Becket contra dance
A1: Hey halfway (women pass right to start) Women allemande right 1-1/2 A2: Swing neighbor on side; end facing partner across set next to neighbor Balance toward your neighbor and away; Men rollaway neighbor lady from right to left B1: Give-and-take; Step forward toward partner, Women draw partner over to home side Swing partner in home position B2: Circle left once around On left diagonal march forward to face new couple, square up and back staight away from these new neighbors to begin again
I wrote this dance to fit the Liberty Bell March which was being played by the Portland Megaband in March, 2011. The Liberty Bell is a John Phillip Sousa march which is more widely recognized as the Monty Python’s Flying Circus theme march. The tune has a great punctuated landing on the last four bars of the A2 which is why in this case the balance follows the neighbor swing. The dance, of course, works with any tune, but really makes sense when done with a tune that has that same emphasis right there in the A2. When people recognize the tune, don’t be surprised to see some silly walks.
Callers, if you use this dance, please encourage the dancers to end the neighbor swing in time to do the balance and rollaway. I have it on good authority (thanks, Caroline) that it is really frustrating when her neighors sloppily extend the swing a few extra counts making the next figures awkwardly compressed. The right tune goes a long way toward giving the dancers a feel for what they should be doing.