Category: Contra Dances

Simplicity Contra

Simplicity Contra

Don Buzzingham

Formation: Contra lines. 1,3,5, etc. crossed over and active.

Record: Marching With Jimmy Shand  Click here for a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, With the one below DoSaDo

    1-8  – – – -, – – Same Lady Swing

  9-16  – – – -, – – Right & Left Thru across

17-24  – – – -, – – Right & Left Back

25-32  – – – -, – – 2 Ladies Chain

33-40  – – – -, – – Chain Back

41-48  – – – -, – – Star Left

49-56  – – – -, – – Star Right

57-64  – – – -, With the one below DoSaDo


 

Description

    1-8  DoSaDo with the corner

  9-16  Swing the same corner and face across the set with the lady on the man’s right.

17-24 Right & Left Thru with the couple across the set.

25-32  Same four Right & Left Thru back to their home line.

33-40  2 Ladies Chain across the set.

41-48  Same 2 Ladies Chain back..

49-56  Same four Star Left.

57-64  Same four Star Right.


A Nice Combination

A Nice Combination

Don Ward

Formation: Contra lines. Couples 1, 3, 5, etc. active and crossed over.

Record: “Blackberry Blossom” by Craig Duncan  Click here to hear a sample of the music on Amazon

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, Face the corner DoSaDo

    1-8  – – – -, The same one Swing

  9-16  – – – -, Promenade down in fours

17-24  – – – -, Wheel Around & Promenade up

25-32  – – – -, Bend the line & Circle Left 3/4

33-40  – – – -, With the one you face Swing

41-48  – – – -, Face across & 2 Ladies Chain

49-56  – – – -, Same four Star Left

57-64  – – – -, Face the corner DoSaDo


Description

    1-8  All face corners and DoSaDo

  9-16  Swing the same corner and finish facing down the set in lines of four.

17-24  Promenade away from the prompter 6 steps and Wheel Around as a couple.

25-32  Finish the Wheel Around and Promenade toward the prompter, Bend the Line and finish facing across the set as a couple.

33-40  Circle Four with the couple across 3/4 around.

41-48  Swing the one you are facing. This is your original partner. Finish facing across the set with your partner.

49-56  2 Ladies Chain across the set.

57-64  Star Left once around to the next corner position.


Market Lass Crossed

During the holiday season, it is nice to have an evening of dancing where the ladies wear long dresses, if they choose. This nicely sets the stage for a contra dance that reflects music and styling used over 100 years ago. The ‘Market Lass” is from the heritage collection of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation and dances beautifully with ladies in long dresses and men in coats. Very nice for that special evening when the weather is cold.

Market Lass Crossed

Traditional

Researched by Ralph Page

Formation: Contra lines. Couples 1, 4, 7, etc., active & NOT crossed. (Proper triple)

Record: LS 386  “Market Lass”  Click here to listen to a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro Actives Down the Outside (Intro music is only four beats)

    1-8  – – Below two couples, – – Cross Over

  9-16  Up the outside pass one Couple, in & Forward six & Back

17-24  – – – -, Right Hand to partners turn 3/4

25-32  – – – -, Forward Six & Back again

33-40  – – – -, Right Hand to partners turn 3/4

41-48  – – – -, With the couple above Right & Left Thru

49-56  – – – -, – – Right & Left Back

57-64  – – – -, Actives down the outside

 


Description

    1-8  The active couples 1, 4, 7, etc. walk down the outside of the set below two inactive couples and step into the center of the set.

  9-16  The active couples cross over to opposite side of the set & proceed up the outside of the set past one couple and step into the long lines.

17-24  Join hands with the couple on either side & walk Forward & Back.

25-32  Actives turn their partner right hand 3/4 as the inactives face to join lines of three facing across the hall. The right hand turns should be done in the old style with the man holding the lady’s hand at shoulder level with his arm bent at the elbow.

33-40  The lines of three move Forward & Back.

41-48  Actives turn partner right 3/4 as the inactives face across the hall. The actives finish back in their original lines. Men with men & ladies with ladies.

