across and back

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Roses suggested stars with a turn out at the end, while raindrops falling suggested a line down the hall. The progression grew out of the return of that line and the Butterfly Whirl that I had recently seen in one of Cary Ravitz's dances, and seemed to naturally flow in a reverse direction.

Red Fish Animation Back
A1Star left once around
Star right once around
A2Swing neighbour
B1Ladies chain across and back
B2Do-si-do partner
Neighbours allemande right once around

The third introductory dance (see One Fish) - featuring the ladies chain movement.

Salmon Run Animation Back
A1Circle left
Circle right
A21s form an arch and move down over 2s, while 2s move up under the arch; spare couples at the ends wait one round
2s form an arch and move up over next 1s, while 1s move down under the arch; all turn singly at the end
1s form an arch and move up over 2s, while 2s move down under the arch
2s form an arch and move down over original 1s, while 1s move up under the arch
B1All swing partners; finish facing your partner across the set
B2Cross with partner by the right shoulder, then pass neighbour by the left shoulder (first progression)
Cross with partner by the right shoulder, then pass new neighbour (below 1s, above 2s) by the left shoulder (second progression)

This Contra dance includes a double progression. It can work well in a circle, where you avoid the end effects.

I wanted to write a longways set Contra dance but hadn't found a progression that I liked. I realised that the progression from Etica Reel would also work in a longways set but would result in a double progression. In keeping with the double theme, I added the dip-and-dive move that also involved dancing with two groups of neighbours. These two moves reminded me of salmon trying to swim upstream, hence the name.

Short But Sweet Animation Back
ACircle left 3/4
Swing neighbour
BBalance the ring (4 beats)
Nevada twirl with partner (California twirl with other hands) (4 beats)
With next couple, balance the ring (4 beats)
Petronella turn one place anti-clockwise (4 beats)
CHalf hey for four, starting with women passing left shoulders
Swing partner

I found some great music ("Sweet Home Chicago" by the Blues Brothers) but it was only 48 beat repeats – blues bars have 4 beats per bar (you could use a 24 bar reel or jig instead). So I had to create a dance to fit. The name was obvious.

End effects: After coming out out the set on the Nevada twirl, wait until the next one to rejoin.

Silver White Winters Animation Back
A11s cross by the right (4 beats)
1s cast down into 2nd position, 2s slide or roll into 1st position (4 beats)
Do-si-do partner 1 1/4 times to end in a wavy line up and down the hall, women in the middle joining left hands
A2Balance right and left (4 beats)
Allemande right partner 3/4 to form wavy lines across the hall, men in the middle joining left hands (1s are on the men's side) (4 beats)
Balance right and left (4 beats)
Allemande right partner 3/4 (4 beats)
B1Swing partner
Long lines forward and back
B2Right and left through
Both women and 1st man star right 1 1/3

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

The last of this series. The title didn't suggest any particular moves, other than the ones I'd already used in Snowflakes That Stay. I did however want to write another more traditional dance in proper formation.

Snowflakes that Stay Animation Back
A1Balance the diamond and Petronella turn one place to the right (anti-clockwise)
Repeat balance and Petronella turn
A2Balance the diamond, California twirl partner to face out of the diamond (men down the middle)
Partners wheel anti-clockwise a quarter turn into new diamond (progression – men down the middle); couple at the top turns 3/4 to opposite side of the set; any couple waiting at the bottom joins in (4 beats)
Women allemande left half-way; any couple coming out at the bottom complete their wheel to finish facing up (4 beats)
B1All star left once around
Star right once around
B2Swing partner; finish back in diamond formation, women down the middle

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

I had seen a Cary Ravitz dance that was done in a diamond formation. I thought that this would be appropriate for snowflakes and designed the dance around that. I had to include some stars as well to reflect the snowflake shape. The progression by wheeling from one diamond into the next represents the swirling snowflakes as they fall.

To get into diamond formation, start in improper Contra formation and each group of four moves 1/8 (1/2 place) to the left so that women are in a line down the middle of the set and men are on the side. To orient everyone during the wheeling progression it may help for the men to join left hand with the man from the next set.

This dance has a double progression, so no-one is ever out at the top.

The Spanish Inquisition Animation Back
A1Long lines backwards! and forwards
Men swing woman on their left (progression)
A2Men chain across (left hand) and allemande right with opposite woman half-way
Long wavy lines balance (men facing in, women out) (4 beats)
Men swap places passing left shoulder, women turn half-way on the spot (4 beats)
B1Long wavy lines balance (men facing out, women in) (4 beats)
Box circulate: women cross the set, men cast left (4 beats)
Long wavy lines balance (4 beats)
Box circulate: men cross the set, women cast left (4 beats)
B2Women swap places passing right shoulder, men turn half-way on the spot (4 beats)
Women cast right, men cross the set (4 beats)
Swing partner

This mixer has the men moving clockwise around the set and the women anti-clockwise. Start on the wrong side of your partner in Becket formation.

Somehow the Spanish Inquisition came up at dancing, and someone said that it should be a dance that is dropped into an evening's program unexpectedly ("Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" - Monty Python). That inspired this dance, with its unexpected moves and progression.

Sunflowers Animation Back
A1Neighbours allemande right half-way; spare couples at the ends allemande right half-way with their partner (4 beats)
With the next person allemande left once around (8 beats)
Original neighbours allemande right half-way (4 beats)
A2Women start a hey for four passing left shoulders
B1Gypsy neighbour
Swing neighbour
B2Men right allemande 3/4 into neighbour's position (their original position); women cast into neighbour's position (their original position) (4 beats)
Women right allemande 3/4 into neighbour's position (progressed position); men cast into neighbour's position (progressed position) (4 beats)
Do-si-do new neighbour

I tried to create a flowing dance. The name is a nod to Delphiniums and Daisies (another great flowing dance) and is also a great flow-er!

Tamborine Time Animation Back
A1Circle left once around
Men allemande left once around, when home again, keep holding hands, pick up partner as if for a star promenade (half-ballroom hold) but just turn her in
A2Women clasp right hands (on top of the men's hands) to form an hourglass basket, basket left once around
Women keep right hands held, while men release left hands and open out, star promenade half-way and progress clockwise around the set to the next couple
B1Hey for four with new opposites, men start left shoulders
B2Single file clockwise half-way (4 beats)
Swing partner (12 beats)

I developed a new basket formation – partners in half-ballroom hold, men taking left hands, women taking right hands – and built the dance around that. I was in Mt Tamborine at the time and the basket shape reminds be of an hourglass – hence the name.

