Notes from Michael Ismerio

A really great resource that I have been using a lot are the vimeo videos that the Seattle D2BS organizers posted of workshops from the 2009 and 2010 gatherings. It includes videos of Bob Dalsemer and Bill Martin calling dances. Best of all is that you can see what the dancers are doing so you can really understand how the dances work. The link is http://vimeo.com/9551394 and then you can connect to the various videos.

I hope this helps and inspires.

Feel free to email, call, write, or visit.

Until next year, (or Mt. Airy!)

Michael Ismerio
www.michaelismerio.com

Phil’s Characteristics of Southern Squares

  • Closed formation (square or circle rather than lines)
  • Verse/Chorus structure (figure/break figure)
  • Improvisational (form, timing, music)
  • Visiting couple structure
  • Distinct figures with distinct names; not found in other dances

Main Figures

Box the Gnat
(From Lou Maiuri)

  • Head Couples out to your right
  • Face your opposite and Box the gnat
  • Box right back
  • Do si do (your opposite)
  • Swing ( your opposite)
  • Face your partner and Box the Gnat
  • Box right back.
  • Do si do (your partner)
  • Swing (your partner)
  • Side couples out to your right
  • Heads to heads and sides to sides

Two Lone Gents

  • -set up
  • Gent one out to your right, circle up three don’t take all night,
  • Steal that lady, onto the next,
  • Leave her behind they form a line, circle with the next your doing fine,
  • Now take her home and circle three, then form a line; two ladies and me
  • -Figure
  • Lines of three forward and back, Two lone gents pass back to back,
  • With a right hand high and a left hand low
  • send the ladies to the sides (heads) and off we go
  • (Repeat 3 more times)

Push Pa Shove Ma

  • Couple one down the center and divide the world
  • Gent go left lady go right
  • Push Pa, Shove Ma, Swing that girl from Arkansas,
  • Same old gent with a brand new girl, down the center and divide the world,
  • Gent go left lady go right
  • Push Pa, Shove Ma, Swing that girl from Arkansas, (Repeat one more time)

Duck for the oyster
(can be used as a two couple or four couple figure)

  • Duck for the Oyster, Dive for the clam
  • Shoot through the hole in the old tin can

Sow the Wheat, Mow the Clover
(Big circle dance with couples facing clockwise or counterclockwise around the set)

  • Sow the Wheat, Mow the clover,
  • do it again and do it all over
  • Circle Left, Circle right
  • Opposite now with a Do Si Do
  • Partner with a see saw
  • Alamande right your opposite
  • Alamande left your partner
  • Swing your opposite
  • Swing your partner

Monkey in the middle
(From Sherry Nevins)

  • Circle left, Circle Right
  • Into the middle
  • Monkey in the middle swing one,
  • Those two swing two,
  • Those four swing four, New monkey on the dance floor
  • All join hands in a pretty little ring, monkey dance and monkey sing.

Break Figures

Simple Break Figure

  • Do si do your partner
  • see saw your corner
  • alamande right your partner
  • alamande left your corner
  • swing your partner

Right and Left Grand with Box the Gnat

  • On your corner with your left hand, back to your partner with a right and left grand,
  • Pull by go hand over hand
  • Meet your partner and box the gnat, the other way back on the reverse track.
  • Meet you partner and promenade.
  • Swing your partner

Ladies to the Center go back to back

  • Ladies to the center go back to back, gents go around the railroad track,
  • elbow swing the one you swung, pick up the next one on the rung.
  • (Repeat 3 more times.)

Patter Calls

  • Circle Eight till you get straight, knock down Sal and pick up Kate
  • The other way back, Same old eight, don’t be slow, don’t be late,
  • Swing your gal like your swinging on a gate
  • Promenade high, promenade low, while the birdies sing and the roosters crow
  • promenade like a little red wagon, one wheel off and the axle draggin’

Notes from Will Mentor

Uptown Downtown

  • First couple walk forward to third couple – join hands four
  • As a group of four – go back to first couple’s home 1’s back up, 3’s walk forward
  • As a group of four – go back to 3’s home 1’s walk forward, 3’s back up
  • Third couple make an arch, first couple duck thru
  • First couple separate, gent goes left, woman goes right
  • First couple walk around outside of ring and meet at home Man CCW, Woman CW
  • Everyone turn partners right 1X face corner
  • Corners allemande left 1X face partner
  • Grand right and left.
  • Repeat for second, third, and fourth couple

