Dance Flurry Post-Workshops Notes

Here are notes from all the Amidons workshops at the 2017 Dance Flurry
Saratoga Springs, NY – Feb 17-19, 2017

* First some info that might be of interest, then the post-workshop notes. (Scroll down for the post-workshop notes).

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An Opportunity for Community Dance Callers & Music Educators

Amidons’ Choral Arranging & Publishing

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Sign up on our email mailing list for approximately once-monthly notices about upcoming Amidon workshops and publications.  Just go to the Amidon website and sign up on the homepage:

https://www.amidonmusic.com

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MEET OUR BOYS & their ladies:

Stefan and Zara singing with the Starry Mountain Singers. Zara singing lead on the left, Stefan singing bass on the right.

Stefan on percussion/vocals and his wife (red head) Zara Bode with their band the Sweetback Sisters

Stefan is currently touring with The Devil Makes Three

Sam with the Australian Chamber Orchestra

Sam fiddling

Sam’s wife Beth Orton singing Leonard Cohen’s “Sisters of Mercy”

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There are a lot of great wireless headset microphone systems.  This is the wireless headset system that Mary Alice and I have used for the last ten years:

Shure PGX1 transmitter (small device you hook onto your belt or pocket)
Shure WH20 headset microphone (worn on head – plugs into Shure transmitter)
Shure PGX4 receiver (small wireless receiver that plugs into your sound system)

You can call Shure directly at 847-600-2000.
We also use Musician’s Friend a lot; they have great phone customer support: 877-513-9720

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THE WORKSHOP NOTES

(Scroll down to find your workshop.)

 Community Dance
Fri 8:30 PM – 9:45 PM – City Center Rm. A

Hot Comment ça va   by Peter Amidon
formation: circle of couples
music: Any reel medley
A1    Promenade in, back out
Forward, clap on 4th beat while turning 180
A2   Walk straight back out and turn right
walking single file CW
Take hands and circle left
B1   Allemande left corner
Dosido Parnter
Alleanande left corner
B2 Promenade partner: jump on last beat of tune from promenade to all facing center in order to start the
opening Forward and Back.
(Note, when I led this at the Friday Flurry Community Dance I replaced the above B2 figures with a simpler partner dosido, partner two hand turn.  I also forgot the jump on the last beat of the music.)

 Double Donovan Bridge Slingshot
composed by Mrs. Donovan’s 5th grade class: 3/14/07
Longways for 8 or 10 or 12 couples divided into two equal length mini-sets, head couples in the middle of the set, bottom couples on the ends of the set (Opposite of “Willow Tree”).
A1: Forward, clap ptnr’s hands on 4th beat, back to place
Right hand turn
A2: Two hand turn
Dosido
B1, B2: Double cast off: inside couples lead the cast:
4th, lead 3rd, 2nd 1st couples casting around to top, 4th make arch,
3rd, 2nd, 1rst under arch and back to place
5th lead 6th, 7th, 8th couples cast around to bottom, 5th make arch,
6th, 7th, 8th couples through arch and back to place.
At end of cast, the arching couples who are now on the ends of the set RUN clockwise to join the other end of the set, one chasing the other.

Quartz Mountain Man in the Middle
Created by music teachers at an Amidon workshop at Quartz Mountain Resort in Oklahoma, October 2012
Formation: Circle mixer
Music: any reel medley
A1: Circle left, Circle Right
A2: All forward and back
Gents go forward and clap on beats 5, 6, 7 jumping on beat 7 and turning 180º in air and landing facing new partner
BECAUSE, AT THE SAME TIME
Women stay where they are, clap on beats 5, 6, 7, jump TO THEIR RIGHT one place
on Beat 7.
B1: If all children: Long R elbow swing with new partner – if community dance with adults: dosido/R elbow turn new partner (because adults get dizzy easier)
B2: Promenade new partner.

Bridge of Athlone – in New England Dancing Masters’ “Listen to the Mockingbirdbook/CD.
For music you can use the cut on the “Listen to the Mockingbird” CD; we like using the “Reel de Rimouski” cut on New England Dancing Masters’ “Any Jig or ReelCD.
See Fourth graders dancing the Bridge of Athlone.

Durham Reel – in New England Dancing Masters’ Chimes of Dunkirk”. 
For music you can use any jig medley; we like using “Slow G” on New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the DonutCD.