End effects: Couples coming out of the promenade with no-one to face, wait there until the next promenade and rejoin.

Two fish Animation Back
A1Do-si-do neighbour
Gypsy neighbour once around
A2Swing neighbour, finish on the side of the set facing your partner across the set, with the woman on the man's right
B1Long lines forward and back
Do-si-do partner
B2Star right once around
Star left once around and look for new neighbour

The second introductory dance (see One Fish) - featuring a gypsy/swing combination.

Under the Radar Animation Back
A1Right and left through
Star left once around
A2Sides and ends balance forward and back; the women down the middle with someone behind them turn back over their right shoulder to swap with the woman from the next set (women progress) (4 beats)
Petronella turn one place anti-clockwise (4 beats)
Sides and ends balance forward and back; the men down the middle with someone behind them turn back over their right shoulder to swap with the man from the next set (men progress) (4 beats)
Petronella turn one place anti-clockwise (4 beats)
B1Right and left through
Star left once around
B2Balance and swing partner; finishing in diamond formation

To get into diamond formation, start in improper Contra formation and each group of four turns 1/8 (1/2 place) to the left so that women are in a line down the middle and men are on the side. Diamond dances have a double progression.

I wanted to write another diamond formation dance, but had trouble coming up with a suitable progression. Eventually I stumbled on the sneaky swap during the balance and Petronella – hence the name.

Warm Woolen Mittens Animation Back
A1Circle left half-way (4 beats)
Swing neighbour (12 beats), finish facing down (the 1s are in the middle)
A2Lines of four down the hall; turn into a cosy line – middle couple (1s) turn away from each other bringing their joined hands over their heads, while outer couple (2s) turn in and join spare hands behind the others
Return back up the hall; at the end, 1s go backwards under an arch formed by the 2s
B1Basket to the left, twice around
B2Do-si-do partner (across the set)
Balance with partner, box the gnat and turn to meet next couple

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

For this dance the cosy line sprang to mind, followed by a basket as people huddle together around a fire. This required a more usual duple improper set.

Warp and Weft Animation Back
A1Star left once around
Star right once around
A2Women start a half hey for four passing left shoulders
Swing neighbour
B1Star left once around
Star right once around
B2Men start a half hey for four passing left shoulders
Swing neighbour

This is basically a 16 bar Contra dance, but through the magic of swings still allows the dancers to progress after 32 bars. The switching back and forth between the sides of the set reminded me of a shuttle in weaving, hence the name..

Whiskers on Kittens Animation Back
A1Balance the ring, Petronella turn one position right (anti-clockwise)
Balance the ring, California twirl partner to face next set
A2Right hand star once around with next couple
Left hand star half-way with original couple (4 beats)
Women drop out of the star and turn out to the right, men allemande right half-way with man from next couple (men progress) (4 beats)
B1Women rejoin in front of partner (women progress), right hand star once around with that couple
Gypsy partner
B2Swing partner
Right and left through

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Whiskers suggested stars, so these form the main figure in the dance. The balance and turns at the start remind me of a kitten pouncing on and playing with a toy. For a change I tried a Becket formation and once again had two sets interacting during the dance.

End effects: spare couples don't cross immediately when they come out the top or bottom, and join in as needed. When they gypsy/swing they finish in normal improper position ready to meet the next couple for the first right hand star.

Wild Geese that Fly Animation Back
A1Allemande right partner
Allemande left neighbour
A2Star right once around
Star left once around with the next couple
B1Do-si-do original neighbour
2s cast up; while 1s cross down (4 beats)
1s cast up; while 2s cross down and move outwards to form a line of four facing down with 1s in the middle (4 beats)
B2Lines of four down the hall, including spare couples at the ends (4 beats)
Ends (2s) fold in and all pass through right shoulder with partner; ending with 2s behind 1s all facing up (1s improper, 2s proper) (4 beats)
Lead back up the hall (as couples); 1s cast down into next position, 2s little cast on the spot

Part of the "My Favourite Things" series.

Spare couples at the bottom of the set start improper. Spare couples at the ends of the set don't change sides immediately.

The quilting pattern called Wild Geese inspired the final move in this dance, with the other steps reflecting the geese wheeling through the sky.

English Country dances

These dances are in the style of English and Welsh Country dances.

Angel's Breath Animation Back
1-4Right hands across once around
5-61st man and 2nd woman continue right hand turn half-way; while others turn out to the left
7-81st woman and 2nd man turn left hand half-way; while others turn out to the left
9-12All left hand across once around
13-14All turn out to the right
15-16Right hand turn partner half-way

Slow set and honour your partner during the first four bars of introduction, and the same to your corner during the last four bars.

I had received a new CD – Tromper Le Temps by Le Vent Du Nord – and loved the final track – Souffle d'Ange. Upon closer examination it turned out to be a 16 bar repeat, which, with its slower tempo, seemed to suit a Playford style dance. The progression move I had seen in Contra dances and kept the dance flowing. The name is a translation of the tune's name.

Boar's Head Animation Back
1-41st man and 2nd woman turn left-hand once around; while 1st woman and 2nd man move clockwise around the outside to the opposite's place
5-81st woman and 2nd man turn right-hand once around; while 1st man and 2nd woman move anti-clockwise around the outside to the opposite's place
9-10All turn partner left-hand half-way
11-12All turn out towards neighbour and back into progressed place

Part of the "Christmas Carols" series.

The Boar's Head Carol is an old tune that only has a 12 bar repeat. This makes it challenging to fit in some interesting moves and a progression.

