Contra Dances by Paul Balliet

To the right find a complete set of my finished dances, ones which I'm willing to call at the right dance. Feel free to use these -- please let me know how they work or evolve.


Contact Information

cell phone - 330-696-5770
email - ansel1 at neo dot rr dot com


Key to Abbreviations used

Difficulty: 1=easy 2=medium 3=advanced
I note a few favorites, and previously unpublished dances and variations.
Here is a link to my Glossary.

1s = couple facing down
2s = couple facing up
M = man/men
N = neighbor(s)
P = partner
W = woman/women
w/ = with
WC = women chain
Al = allemande
L = left
R = right
B = balance
Cir = circle
DSD = do-si-do
LHS = left hand star
RHS = right hand star
LL F+B = long lines forward and back
Prom = promenade
PT = pass through
RLT = right and left through
S = swing


A few Dance Links

Calling Contra Dances

Notes by Cary Ravitz

Dances near Cleveland

Ann Arbor MI
Cleveland OH
Columbus OH
Dandelion Romp OH
Pittsburgh PA
River Rendezvous OH
Whitewater Whirl WV

Contras by Others

Bob Dalsemer
Erik Hoffman
Gene Hubert archive
David Kaynor
Rick Mohr
Carol Ormand
Joseph Pimentel
Cary Ravitz
Seth Tepfer
Don Theyken

Carmen's Scarf         

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 1

A1       w/N bumpsy daisy S
A2
       half prom.: WC
B1       PT (across the set), w/P S
B2       Cir L 3/4: B cir, PT.

Paul Balliet
6/92 mod. 11/93

A1: stand beside your N, clap hands 2X, bump hips 2X, turn to face N and S.  Similar to Kathy Anderson's Carmen's Hat.  Moves swings to side of set.

Fairport Harbor          Favorite

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       M Al-L 1+1/2: w/N prom (in large oval w/M in the center)
A2       W turn back, w/new N G and S (end w/W in the center)
B1       promenade home: W chain (to P)
B2       PT and S P.

Paul Balliet
8/93, mod 1/94

A1: make sure everyone's facing up or down, A2: make sure W on inside.  At ends, join in the promende: don't stop dancing! (turn to S from Gang of 4.)  Dizzy.

First English Roar               Rewrite 2009

Formation: Mx. Cir.   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 2

A1       LL F+B: (just the) M go fwd, return to face P
A2       All slide to R (4 sashey steps), slide to L: w/P DSD (take P R hand,N L hand)
B1       Wave Balance R, L, slide R:  balance L, R, slide L (like Rory O'More)
B2       w/ (next)  S.

Paul Balliet
1995 mod. 6/09

A2: your next P is in your L hand. From Sibyl's Roundabout, 1972 by Les Wootton

First English Roundabout         

Formation: Mx. Cir.   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 2

A1       LL F+B: (just the) M go fwd, return to face P
A2       All slide to R (4 sashey steps), slide to L: w/P DSD (take P R hand,N L hand)
B1       Wave B (R,L w/P) half Al-R: wave B (L,R w/N) half Al-L
B2       w/ (next) N, G and S.

Paul Balliet
1995 mod.

Sibyl's Roundabout, 1972 by Les Wootton

First Hey            Favorite

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       w/N Al-L 1+1/2: WC
A2       W pass R, hey
B1       w/P B and S
B2
       Cir L 3/4: B cir, PT.

Paul Balliet
Dec-93

Designed as the first hey for new dancers.  B2: cir L back to orig. place.  Alt. B1: B 2X and S or w/P L elbow reel: w/P R elbow reel.

Floorplay          

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       M pass L to a hey for 4
A2       M pass L and S N (face across)
B1       PT and cross trail (W go L, M go R): w/new N Al-L 1+1/2
B2       B wave, (W) half Al-R: w/P S (on side, face across).

Paul Balliet
2-92 mod. 12/92, 7and11/93

When teaching, mention Al-L with new N before walking the cross trail thru.  B2: W in middle of wave.  Name requested by Jan Koloda.

