Three tries at simple dances

I often think that’s it’s not hard to write a contra dance. There is in fact a computer program that will generate them: Dr. Bob’s Random Contra Generator. It is hard to write good contra dances. But it is most challenging to write good simple dances. This is a challenge not just because many elegant combinations have already been written (I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve doodled a dance only to discover that Linda Leslie, or Lisa Greenleaf, or some other fabulous caller and choreographer beat me to it by many years), but because there is a balance between flow and ease and repetitiveness and energy and all the other things that come together in a dance choreography.

After the past few dances I’ve written (reminder for me, if you’re using moves you don’t think you’ve danced, you’re probably not hitting the simple sweet spot), I decided to focus on simple dances. It’s quite possible these exist, but they’re my most recent doodles. There first two are very similar, and came from playing around with circle rights as a move that is accessible to new dancers, but unusual for experienced dancers.

Just Right for New Dancers
by Luke Donforth
Contra/Improper/Easy

A1 ———–
(16) Neighbor balance and swing
A2 ———–
(8) Promenade across the Set
(8) Circle Right 3/4
B1 ———–
(16) Partner balance and swing
B2 ———–
(8) Long lines, forward and back
(8) Women Do-si-do 1.5x

Promenade Right
by Luke Donforth
Contra/Improper/Easy

A1 ———–
(8) Neighbor Do-si-do
(8) Neighbor swing
A2 ———–
(8) Promenade across the Set
(8) Circle Right 3/4
B1 ———–
(16) Partner balance and swing
B2 ———–
(8) Women allemande Right 1-1/2
(8) Neighbor allemande Left 1-1/2

Passable Petronella
by Luke Donforth
Contra/Improper/Easy

A1 ———–
(8) Circle Left 3/4
(8) Long lines, forward and back
A2 ———–
(8) Balance the ring and spin to the right (petronella)
(8) Balance the ring and spin to the right (petronella)
B1 ———–
(16) Partner balance and swing
B2 ———–
(8) Circle Left 3/4
(4) Balance the Ring
(4) Pass thru to new neighbors