Dances by Ken Gall

BAYOU DELIGHT           Becket, double progression        Ken Gall 5/6/10

A1 on left diagonal (if you have one) RIGHT AND LEFT OVER
____LADIES CHAIN__straight across__________________________
A2 (after courtesy turn) LADIES CROSS passing by right         (4)
____PARTNER GYPSY and SWING ___________________        (12)
B1 MEN ALLEMANDE LEFT once and a half
____NEIGHBOR SWING on Man’s home side____________________
B2 BALANCE CIRCLE (4), PARTNER ROLL AWAY with half sashay(4)
                 Man rolls his partner in front of him, across the set
_____CIRCLE LEFT three quarters___________________________

 I’ve been calling this dance since the summer of 2010. A number of callers from around the country, including Nils Fredland, Diane Silver, Jerome Grisanti, Ann Fallon, Lori Pimental, and Mike Clark, have copied it, and it has been called in several states. There is a video of me calling it at Glen Echo on Youtube.

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ALLIE OOP'S SPECIAL DAY            Improper             Ken Gall 10/25/11

A1 hands across STAR RIGHT three places
_____pull by RIGHT AND LEFT across the set ______________________
A2 STAR LEFT once around
_____PARTNER ALLEMANDE LEFT (twice if you have time)______________
B1 HALF HEY, ladies lead by passing right in the middle
__
___PARTNER SWING on woman's side___________________________
B2 CIRCLE LEFT three quarters
____  BALANCE the circle; CALIFORNIA TWIRL______________________
We all need special days!  Allie Oop was my younger sister's nickname when
she was a wee little kid. I wrote this dance on her birthday, October 25, with
the a sequence inspired by a dance I heard Tamarra Loewenthal call at the
wedding of Juliet Port and Chris Reading a few days earlier.
The dance flows
incredibly well, with lots of partner connection.
  Allie Oop is now more generally
known as
Alice Clayton, a sometimes contra dancer, musician and nurse
practitioner living for the last several years on Lummi Island, off the coast of
Bellingham, Washington.  The dance was picked up by several callers almost
immediately.

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MIND THE GAP        
            Improper                Ken Gall    9/12/11

A1 LADIES PASS RIGHT to change places, then ALL CIRCLE LEFT one time (QUICKLY!)
______PARTNER BALANCE and CUDDLE, end facing CW, women in the middle_
A2 PROMENADE in cuddle position (6) TURN as a couple (2) PROMENADE BACK
___________________________________________    ___________________
B1 MEN with original neighbor man ALMD. LEFT 
______PARTNER SWING_on man's side_________________________________
B2 LONG LINES forward and back
______LADIES CHAIN_to progress_____________________________________

This is a fairly easy dance, revised from an earlier version.  The cuddle is typically a swing dance move, so 32 bar swing music works well. Partners keep hands when getting into the cuddle position, in this case with the man standing still lifting his left hand over the woman's left shoulder, and the woman turning under the joined hands toward the middle of the set.  This promenade is around the larger set, not just in the set of four.  Mind the Gap is the warning sign you see as you step up to get onto the train in Ireland.The balance and cuddle move was learned from a Dave Notman dance at Sugar Hill, 2010.

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AS GOOD AS IT GETS            Improper        Ken Gall        12/29/10

A1 NEIGHBOR GYPSY
______ NEIGHBOR SWING_______________________________
A2 CIRCLE LEFT three places
______ PARTNER SWING__on man’s side___________________
B1 MEN ALLEMANDE LEFT one time
____ PARTNER SWING__on man’s side___________________
B2 LONG LINES forward and back
______ LADIES CHAIN__________________________ ________

This is similar to Cary Ravitz’s Jubilation Variation, one of the relatively few dances that include two partner swings. This is even simpler than Cary’s dance--and in the final progression you can change the call for three partner swings. Dwayne Johnson of Louisville and others have copied this dance. It works great as a no walk through final dance, or part of a closing medley. The original A1 was with a circle left, but I prefer this. 

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STARS of INDY                   Improper                    Ken Gall  11/18/10, revised

A1 STAR RIGHT
_____ STAR LEFT_______________________________________
A2 NEIGHBOR BALANCE and SWING on Man’s side
______________________________________________________
B1 MEN CROSS by right
______PARTNER SWING_ on woman’s side___________________
B2 CIRCLE LEFT three places
______BALANCE THE CIRCLE; CALIFORNIA TWIRL_____________

This is an easy dance for new dancers.  As a teaching point, if appropriate at the time and for the particular group, you can suggest a left hand to left hand neighbor balance in A2, then raising joined left hands over their heads, and putting right hands on each others waists, as a satisfying variation on the standard swing.  (Previously titled First Star.)

