Contra Dances We've Written

For callers interested in new dances, here are some dances we've written that have been well-received by dancers and fellow callers.



Down by the Bay.......contra
Bass Ackwards.......contra
Early Bird Special.......easy contra
Grand Chain Break.......square break
Half a Star's Better than None.......square
Hey the Line.......contra 4 face 4
Hey! Who's in the Middle?.......contra
Huckleberry Friend.......contra
The Joy of Six.......contra
Maggie's Ginger Jig.......easy contra
New York Superfudge Chunk.......contra
Overbalanced.......contra
Power Play.......contra
Sweet September.......contra
Swing Both Ways.......contra
32 Seconds.......contra
Tuk-Tuk Ride.......contra 4 face 4
Which Side is Up?.......sicilian circle
Wind in the Grass.......contra
Yum-yums in the Kitchen.......contra











Bass Ackwards
by Tom Calwell Nov 05
duple-improper backward progression

Note: The couples waiting out need to put the man on the right. 1's progress up and 2's down.

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Sweet September
by Myra Hirschberg
duple improper

Written for the wedding of our friends Eric and Heather.

Note: Dancers should be warned to end the neighbor swing in good time for the neighbor allemande.

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Which Side is Up?
by Tom Calwell
Sicilian Circle

Note: Can be done as a contra, but there are end effects; just keep dancing with whoever is available as you get near the ends.

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Overbalanced
by Tom Calwell
becket

Written while sitting beside Furnace Falls, eating an ice cream cone.

Note: In B2, the "square through" is equivalent to a California twirl with partner, but with the "wrong" hands (ie, the man turns his partner under his left arm).

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Huckleberry Friend
by Tom Calwell and Myra Hirschberg
beckett

In honor of our much-loved and missed cat.

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The Joy of Six
by Myra Hirschberg
duple improper

Written for a joint anniversary party for three couples.

Note: There's lots of time for the neighbor gypsy in A1.

This dance was suggested by the first moves of Cal Hurd's "Mad Gypsy".

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New York Superfudge Chunk
by Myra Hirschberg
duple improper

Note: An attempt to write a symmetrical dance. The name? The dance has two scoops in it.

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Maggie's Ginger Jig
by Tom Calwell and Myra Hirschberg
duple improper

Note: An easy, easy first contra for a crowd of mostly new dancers.

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Early Bird Special
by Tom Calwell
duple improper

Note: Written to order for Myra, who needed a glossary dance with right and left through, ladies chain, and down the hall, all in the same dance.

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Half a Star's Better than None
by Tom Calwell
Square keeper - HSHS

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Grand Chain Break
by Tom Calwell
Square break

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Down by the Bay
by Tom Calwell
duple improper

Note: Uses the backing-up line-of-four figure from the English country dance Dublin Bay.

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Hey! Who's in the Middle?
by Tom Calwell Oct 2006
duple improper

Note: Based on "Two who's in the middle" and "Hey in the Barn"

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Yum-yums in the Kitchen
by Myra Hirschberg Spring 2008
duple improper



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Tuk-Tuk Ride
by Tom Calwell April 2008
duple improper 4 face 4 double progression

Notes: Start the dance with one line of 4 out at the top, so they are in for the second half of A1. Half of the couples progress back and forth between sets, while the other half progress up and down the lines. You can switch which half progress each way by having men allemande left 1 1/2 in B1, instead of the women, but be ready for the dance to break down since they may not all cope with the new rolls.

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32 Seconds
by Tom Calwell Spring 2007
duple improper

Note: A1 is with new neighbor, and gents roll lady from left to right.

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Swing Both Ways
by Tom Calwell October 2011
duple improper

Note: A1 is with new neighbor gent. If parters alternate who takes hands in wave then each of them will get the extra swing. The dance was modified in Oct 2011.

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Wind in the Grass
by Tom Calwell May 2008
beckett

Note: Locate new neighbors on right diagonal before starting wavy lines. Partner and these neighbors are in hey and circle. When out on the end move to be on the right diagonal.

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Hey the Line
by Tom Calwell January 2010
duple improper 4 face 4

Notes:

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Power Play
by Myra Hirschberg Spring 2008
duple improper

Notes: A power turn is a courtesy turn with an extra half-turn, so the dancers end up facing their original direction. A1 can be described either as a right and left thru up and down the set, with a partner power turn, or as a pass-through up and down, followed by a partner power turn (depending on whether the dancers are used to right & left through with hands).

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