Stars & Twirl Under

  • Heads out to Right
  • Circle Left with Sides
  • Star Left
  • Men Reach Back in front of your body and back to your N
  • Twirl Neighbor Under — inbetween a box the gnat and California twirl –
  • Star Right
  • Men Reach Back with Left Hand
  • Twirl same Neighbor Under
  • Star Left
  • Men Reach Back
  • Twirl same Neighbor Under
  • Swing N
  • Swing P
  • Circle Left
  • Head gents break the Circle of Four
  • Circle Eight
  • Repeat for Sides, Heads, Sides

Sashay, Re-sashay
Accumulative Visiting Square

  • Couple 1 go to Couple 2- OL
  • Sashay
  • OL
  • Re-sashay
  • OL
  • Lead gent release left hand – lead line to Couple 3
  • OL
  • Sashay
  • OL
  • Re-sashay
  • Lead gent release left hand – lead line to Couple 4
  • OL
  • Sashay
  • OL
  • Re-sashay
  • OL to home
  • Repeat for Couples Two, Three, and Four

B. H. M. Sashay: Gent slides right behind partner as he tugs the woman into sliding left in front of him. They finish this part of the figure by catching hands — the woman’s right in the man’s left. It is important that the women do not turn as in the Roll-a-way with a half sashay in contra dancing. The pleasure of this move is catching your partner’s hand without the woman turning to face her partner.

D. J. O. Re-sashay – Gent slides left behind part as he tugs the woman right in front of him. They catch hands (woman’s left in man’s right). Then they tug each other so that the gent slides right in front of woman as she slides L behind gent. They catch hands (woman’s right, man’s left).

Then they tug each other so that the gent slides left behind part as she slides right in front him. Woman should immediately shift direction from sliding right to circling left.

All of the sliding and catching is executed facing the same direction. No arcs! No turning!!

Little Sisters
Active Couple Square

  • Two little sisters form a ring, OL
  • 1W and 2W circle left in the middle of the square until they face their partner
  • Turn your gent with a left hand swing
  • The first and second couple turn left once around until the women face in the middle
  • Three little sisters form a ring, OL
  • 1W, 2W, 3W OL in the middle of the square until they face their partner
  • Turn your gent with a left hand swing
  • The 1st, 2nd, 3rd couples turn left once around until the women face in the middle
  • Four little sisters form a ring, OL
  • All four women circle left in the middle of the square until they face their partner
  • Partners by the left on a toe and a heel
  • Partners turn L 1.25 and end facing corners
  • Right around the corner with a right arm reel
  • Corners turn R 1x and end facing partner
  • Back to your partner, whirl around
  • Partners turn L about ¾, man speeds up, swings his right arm around partner’s back into promenade position, they can do a complete whirl or not, they end facing CCW
  • Promenade around that town
  • Repeat with woman 2, 3, and 4 in the lead.

Elbow Swing
Visiting Couple Square

  • First Couple Swing
  • 1’s out to the right to 2’s
  • These four OL
  • Men R elbow turn 1x face partner
  • Partners L elbow turn 1½ women face in middle
  • Women R elbow turn 1x face partner
  • Swing Partner
  • These four OL
  • First couple go on to the 3’s
  • Repeat C-H
  • First couple go on to the 4’s
  • Repeat C-H
  • First couple go home
  • Repeat for couple 2, 3, 4
  • If you want couple 2 and 3 to dance the figure when the 1’s dance with the 4’s go for it.

City Stages Square
Partner Keeper Square Susan Kevra

  • 1’s split the ring
  • 1’s walk through the center of the square between couple 3
  • Walk home alone
  • 1’s separate with the man walking CCW to his left and the woman walking CW to her right
  • 1’s Allemande R — face corner
  • 1’s Allemande R at home to face corner
  • Strip the willow
  • Man stay on his side of set — women stay on her side of set — always turn partner by right
  • 1’s swing in the middle while Others Circle 6 hands around
  • Other couples OL until they are at home — 1’s drift home as they swing
  • Everyone swing at home

(named after a music and dance festival in Birmingham AL where it was debuted. In 2005, I believe)

Bring Back Two
Heads Sides Square

  • All Eight Fwd & Back
  • Fwd again
  • Head gents bring back two, Side gents home alone
  • Right hand round the right hand lady
  • Left hand round the left hand lady
  • Do-si-do right hand lady
  • Basket swing
  • These three OL
  • Heads make arch — shoot side women home
  • Everybody swing Partner
  • Repeat for side gents, head women, side women