Jeffrey Spero’s Contradance Website
featuring “California Twirls”
    
    
Here are a few of my compositions...
 
 
The A&E Contradance
Becket Formation
 
A1    Circle left 3/4 - pass thru up and down
        With the next couple, circle right 3/4
 
A2    With hands across, star left once around
        Turn out over your right shoulder and walk the circle of four to the left (clockwise)
 
B1    Hey for four (starting with the gents passing left shoulders in the center of the set)
    
 
B2    Partners gypsy
        Partners swing
    
 
A1 was directly lifted from Gene Hubert's masterpiece "The Reunion." I seem to take themes from that dance and incorporate them into many dances I compose. However, this is the only time I've actually directly lifted from that dance. Admittedly, it is hard to resist, as I view that dance as quite possibly the greatest contra ever written.
 
This dance was written on 6/27/98 for a contradance celebrating the marriage of Aaron and Elaine (the A&E of the title), two semi-local dancers who soon after getting wed moved out the area. I certainly hope their celebratory dance wasn't a contributing factor! It has appeared in the CDSS News and will also appear in the book California Twirls Rides Again!
    
        
 
 
Equal Opportunity
Duple, Improper    
 
A1    With the ones in the center, down the hall four-in-line
        Ones turn as a couple (turn alone on the ends), and come back up four-in-line, bend the line
 
A2    Circle left 3/4 (until the gents are below the ladies)
        Gents half figure eight through the ladies (gent one leads)
 
B1    Ones chain across the set (same gender courtesy turn)
        Half hey, starting ones passing right shoulders
 
B2    Ones gypsy
        Ones swing (twos move up the hall slightly)
    
 
This dance was written following a wonderful experience at the 1992 Santa Barbara Sprung Floor Weekend. I was dancing down the hall with my partner, and when we turned around to dance back up the hall (NOT crossed over, naturally), I experienced the joy of chaining into a hey from the ladies perspective. It's a beautiful thing, a joy that gents rarely get a chance to appreciate. This dance was written to allow gents to experience that pleasure.
 
Although this appears to be a difficult dance, I have found that it works well with a beginner to intermediate crowd, while pleasing the experienced dancers with its quirkiness. For a slightly zestier version, throw in a circle balance in A2 before the circle left. This version is the one adapted by James Hutson in March of 1993 and appears in (southern) California Twirls.
    
 
    
 
Starry, Starry Night
Duple, Improper
        
 
A1    In wavy lines across the set (ones face down, ladies in the middle), balance
        Ladies allemande left halfway to a wavy line
        Balance, partners allemande right once around
 
A2    With the next (leave your partner behind), left hand star once around
        Same four, right hand star once around
 
B1    Partners balance and swing
    
 
B2    Ladies chain across the set
        Left hand star once around to new wavy lines with the next    
    
 
Dancers may seem resistant to leaving their partners at the beginning of A2. I find it is helpful to inform them that they are indeed separating from their partner and will form a new star with a trail buddy.
 
This dance was written 11/3/93 and can also be found in (southern) California Twirls.