Cofio y Cymru (Memories of Wales) Animation Back
1-4Part I: In lines of three on each side forward a double towards the centre and fall back a double
5-8Half hey for three on each side, 1st couple face down, others face up, 1st couple starting right shoulder with 2nd couple
9-12In lines of three on each side forward a double and fall back a double
13-16Half hey for three on each side back to place, 1st couple face up, others face down, 1st couple starting left shoulder with 2nd couple
17-201st and 2nd couples (top two) circle left half-way; 3rd couple two-hand turn once around
21-241st and 3rd couples (bottom two) circle right half-way; 2nd couple two-hand turn once around
25-282nd and 3rd couples (top two) circle left half-way; 1st couple two-hand turn once around
29-32All two-hand turn partner once around
33-361st man (bottom) and 3rd woman (top) cross by the right then turn out to the right and stop in opposite's place
37-401st woman (bottom) and 3rd man (top) cross by the left then turn out to the left and stop in opposite's place
41-442nd couple (middles) cross by the right then turn out to the right and stop in partner's place
45-48All two-hand turn partner once and a half around
49-52Part II: Side with your partner (Pat Shaw siding – right shoulder)
53-56Half hey for three on each side, 1st couple starting right shoulder with 2nd couple
57-60Side with your partner (Pat Shaw – left shoulder)
61-64Half hey for three on each side back to place, 1st couple starting left shoulder with 2nd couple
65-681st and 2nd couples (top two) right hand star half-way; 3rd couple right hand turn once around
69-721st and 3rd couples (bottom two) left hand star half-way; 2nd couple left hand turn once around
73-762nd and 3rd couples (top two) right hand star half-way; 1st couple right hand turn once around
77-80All two-hand turn partner once around
81-841st man (bottom) and 3rd woman (top) cast out and go around the outside of the set to the opposite position (clockwise)
85-881st woman (bottom) and 3rd man (top) cast out and go around the outside of the set to the opposite position (anti-clockwise)
89-922nd couple (middles) cast out and go around the outside of the set to the opposite position (clockwise) – this needs to be fairly quick
93-96All two-hand turn partner once and a half around
97-100Part III: Arm right with your partner
101-104Half hey for three on each side, 1st couple starting right shoulder with 2nd couple
105-108Arm left with your partner
109-112Half hey for three on each side back to place, 1st couple starting left shoulder with 2nd couple
113-1161st and 2nd couples (top two) half right-and-left, starting with neighbour (up/down); 3rd couple right hand across and left hand back
117-1201st and 3rd couples (bottom two) half right-and-left, starting with neighbour (up/down); 2nd couple right hand across and left hand back
121-1242nd and 3rd couples (top two) half right-and-left, starting with neighbour (up/down); 1st couple right hand across and left hand back
125-128All two-hand turn partner once around
129-1321st man (bottom) and 3rd woman (top) pass between opposite people (1st and 2nd woman and 2nd and 3rd man respectively) and turn left into opposite's place
133-1361st woman (bottom) and 3rd man (top) pass between opposite people and turn right into opposite's place
137-1402nd couple (middles) pass between end couples (man down, woman up) and turn left into opposite's place
141-144All two-hand turn partner once and a half around

Terry Roberts' 65th birthday was coming up and Sheree Greenhill asked for a Welsh dance for him, to reflect his heritage. Following along the lines of Ty Coch Caerdydd, this dance was written in a Welsh style. The name suggests Terry's connections to Wales, with the translation coming from the (Welsh) brother of one of our dancers. Now to find some different music for it.

The second figure in each part inverts the set, while the third figure restores it again.

Runner-up in the Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria (TSDAV) Dance Composer's competition 2013.

Gloria Animation Back
1-2Part I: Lead up a double and fall back a double
3-4Back-to-back partner
5-8Repeat doubles and back-to-back
91st couple cast to bottom, 2nd and 3rd couples cross up to next places
102nd couple cast to bottom, 3rd couple cross up to 1st place, 1st couple complete cast
113rd couple cast to bottom, 1st couple cross up to 2nd place, 2nd couple complete cast
121st and 2nd couples cross up to place, 3rd couple complete cast; all have returned to starting positions
131st couple cast to bottom, 2nd and 3rd couples lead up
142nd and 3rd couples little cast, 1st couple complete cast
15-20Repeat casting and crossing to finish 3, 1, 2
21-22Part II: Side with partner
23-24Back-to-back partner
25-28Repeat siding and back-to-back
29-40Repeat casting and crossing with 3rd couple leading, finishing 2, 3, 1
41-42Part III: Arm right with partner
43-44Back-to-back partner
45-46Arm left with partner
47-48Back-to-back partner
49-60Repeat casting and crossing with 2nd couple leading

Part of the "Christmas Carols" series.

After celebrating Christmas and singing carols I thought that some of the tunes could make good dances. So started a new series of dances based on these carols. The first was to the tune of Angels We Have Heard On High, which has a 16 and 24 bar repeat.

Grand Tour Animation Back
1-2Double figure of eight: 1s cast to second place, 2s cross up to first place
3-42s cast to second place, 1s cross up to first place
5-61s cast to second place, 2s cross up to first place
7-82s cast to second place, 1s cross up to first place
9-101s cast to second place, 2s move up
11-141s half figure of eight up around 2s
15-161s cross by right shoulder

I had identified possible dance tunes while listening to more Väsen music. Hagsätra Brudmarsch is such a stirring piece that I felt it had to have a dance for it. The music suggested sweeping turns, and so developed a longways set dance reminiscent of Hole in the Wall (one of my favourites). Brudmarsch translates as "bridal march".

Isobel's Idyll Animation Back
1-4Part I: Join hands in the circle, all forward a double and fall back a double
5-8With partner, set and turn single
9-12All forward a double and fall back a double
13-16With corner, set and turn single
17-20Twisted grand square: Head couples advance, circle right 1/4 and retire to the side with partner, side couples face partner, back away, then advance towards opposite in the head positions
21-24Repeat with new heads and sides
25-32Repeat twice more, finishing opposite original positions
33-36Head couples advance, circle left half-way and retire, while sides two-hand turn once around
37-40Side couples advance, circle left half-way and retire, while heads two-hand turn once around
41-44All circle left
45-48All circle right
49-56Part II: With partner, side, set and turn single
57-64With corner, side, set and turn single
65-96Twisted grand square, crossings and circles
97-104Part III: With partner, arm right, set and turn single
105-112With corner, arm left, set and turn single
113-144Twisted grand square, crossings and circles

For Isobel Blake's 70th birthday. Written the morning of her party. Subsequently Colin Hume wrote a tune for this dance.

Note that during the grand square you separate from your partner at some point, but are re-united at the end.