49-56  Right & Left Thru with the couple above. Since this is a same sex Right & Left Thru, it is really executed as a Pass Thru followed by a Wheel Around and not with a Courtesy Turn.

57-64  Right & Left Back.


Allynn’s Mountain Reel

Allynn’s Mountain Reel

Allynn Riggs

Formation: Contra lines. Couple facing couple across the set. The formation requires an even number of couples.

Record: LS 400   Click here to listen to a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – – , Across Two Ladies Chain

    1-8  – – – -, – – Ladies DoSaDo

  9-16  – – – -, – – Men DoSaDo

17-24  – – – -, Ladies Chain turn a quarter more

25-32  – – – -, Promenade go up & down

33-40  – – Wheel Around, – – Come back

41-48  – – – – , Find those two & Half Promenade

49-56  – – – -, Slant right & Right & Left Thru

57-64  – – – -, Straight across Two Ladies Chain

 


Description

    1-8  Two Ladies Chain across the set.

  9-16  Same two ladies DoSaDo.

17-24  Opposite men DoSaDo.

25-32  Two Ladies Chain and the men Courtesy Turn the ladies 1/4 more to face up or down the floor. The line on the prompter’s left will be facing away and the line on the caller’s right witll be facing the prompter.

33-40  Promenade the direction you are facing for six short steps. Wheel Around as a couple and walk the opposite direction.

41-48  When each couple is across from the original opposite couple in the foursome the two couples Half Promenade across.

49-56  Each couple faces the couple diagonally to the right and does a Right & Left Thru. Two couples, one at each end of the set will have no couple diagonally to their right. They should face across the set and wait in place for 8 counts.

57-64  All couples face across the set and Chain the Ladies.

 Notes:  Allynn’s original dance “Snow Mountain Reel”, uses a Hey for Four instead of the ladies & men DoSaDo.


Carrbean Contra

Carrbean Contra

Don Armstrong

Formation: Contra lines with 1,3,5, etc. crossed and active. An even number of duples is recommended.

Record: Grenn 12131 “In the Morning Dew” or Jewel 709 “Whup Whup”

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, Everybody Forward & Back

    1-8  – – – -, – – Corner DoSaDo

 9 -16  – – – -, – Promenade Single File

17-24  – – – -, U-turn Back & return to place

25-32  – – – -, Allemande Left & the Ladies Chain

33-40  – – – -, – – Chain back

41-48  – – – -, All Pass Thru & U-turn Back

49-56  – – – -, With the new lady on the right Promenade Half

57-64 – – – -, Long lines Forward & Back


Description

    1-8  The long lines go Forward & Back.

  9-16  Face the Corner & DoSaDo. Be sure to finish the DoSaDo facing the corner.

17-24  Promenade Single File by the corner, passing right shoulders. All the men, on each side, will Promenade Single File. All the ladies, on each side, will Promenade Single File.

25-32  All U-turn Back and return Single File back to the corner.

33-40 Do a quick Allemande Left with the corner and then 2 Ladies Chain across the set. The man will Courtesy Turn his partner.

41-48  Chain the Ladies back across the set.

49-56  The two facing lines Pass Thru and U-turn Back.

57-64  The man takes the new lady on the right in Couple Promenade position and Promenade Half across back to the home line. (The active couples have moved down the set two positions. A new couple becomes active at the head of the set and a new couple becomes inactive at the foot of the set.)

Note: The first few times through the dance some people may be confused about which person to Promenade Half in counts 57-64. Have the men look to their right and the ladies look to their left. Don’s original terminology for the action U-Turn Back is Turn Alone. 


Constant Contra

Double progression contras move the dancers two positions within the line each sequence. This means the dancers move through the positions in the set quite rapidly. In the following contras the dancers do not have to remember to cross at the head of the set. Double progression contras do work better when all the set have even numbers of duples.

Constant Contra

Mitch Pingel

Formation: Contra lines with 1,3,5, etc. crossed and active. An even number of duples is recommended.

