Contra Choreo

I've now written enough contra dances that it's worth collecting them to show off a little. Many of these have been reproduced/presented elsewhere as well, but these represent my current versions, with the most detailed notes. I use the traditional terms Gents/Ladies in these descriptions, but I'm happy to have these called with gender-free terms. 

I hereby license my choreographic compositions under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. They may be copied, shared, or redistributed in any format with attribution.

If you call these and have additional notes, please let me know. If you find videos of these being called/dance, I'd appreciate a link. Thanks & Enjoy!

Contras


Alpha Ursae Minoris
by Andy Shore - August 2018
Becket (CCW)
Difficulty - advanced/weekend/workshop

*ID shadow beyond partner in becket
A1 (8) Promenade across the Set (J hook to progress)
   (8) Mad Robin [Ladies passing in front]
A2 (8) Neighbor RH Balance & Box the Gnat
   (8) with N & Shadow, Square Thru 4 (no balances) 
    - make the 4th hand an Allemande Left 1/2 w/ Shadow
   [to long waves with Gents facing OUT, partner in RH, shadow in LH]
B1 (4,4) Balance the Wave, Box Circulate
   (8)  Neighbor swing
B2 (4,2) [1/4 ricochet hey] Gents go in and push back, Ladies Cross passing Left
   (10) Swing Partner
Notes: progression is J-hook Promenade in A1
End Effects: when out with Partner, cross over and get in on A2 Balance and BtG; you'll do the square thru with Shadow and Partner, then you'll be out again to get in on the normal progression

Note that the A2 Square Thru leaves your minor set! Take time to ID N & Shadow for the square thru = the ONLY 2 people you touch! A no-balance Square Thru is unusual in contra.

This is a high piece count dance with little chance for recovery. Not for the faint of heart! Probably should introduce figures in other dances first - Mad Robin, Square Thru, Ricochet Hey, Box Circulate. 

The title: named in honor of the band Polaris, who I toured with in August 2018 and who helped me finalize this dance. Alpha Ursae Minoris is another name for Polaris, the pole star. 

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Doorbits
by Andy Shore - May 2018
Improper
Difficulty - intermediate
A1 (16) Neighbor balance and swing (end cozy)
A2 (8) Revolving Door - but - slide past partner**
   (8) Gents allemande Left 1.5x while Ladies Orbit CW
B1 (16) Partner balance and swing
B2 (8) Ladies Chain
   (8) Star Left to next neighbor
Notes: ** Revolving Door is described here
In this dance, as ladies finish, slide past partner almost face to face (or at the very least right shoulder to right shoulder, so that the men can weave almost hey-like into the Left Allemande, Ladies continue with right shoulder toward the center orbit CW across. This generally requires a demo! I also often call a simpler revolving door dance earlier in the evening.

The title: the obvious merge of revolving door into orbit.

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Pete's Dark Roast
by Andy Shore - May 2017
Becket (CCW)
Difficulty - intermediate to advanced
A1 (8) Gents Allemande Left 1.5x
   (8) Neighbor Swing
A2 (8) Promenade Across [face partner across set]
   (8) Mad Robin [Ladies passing in front]
B1 (4,4) Partner RH Balance & Box the Gnat
   (8) Right & Left Thru  - *Courtesy Turn Someone New*
B2 (8) Ladies Allemande Right 1.5x+
   (8) Swing Partner
Notes: 
* the courtesy turn in B1 is with your new neighbor, this is the progression.
End Effects: when out with your partner, cross over and get in on the B1 balance and BtG, or just wait to turn/be turned

This dance seems simple but is deceptive, there are two cross-the-set actions (Promenade, R&LT) lead to Courtesy Turns which lead to Ladies moving in to the set. Because of the progression, warn the Ladies that (once the dance gets going) the 1st time they see a new Lady across, it's for the Allemande (B2), the 2nd time is for the Mad Robin. +I originally wrote this as a Ladies DSD or Right Shoulder Round in B2, but have changed it to an Allemande to help with this issue.

The title: I got to Palo Alto really early to call a dance and sat in Pete's coffee shop getting hyper-caffeinated. A couple of pieces of choreography that had been kicking around in my head for a while came together and this dance took shape. The title comes from that, and that the "hook" is a wake-up-and-pay-attention move for the Right and Left Thru and the Ladies need to stay alert!


Serving REELness
by Andy Shore - August 2018
Improper 
Difficulty - intermediate
A1 (16) Neighbor balance and swing (end cozy)
A2 (8) Revolving Door - but**
   (8) 1/2 Hey, pass partner by left
B1 (16) Partner balance and swing
B2 (8) Circle Left 3/4 and pass through along the set
   (8) [Next] Neighbor Do-si-do
Notes: ** Revolving Door is described here. In this dance, release RD early so that Gents are in opposite Lady's spot & have time to do a tight turn to their right to come in for the left shoulder pass to start the 1/2 hey.

The title is a reference to the FX television series Pose.

Video: Doug Plummer captured the debut walk-thru and dance at the Lake City Contra Dance on August 9, 2018 here.

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[Title of Contra]
by Andy Shore - May 2018
Becket 
Difficulty - intermediate
A1 (8) Revolving Door - but **to a wave (gents in middle, N in RH)
   (4,4) Balance the Wave, Walk Forward to the Next
A2 (16) Next Neighbor Balance & swing
B1 (8) Mad Robin - gents in front to the right
   (8) Gents allemande Left 1.5
B2 (16) Partner balance and swing

Notes: ** Revolving Door is describe here. In this dance, as ladies finish, slide past partner almost face to face, so that they can take RH with Partner and Gents can take LH in middle to form a short wave across the set.

The progression is in bottom of A1.

End Effects: when out with Partner, wait out on the "wrong side" for the B&S in A2.

The title is a play on the musical "[Title of Show]" - it's a placeholder because I had no title :)

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