Contra Dances

Hello, I'm the Caller formerly known as Marilee Standifer... Welcome to my dances! Please enjoy them and click on the e-mail link below to contact me for any feedback (or if you want to fly me out to your dance camp!)

Marilee Standifer Karamanski
<dancer@karamanski.net>

Kimmswick Girls

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra
written 5/28/2006

This dance was written in honor of my two daughters,Reesa and Genevieve on the occasion of the first dance camp they attended with us- Kimmswick 2006. (My husband and I incidentally first met at Kimmswick 2000)
The B2 was stolen from Eagle Creek Yankee by Roger Diggle & George Lowery (One of my favorite dances)

A1

  • Cir. Rt 1x
  • N. See Saw

A2

  • H44 (M P. Rt)- W1 cut off last loop to rocochet off N back to P

B1

  • 1’s Swg (8)
  • N’s Swg (8)

B2

  • Cir Lft 1/2 x; P. Roll Away with a half sashay (Across)
  • Cir Lft 1/2 x; P. Cal Twrl
Note: There may be a bit of a learning curve, but the hey to ricochet to swing combination in the A2-B1 transition and the whole B2 can be intensely satisfying...

Kimmswick Fixx

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski 5/23/97

A duple improper contra.
"Kimmswick Fixx" was written in the car while driving from Madison, Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri for the Kimmswick Dance weekend. I stole the feature figure (Circle to the right turn alone and circle left with the next neighbors) from the dance "Mr. Fixx's Assignment" by Erma Lynn Bogue. I called the dance the next evening at Kimmswick, and it met with resounding approval. Enjoy!

A1

  • Circle left 3/4x
  • Partners Swing on the woman's home side.

A2

  • Ladies Alleman Right 1 1/2x
  • Neighbors swing

B1

  • Hey for four (Start with the women passing by the right)

B2

  • With your neighbor promenade across the set back to your home side
  • Circle to the right 1x
  • Turn alone to face new neighbors (see note)
The transition from the end of the B2 to the begining of the A1 is forms a very smooth "S" curve.

Marjorie’s Half Century Burn

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Beckett contra
written in 2001 (revision 5/27/06)

This dance was written for a local (Madison) dancer in celebration of her 50th birthday and burning her mortgage papers after her final house payment.

A1

  • Cir Rt. 3/4x; Cal Twrl.
  • NEXT N. Cir. Lft 3/4x

A2

  • P. Gyp and Swg

B1

  • W. ALM Rt 1.5; Scoop up N.
  • Star PMN to W. Home & Butterfly Whirl

B2

  • M. ALM Lft 1.5x; Scoop Up P
  • Star PMN Across & Butterfly Whirl
Note: I have had the best luck teaching the dance starting at the begining of the A2. It is a single progression dance that has the progression at the end of the A1

Balanced Americaine

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A dupleimproper contra.
written 1997

A1

  • Neighbors allemand Right 3/4x(4); Balance the wave (4) (Gents in Middle, 1’s facing up)
  • Gents allemand Left 1/2x(4); Balance the Wave(4) (Gents in Middle next to Partner)

A2

  • Partner allemand Right 3/4x to a Long wave (4) (with the ladies facing out); Balance the Long Wave. (4)
  • Shadow allemand Left 1x(4); Partner Box the Gnat (4)

B1

  • 1/2 Hey for four (Ladies Past Left) (8)
  • Partner swing (On Gent's side) (8)

B2

  • Ladies Chain (8)
  • Neighbors See Saw (8)

September Resurection

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Beckett contra
written 9/17/04

This dance is a rewrite of "Easter Eve" that was written 4/22/2000. (Written before a Saturday dance the evening before Easter Sunday. I like this one enough better, that the other isn't posted here.