Record: “Time Reel” by New England Dance Masters”  Click here to listen do a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, Face the Corner & DoSaDo

    1-8  – – – -, – – Corner Swing

 9 -16  – – – -, Put her on your right & Star left

17-24  – – – -, – – Star Right

25-32  – – – -, Men drop out & Two Ladies Chain across

33-40  – – – -, – – Chain back

41-48  – – – -, All Pass Thru & U-turn Back

49-56  – – – -, With the new lady on the right Promenade Half

57-64  – – – -, Face a new corner & DoSaDo


Description

    1-8  All DoSaDo the corner

  9-16  Swing the corner. Place the lady on the man’s right hand side and face across the set as a couple.

17-24  Star Left with the couple across the set.

25-32  Same four reverse direction and Star Right.

33-40  The men drop out of the Star when they reach their home line. The two ladies continue to hold hands and 2 Ladies Chain across the set. The man will Courtesy Turn their partner.

41-48  Same 2 Ladies Chain back to their home line.

49-56  The two facing lines Pass Thru & U-turn Back.

57-64  The man takes the new right hand lady in Couple Promenade position and Promenade Half back to the home line. (The active couples move down the set two positions. A new couple becomes active at the head of the set and a new couple becomes inactive at the foot of the set.)

Note: The first few times through the dance some people may be confused about which person to Promenade Half in counts 57-64. Have the men look to their right and the ladies look to their left.


Homosassa Hornpipe

The body flow in Homosassa Hornpipe is almost perfect. I also like to use singing call records for this dance.

Homosassa Hornpipe

Don Armstrong

Formation: Contra lines 1, 3, 5,etc. active and crossed over

Record: LS 287  “Homosassa Hornpipe”  Click here to listen to a some of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, Actives DoSaDo in the Center

    1-8  – – – -, – – Corner Swing

  9-16  – – – -, Put her on the right & Half Promenade

17-24  – – – -, Same four Right & Left Thru

25-32  – – – -, – – Left Hand Star

33-40  – – – -, – – Right Hand Star

41-48  – – – -, The men drop Out & the Ladies Chain

49-54  – – – -, – – Chain Back

56-64  – – – -, Actives DoSaDo in the center

 


Description

    1-8  Active couples DoSaDo their partner across the set.

  9-16  Swing the lady on the man’s left hand side (corner).

17-24  Promenade half across the set with the corner lady, men passing left shoulders. (The man can just keep his arm around the waist of his partner.)

25-32  Same four Right & Left Thru back to the orginal line.

33-40  Same four Star Left. (It helps if the man holds the lady’s left hand as they blend into the Left Hand Star.)

41-48  Same four Star Right.

49-56  The men stop at home position and the Ladies Chain across the set to their partners. (The man can add a small left hand roll out in four counts as the ladies are chaining toward them.)

57-64  Chain the ladies back across the set.


OXO Reel

OXO Reel

Author Unknown

Formation: Contra lines of six couples. All the men in a line on the caller’s right and all the ladies in a line on the caller’s left.

Record: March Medley   Click here to listen to a sample of the music on Amazon

Prompts

Intro Top Couple Sashay Down, Bottom Couple Sashay Up

    1-8  New top couple Sashay down, New bottom couple Sashay up

  9-16  – – – -, Everybody Forward & Back

17-24  – – – -, – – Circles & Stars

25-32  – – – -, Reverse the Circles & Stars

33-40  – – – -, All face up & Promenade to the Foot

41-48  – – – -, First couple arch and others duck thru

49-54  Promenade to the head of the set, – – – –

57-64  Top couple sashay down,bottom couple up 


Description

    1-8 First couple joins hands and sashay or walk to the foot of the set down the inside while the bottom couple separate and walk or sashay up the outside to the head of the set.

  9-16  The new first couple joins hands and sashay or walk to the foot of the set down the inside while the new bottom couple separate and walk or sashay up the outside to the head of the set.

17-24  Everybody Forward & Back.

25-32  The top two couples Circle Left, the middle two couples Star Left and the bottom two couples Circle Left.

33-40  Everyone reverses direction to Right Hand Circle on the ends and Star Right in the middle.

