New move in a wavy circle – alternative to box circulate

I was lying awake in bed, turning contra dancers around in my mind; thinking about how we teach the box circulate figure. I’ve heard it described as “in long wavy lines with the gents facing out and the ladies facing in, balance; the ladies walk straight across the set; and the gents turn in to the spot the lady vacated, as if they were allemanding half way with the lady who is no longer there”. This led me to wonder about doing a box circulate with the allemande half way, and not letting go. It doesn’t work in long wavy lines, but it does work in small wavy circles.

To illustrate the idea, here’s a dance where all the complexity is in the one new figure:

The Weinberg
Becket, simplish dance with advanced move
A1
Circle Left 3/4
Neighbor Swing
A2
Promenade across with neighbor, courtesy turn. (Women note were neighbor women is after courtesy turn.)
Women do si do 1.5x; end back to back in the middle, looking out at where neighbor lady started
Take right hand with partner, and left hand with neighbor to form a wavy circle of four with the ladies facing out and the gents facing in
B1
Balance Right and Left, allemande partner right ~1/2 to put the gents back to back in the middles.
Keep right hand with partner, take left hand with neighbor; wavy circle gents facing out ladies facing in
Balance Left and Right, allemande neighbor left ~ 1/2 way to home side of set
B2
Partner Gypsy Right shoulder and swing at home
Slide left to new neighbors

I would only call this in a situation where I was confident that the dancers would take care of each other. The wavy circle is unusual, and runs a risk of people having their arms pulled back behind their shoulders. In terms of dancer position, I think this move is easier than a box circulate, and possible on par with rory oh more (you remain more connected to other dancers), but it requires a higher level of skill in terms of courteous dancing.

The name is from jotting the dance idea down in my phone, and auto-correct swiping inserted Weinberg for no reason I could see.

I tried this on a couple of experienced dancers to see if it actually worked (I had to lure them in with bacon and home made cinnamon rolls) and they said it did, although they reiterated my concerns about potential arm twisting. Once I new that the idea in B1 worked, I started looking at how it fit in to the the story line of the dance. The rest of the dance that I’d built to make the B1 work was rather smooth, and I wasn’t sure what type of music I would ask a band for, so I ended up writing another dance with more clearly defined A’s with balances and smooth B’s. Fitting to that tune structure made for a more complicated dance overall though.

Autocorrect Cascade
Improper, advanced dance with new move
Starts with hands as if you were in long lines
A1
Balance towards neighbor and away, ladies roll neighbor gent away with a half sashay
Women do si do 1.5 until back to back in middle
Take right hand with partner, and left hand with neighbor to form a wavy circle of four with the ladies facing out and the gents facing in
A2
Balance Right and Left, allemande partner right ~1/2 to put the gents back to back in the middles.
Keep right hand with partner, take left hand with neighbor; wavy circle gents facing out ladies facing in
Balance Left and Right, allemande neighbor left ~ 1/2 way to ladies home side of set
B1
Partner Gypsy Right shoulder and swing
B2
Gents allemande left 1.5
Neighbor swing
Open up to catch new neighbor in gents’ right, ladies’ left hands

Either of these dances would work replacing the wavy circle and allemandes with wavy lines and a box circulate. It might even be that it’s a better flow. It’s not like box circulate is used so often that alternatives really needed to be constructed; and the box circulate is probably safer on shoulders. But if I’m going to have these choreographic thoughts at 1 am, it seems like I should share them. Hope you enjoy them.