Here are a few of my compositions...
The A&E Contradance
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
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!
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
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.