Dances by Peter Foster

Other Formations

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Last modified 29 March 2009

Here are some of my other dances. Feel free to try them out. Comments are welcome - email pfoster@pcug.org.au.


Annette's Waltz

Peter Foster Jan 1991
Formation: Quadrille (4 couple square set)
Music: 4x32 bar waltz (eg Annette's Waltz - I'll put it up is abc notation soon...)
Level: Medium
 
Figures in parentheses are bar counts
A1 (2) Top couples advance
  (2) As tops retire, sides advance
  (2) Sides turn opposite person by right hand half way, retain hands and face the nearer top couple (gents facing gents, ladies facing ladies)
  (2) Change places with the couple you are facing, outside couples making an arch
 
A2 (2) Couples in centre, turn opposite by the right hand half way, retain hands and face away from the other couple
  (2) These couples go forward two steps to finish on the sides (note - during these last four bars, the other couples may balance twice)
  (4) Everyone grand chain (grand right and left) for 2 hands (2 waltz steps for each hand). Everyone is now back where they started
 
B1 (4) Turn partner right hand, all the way around, and a bit more
  (2) Gents star left half way, ladies move clockwise around the outside one place to meet your new partner
  (2) Balance with new partner
 
B2 (8) Waltz this new partner halfway around the set (gents finish in original place)

The dance is done 4 times, the tops leading twice and then the sides leading twice.

Written for Annette Holden


Maleny Wedding

Peter Foster March 1989
Level: Medium-Easy
 
A waltz for three couples in a circle, numbered anticlockwise 1, 2, 3
Music: the song "Today", by Randy Sparks (available on the album "An Evening With John Denver")
The song is unusually phrased: the verse is a straightforward 16 bars, but the chorus is a total of 21 bars: 16 bars, then a one bar pause, then another 4 bars. The song has three choruses and two verses.
 
Figures in parentheses are bar counts

Chorus

(12) Couple 1 waltz around the outside of the set WHILE couples 2 and 3 star right (4), star left (4), then advance and retire (4) When retiring, lady 2 and man 3 join free hand ready for...
(4) All 3 couples take hands in a circle and advance and retire
(1) Honour partner
(4) Waltz around one place to progress

Verse 1

(4) Gents left hand star
(4) Turn partner right hand one and a half times
(4) Ladies left hand star
(4) Turn partner right hand

Repeat chorus

Verse 2

(12) Face partner and grand chain (grand right and left) all the way around the set. Each giving of hands takes 2 waltz steps
(4) Turn partner right hand

Repeat chorus to finish

This dance was written for (and first done at) a wedding at the Maleny folk festival, Easter 1989. The dance was intended to be simple enough to do to the actual song. In practice, the one bar pause (where you honour your partner) is a little unusual. Perhaps do it once called (music only), then do it again to the song (uncalled).


Rubik's Cube

Peter Foster March 2006
Formation: Nine people in a 3x3 square
Music: 4x32 bar reel (actually 2x64, but 4x32 is fine)
Level: Hard-Medium
 
Scramble the set at the beginning, then try to unscramble it at the end!
 
Start with everyone facing the front
 
Scramble bit (first 64 bars):
A1 (8) Front line turn alone and pass through to the back (pass through with middle line, then pass through with back line)
  (8) Right column pass through to the left
A2 (8) Back row pass through to the front
  (8) Left column pass through to the right
 
B1 (16) Do a "turn-one-side" move (see below)
B2 (16) Reel of three (hey for three)
 
C (32) Do another turn-one-side and reel of three
 
D (32) Do another turn-one-side and reel of three

Unscramble bit:

Repeat the scramble bit. If you do the same three turn-one-side moves in the same order, you will finish where you started. That could be a big "if"

 

The turn-one-side move (this turns one "face" of the cube)

The eight outside people circle halfway around the middle person, drop hands and remake the 3x3 square. Then one side (either back, front, left or right) passes through to the other side.

After the turn one side, the reel of three is done in those lines, for example if the back line has passed through then the reels of three will be in the lines across the set.

Note

The first time through the dance, the caller can specify the three turn-one-side moves (e.g. back, front, left). Then do the same again at the end to restore everyone to their original positions.

Next time through the dance, have the dancers specify the three turns, as follows: during the circle, the middle person points to one of the sides and that is the side that passes through.

In the unscramble phase, the middle people need to remember what the three turns were, in the right order (and it will not be the same middle people, so everyone will need to remember).

The idea for this dance came while watching a walkthrough of the Scottish country dance "The Ninesome Reel": a friend of mine remarked "Who wrote this dance, Professor Rubik?".

Teaching notes

This dance can be a touch confusing and disorienting...

I suggest the following when teaching this dance:

- Start by everyone practicing a reel of three in rows
- Then practice a reel of three in columns
- Then have the front line pass through to the back. Emphasise that this is two distinct pass through motions: first with the middle line, then with the back line, taking four steps for each (and pass by right shoulder)
- Then have the new front line practice the pass through
- Then (one more time) have the new front line practice the pass through
- Now everyone is back where they started and you can commence the walkthrough

In addition, when referring to the sides of the set, Front and Back are clear, but Left and Right can be a bit confusing in the heat of the dance. I suggest referring instead to (say) the Kitchen side and the Window side.

Good luck!

 

More Advanced Version

This has four turns (rather than three) and there is no reel of three between them to relax in.

Scramble bit (first 64 bars):

A1 (8) Front line turn alone and pass through to the back (pass through with middle line, then pass through with back line)
  (8) Right column pass through to the left
A2 (8) Back row pass through to the front
  (8) Left column pass through to the right
 
B1 (16) Do a turn one side move
B2 (16) Do a turn one side move
C1 (16) Do a turn one side move
C2 (16) Do a turn one side move
 
D1 (8) In columns, do a half reel of three
  (8) Circle left halfway
D2 (8) In rows, do a half reel of three
  (8) Circle left halfway

Repeat for the unscramble

Again, if you do the same four moves in the same order then you will finish where you started.

This four turn version is not really necessary: the three turn version is quite complicated enough.

For those so inclined, I have an informal analysis of this dance