Blaydon Races – in New England Dancing Masters’ Chimes of Dunkirkbook/CD.
Music: “Blaydon Races” from “Chimes of Dunkirk” CD or any jig medley

 Zip It Up – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD
Music: This dance can work with a three-part tune (AABBCC), and there is a tune for it in the “Sashay the Donut” CD, but you can also use any standard (AABB) jig or reel and do the dance “across the phrase” as we did at the Flurry dance.

Circle Waltz Mixer – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD
See Teaching the Circle Waltz Mixer and
Dancing the Circle Waltz Mixer

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 Community Dance
Sat 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
City Center Rm. A

Comment ça va – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD
Any reel, especially French Canadian Reel.  When I do this with, say, 4th – 6th graders I like doing the dance to “Martin O’Connor” on New England Dancing Masters’ Other Side of the TracksCD

Rural Felicity – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD

Exploding Star (originally “Accretian Reel”)(variation of dance by Chris Page) Scatter mixer adapted by Peter Amidon
A1 Balance forward as you balance back turn to leave the square.
Scatter promenade individually (walk around in random directions by yourself).
A2 Gypsy and swing someone (or long right elbow swing which is what we did at the Flurry dance.)
B1 Scatter promenade as couples (you can do this just holding their handy hand or in promenade position)
B2 In groups of couples, circle left and right
Note: First time through the dance, just start with the scatter promenade.

 Intersection Reel – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD

 Kings & Queens – In New England Dancing Masters’ Sashay the Donutbook/CD
Music: You can use “On the Danforth from New England Dancing Masters’ “Sashay the Donut” CD. I usually use the same tune, “On The Danforth” played by our sons’ band “Popcorn Behavior” AKA “Assembly” on New England Dancing Masters’ Other Side of the TracksCD.

 Lucky Seven – in New England Dancing Masters’ Chimes of Dunkirkbook/CD.
Music: Any jig medley (really, a reel medley would be fine, too.) We love using “The Coming Dawn” from New England Dancing Masters’ Other Side of the TracksCD

 Traffic Jam by John Krumm
Music: Any AB tune (most tunes are AABB). “Heel & Toe Polka/This Old Man” from New England Dancing Masters’ Chimes of DunkirkCD works perfectly.
Level One
Formation: dancers scattered across floor
Music: ABAB tune (or AABB, but dance sequence will go twice through an AABB tune)
A: (All just walking single in random directions) Step, step, step, step, clap clap clap, stamp stamp stamp
Walk in different direction, Step,       step,          step,                 step
clap clap clap,           stamp stamp stamp
(Clapping is clapping own hands together.  Stamping is with one foot.)
B: 8 sashays (alone) sideways in one direction
Then 8 sashays back in the other direction.
Level Two
Formation: couples scattered across floor
A: Partners standing side by side holding partner’s handy hand, walk four steps in one direction. Then partners face each other and clap (both hands) each other’s hands:
clap clap clap
stamp stamp stamp.
Repeat, walking in opposite direction
B: Partners take two hands with each other, and sashay 8 beats in one direction, and 8 beats in the opposite direction.
Level Three
Formation: couples scattered across floor
A: Partners standing side by side holding partner’s handy hand, walk four steps in one direction. Then partners face each other and clap (both hands) each other’s hands: clap clap clap, then stamp stamp stamp.
Repeat, walking in opposite direction
B: Partners take two hands with each other, and sashay 8 beats in one direction, then LEAVE PARTNER AND QUICKLY FIND A NEW PARTNER and sashay in another direction with new partner.
Repeat, starting with this new partner

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Rise Again Songbook Sing-along

Sat 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Hilton Travers Room

Silvy from the singing of Huddy Ledbetter
Peter has a piano/SA (children’s choir)  arrangement of this available on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”.

Crossing the Bar poem by Tennyson, music by Rani Arbo
Peter has an a cappella arrangement of this on the Amidons’ Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirsand on the Amidons’ “Online Choral Store”.

 Down in the River to Pray –classic American spiritual.

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Gospel Harmony Sing
Sun, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Hilton Broadway 1/2/3

I Still Have Joy – a cappella SATB arrangement on the Amidons’ Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choirbook/CD and on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store

My Heart Is Ready – by Cindy Kallet. a cappella SATB arrangement of this on the Amidons’ Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirsand on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”.

Let the Life I’ve Lived – Andy Davis did a beautiful a cappella SATB arrangement of this that is available as a free download on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”.

