Wendy's Dances


Paper Plate #1: The Melt Up, 1998

Improper
A1: Neighbor Meltup (swing then gypsy -- the opposite of a gypsy meltdown)
A2: Gents weave across the set to their partner passing left shoulders; Partner swing
B1: Long lines forward and back, gents Allemande left once and a half
B2: Neighbor Star Promenade half way (across the set), back out with a butterfly whirl. Cross-trail (pass partner right, neighbor left)

Progression from B2 into A1 inspired by Sue Rosen's dance, Joel's in the Kitchen.



Paper Plate #4: Rockettes


Longways, Becket (03/06/06, Wendy Graham)

A1: As a couple, "Cut"* to L diagonal and push straight back (8) - Rockettes Kick Line (8) [Right Knee, Right Kick, Left Knee, Left Kick]
A2: Hey for 4 (16) [Ladies Pass Right shoulders to start]
B1: Partner Kick and Swing (16)
B2: Ladies Right-Hand Allemande (1x) (8) - Ladies scoop partner for a star promenade (1x) (8)

Progress on the left diagonal

*The cut is also known as "Slice", or "Chevron"


Paper Plate #8: Ring of Fire

Longways, Becket (09/2008, Wendy Graham)

A Johnny Cash tribute inspired by Hannah Naiman to honor the ring of four.  Suggested tune: Ring of Fire/I Walk The Line (medleyed)
A1: Balance the Ring of Fire, Petronella Twirl to the right (1 place) - Balance the Ring, Pass Through up and down the set (to new neighbors)
A2: Balance the Ring, Petronella Twirl to the right (1 place) - Balance the Ring, Pass Through across the set
B1: Single file promenade, clock-wise, once around (gent “chases” partner) - Partner Swing (end facing down the hall, in the line of 4)
B2: Walk the line down the hall (turn as a couple), return


The Big Day in Big Indian 

Longways, Improper (08/25/07, Wendy Graham)  

For Gary and Amy from my heart

A1: 1’s Right-shoulder gypsy (8) But, neighbor swing (8) [end facing down the hall, line of four]*
A2: Down the hall, turn as a couple, come back (8) [bend the line to a ring]
B1: Balance the ring (4) Give and take (4) [Gents take partner to his side] Partner swing (8)
B2: Ladies Chain [½ way] (8) Circle Left (8)

*A1 borrowed from Tom Hinds "The Tease"

Watch the dance online now on youtube.  Click here.


Sledding "Over the Hill"

Longways, Becket (04/2005, Wendy Graham)

In honor of Adley Gartenstein's 40th Birthday
 
A1: Right hands-across star (all the way around)  (8) - Ladies chain to neighbor (8)
A2: Neighbor left shoulder gypsy (8) - Ladies chain back to partner (8)
B1: Partner salsa or cha-cha in place (16)*
B2: Circle left (8) - Slide left to progress (4), Balance the Star (4)
 
*Ok to substitute balance and swing
 
A straight-forward dance with smooth transitions that incorporates latin social dance.
 
The first ladies chain flows into the left-shouldered gypsy when neighbors turn to face towards each other up and down the line after the courtesy turn. 

The second ladies chain flows into the interaction when partners turn to face towards each other up and down the line after the courtesy turn.
 
To help dancers remember the "balance the star" after the progression, I suggest that it is a nice way to "shake hands and say hello" to the new neighbors they will be dancing with next.


Mrs. Saxton’s Magic Carpet Ride

Improper, Contra (2/28/2011, Wendy Graham)

Commissioned by Chuck Saxton in honor of his mother in a silent auction for Stellar Days and Nights youth scholarship fund. Premiered at the Mar 13, 2010 Denver Zesty contra dance (Chuck’s birthday).

Start the dance lesson with a neighbor swing, end facing up the hall in line of four with gent’s neighbor on his right

A1: (16) Dance up the hall (4 in line), turn as a couple, return (bend the line in)
A2: (4) Ladies right-hand pull by (12) - Partner right-shoulder gypsy meltdown to a swing
B1: (6) Circle left ¾(6) - Zig-Zag to progress (left 4 steps, right 2 steps) (4) - Circle right ½ with new neighbors
B2: (4) Dip n Dive (1’s arch, 2’s dive under)(4) - California twirl to face these new neighbors (8) - New neighbor swing [end facing up in a line of four, gent’s neighbor on the right]

Dance notes:
- The “up the hall” represents the school bus with seats on each side and an aisle in-between
- It’s ok if the ladies want to pull by at the end of the A1 (instead of the beginning of A2) for a longer gypsy–swing meltdown
- The zig-zag gives the floating magic carpet ride feeling


Carla's Stellar Day

Longways, Improper (6/5/2011, Wendy Graham)

Commissioned by Michael Saunders to benefit the Stellar Days and Night scholarship fund and as a gift to Carla on her birthday.

A1: Balance a right-hand star (4) - Ladies trade with a right-hand allemande 1/2 (4) while gents push off and turn single over left shoulder (counter clock-wise) - Neighbor left-hand balance (4) and swat the Flea (4)
A2: Neighbor pull by across the set (4), partner swing on the side (12)
B1: Hey (ladies pass right to start) (16)
B2: Ladies chain over (8), left-hand star once around to progress (8)


Carla's Stellar Night

Longways, Improper (6/5/2011, Wendy Graham)

Commissioned by Michael Saunders to benefit the Stellar Days and Night scholarship fund and as a gift to Carla on her birthday.

