November is for New Dances! It seems that after things had settled down after festivals (well, slightly!) and normal life resumed I got a spurt of inspiration to write/collect dances!
The month got off to a fantastic start with the joint ‘110th’ birthday party of three lovely Boggarts. As part of the celebrations I called for the Saturday night ceilidh, and wrote them a dance called the 110 year jig. The dance went pretty well and the birthday ladies appreciated it, despite a few last minute revisions! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to call it at some festivals/ceilidh series soon, but here it is anyway.
110 Year Jig
Set: lines of 3 facing lines of 3 in a longways set*
Tune: 32 bar jigs
A1: Bounce kick x2 and walk 4 steps past opposites, then circle left halfway with the next line along. (NOTE: at the ends circle left in 3s to face back in)
A2: Repeat back to place
B1: Middle of each line does right hand star with the two ‘ends’ on their right, then swaps to left hand star with ‘ends’ on left
B2: Hold hands in lines of 3 and heel-toe x2 with right foot, then gallop right 4 steps, repeat left but pass the line you were facing (slot into the next space down) to progress
The name 110 Year Jig was inspired by the tune ’30 Year Jig’, which is a tune with a special ceilidh story for me. The story being that a scratch band I was calling for once absent mindedly played it for a standard 32 bar dance without realising that it’s a 40 bar jig. With this in mind I got home from the party and was determined to write a dance that *did* actually fit to this lovely tune! I think I’ve got a version ready to try out, but I’m not going to post it here without a test run!
Moving on through the month I ended up writing another dance the next week too, although in rather different circumstances. On Saturday 9th I went down to Derby to attend the Folk Educators Conference, which incidentally was fantastic and truly inspiring. In my eagerness/organisation I turned up in plenty of time for a 9am start – pity that the conference didn’t start til 11am! So off to a coffee shop to try and find something productive to do – which ended up being dance writing again. The dance that resulted was a hornpipe wryly entitled ‘Two hours early’ which later got its dancing debut at my evening gig! It still needs a little work, but I’ll post it in the ‘dances’ section when it’s done!
Lastly I called for another Homegrown Ceilidh last Sunday, where I got chatting to Dave Ball – a caller and band leader of the Well Dressed Band. He passed on a lovely variation on the dance Twelve Meet, which I’ll tell you more about when I’ve tried it. I also handed over the mic to Patrick Rose for two dances, which would have been a nice break if he hadn’t gone and called a dance called ‘Polkadots’ that I felt the need to write down! He also called a dance of his own devising called ‘Walking to the ATM’ which I have already pinched – I’ve yet to find an ATM though that works with the pin number “clap knees, together, right, left”!
*p.s. the lines of 3 was to allow all the birthday girls to dance together!
p.p.s. it was a fantastic party!