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HOOSIER GIRL        Improper, Double Progression        Ken Gall    8/6/11, revised

A1 CIRCLE LEFT one time
        BALANCE CIRCLE, CLOVERLEAF (Men cast over right shoulder,
_______ Women cast over left--everybody is turning to OUTSIDE)___
B2 NEIGHBOR BALANCE and SWING Man’s side
___________________________________________________________
B1 CIRCLE LEFT one time
_____ACTIVES SWING in center of set and end facing down_________
B2 NEW NEIGHBORS SWING on the sides
_______now TWOS SWING and end facing up___ __________________

An earlier version of this dance was published by the Country Dance and Song Society in the summer issue, 2009.  This version really flows, with a swing to swing to swing sequence similar to Rick Mohr's String of Swings.

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JOY TO THE TWIRLED        Improper            Ken Gall            7/16/10

Energetic music, perhaps a jig to start and then crank it up.   Joy to the World  (Jeremiah was a Bullfrog) by Three Dog Night, is  great as second tune.

A1 BALANCE, MONTANA TWIRL with PARTNER across the set

______ BALANCE, MONTANA TWIRL with NEIGHBOR_on side of the set______

A2 BALANCE, MONTANA TWIRL with PARTNER across the set
_______NEIGHBOR SWING _________________________________________
B1 MEN PASS by right shoulder
_______PARTNER SWING woman’s side_______________________________
B2 STAR LEFT one time (hands across star, with woman in front of Partner)
           ALL BALANCE by left, MEN PULL BY left to progress
_______ while women glance right to face their new neighbor___________________

The Montana Twirl is an unusual move, but easy to learn. I usual explain it as a California Twirl on steroids-- you essentially do a California twirl and keep turning, changing places and taking the other hand with the twirlee, but keeping in the same minor set. Janet Levatin's California Twirling was written earlier and I believe she named the move. The progression in B2 works well, is easily learned, and almost unique. It takes a litle longer to teach than many other dances, wut hardly takes any calling, the moves are so memorable. I’ve called this dance dozens of times, including at the Michigan Dance Heritage workshop, at North Carolina's Splash Dance, at Memfest, and at Glen Echo. It has been enthusiastically received. It has been copied by several callers, including Bill Sudkamp. Rick Mohr said it looks like a fun dance. 

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MORE OF THE BEST THINGS            Improper            Ken Gall    7/13/10

High energy music.

A1 BASKET SWING for 4 , end facing down
_____with actives in the middle____________________
A2 FOUR WALK DOWN, turn alone
_____FOUR WALK BACK, bend to circle _____________
B1 CIRCLE LEFT THREE QUARTERS
_____PARTNER SWING on man’s side_______________
B2 CIRCLE LEFT THREE QUARTERS
_____BALANCE CIRCLE, PASS THRU________________

The basket swing is rarely done in contra. The dance may be better suited for a barn dance or ceili, but it is great fun for energetic young dancers, even newbies. It is based on Carol Ormand’s Food, Sex, and Beer, which has the basket swing for three. I changed the A part of her dance to have everyone more active. In teaching the basket swing, have everyone in the minor set put their right foot in the middle.  Men join hands with each other, and lift them over the ladies' heads and lower them behind the ladies' backs. The women join their hands and do the same over the men's heads.  Each group turns clockwise as much as they want and as fast as they are comfortable with.  Both beginners and experienced dancers enjoy the basket swing. The dance has been copied by others, including Bill Sudkamp.

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WALKING BACK TO YOU      Improper                         Ken Gall 3/7/13
A1  NEIGHBOR BALANCE and SWING--end facing clockwise in promenade position 
_
________________________________________________________________________
A2 PROMENADE the big oval 6 steps, and TURN ALONE so women are still on the inside
_     _______PROMENADE BACK_______________________________________________
B1 LADIES (with original neighbor lady) ALLEMANDE LEFT once and a half, while MEN CAST
       to the outside, loop around;PARTNER SWING_________________________________
B2 CIRCLE LEFT three quarters
____ BALANCE, pass through__________________________________________________
Long lines forward and back, then ladies chain, is an alternate B2. This is a very easy satisfying dance, great as the second or third dance when there are a lot of newbies--they get it easily and more advanced dancers like it as well.

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ON THE ROAD TOGETHER                                           Ken and Carole Gall 6/14
A1    CIRCLE LEFT HALF WAY (4)
                 NEIGHBOR SWING on the lady's home side (12)__________________________
A2    MEN ALLEMANDE LEFT ONCE AND A HALF
                 SCOOP UP YOUR PARTNER, STAR PROMENADE, BUTTERFLY WHIRL to lady's side
B1    LADIES LEAD HALF A HEY, passing right
                  PARTNER SWING on the man's home side_______________________________
B2    LONG LINES forward and back
                   CIRCLE LEFT THREE QUARTERS, pass thru______________________________  
I called at River Falls a couple times this year.  It is a great hall and dance organization, always with lots of new and young dancers. I was looking for a simple dance with a star promenade and half hey--both distinctive moves--in an easy dance for a large crowd with lots of newbies.
Playing around with my wife Carole, we came up with this, and it worked well.
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