A1: Right-hand star once around (8) - Balance the star (4) - Ladies trade with a right-hand allemande 1/2 (4) while gents push off and turn single over left shoulder (counter clock-wise)
A2: Neighbor swat the flea (4) and pull by across the set (4) - partner swing on the side (8)
B1: Hey (ladies pass right to start) (16)
B2: Ladies chain over (8), left-hand star once around to progress (8)


Augusta Heritage Reel

Longways, Improper (8/13/2011)
Tune: Elkins
Written by Hilton Baxter, Pamela Moe, Susannah Gal, and Walter Daves in a dance writing workshop led by Wendy Graham at Augusta Dance Week 2011.

A1: "Arch and Under"* once (8) Neighbor swing (8)
A2: Gents left-hand pull by across the set (4) Partner swing (12)
B1: Ladies walk forward to balance long wavy lines to the right and left (8) Ladies allemande left to face partner, about three-quarters around (4), partner gypsy (4)
B2: Gents walk forward to balance long wavy lines to the right and left (8) Gents do si do once and a half to trade places and progress

*Couples move forward, 1's arching over 2's. Without turning around, couples step backward to place, 2's arching over 1's. Also known as "sow the wheat, mow the clover"

The dance was inspired by the tune "Elkins," written during a tune-writing class in Elkins, WV, at the 2007 Augusta Heritage Festival led by Larry Unger and Eden MacAdam-Somer. Their band, Notorious, later recorded it on the album by the same name, "Elkins." The liner notes state: "Larry came up with the first few notes and Charlotte Cobos, Mark Goldstein, Patti Goldstein, and Jim Stahler all contributed ideas while Eden tied them all together." The figures honor West Virginia's geographic properties, especially the mountains, tunnels, and rivers, as well as the southern traditional dance culture.


Blue Lemonade

Co-authored by Wendy Graham, Jessy Rosenberg, Josh Moses, and Ann Windisch in the Augusta Heritage Dance week 2012's dance calling and writing workshop. We attempted to breath new life into a poorly written dance. When a dance is a lemon, make lemonade! Danced to the Blue Jig, it became Blue Lemonade.

Improper
A1: N dosido and swing
A2: Sliding Door/ Double Mad Robin figur (men advance to the right to start), circle left three quarters (end next to partner on side of set)
B1: Pass through across, partner swing (or Nevada twirl and swing)
B2: Baling the ring and "retro-nella" (spin left one place as in Petronello), balance the ring and pass through up or down the set to a new neighbor


Old Dry Frye’s Ramble

by: Wendy Graham
Formation: Becket formation contra (duple improper)
Tune: Cindy (Pat’s Favorite!)
Revised: Dec 2011

Commissioned by Pamela Napier in honor of her father, the Reverend Patrick E. Napier (aka, Old Dry Frye), at the 2010 Christmas Country Dance School, Berea, KY.

A1 4 Balance the ring, 4 Gents “lasso” partner, (8) Neighbor swing
A2 8 Star left once, 4 Ladies trade, (4) Gents the same
B1 4 Balance the ring, (4) Partner “give and take” to gent’s side, 8 Partner swing
B2 4 Circle left ½ to original side, (4) Slide left to progress “on to the next,” 8 Mountaineer Loop across the hall (1’s lead, 2’s arch)

Author’s note

The dance is in Becket formation to impart an Appalachian Big Set feel in a modern contra with an "on to the next" progression.  The Mountain Do Si Do, Ladies Trade and Mountaineer Loop figures pay tribute to traditional Kentucky running sets Pat was adept at calling. For his long service and inspirational teaching to his local community, Pat was awarded the 2007 CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. For more information on these and other figures, reference Pat’s book, “Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing,” available for free online at the Country Dance and Song Society’s (CDSS) website.


1Lasso: Also known as a mountain do si do or the short do si do. Gents raise partner’s left hand overhead, and guides her to walk a loop in front of him, and around back to place.

2A 2-hand turn in Appalachian dance

3Also known as Ladies Change: The two gents drop left hands. The two ladies still holding left hands, exchange places passing left shoulders. Without taking hands, the two gents exchange places passing by the right shoulder.

4Mountaineer Loop: Hands four, first couple goes under an arch made by second couple. (Only) first couple drop hands, separate and go around (man left, lady right). Second couple turn under their own arch, as in “wring the dishrag”).


The Third Degree
Longways, Improper, Duple Minor (Contra) (7/4/2013, Wendy Graham)

A1: (8) Ladies chain (to partner)
(4) Ladies right allemande half (1, 2, 3, "Yay!")*
(4) Ladies left allemande once

A2: (12) Pass neighbor by right shoulder to begin 5/8 hey (NR, GL, PR, LL, NR)
(4) Gents allemande left once and a half
B1: (16) Partner balance and swing (on gent’s original side)
B2: (8) Ladies DSD once and a half to trade places
(8) Swing a NEW neighbor on the side (8)

*On count 4, free hand disco points in the air with a celebratory “Yay!” vocalization.

Author’s Note:
Commissioned in honor of Dr. Deborah Thompson, Coordinator of Country Dance Programs at Berea College, who attained her PhD on May 6, 2012. The “handed” interactions in A1 represent the 3 diplomas Deborah earned. Joe Dinwiddie provided the clever title.

Teaching Note:
Technically, it doesn't start in the normal “improper” formation, but don’t tell the dancers. Begin the first walk-through with a neighbor swing, then when you’re ready to start the dance, leave everyone next to the neighbor they've just swung rather than backing up to original place.


 

 

 

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