Back2-Couple Dances



Cast Away Waltz        Cast Away Waltz: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this dance

Format: 2 couples.     Dance: Alan Winston, 2002.  Music: Colin Hume, 2009.

Home places are at the corners of a square, rather than on one side of the square next to your partner.

First Figure:
A:Lead partner in (two waltz steps); cast away from partner (man left, lady right) to place.  Gipsy left partner, finishing facing in with opposite.
B:Lead opposite in; cast away to place.  Gipsy right opposite.
C:Ladies cross right shoulder (starting right foot); men cross right shoulder (starting left foot).  Right-hand star once around, and move into closed waltz position with partner on the last bar.
D:Waltz round the other couple 1½ times, finishing home.
Second Figure:
A:Side right with partner; cast left to place.  Gipsy left.
B:Side left with neighbour; cast right to place.  Gipsy right.
C+D:As before.
Third Figure:
A:Arm right with partner half-way; cast left back to place.  Gipsy left.
B:Arm left neighbour half-way; cast right.  Gipsy right.
C+D:As before.
Alan Winston teaches English, Contra, Regency and Victorian Dancing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and runs the worldwide ECD discussion list.

Christine's Conundrum        Christine's Conundrum: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this dance

Format: 2 couples.     Dance and Music: Colin Hume, 2001.

First Figure:
A1:First lady set to partner; two-hand turn him half-way.  Cross right shoulder with second man (3 steps), the other two cross right shoulder; all four single file clockwise half-way (6 steps).  All set to opposite (4 beats).  Twos half figure eight through the ones [all in partner's place].
A2:Second man set to partner; two-hand turn her half-way.  Cross right shoulder with first lady, the other two cross right shoulder; all four single file clockwise half-way.  All set to opposite.  Ones half figure eight through the twos [home].
B1:All back-to-back partner.  Starting with partner, three changes of a circular hey without hands (2 steps per change); gypsy left with opposite (6 steps).  Left-hand star.  Cross left with opposite and turn left to face opposite (4 steps) [home].
B2:All back-to-back left shoulder with opposite.  Starting left shoulder with opposite, three changes; gypsy right with partner.  Right-hand star.  Cross right with partner and turn right to face partner [home].
Second Figure:
A1:First man set to partner; two-hand turn her half-way.  Cast left shoulder round second man to finish between second couple (second lady move up) and take hands in a line of three (6 steps); all forward 3 steps and back.  All move forward again — ones pass right shoulder and move to your right — first lady half a hey with the twos (passing second man right shoulder to start) while first man go clockwise half-way round the outside, twos make an extra loop at the end, finishing in a diamond (8 steps).  First lady draw partner back to your side of the set and put him on your right (4 steps) [all in partner's place].
A2:Second lady set to partner; two-hand turn him half-way.  Cast left shoulder round first lady to finish between first couple (first man move down); all forward and back.  All   forward again — twos pass right shoulder and move to your right — second man half a hey with the ones (passing first lady right shoulder to start) while second lady go clockwise half-way, and ones make an extra loop at the end.  Second man draw partner back to your side of the set and put her on your right [home].
B1:Tops (first man and second lady) lead down through the other two and cast up on to the end of a line facing up.  Lead up 3 steps and back; middles (first lady and second man) cross up and cast round one person (6 steps) while the others meet in 3 steps, acknowledge, then pass by in 3 steps without turning back.  Handy-hand turn partner (ones right, twos left).  Turn single out of the turn and face in (4 steps) [all in opposite's place].
B2:Bottoms (first lady and second man) lead up through the other two and cast down on to the end of a line facing down.  Lead down and back; middles cross down and cast up round one person while the others meet, acknowledge and pass by.  Handy-hand turn partner (again ones right, twos left).  Turn single out of the turn and face partner [home].
Third Figure:
A1:Both ladies set to partner; two-hand turn him half-way.  Ladies pass left shoulder: 5 changes of a straight hey to face opposite (12 steps).  Two-hand turn opposite 1¼ (8 steps), then move round one place clockwise (4 steps) [all in partner's place].
A2:Both men set to partner; two-hand turn her half-way.  Men pass left shoulder: 5 changes of a straight hey to face opposite.  Two-hand turn opposite 1¼ (finishing improper), then move round one place clockwise [home].
B1:Half poussette with partner — men push, then pull slightly further so ladies finish beside each other.  Ladies left-hand turn ¾ (6 steps); pick up opposite for a star promenade half-way (6 steps).  Lead opposite out a double to the side wall; wheel in (men moving forward).  Lead in to meet partner (4 steps) [all one place round to the left].
B2:Half poussette with partner — ladies push, then pull slightly further so men finish beside each other.  Men right-hand turn ¾; pick up opposite for a star promenade half-way.  Lead opposite up or down a double; wheel in (ladies moving forward).  Lead in and honour partner [home].

Some of the tune is 2 beats to the bar; some is three.  A semicolon marks a two-bar phrase; a full stop (period) marks a four- or eight-bar phrase.

Christine RobbCommissioned by Torbin Zimmerman (on behalf of the Toronto English Country Dance Group) for Christine Robb.  For the preceding three or four years, Christine had kept Toronto's only country dance group alive, doing all the organizing, programming and calling.  Torbin requested a two-couple dance — their group is so small that they do a lot of those.  When I sent the dance he wrote back that I had exceeded his expectations for “rather brisk, complex, and a bit quirky”!  Three years later I called a Dance Weekend in Toronto and was pleased to be able to call this with both him and Christine dancing.  He took the microphone after I had finished calling, to defend himself from my remark “Blame Torbin if you had problems”, and explained that when he had asked for something “somewhat difficult and a little quirky” he had not realised what my baseline for these terms was, which got a good laugh!  The other dance I wrote for Christine is December Rose — I don't know which of the two is harder!

Park Lane        The Boatman: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this dance

Format: 2 couples.     Dance and Music: Colin Hume, 2003.

First Figure:
A1:Lead partner forward a double and back.  Ladies cast right shoulder behind partner, round the outside to each other's place.
A2:Lead neighbour forward and back.  Men cast left shoulder behind neighbour, round the outside to meet partner.
B1:Gipsy right partner, men cross left.  Gipsy left neighbour, ladies cross right (all home).
B2:Right-hand star half-way; turn single left.  Left-hand star half-way; turn single right.
Second Figure:
A1:Side right with partner.  Ladies move round the outside to each other's place.
A2:Side left with neighbour.  Men move round the outside to each other's place.
B1:Back-to-back partner.  Give right hand to partner: three changes of a circular hey.
B2:Left shoulder back-to-back neighbour.  Give left hand to neighbour: Three changes of a circular hey.
Third Figure:
A1:Arm right with partner.  Ladies move round the outside to each other's place.
A2:Arm left with neighbour.  Men move round the outside to each other's place.
B1:Men cross left, ladies cross right, the same back again (interlocking gipsies), two-hand turn partner.     [Unphrased — just keep moving smoothly]
B2:Men pass left shoulder into three changes of a straight hey.  Two-hand turn partner 1¼ (home).

This was written as a companion piece for “Mayfair” which appeared in New Dances for Old, Volume 1.  Monopoly players will know that Mayfair and Park Lane are the two most expensive streets on the board, so as soon as I started calling “Mayfair” people were saying “What about Park Lane?”.  In The States it's “Park Place”, but the original is “Park Lane”, which is the road that runs down the east side of Hyde Park; Mayfair is one of the roads off this and they are indeed very expensive areas.  Although I never published Volume 2, this is again a dance written to Playford music recorded by The Orange and Blue for EFDSS — in this case “The Boatman”.

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