A Rose for Lynne Animation Back
1-4Take hands in the circle, forward a double to the centre and fall back a double
5-8Two-hand turn partner once around
9-12Take hands in the circle, forward a double and fall back a double
13-16Two-hand turn corner once around
17-24Pass partner by the left shoulder (2 bars), gypsy next person by the right (4 bars), pass partner by the left back to place (2 bars)
25-32Pass corner by the right shoulder (2 bars), gypsy next person by the left (4 bars), pass corner by the right back to place (2 bars)
33-36Side with partner
37-40Two-hand turn partner once around
41-44Side with corner
45-48Two-hand turn corner once aro
49-52Men left hand star half-way around
53-56Men pick up opposite woman in a half-ballroom hold and continue star; when the men reach their home turn as a couple to bring the women into the middle – men moving backwards and the women forwards
57-60Women right hand star half-way around
61-64Women pick up partner and continue star; finishing on the opposite side of the set facing partner
65-68Arm right with partner
69-72Two-hand turn partner once around
73-76Arm left with corner
77-80Two-hand turn corner once around
81-82Take lower promenade hold with partner, man turns in place, woman moves inside the set to next woman's position (clockwise)
83-84Take lower promenade hold with new partner (on the "wrong" side), man turns in place, woman moves outside the set to next woman's position (clockwise)
85-88Repeat turns around the men to return women to their partner
89-90Take lower promenade hold with partner, woman turns in place, man moves inside the set to next man's position (anti-clockwise)
91-92Take lower promenade hold with new partner (on the "wrong" side), woman turns in place, man moves outside the set to next man's position (anti-clockwise)
93-96Repeat turns around the women to return men to their partner

Having attended Kathy's birthday, Lynne Cargill, of Dance Kaleidoscope, informed me of her upcoming 60th birthday and mentioned that she didn't like waltzes but did like Roulette and Rose of Rochester. To keep her happy I wrote a dance along the lines of the latter – the name reflects the link to that dance.

Roulette Music Animation Back
1-4All circle left, slip step
5-8Back-to-back with partner, right shoulder
9-12All circle right, slip step
13-16Back-to-back with partner, right shoulder
17-22Men briefly touch right hands (pass right shoulders) through the centre of the set to go clockwise around the directly opposite woman and return to place (again touching right hands/passing right shoulders)
23-28Women briefly touch left hands (pass left shoulders) through the centre of the set to go anti-clockwise around the directly opposite man and return to place (again touching left hands/passing left shoulders)
29-34Men briefly touch left hands (pass left shoulders) through the centre of the set to go anti-clockwise around the directly opposite woman and return to place (again touching left hands/passing left shoulders)
35-40Women briefly touch right hands (pass right shoulders) through the centre of the set to go clockwise around the directly opposite man and return to place (again touching right hands/passing right shoulders)
41-44Side with partner
45-48Back-to-back with partner, right shoulder
49-56Repeat siding and back-to-back
57-62Clover leaf: Men go clockwise all the way (close in) around their partner then through the set (briefly touching right hands/passing by the right shoulder) to go clockwise around the original opposite woman (half-way)
63-68Then continue back through the set (briefly touching right hands/passing by the right shoulder) to go clockwise all the way (close in) around the third woman (original neighbour) to finish at home
69-74Clover leaf: Women go anti-clockwise all the way around their partner then through the set (briefly touching left hands/passing by the left shoulder) to go anti-clockwise around the original opposite man (half-way)
75-80Then continue back through the set (briefly touching left hands/passing by the left shoulder) to go anti-clockwise all the way around the third man (original neighbour) to finish at home
81-84Arm right with partner
85-88Back-to-back with partner
89-96Arm left with partner and back-to-back
97-100Men cast around partner to next man's position (anti-clockwise, pulling left shoulder back), balance forward and back (into the centre)
101-108Repeat cast and balance around the next two women, finishing at home
109-112Women cast around partner to next woman's position (clockwise, pulling right shoulder back), balance forward and back (into the centre)
113-120Repeat cast and balance around the next two men, finishing at home
121-124All circle left, slip step
125-128Back-to-back with partner
129-132All circle right, slip step
133-136Back-to-back with partner

A roulette is "the curve described by a point (called the generator or pole) attached to a given curve as it rolls without slipping along a second given curve that is fixed." (Wikipedia) Remember Spirograph?

Note that the B parts in the music are broken into 6 bar phrases and not the normal 4 bar ones.

Experienced dancers should not touch hands when passing each other in the centre of the set. Beginners may want to touch hands to assist in orientation when learning the dance.

Serenity Animation Back
1-4Circle left half-way
5-8Back-to-back with opposite
9-12Circle left half-way
13-16Back-to-back with opposite
17-20Gypsy opposite by the right shoulder
21-24Gypsy partner by the left shoulder
25-28With opposite balance forward and back, two-hand turn half-way
29-32Two-hand turn partner once around

This dance was inspired by the tune La Serenissima from Loreena McKennitt's album. The music is slow and flowing so I needed a dance to match. The tune is unusual in that it has a one bar pause after each repeat, which would be omitted if using other music.

Serpentine Animation Back
1-4Part I: Lead up a double and fall back a double
5-8Partners set and turn single
9-16All that again; finish men facing up, women facing down
17-18Serpentine: 1st man moves up and turns right to come down the middle, followed by the other men; while 3rd woman moves down and turns right to come up the middle, followed by the other women
19-211st man and 3rd woman start a progressive hey, with hands, right hand start, passing all other women/men, others follow and hey in turn
22-241st man and 3rd woman complete their hey and turn left to lead up/down the opposite line; others following, all ending improper in partner's place
25-281st couple and 2nd man left hand star once around; 2nd woman and 3rd couple the same; 2nd couple don't do a full star and end proper facing the other end
29-321st couple and 2nd woman left hand star once around; 2nd man and 3rd couple the same; 2nd couple don't do a full star and end improper again
33-40Repeat Serpentine back again: men moving up and women moving down to start, lines turn left into the middle, 1st man/3rd woman start left hand for the progressive hey, then turn right to come up/down their original lines
41-48Right hand stars top and bottom with 2nd couple joining in (man up, woman down to start), then 2nd couple swaps stars on the improper side, all finishing back in original positions
49-56Part II: Partners side right shoulder (Pat Shaw style) and set and turn single
57-64Partners side left shoulder (Pat Shaw style) and set and turn single
65-80Serpentine: Men up, women down, turn right, start hey right hand, left hand stars
81-96Serpentine back: Men up, women down, turn left, start hey left hand, right hand stars
97-104Part III: Partners arm right and set and turn single
105-112Partners arm left and set and turn single
113-128Serpentine: Men up, women down, turn right, start hey right hand, left hand stars
129-144Serpentine back: Men up, women down, turn left, start hey left hand, right hand stars

The progressive hey derives from Dargason which I had been looking at, whereas I wanted to fit it into a three couple longways formation. The stars allow the hey to flow forwards and backwards. The name comes from the 'S' shape of the hey.