41-48  Everyone faces the head of the set, separates and promenades single file to the foot of the set.

49-64  The first couple forms an arch and the other couples dive thru the arch and promenade to the head of the set.


Slaunch To Donegal

This dance is very useful with people who already know square dancing because couple face couple across the set instead of the partner being across the set. You sing it like a singing call.

Slaunch to Donegal

Adapted by Ede Butlin from “Beckett Reel” by Herbe Gaudreau

Formation: Couples facing couples, lady on partner’s right, in long lines down the hall. An even number of couples is required.

Record: LS 177  “Donegal Jig”  Click here to listen to a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, With your corner allemande left 1

    1-8  – – – -, Everybody swing your own

  9-16  – – – -, Slant left and right and left thru

17-24  – – – -, Straight across right & left thru

25-32  – – – -, Same four two ladies chain

33-40  – – – -, – – Chain back

41-48 – – – -, Same four star Left

49-56  – – – -, – – Star right

57-64  – – – -, With your corner allemande left

 


Description

    1-8  Allemande Left with the corner.

  9-16  Swing your partner and finish facing across the set.

17-24  As a couple, face diagonally to the left and Right & Left Thru with the facing couple. Two couples, one on each end of the set, will have no couple diagonally to the left. They face across the set and wait in place for 8 beats of music.

25-32  Right & Left Thru with the couple across the set. The two couples left idle, during the previous move, will change sides of the set during the Right & Left Thru and have a new home line.

33-40  2 Ladies Chain across the set.

41-48  Chain the ladies back across the set.

49-56  Same four Star Left.

57-64  Same four Star Right back to the home lines.

One of the more unusual contras I’ve found. This one and another version are both printed in “Dancing for Busy People.


Tunnel Contra

An excellent contra to be used at beginner parties. If the gender ratio is uneven, just have people remember their home line. Kids love this dance.

Tunnel Contra

Author Unknown

Formation: Six couples or fewer. All the men in a line on the caller’s right. All the ladies in a line on the caller’s left.

Record: LS 700  Tunnel Contra.  Click here to listen to a sample of the music.

Prompts

Intro  – – – -, Everybody Forward & Back

    1-8  – – – -, All Pass Thru, – U-turn Back

  9-16  – – – -, Everybody Forward & Back

17-24  – – – -, All Pass Thru & U-turn Back

25-32  – – – -, Top couple Slide Down (Others Arch)

33-40  – – – -, Lady up inside,man up outside

41-48  – – – -, Man down inside,lady down outside

49-56  – – – -, – – Everybody Swing

57-64  – – – -, Everybody Forward & Back


 

The prompts shown below are abbreviated and should be used only after the dancers are completely familiar with the dance.

    1-8  – – – -, – – – Cross

  9-16  – – – -, – – – Forward

17-24  – – – -, – – – Cross

25-32  – – – -, – – Top Cpcouple down

33-40  – – – -, – – Lady up inside

41-48  – – – -, – – Man down inside

49-56  – – – -, – – – Swing

57-64  – – – -, – – – Forward

 


Description

    1-8  Lines walk Forward & Back.

  9-16  Pass Thru the opposite line in 4 steps and U-turn Back in 4 steps to end standing where opposite line started.

17-24  Both lines walk Forward & Back.

25-32  Pass Thru the opposite line in 4 steps and U-turn Back in 4 steps to end standing back in the home line.

33-40  The couple nearest the prompter join both hands with the opposite person and slide (sashay) to the foot of the set. The rest of the couples form a two hand arch as the active couple passes by to form a long tunnel.

41-48  The lady walks up through the tunnel as the man walks up the outside of the man’s line.

49-56  The man walks down through the tunnel as the lady walks down the outside of the lady’s line. The active couple then step into their home line at the foot of the set.

57-64  Everybody Swing their partner and then step back into their home lines.

Note: If you find the active couple cannot go through the tunnel within 16 counts, eliminate the final 8-count Swing and wait the 8 extra beats of music before prompting the Forward & Back. The tunnel can also be eliminated, if needed, for dancers with physical limitations.