Crossing the Bar poem by Tennyson, music by Rani Arbo
Peter has an a cappella SATB arrangement of this on the Amidons’ Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirsand on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”.

 What’s In A Song – by Lucy Picco Simpson
2/27/17 update: I just got permission from Lucy’s husband (Lucy died about 10 years ago) to let folks have copies of this song.  You can download it for free here.
Here is a recording of Mary Alice and me singing it with Emmy Miller and her husband Jesse Milnes at our annual New Year’s Eve concert in Brattleboro last Dec 31: https://amidonmusic.com/images/mp3s/WhatsInASong.mp3

Woyaya  – words by Annie Masembe from Uganda, set to music by the band Osibisa,  a British Afro-pop band, founded in London in 1969.  Peter’s piano/SATB arrangement is on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”. Note that the printed arrangement you got at the Flurry workshop is simply the vocal harmonization of the second time through on the piano SATB arrangement in the Amidons’ Online Choral Store.

I Will Guide Thee – anonymous old hymn. Peter’s a cappella SATB arrangement on the Amidons’ Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choirbook/CD and on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store

 Keys to the Kingdom – traditional – on Mary Alice’s solo CD by the same name: Keys to the Kingdom

 Time Has Made a Change – an old hymn. On the Amidons’ CD Hymns & Ballads”.

 I’m Gonna Lift My Sister Up – by Faya Rose Touré AKA Rose Sanders. The Amidons have a piano/SATB arrangement of this on the Amidons’ Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirsand on the Amidons’ “Online Choral Store”This same arrangement works fine without the piano as an a cappella piece.

Vote for Me – by Faya Rose Touré AKA Rose Sanders.  In the Amidons book/CD Song in My Heart – Twenty-five Years of the Amidons’ Favorite Children’s Songs

 Here Is My Home – by Si Kahn. The Amidons’ have an a cappella SATB arrangement of this on the Amidons’ Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs.

Angels Hovering Round – from the singing of Lucy Simpson, who learned it from an old hymnal.  Usually we sing this by ear, but Peter did an a cappella SATB arrangement which is in both the Amidons’ Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choirbook/CD and on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store

Bid You Goodnight – traditional Bahamas spiritual from the singing of Joseph Spence.  We learned it from the Yorkshire singing family, the Watersons. The Amidons have an a cappella SATB arrangement of this in their Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choirbook/CD and on the Amidons’ Online Choral Store”.

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 Feast of Community Dance Teaching Tips
Sun 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
City Center Rm. A

Here are just the dances; I will add more notes to this tomorrow.

Comment ca va?
In NEDM’s Sashay the Donut
formation: Circle of couples
music: Any reel medley
A1 (16): Forward and back (8)
Forward and back again (8)
A2 (16): Circle Left (8)
Circle right (8)
B1/B2: (32) Allemand left corner (about 6)
Dosido Partner (about 6)
Allemand left corner again (about 6)
Promenade partner (or short swing with
partner, then promenade) (about 14)
NOTES – in the “Big Enchilada” figures at B1: “Bow to your partner, face your neighbor. Allemand left your neighbor while looking for your partner (“Partner, partner, partner”). Dosido your partner while looking for your neighbor. Allemand left your neighbor while looking for your partner. “Shake & take” your partner and promenade.

Noble Duke of York
In NEDM’s Rise Sally Rise” and NEDM’s Alabama Gal
Without taking hands, lines all go forward towards partner (without touching)
He had ten thousand men
All walk backwards back to place.
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
All dosido partner.
And when they were up they were up
Active (top) couple start sashaying down the middle while all other dancers stand up on tiptoes with hands high in the air..
And when they were down they were down
Active couple continues sashaying down while all other dancers crouch way down (keeping heads up)
And when they were only halfway up
Active couple starts sashaying back up the middle while all other dancers crouch halfway up with hands on knees
They were neither up nor down
Active couple continues sashaying up the middle while all the other dancers (who are all facing their partners) on the word “up” leap up from the ‘halfway up’ position, high in the air, do a 90 degree turn so that they all land facing up towards the music and towards the active (top) couple who have now reached the top of the set.
Oh a hunting…
ALL SKIPPING THROUGHOUT: Top couple lead other couples in cast off to bottom of the set.  Top couple makes arch at the bottom, other couples take partner’s hand and go under the arch and back to the top of the set.  Repeat dance with new top couple.
NOTES: Quick teaching of cast off under arches.  Have bottom couple “take hands down and raise them up into an arch”. With only the top couple dancing: demonstrate top gent along casting up and to the left and down to the bottom and up through the arch back to place.  Same thing with top lady (cast up and to the right and down . . . ). Then have both at the same time cast to bottom, taking one hand with partner before going through. Then have them do it again (still the bottom couple holding the two hand arch) while other dancers follow (gents follow gents, ladies follow ladies.  Finally have the bottom couples NOT make an arch but follow their lines, and the active couple that is leading the cast off make the arch when they reach the bottom.