More Floorplay           Rewrite 2012

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       M pass L to a hey for 4
A2       M pass L and S N (face across)
B1       PT w/N 1/4 G, w/new N 1/4 LG, same N Al-L 1+1/2
B2       B wave, W only spin to R: w/P S (on side, face across).

Paul Balliet
4/12 revision

B2: W in middle of wave. Spin to R as in Rory Amore.  Name requested by Jan Koloda.

Fuller Park Fantasy           

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       B wave, w/N Al-R: W Al-L, w/same N half Al-R
A2       B wave (M in middle), M half Al-L: S P
B1       LL F+B: RLT
B2       Cir L 3/4: B cir, PT to a new wave.

Paul Balliet
Dec-92

A1: Take N's R hand, W take L hands to form wave

Glen Helen                  Rewrite 2008

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       LL F+B: 1s G 1+1/2 (or once and Al-L N)
A2       w/same gender person Al-L, 1s S
B1
       Down hall 4, turn alone, walk backward: return, turn alone, walk backward
B2       Cir L: w/N S.

Paul Balliet
Dec-91. Mod 121308

A1: Changed to 1+1/2 as the norm. B1: Here, all turns are towards your N - chance to check them out before S!  B1 three steps then turn, from Jim's Reel by Steve Schnurr.

Gnat Sass, The          New 1998

Formation: Improper   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       Cir L: w/N DSD
A2       w/N B and box the gnat: pull by and w/ the old N G L
B1       w/N B and S
B2       LL F+B: 1s S (face down).

Paul Balliet
1/93 mod 12/98

B2: in an uncrowded hall, the 2s may S as well, and face up.

Going to St. Paul                

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       Cir L: w/N DSD
A2       w/N B and box the gnat: M Al-L 1+1/2
B1       Pass P by R, half a hey (pass L in middle): w/P S
B2       LL F+B: WC.

Paul Balliet
Jan-94

great dance

Hey Man             Favorite

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       M DSD: (take R hands) M B, half Al-R (pass P by L)
A2       Hey
B1       w/P B and S
B2
       Cir L: slide L go fwd. and back.

Paul Balliet
Oct-95

A1: The Al is really about 3/4, but half way & pass P by R gets the idea. B2: w/P, slant to L to face a new cpl.  Go fwd. towards them, back up to end  up across from them.  A1:can also have W DSD.

Honey Rum                 New 2008

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       Slide L F+B: WC
A2       W Al-R, w/N S
B1
       M Al-L 1+1/2: w/P S
B2       RLT: RHS.

Paul Balliet
12/93 mod. 1/94, 12/97, 10/2008

A1: As a couple, slant L and move towards a new couple.  Face across and back up.

Joel and Louise 30th Anniversary               YES

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       WC: WC
A2       Cir L 3/4 w/N S
B1
       W pass R, half hey: waves at side B (M face in, take N's L), slide R (pass New N)
B2       w/N (new), half Al-L, M pass R, w/P S (on side, face across).

Paul Balliet
May 11

B1: you will end up across the set, swithcing places with the same gender person. M will face out, and W in, holding your N's L hand. Take the R hand of your next N, with whom you will swap places. B2: the Al is a bit more than 1/2 turn.

Lockstitch                  

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 2

A1       w/N B R, L, slide R: (new N) B R, L, slide R (similar to Rory Amore, but progresses along wave)
A2       w/N (next) Al-R, M pull by L, w/P S
B1       LL F&B: slant L, RLT
B2       WC: LHS

Paul Balliet
4/11/10

A1: dance starts in long waves, M face out. Instruct: M turn your back to your partner, take N's R & form long waves. Identify N, 2nd N (beyond first), and 3rd N. At ends, 2nd or 3rd N may be your P.

Lockstitch v1              YES

Formation: Becket   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 2

A1       WC: LHS
A2       w/N B R, L, slide R: (new N) B R, L, slide R (similar to Rory Amore, but progresses along wave)
B1       w/N (next) Al-R, M pull by L, w/P S
B2       LL F&B: w/P half prom, (face in) slide R.

