One of the fun challenges of being a dance caller is responding to a wide variety of situations that fall within your purview. Regular weekly dances are very different than festivals or family dances, and a caller gets to help people enjoy the joy of dancing at all of those venues.
I write lots of dances (many more than I ever get around to putting on the web), but I challenge myself to write accessible dances; something I think is harder but more rewarding than writing complex or advanced dances. I wrote the following longways dance specifically with family dances in mind, where often people aren’t comfortable changing partners but aren’t looking for an evening of all duple-improper. Please let me know if it’s useful for you in your own family dance evenings.
Revive the High Five
Type: Longways, proper
(4) Long lines sashsay left 4 steps
(4) Long lines sashay back to the right 4 steps
(8) Partner allemande Left 1x
(4) Long lines sashsay right 4 steps
(4) Long lines sashay back to the left 4 steps
(8) Partner allemande Right 1x
(8) Partner Do-si-do
(8) Partner swing
(16) Shuffle the set
(Promenade randomly around the room, then come back to a different place to reform the long set)
- The caller needs to prompt reforming the line, often about halfway through the B2 the first few times, but folks usually settle in to it.
- If you have multiple sets, you can mention to the dancers they can jump from set to set.
Originally, I had the slide left and slide right in A1 & A2 as single file promenades up and down so that you could high five people (hence the name). I’ve since decided that in situations when I’m calling this dance, the prompt: “(8) Single file lines go up and down (“gents” line go up 4 steps, “ladies” line go down 4 steps; all turn alone, come back 4 steps)” is pretty much useless; but “Long lines slide left 4 steps then back” works much better.