A1

  • N. ALM Rt 1/2x; Bal Long Wave R-L (W. Out M. In)
  • Slide Rt; Bal Long Wave L-R

A2

  • PN. ALM Lft 3/4x; Bal Wave 4 (W. Ctr, 1’s Up)
  • W. ALM Rt 1/2x; Bal Wave 4 (W. Ctr P. in Lft)

B1

  • H44 (P. P. Lft)

B2

  • P. ALM Lft 1 3/4x)
  • W. Chn
Note:

Terry Meets the Gypsy

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski and Steven Dast

A duple proper contra.

"Terry Meets the Gypsy" is named for our friend Terry. She was in the car while we were writing the dance, and she was going to her first contradance that evening. When we stopped for refreshment, we decided to walk through the dance with the four people in the car. So Terry's very first contra dance ever was this dance without music in a gravel parking lot. The "gypsy" part should be self-explanatory. It works! Really it does! :) "

A1

  • Left shoulder Gypsy for four 1.25x (see below) (8)
    Partners gypsy on the side, by the left shoulder 1x (8)

A2

  • Hey for four (16)
    (Gent 1 and Lady 2 start by passing right in the middle (see note))

B1

  • Partners balance and swing (16)

B2

  • Circle left 3/4 (8 )
  • 2s chase "Gent around two and the lady pass through" (8)
  • Ones turn to face new neighbors.
Marilee adds, "It's probably best not to refer to "actives" and "inactives" during this dance because it's the number 2 couple which does the chase at the end."

"The left Gypsy for Four in A1 is like left-hand star with no hands. Make eye contact with your neighbor diagonally across the set and gypsy them as you normally would. This works best if everyone scooches in to the middle for a cozy gypsy."

"The dancers tend to get a bit confused about who is supposed to start the hey in the A2. It works out quite well for the number1 man and number2 woman start, but if someone else starts, it all works out in the end."

"After the circle left in B2, Gent 2 faces out while lady 2 faces in. The gent then walks around couple 1 and his partner chases him until she can cut through couple 1."


Grace in Madtown

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A dupleimproper contra.
written January 1997

"Grace in Madtown" is named for Grace Church where we dance in Madison Wisconsin. It's a glossary dance with no particularly difficult figures. The transition from the gent's alamand to the do-si-do with the new neighbor can be a fun transition for experienced dancers while being straight forward enough for new dancers. When I called this dance at the above mentioned locale, it was a hit! The dancers report that it flows really well, and they liked it much more than expected!

A1

  • Neighbors Do-si-do 1.5x to trade places.(8)
  • Circle left 3/4x to end on the same side as your partner (on the gent's original side)(8)

A2

  • Partners ballance and swing.(16)

B1

  • Ladies start a right shouldered hey for four.(16)

B2

  • Promenade across the set with your partner(8)
  • Gents Allemand left 1.5x and look for new neighbors (8)
Note: Nope nothing tricky here. If you're working with new dancers, you may have to watch the fractions and be sure the gents end up facing new neighbors at the end of the allemand in the B2.

 


Grand Canyon Stomp

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Beckett contra
written June 1999

This dance was inspired by Mary Cay’s Reel. I thought of it during the long climb at the end of hiking down the Grand Canyon.

A1

  • W. Chn
  • N. See Saw 1 1/4x (to W. Back to back in the middle facing N.)

A2

  • N. L.H. Bal & Swat The Flea
  • N. See Saw 1x to a wave (M. in the middle-1’s facing dn.)

B1

  • Bal Wave 4; N. ALM Lft 1/2x
  • Bal Wave 4; W. ALM Rt. 3/4x (To long wave of W. in the middle)

B2

  • W. Bal Long wave; Alm Lft 3/4 to P.
  • P. Swg
Note:

Gentlemen’s Canyon

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Beckett contra
written June 1999

This is a derrivative of the Grand Canyon Stomp. I wanted to keep the flow of the dance, but switch the flow for the genders. It’s another one that was written in the isolation of a biocontainment facility during a long incubation.