Taith o Cymru (Welsh Tour) Animation Back
1-4Part I: Lead up a double and fall back a double
5-8Two-hand turn partner once around
9-12Lead down a double and fall back a double
13-16Two-hand turn partner once around
17-202nd man gatepost turn (always using left arm) around 1st man (anti-clockwise, going up between the 1st couple to start), 2nd woman the same around 3rd woman (going down between the 3rd couple to start)
21-242nd couple cross passing right shoulder; 2nd man gatepost turn around 1st woman (anti-clockwise, going out between the 1st and 3rd women to start, passing partner right shoulder), 2nd woman the same around 3rd man
25-282nd couple cross passing right shoulder; 2nd man gatepost turn around 3rd woman (anti-clockwise, going out between the 3rd couple to start), 2nd woman the same around 1st man
29-322nd couple cross passing right shoulder; 2nd man gatepost turn around 3rd man (anti-clockwise, going out between the 1st and 3rd men to start), 2nd woman the same around 1st woman
33-40Mirror sideways heys, 1st couple move in front of 2nd couple to start; 2nd couple cross at the top with man behind and complete the hey on the opposite side
41-48Repeat mirror heys, with 2nd couple crossing back at the top with man on the outside
49-52Part II: Side with partner (Pat Shaw style meeting right shoulder)
53-56Gypsy partner by the right shoulder
57-64Repeat siding and gypsy but with left shoulders
65-66Lines of three advance
67-681st and 3rd couples retire to place, turning to face up/down when home; while 2nd couple 1/4 two-hand turn to the left and retire between other couples to form top/bottom lines
69-72Repeat advance and retire to form side lines (2nd couple improper)
73-76Repeat advance and retire to form top/bottom lines
77-80Repeat advance and retire to get home
81-841st couple cross down between opposite 2s and 3s to start mirror heys for three
85-883rd couple cross at the top to continue hey
89-96Repeat mirror heys with 1s and 3s crossing back at the top
97-100Part III: Arm right with partner
101-104Back-to-back with partner (right shoulder)
105-108Arm left with partner
109-112Back-to-back with partner (left shoulder)
113-1162nd man circle left once around with 1st couple, 2nd woman circle left once around with 3rd couple; 2nd man and woman only circle 3/4 and finish in partner's place facing in but slightly back from the centre
117-1202nd man circle left once around with 1st and 3rd women; while 2nd woman circle left once around with 1st and 3rd men
121-128Repeat circles with 2nd couple progressing around the set to home
129-144Dip and dive, 2nd couple face up to start, middles forming the arch, change sides at the top only with woman twirling under the man's arm (1st couple change sides to start), turn individually at the bottom

The husband of one of the Dance Kaleidoscope group, Mansell (Taffy) Thomas, was celebrating his 85th birthday. As his heritage was Welsh, it seemed fitting to write another Welsh style dance. The name comes from the second figure in each part of the dance wherein the second couple travel around the set dancing with each of the others in turn. Unfortunately Taffy doesn't dance any more.

Each of the three parts consists of three sections. The first is the Playford doubling, siding, and arming. The second is the "tour". And the last is a hey with a crossing.

Tea with Fran Animation Back
1-4Left hand star once around
5-8Left hand turn partner once around
9-12Half hey for four, starting with 1st corners passing left shoulder, 2nd corners cast out
13-16Single file clockwise half-way
17-181st corners cross passing right shoulder
19-20Left hand turn partner half-way
21-24Half hey for four starting 1st man/2nd woman passing right shoulders
25-282nd corners (1st woman and 2nd man) orbit anti-clockwise half-way, all finishing in progressed positions
29-32Left hand turn neighbour (along the line) once around, finish facing away from them

For Fran Thomas' 80th birthday.

The right hand is never needed, allowing it to be used to carry your cup of tea.

Other styles

These dances are in miscellaneous other styles.

Absolute Swedish Animation Back
1-4Circle left once around
5-6Butterfly whirl in place – 1st man backwards, 1st woman forwards, 2nd man forwards, 2nd woman backwards
7-12Second corners (1st woman and 2nd man) left hand turn once around, then continue anti-clockwise around partner into opposite's place
13-18First corners (1st man and 2nd woman) left hand turn once around, then continue anti-clockwise around partner into opposite's place
19-22Left hand star once around
23-24Keeping hold of your partner's left hand, turn half-way and face the next couple

I was listening to Väsen again and noted several tunes with potential for dance music. One such was Absolute Swedish which had a 16 and 24 bar repeat. However, the phrasing in the 16 bar parts was indistinct so I extracted just the 24 bar parts. This was a welcome change from the 32 bar Contras I'd been writing. The phrasing was made up of 6 bar sections, so the dance evolved to fit that sequence.

Around the Rugged Rock Animation Back
1-21st couple turn half-way with the right hand and face down the middle
3-41st couple lead down the middle and then face up at the end of bar 4, taking inner hands
5-81st couple dance up for one step and 2nd couple faces the top; 1st couple takes nearer hand with 2nd couple (1st man with 2nd woman and 1st woman with 2nd man) and dance around to finish with 1st couple on partner's side in 2nd place and 2nd couple at the top
9-122s, 1s, and 3s set and cross over passing right shoulders with partner
13-162s, 1s, and 3s repeat set and cross; finish with the corners facing diagonally in
17-201st couple dance a figure of eight on their current side – 1st man around 2nd woman and 1st woman around 3rd man, passing right shoulder to start; while 2nd man and 3rd woman set to each other and change places passing right shoulder
21-241st couple complete their figure of eight to finish in 2nd place facing diagonally up or down; while 3rd man and 2nd woman set and cross
25-281st couple dance a figure of eight on their own side – 1st man crosses up to pass 2nd man left shoulder while 1st woman crosses down to pass 3rd woman left shoulder; while 3rd man and 2nd woman set and cross
29-321st couple complete their figure of eight; while 2nd man and 3rd woman set and cross
33-641st couple repeat having passed a couple
65-96Repeat with 2nd couple starting from the top
97-1282nd couple repeat having passed a couple
129-160Repeat with 3rd couple starting from the top
161-1923rd couple repeat having passed a couple
193-224Repeat with 4th couple starting from the top
225-2564th couple repeat having passed a couple

I was doodling again and found a figure-eight move that worked for three couples. The figure ended up with the active couple on the wrong side, however, so I was trying to find a way to get them back to the right side. Then I realised that if they were put onto the wrong side by the previous moves, then this figure would right them again. I incorporated it into a Scottish-style three couple active in four couple set.

