Dancers at Folklore Village dance the Lizard Research
Institute to the music of Lift Ticket.

Carol's Gems

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Following in the footsteps of my colleagues, I am now going to engage in shameless self-promotion. Here are what I consider to be a few of my best dance compositions. Most of these, and many other fine dances, can also be found in Jurassic Redheads & Other Dances or The Lizard Research Institute & Other Dances, both available from the Country Dance and Song Society. Or, if you're looking for a specific dance and you don't see it here, email me (carolormand "at" I'll be glad to send it to you.

Coray's Silver Jubilee  (Four facing four, Sept 2003)

A1  Lines of four go forward and back;  four women star left
A2  Partners allemande right once and a half;  men star left once around while the women promenade half way around the outside
B1  Opposites allemande right once and a half;  women star left once around while the men promenade half way around the outside
B2  Partners balance and swing, and end facing original direction

Notes: Composed for Phil and Jan Coray's 25th anniversary. Your "opposite" in B1 is the person of the opposite gender role who started out in the couple diagonally across from you at the beginning of the dance. One "easy" way for women to identify that person is to find the gent who is diagonally across from their partner in the gents' star.

Jurassic Redheads  (Improper, 1 Aug 1993)

A1  "Hey" along the set: Neighbors pass Right shoulder, gypsy Left with next, pass original Neighbor Right shoulder, gypsy Left with next, come back to face original Neighbor a third time
A2  Neighbors allemande Right 1/2; Men cross the set and partners swing
B1  Right & left thru;  Women chain
B2  Hey for four (across, Women pass Right shoulder to start)

Notes: the dance ends as old Neighbors pass Left shoulder; begins as new Neighbors pass Right shoulder. I recommend men pass right shoulder in A2, but this usually requires a demonstration. Otherwise, dancers invariably want to weave across the set.

Kinematic Vorticity  (Improper, 30 Oct 1995)

A1  Long lines go forward and back;  Neighbors hand cast all the way around and a little bit more, actives moving forward
A2  Down the hall 4 in a line, turn alone;  Come back, bend the line
B1  Circle Left 3/4;  Partners swing
B2  Circle Left 3/4;  Neighbors swing

The Lizard Research Institute  (Becket Sicilian Circle, 10 December 2006)

A1  Couples promenade around the great big ring: outside couples going counterclockwise, inner couples going clockwise;  Turn as couples and return
A2  Hey for four, women passing right shoulders to start
B1  Partners allemande left about 3/4;  Shadows allemande right;  Partners swing
B2  Circle left;  Star left

Notes: Composed for the Latter Day Lizards. The photo at the top of this webpage is of the Lizard Research Institute being danced at the Squirrel Moon Dance weekend in September of 2007.

Set up as for a regular Sicilian Circle dance, then have couples veer to their right and stand next to their neighbor couples (gents' should be standing with their left shoulders next to each other). Each subsequent time through the dance, couples pass the couple they just danced with at the end of A1, to dance the hey with the next couple. Gents: you may find the hey even more satisfying if you cast out over your left shoulder to begin the hey, using the music while the ladies pass right shoulders. If you do this, just make sure you know which lady you are looking for to pass left shoulders as you come back around. To identify shadows: for the gents, she's in the couple in front of you as you begin the promenade. For the ladies, he's in the couple in front of you as you promenade back. As you finish the star at the end of the dance, release it a little early to scoop your partner into promenade position.

Stars of Alberta  (Improper, 5 Sept 1996)

A1  Neighbors allemande Right 1.5;  New Neighbors star Left
A2  Original Neighbors star Right 3/4;  Partners swing
B1  Long lines go forward & back;  Women chain
B2  Hey for four (Women pass Right shoulder to start)

Notes: The title has two derivations. I went to the Canmore Highland Games, in Canmore, Alberta, and was amazed by four of the young fiddlers -- stars, in my eyes, or perhaps ears. I also was amazed when I awoke one morning at 4:00 (I was camping out) and beheld a perfectly clear, starry sky. It had been overcast for the previous 3 days and was again when I woke up three hours later.

Unexpected Pleasure, #2  (Improper, 13 Sept 1992)

A1  Balance in a wave (women in middle); weave the ring: pass next Neighbor left shoulder, gypsy right, pass left shoulder (same person as before)
A2  [Original 4] Circle Left;  Women chain
B1  Pass thru across;  partners swing
B2  Half promenade;  Circle Left 3/4 and pass thru (to next wave)

Notes: It begins in a wave of four. In A1, everyone passes a second neighbor by the left shoulder, then gypsies right shoulder around a third neighbor to return......Weave should wrap around the ends of the set.

Wave Mechanics  (Improper, 31 July 1993)

A1  Balance; Neighbors allemande Right 3/4 (to a wave of four);  Balance; Neighbors allemande Right 1/2
A2  Women gypsy Left 1.5;  Partners swing
B1  Long lines forward and back;  Women chain
B2  Hey for four (Women pass Right shoulder to start)

Notes: It begins in long ("tidal") waves, women facing in.

West By Midwest  (Improper, 25 March 2000)

A1  Neighbors balance and swing
A2  Long lines forward and back;  Pass the ocean;  swing through
B1  Partners balance and swing
B2  Circle left 3/4;  pass through;  New neighbors dos a dos

Notes: A2: Pass the ocean: all pass through to a wave of four, women joining left hands with each other in the middle, neighbors holding right hands. Swing through: allemande right halfway (with your neighbor, in this case), centers (men, in this case) allemande left halfway. Note: dancers must resist the urge to balance as they form the wave. There’s no time for that. Once they overcome that urge, however, the dance flows very smoothly.

You Can't Get There From Here  (Improper, 10 June 1994)

A1  Balance; allemande Right 3/4 (to long waves, Women facing in);  Balance; allemande Right 3/4 (to waves of four, Men in the middle)
A2  Balance; Neighbors swing
B1  Circle Left 3/4;  Partners swing
B2  Circle Left 3/4;  Neighbors dos a dos 1.5 (to wave of four with the next)

Notes: It begins in a wave of four, with the women in the middle. Title suggestion by John Kraniak.