A1

  • M. See Saw 1 1/2x
  • N. L.H. Bal & Swat the Flea

A2

  • H44 (N. P. Lft) to a wave (W. in middle 1’s facing dn.)

B1

  • Bal Wave of 4; N. Alm Lft1/2x
  • Bal Wave of 4; M. ALM Rt. 3/4x (To Long wave of M.)

B2

  • M. Bal Long Wave; M. ALM. Lft 3/4x to P.
  • P. Swg
Note:

Jerry Goes to Camp

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra
written 4/21/2006

Similar to the coupling of "Grand Canyon Stomp" and "Gentlemen's Canyon", "Jerry Goes to Camp" is a derivative of "Jenny Goes to Camp" by Steve Zakon. It's fun to switch the gender of who's doing what and give the dancers a chance to feel how a dance flows from both perspectives. I like the feell of switching directions of the flow to create S-curves flowing from the Allemand Left to Allemand Right to the See Saw to the Hey.

A1

  • N. ALLM Lft 1 1/2x
  • W. ALM Rt. 1 1/2x

A2

  • P. See Saw
  • 1/2 H44 (M.P. Rt.)

B1

  • P. B&S (On W. Orig. Side)

B2

  • M ALM Lft 1 1/2 x
  • N. ALM Rt 1 1/2x (Var: DSD 3/4x)
Note: Great w/ Rags!!!

Syncytia Reel

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra
written 7/12/96

"Syncytia Reel" (pronounced sin-si-sha) was written during a lab meeting where the speaker was discussing syncytia formation as a determinant of virulance in HIV. At the time I didn't know what "syncytia formation" was so I couldn't follow most of the talk. I ended up writing the dance because I didn't want to be caught falling asleep!

A1

  • Neighbors Gypsy 1x (8)
  • Women SeeSaw 1.5x while Men orbit 1x clockwise (to the left) (8) (see note below)

A2

  • Partners Gypsy and Swing on the Men's original side (16)

B1

  • Circle left 3/4x (6)
  • Neighbors swing (10)

B2

  • Hey for 4 (16) Start with the women passing right shoulders.
Note: The orbit in the A1 requires a lot of space, or the men have to run an obstacle course around one another. Probably not best at your most crowded dances.

Buzzard in the Hey

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra
written 8/19/96

"Buzzard in the Hey" was written to go with the tune "Buzzards Breath" from the String Beings C.D. The build up to the swing in the A part works really well with the music.


A1

  • Neighbors Do-si-do (8)
  • Neighbors Allemand right 1x (8)

A2

  • Neighbors Swing (16)

B1

  • 1/2 Hey for 4 (women start passing right shoulders)(8)
  • Men cast around neighbors by left (4) (see note below)
  • Men pass right in the middle (4)

B2

  • Partners left shoulder gypsy 1x (8)
  • Women chain (8)
Notes: In the B part, after the 1/2 hey, the women stay put while the men in effect continue the path to complete the hey. When they cast around their neighbors by the left, only the men are doing the outside loop of the hey and passing again in the middle.

 


Gypsies at the Gate

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra

"Gypsies at the Gate" is dedicated to John Bedigian who didn't let me give up. It was the first dance I ever wrote, and the first time I called it nearly ended both my career as a dance caller and as a dance writer. Thanks to John, I have happily continued both. The title is in reference to The Gates of Heaven Synagogue where we used to dance every Tuesday night in Madison.


A1

  • Neighbors gypsy and swing (16)

A2

  • Women pull by the right (4)
  • Partners swing (12)

B1

  • Women pull by the Right (4) (see notes below)
  • Neighbors allemand left 3/4x (4)
    (to end with the women facing in and the men facing out)
  • Neighbors See Saw 1x (8)

B2

  • Hey for 4 (16) (Start with women passing by the right.)
Notes: In the B1 after the allemand, the women should be facing in and the men should be facing out. This will put them in the correct position to start the see saw.