The name comes from a line in the song Johnny Jump Up (a warning on the perils of strong drink):

Said the guard, testing him, "Say these words if you can,
'Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran'"
Black Swan Waltz Quadrille TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-2Right hand turn partner half-way
3-6Left hand turn the next person (your partner's corner's partner) once around
7-8Right hand turn partner half-way
9-10Left hand turn corner half-way
11-14Right hand turn the next person (opposite) once around
15-16Left hand turn corner half-way to finish in original places facing partner
17-18Head couples, taking both hands, slide two steps in
19-20Women swap to the other man and slide two steps out
21-24Head couples waltz inside the set to the opposite side
25-32Side couples repeat: in, women swap, out, and waltz
33-36Men's chain: men left hand star one place and turn right hand once around with the next woman
37-40Men left hand star one place and turn right hand once around with the next woman (their partner)
41-44Face your partner and set, using quadrille setting step
45-48Waltz half-way around the set
49-50Taking hands in the circle, all balance forward and back
51-52With partner turn as a couple to face out
53-54Taking hands in the circle, balance forward and back
55-56Men with the woman on their left turn as a couple to face in
57-58Taking hands in the circle, balance forward and back
59-60Men with the woman on their right turn as a couple to face out
61-62Taking hands in the circle, balance forward and back
63-64Men with the woman on their left turn as a couple to face in, finishing in original places beside your partner
65-128Repeat with sides leading swaps
129-192Repeat with heads leading swaps
193-256Repeat with sides leading swaps

The movements reflect the flowing motions of the black swans on the Western Australian rivers and lakes. Winner of the General section of the TSDAV Dance Composer's Competition 2014.

Dance the Fishies Animation Back
1-2Women circle the set clockwise: moving to the left in front of their partner
3-4Then behind the next man
5-6In front of the opposite man
7-8And behind the last man to home
9-10Men left star half-way
11-12Pick up the opposite woman in a half-ballroom hold and drop her off half-way around
13-14Men continue left star half-way
15-16Pick up partner in a half-ballroom hold and return home; finish facing partner
17-23Grand chain; starting right hand with partner, one bar per change
24Men don't pass the last woman, but twirl her back clockwise under the man's left arm into the man's position (the progression)
25-32Waltz around the set
33-34Men circle the set anti-clockwise: moving to the right in front of their partner
35-36Then behind the next woman
37-38In front of the opposite woman
39-40And behind the last woman to home
41-42Women right star half-way
43-44Pick up the opposite man in a half-ballroom hold and drop him off half-way around
45-46Women continue right star half-way
47-48Pick up partner in a half-ballroom hold and return home; finish facing partner
49-55Grand chain; starting right hand with partner, one bar per change
56Men don't pass the last woman, but twirl her back into the man's position (the progression)
57-64Waltz around the set
65-96Repeat from new positions - starting with women circling left, then men star left
97-128Repeat from new positions - starting with men circling right, then women star right

My first dance, composed on the plane returning from the National Folk Festival and starting from the music When the Boat Comes In.

The dance moves reflect the fishing process: the fish swimming around, casting the nets and catching the fish, hauling in the catch, and celebrating back on shore. It was subsequently revised to include a progression and increase the length of the dance.

The star movements with the pick up and drop off are quite fast.

Eureka TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-4Cloverleaf and half-heys: Middle couple and heads individually half hey for three, starting 5th man up facing 1st woman, 5th woman down facing 3rd woman, passing right shoulders
5-8Middle couple and sides individually half hey-for-three, middles going to the further side and starting right shoulder (5th man with 4th woman, 5th woman with 2nd woman)
9-12Middle couple continue half heys with heads
13-16Middle couple continue half heys with sides; finishing with middle couple in the centre, man near the top, woman near the bottom
17-20Stars: 1st couple and 5th man, 3rd couple and 5th woman star right once around
21-244th couple and 5th man, 2nd couple and 5th woman star left once around; the middle couple only travel 3/4 round to finish in the centre, man near 3rd couple, woman near 1st couple
25-283rd couple and 5th man, 1st couple and 5th woman star right once around
29-322nd couple and 5th man, 4th couple and 5th woman star left once around; the middle couple only travel 3/4 round to finish facing each other in the centre in their partner's original position
33-36Circular strip-the-willow: middles right hand turn 3/4, then left hand turn - 5th man with 1st woman, 5th woman with 3rd man
37-48Continue strip-the-willow,middles moving anti-clockwise around the set (5th man with 4th woman, 5th woman with 2nd man)
49-52All gypsy partner
53-56All swing partner
57-60Outer couples in a circle advance and retire, while moving one place clockwise; middle couple continues swinging
61-644th couple (now at the top) and middle couple half rights-and-lefts; finish with 4th man facing up, 4th woman facing down

Repeat five times to return everyone to their originl positions.

Inspired by the Southern Cross flag that flew over the Eureka Stockade.

This dance won the TSDAV dance composer's competition in the Dances for Experienced Dancers category in 2018.

Four Seasons Animation Back
1-2Pass neighbour by the right shoulder onto next neighbours
3-4Right hand turn half-way with that neighbour to face back the way you came
5-6Pass that neighbour by the right shoulder back to original neighbour
7-8With original neighbour right hand turn 3/4, and finish facing neighbour in a line of four across the set, men on the outside facing in
9-16Reel for four passing neighbour right shoulder to start
17-24With neighbour, waltz once around the other couple, finishing in progressed positions on the inside of the circle looking out, or on the outside looking in, women on the men's right
25-28Star right once around
29-32Star left once around and look for new neighbours

Anne Hayes has written a waltz tune for her partner (Roger's Waltz). This is a dance to go with it.

The pass throughs are new shoots appearing, while the hey symbolises boughs intertwining. The waltzing suggests autumn leaves blowing around, while the stars represent snowflakes.