Paul Balliet
4/11/2010 mod 5/14/11

A2: Step to long waves, M face out.Take N's L, next N's R & form long waves. Identify next N, 2nd N (beyond first), and 3rd N. At ends, any N may be your P. At the ends, form an oval and continue around. B2: pass through & hook L.

May Apple Stomper            New 1995

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       M DSD: B cir, w/N roll away w/a half sashay (swap places)
A2       Cir L 3/4: w/P S
B1       LL F+B: WC
B2       LHS: RHS.

Paul Balliet
5/93, mod. 94, ?/95

Written after May Apple Stomp at Logan Lake.

Men's Turn                 

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 1

A1       M DSD: w/N G
A2       M B, pull by R and S P (face down)
B1       Down hall 4 (turn as a cpl): return, bend the line
B2       Cir L 3/4: B cir, Calif. twirl.

Paul Balliet
11/93 mod 4/96

If the G goes a bit beyond the center, M may enjoy "peeling off" over their L shoulder to enter the B.  An offering to M who never get to do a WC.

New Beginnings                 

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 2

A1       w/N DSD: w/N pull by R, (w/new N) Al-L
A2       B the wave (M in middle) M half Al-R and w/P S (on side, face across).
B1       Cir L 3/4, w/ N S
B2
       LL F+B: RLT.

Paul Balliet
Oct-95

Progression occurs in A1.  Al-L is really 1+1/4.

New Decade               Rewrite 2010

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 3   Progression: 2

A1       w/N DSD: w/N pull by R, (w/new N) Al-L
A2       B the wave (M in middle) M spin to R, w/P S (on side, face across).
B1       Cir L 3/4, w/ N S
B2       LL F+B: w/P B (R hands) & pull by R (face N), L pull by

Paul Balliet
Oct-95, New Beginnings modified Feb 2010

Progression occurs in A1.  Al-L is really 1+1/4. B2: B & square through 2 hands.

New Year's Day                  

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       LL F+B: M DSD
A2       W Al-L 1+1/2: w/P S
B1       Cir L 3/4 (1s face down, 2s face up), PT, G (future N)
B2       Go back to your N, B and S (face across).

Paul Balliet
1-92 mod 12/93

B1: cir L to orig. place; introduce N, 2nd N, G before anyone moves.

New Year's Day r1               Modify 2006

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 2   Progression: 1

A1       LL F+B: M DSD
A2       W Al-L 1+1/2: w/P S
B1       Cir L 3/4 (1s face down, 2s face up), PT: w/new N B and box the gnat
B2       Pull by to N and S (face across).

Paul Balliet
1-92 mod 12/93 and 5/06

B1: cir L to orig. place; introduce current N, new N before anyone moves

Summer Sunshine              Favorite

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 1

A1       B wave, w/N S
A2       WC: WC
B1       Cir L 3/4, w/P S
B2
       Cir L 3/4 (back to orig. position): B wave, PT to a new wave.

Paul Balliet
7-92, mod 3/23/94

A1: Take N's R hand, W take L hands to form wave

Three's Company                Favorite

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 1

A1       PT, w/new N G and S (face across)
A2       LL F+B: 1s S (face up)
B1       w/M cir L, pop him thru: 2s S, 1s California twirl
B2       Cir L 1+1/4 to a wave, B (1s face down, W in middle holding L hands)

Paul Balliet
Apr-93

B1: 1s and #2 M cir L once, the 1s arch and pull the M thru to S w/his partner.  A1: first time thru, don't PT.  Becky Hill suggests Appalachian tune.

Three's Crowd            Lisa 1997

Formation: Imp   Difficulty: 1   Progression: 1

A1       w/N DSD and S (face across)
A2       LL F+B: 1s S (face up)
B1       w/M cir L, pop him thru: 2s S, 1s S too
B2       RLT: cir L 3/4, PT.

Paul Balliet / Greenleaf variation
Lisa Greenleaf wrote this variation.

B1: 1s and #2 M cir L once, the 1s arch and pull the M thru to S w/his partner.

 

Subpages (1): Glossary