Also in the B1, a See Saw is a left shoulder do-si-do. This works quite well in this dance because it flows nicely into the Hey.

 


Trippin’ Snake Reel

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra

The inspiration for this dance was Snake Oil Reel & Snake River Reel. I wanted to continue the theme and use the three dances as a medly.


A1

  • L’s to Ctr; Bal. Long Wave
  • G’s to Ctr; Bal. Long Wave

A2

  • G’s ALM Lft 3/4x; Bal Wave of 4 (G’s in ctr w/ 1’s facing up)
  • N. ALM Rt 1/2x Bal Wave of 4 (L’s in ctr. w/ 1’2 facing dn. )

B1

  • L’s ALM Lft 1 1/2x
  • P. Swg (On G’s side)

B2

  • L’s Alm Rt. 1 1/2x
  • Neighbor Swing

 


Corners in Containment

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra

The dance was written in the biocontainment facility during a long incubation. It was modified to work better on 9-14-99


A1

  • Cir Lft 1x
  • N. DSD 1 1/2x

A2

  • R. H. St. 1x (with the SAME N’s)
  • 1’s Bal & BTG

B1

  • 1’s C.C.

B2

  • 1’s B&S; Face Dn.g
Notes: It’s important in the A2 to tell the dancers they’re with the SAME neighbors because so many dances have DSD 1 1/2 to do something with the NEXT N’s.

 


Cool Whip aka Non Dairy Whipped Topping

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A duple Improper contra
written 1-18-1997

This dance was written for the Madison Ice Contra. Once a year a few die hard dancers meet up at a frozen pond and dance on ice skates. The ritual is to follow this up with hot chocolate at a local establishment. It's way fun! Dances that have a lot of contact and use a dancer's momentum work best. Surprisingly, good dancers who are not great skaters can do okay since there's a lot of assistance from other dancers. Also great skaters who are fairly new to dancing also have a chance to shine. It's fun, but not for the uninsured... It's fun, but not for the uninsured... WARNING: Dance on skates at your own risk, we have had some hard spills.

A1

  • N. ALM Lft 1 1/2x
  • W. ALM Rt 1 1/2x

A2

  • P. Swg

B1

  • 4 DTH (4) see note
  • M1 crack the Whip (8)
  • Ret (4)

B2

  • M Alm Lft 1 1/2x
  • N. ALM Rt. 1 3/4x (to long waves w/ W. Facing out)
Note:When not done on skakes the crack the whip in the B1 is simply a turn the line of 4 using M1 as the pivot point he turns away from the line and the line follows him. If this is being done on skates, warn dancers to leave enough space between the minor sets so as to not bash into each other in the B1

Weston Barncentenial

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

Proper triplet
written 9/10/2006

Written on the occasion of celebrating the dedication of a 100 year old barn in Weston, Wisconsin. At the begining of the dance it became apparent that I needed a beginner-friendly triplet... so I wrote one.

A1

  • P. DSD & Swg (1’s face down, others face up)

A2

  • Dip & Dive back to Place

B1

  • Cir Lft
  • Cir Rt

B2

  • 1’s Lead out to Bottom and Arch
  • 2’s & 3’s follow thru to progressed places
Note: Very beginner-friendly.

Bridal Circle

by Marilee Standifer Karamanski

A Circle
written 6-29-08

During a wedding dance, I needed a really easy, beginner-friendly, fun dance. This is what I came up with.

A1

  • W. to Ctr & Back (With a Whoop!)
  • M. to Ctr & Back (With a Shout!)

A2

  • P. ALM Lft
  • P. DSD)

B1

  • P. B&S

B2

  • P. PMN
  • W. Roll back to Next P to PMN
Note: Very beginner-friendly! The dancers can have lots of fun with a higher pitched "Whoop" from the women and a lower pitched- more masculine "shout" from the men.


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