Green Apple Quickstep TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-2Holding inside hand with partner, starting on outside foot, three steps foward and tap inside foot
3-4Partners roll across, man turning clockwise behind the woman, who turns anti-clockwise, three steps and tap inside foot
5-6Holding inside hands, starting on inside foot, three steps forward and tap outside foot
7-8Turn as a couple half-way, starting on outside foot, man going backwards, woman forwards, three steps and tap leading foot; finishing facing partner on own side in two hand open hold
9-10Along line-of-dance, step forward on leading foot, step through with trailing foot, and chassé sideways
11-12Against line-of-dance, step forward on leading foot, step through with trailing foot, and chassé sideways; finish in ballroom hold
13-16Two rotary chassés and open out to start again

A quickstep for the Apple Isle (Tasmania).

This dance won the TSDAV dance composer's competition in the General Social Dance category in 2018.

Harbour Bridge Quadrille BMC winner Animation Back
1-4All with partners in ballroom hold: gallop into the centre and out
5-8Gallop diamond to the opposite side – four gallop steps to the next position anti-clockwise, turn 1/4 clockwise, and four gallop steps to the next position
9-12Grand chain half-way, starting left hand with partner, one bar per change
13-16Left hand turn partner once around
17-18Heads push-off hey: women cross passing right shoulder
19-20Men push off
21-22Women push off
23-24Men cross passing right shoulder
25-26Sides push-off hey: women cross passing right shoulder
27-28Men push off
29-30Women push off
31-32Men cross passing right shoulder
33-40All: ladies chain across and back – right star in the centre, turn men left hand only, not a courtesy turn
41-44Grand chain half-way, starting left hand with partner
45-48Left hand turn partner once around
49-52Heads half hey for four, starting with women passing right shoulder; finish forming the Sydney Harbour Bridge – women make a two-hand arch in the centre, men stand behind their partner, being the pylons
53-60Couple on the 1st's original left (2nd couple) turn and cast away around the outside of the set and return under the bridge; while right-hand couple (4th couple) chase them under the bridge and cast back to place
61-64Head couples complete the hey for four, starting with women passing right shoulder
65-128Repeat with 2nd couple leading – sides push-off hey first, sides form the bridge, 3rd couple cast around the bridge to start
129-192Repeat with 3rd couple leading – heads push-off hey first, heads form the bridge, 4th couple cast around the bridge to start
193-256Repeat with 4th couple leading – sides push-off hey first, sides form the bridge, 1st couple cast around the bridge to start

Coming home from the National Folk Festival I came up with a formation that reflected the shape of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. An Australian Quadrille dance seemed the appropriate setting for this move.

The push-off hey represents the "creeper cranes" that worked their way in to construct the arch and then out again to hang the roadway. The grand chains represent the affixing and retrieving of the cables that supported the bridge during its construction.

This dance won in the Bush Music Club's dance composing competition in 2014 in the Dancer's Dance category.

One Couple Short Animation Back
1-4Head couple lead down the centre of the set, cast back individually and come in between the side couples
5-8Head couple right turn once around
9-12Heads separate and left hand star for three with their respective side couples
13-16Head couple right hand turn once around back to place
17-20All gypsy partner once around
21-24Heads separate to half reel for three with their respective sides, sides starting passing right shoulder
25-28Those in top position left turn once around, while those now on the sides half rights-and-lefts starting across the set
29-32Ladies chain one position clockwise with a courtesy turn, finishing with partner in progressed position

Repeat three times to return everyone to their original positions.

We didn't have quite enough dancers for two sets, and someone mentioned we should have a dance when one couple short - so here it is.

Rubigold Animation Back
1-4Side couples left hand star with opposites once around at each end (leaving enough room between the two stars for the heads to pass through); head couple crosses, passing right shoulder, and casts to between the two stars
5-8Side couples right hand star with opposites once around at each end; head couple crosses between the stars, passing right shoulder, and casts to the bottom and crosses again, passing right shoulder
9-12Sides hey for four along their lines, starting right shoulder with partner; heads cast back to the top (finishing on their partner’s side)
13-16Heads right hand turn 1 1/2, sides complete their heys
17-22Grand chain six places (one bar per change) starting right hand with partner (12 beats)
23-24Take the next person (one past your partner) in a lower promenade hold and promenade one place anti-clockwise (men finish one place clockwise in the set, women finish two places clockwise) (4 beats)
25-32Balance and swing new partner, cross-hand hold

Levi Jackson Rag formation - one couple at the top facing down, two couples on each side facing across.

Repeat five times to return to home.

Five couples in a horseshoe - it must be Levi Jackson Rag. We'll not any more.

Named for a Tasmanian apple I encountered on a trip to Tassie, and apples have five seeds arranged around their centre.

St. Andrew's Cross Animation Back
1-21st and 2nd couples set
3-41st couple cross down to 2nd position; while 2nd couple step up one place
5-61st and 3rd couples set
7-83rd couple cross up to 2nd position; while 1st couple step down one place
9-12Repeat with 2nd and 3rd couples setting and 2nd couple crossing down
13-16Repeat with 2nd and 1st couples setting and 1st couple crossing up; 1st couple finish in 2nd place facing out and up, the others are on their partner's side
17-201st couple individually dance out and up around 3rd couple (at the top), then cross down between them; while 2nd couple set and cross giving right shoulder
21-241st couple individually dance out and down around 2nd couple, then cross up between them; while 3rd couple set and cross giving right shoulder
25-28Men and women dance a reel of three on their own sides, 1st couple starting by dancing up and outside 3rd couple
29-32All three couples turn partner once round with the right hand
33-64Repeat, having passed a couple
65-96Repeat with 2nd couple starting from the top
97-1282nd couple repeat, having passed a couple
129-160Repeat with 3rd couple starting from the top
161-1923rd couple repeat, having passed a couple
193-224Repeat with 4th couple starting from the top
225-2564th couple repeat, having passed a couple

I was reviewing Greensleeves and Yellow Lace for a performance and thought that the opening moves could be adapted to form the progression part of a Scottish dance. I added the cross overs for the leading couple and ended with the 1st couple in the correct positions, but the 2nd and 3rd couples in opposite places. Then I had to figure out how to get them home again.

The name derives from the crossing figures in the second half of the sequence.

Social Circuit Animation Back
1-4Right hand turn with partner once around
5-8Left hand turn with corner once around
9-10Men left star half-way across the set into the opposite man's position, while women move one place clockwise around the outside of the set
11-12Set to new partner
13-14Women right star half-way across the set into the opposite woman's position, while men move one place anti-clockwise around the outside of the set
15-16Set to new partner
17-18Men left star half-way across the set, while women move one place clockwise around the outside of the set
19-20Set to new partner
21-22Women right star half-way across the set, while men move one place anti-clockwise around the outside of the set
23-24Set to new partner (this should be your original partner but on the opposite side of the set)
25-26Men move one position anti-clockwise inside the set
27-32Take the next woman in an upper promenade hold and promenade 3/4 around the set (men finish opposite their original position, women have moved one place anti-clockwise)

Repeat four times to return to home.

I composed the main figure for this dance while waiting at the doctor's. I devised a figure that was made up of fairly simple moves, but which served to progress each dancer through all the others of the opposite sex, hence the name. The rest of the dance then evolved around that figure, including a change of partner at the end of each round for even more mixing.

The intention is not to use hands during the crossings, but it proved to be useful while learning to touch hands as if in a star to keep the dancers oriented.

Turning Gold Against the Grey Animation Back
1-4Head men left hand turn once around and keep that hold
5-8Head men make an arch with their partner, both facing anti-clockwise; arch over the side couple (who stand still) to their right and turn into place on the opposite side
9-16Sides repeat left hand turn and arches to opposite side
17-20Sides half hey for four, women passing right shoulder to start; while heads left hand turn once around
21-24Heads half hey for four, women passing right shoulder to start; while sides left hand turn once around
25-26Men single file anti-clockwise on the outside of the set, while women single file clockwise on the inside, all turn singly to the right at the end
27-28All return to original place facing corner
29-32Swing corner; ending in man's position with new partner

Repeat four times to return to original positions.

Written for Wendy Richmond's 50th birthday. The name comes from a line in a song (He Fades Away by Alistair Hulett) referring to autumn leaves – her birthday is in autumn and 50 is her golden anniversary.

Visiting Jenolan TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-8Grand chain all around the set, starting right hand with your partner (one bar per person)
9-10Heads continue past their partner, giving right hands, dancing outside the set to meet their opposite; while sides form arches (two hands)
11-12Heads come in through the arches with their opposite and two-hand turn partner half-way back to place
13-14Sides pull past their partner, giving right hand, dancing outside the set to meet their opposite; while heads form arches (two hands)
15-16Sides, with opposite, come in through the arches and pass through up and down, the couple in 2nd place (facing down) forming an arch and the couple in 3rd place going under it (forming a longways set)
17-24Dip and dive (one bar per change), couples facing up start with arches, California twirl when reaching the ends; finishing back in your starting positions
25-32Open out to original positions (side couples turning over their right shoulders) and all circle left once around
33-36Men right hand star almost once around and return to their partner's current position facing out; women dance outside (clockwise) to the next man's position and face in
37-40Women right hand star almost once around and return to their current woman's position facing out; men dance outside (clockwise) to the next man's position and face in
41-42Double hey for four half-way, starting with men left star in the centre to the opposite woman's position and give right hand to the opposite woman, who has turned out to her right into the man's position
43-44Women left star in the centre to the opposite woman's position; while the men turn out to their right into the man's position
45-48Right turn partner once around; keep hold of the right hand for the next grand chain (having progressed one place anti-clockwise)

Repeat four times, each time with the new tops leading, to return everyone to their original positions.

New South Wales was the next featured state at the National Folk Festival. So I started working on new dances for the dance composer’s competition straight away. This dance won the Dances for More Experienced Dancers section of the Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria’s competition in 2015.

The Jenolan Caves are a series of limestone caves located west of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales (175km west of Sydney). They were discovered in 1838 and are a popular tourist destination.

The movements in the dance represent the long trip out to Jenolan, entering the cave mouth, climbing up and down stairs and through tunnels, to finally arrive at the main cavern and wander around the stalagmites.

The Waratah TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-4Swing partner (ballroom hold); finish facing line of dance
5-8Promenade around the set (half-ballroom hold); finish facing in
9-10Women advance towards the centre, join hands and make arches
11-12Women retire, while men advance under the arches, join hands and make their own arches
13-14Men retire, while women advance under the arches, join hands and make arches again
15-16Women retire, lowering their arms behind the men, who keep hands held, to form a basket
17-20All basket left
21-24Swing partner; finish facing in
25-26Men advance towards the centre, join hands and make arches
27-28Men retire, while women advance under the arches, join hands and make their own arches
29-30Women retire, while men advance under the arches
31-32Men turn to their left and dance out to the next woman (progression)

The motions of the dancers re-create the flowers of the waratah, the state flower of New South Wales.

This dance won the General Social Dance section of the Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria's competition in 2015.

The Wide Brown Land TSDAV winner Animation Back
1-4Start with heads facing the side couple to their left, sides facing the head couple to their right; in groups of four, star left once around
5-8Star right back to place
9-16All circle left in a big circle once around, slip step
17-20Heads keep inside hands held and arch over side couple to their left (who don't move) to finish in opposite place
21-24Sides arch over head couple to their left (who don't move) and finish in opposite place
25-28All right hand turn partner once around
29-32All half a double reel for four back to place, starting with men left star across the set in the centre as the women turn into the men's vacated positions, then the women left star across the set as the men cast to their right
33-36Take hands in a wavy circle, men facing in, women facing out, balance (forward and back) and circulate (men dance straight across the set, passing right shoulders through the centre, women turn right into their partner's place)
37-40Take hands in a wavy circle, women facing in, men facing out, balance and circulate (women dance straight across, men turn right)
41-48Repeat balance and circulate back to place
49-55Head couples in half-ballroom hold, figure of eight around both side couples, starting passing the other head couple by the right shoulder to dance anti-clockwise around the couple on their left
56-58Head couples complete their figure of eight passing the other head couple by the left shoulder to dance clockwise around the couple on their right and back to place
59-60As the head couples dance behind them to complete their figure of eight, side couples in half-ballroom hold cross as couples, men passing left shoulders, and face out on the opposite side
61-62Head men join left hand with nearest side man (on their corner) and the couples turn in a line half-way
63-64Couples whirl anti-clockwise to face on the diagonal to start again with new heads and sides – each couple finishes one place clockwise from where they started

Repeat four times to return to original positions.

Inspired by the second verse of Dorothea Mackeller's poem "My Country".

This dance won the Dances for More Experienced Dancers section of the Traditional Social Dance Association of Victoria's competition in 2016.