Larry’s Mixer
in NEDM’s “Listen to the Mockingbird
Formation: Circle of couples, gents facing out ladies facing in.
Music: We like using “Cheris” from our Other Side of the Tracks CD but you can use any jig or reel
A1 (16) Do-si-do partner.  (8)
Allemande left the dancer on your partner’s right (Look at your partner, move your eyes to the left; that person!) (8)
A2 (16) ‘See saw’ partner (left shoulder dosido clockwise around) (8)
Allemande right the dancer on your partner’s left (Look at your partner, move your eyes to the right; that person!).  (8)
B1 (16) Right elbow turn partner.  (8)
Promenade partner
B2 (16) Continue promenading partner..  (8)
Gents move up to the next lady and promenade this new partner.  (8)
NOTES: Do this dance not as a mixer the first few times through, and then add, in the beginning of B2, the progression: “Everyone keep walking, let go of your partner, gents walk faster and move up to the lady in front of you and promenade her, now your new partner.”  Demonstrate how to dance this to the phrasing of the music, so that each figure starts at the beginning of the musical phrase.

Nancy & Arthur by Peter Amidon 2016
Longways duple proper in the style of an historic English Country Dance
A1: Circle L/back to back w N
A2: Circle R/back to back w P
B1: Set twice, two hands around partner
B2: Fall back, walk forward turning single
½ weaving poussette, gents start forward, ladies back.
NOTES: This is a great dance for giving children an authentic “historic English country dance” experience.

Galopede in NEDM’s Chimes of Dunkirk collection
Music: Galopede  Chimes of Dunkirk CD
Formation: Longways set of 8-12 couples.
A1 (16) All forward and back, clapping partner’s hands on 4th beat. (8)
All pass right shoulders with partner, crossing over to partner’s place. (8)
A2 (16) All forward and back, clapping partner’s hands on fourth beat. (8)
All cross back to place, passing right shoulders with partner. (8)
B (16) Do-si-do partner. (8)
Two hand turn around partner. (8)
C (16) Top couple take two hands and sashay down the center to the bottom of the set; other dancers clap to the music and move up one place. (16)
NOTES: In the A1, A2, B1 figures, keep moving through all the phrases by moving PAST partner’s place in the cross over, then turning, timing it so that you meet your partner in the middle for the “high ten” (clapping partner’s hand) right with the music.  Same thing going back.  Stay in closer for the dosido so that you are ready for the two hand turn.  Finish the dance with the cascading sashays of the “eggbeater”: immediately after the top couple sashays down, the 2nd couple moves up to the top and sashays down, followed by 3rd, 4th, etc.; couples moving up the side, sashaying down the middle, separating at the bottom and moving up the sides again.

Circle Waltz Mixer
In NEDM’s “Sashay the Donut”  book/CD
Music: “In Continental” waltz from Sashay the Donut CD
or any waltz, played ABAB (not AABB).
Formation: circle of partners
A (48) Take hands around circle and step in and out.  (6)
Gents roll lady on left from left to right*.  (6)
Take hands in circle again and step in and out. (6)
Gents roll new left hand lady from left to right. (6)
Take hands in circle again and step in and out. (6)
Gents roll new left hand lady from left to right. (6)
Take hands in circle again and step in and out. (6)
Gents roll new left hand lady from left to right,
but this time the gent turns right (facing CCW)
taking both hands with this lady. (6)
B (48) With this new partner step in towards the center, swinging arms in,
and then step out, swinging arms out.  (6)
Step in swinging arms in, let go of partner’s hands and each of you turn single (gent turning CCW and lady turning CW). (6)
Take hands with partner again and reverse:
Step out, swinging arms out and in swinging arms in. (6)
Step out swinging arms out, let go of partner’s hands andeach of you turn single (gent turning CW and lady CCW). (6)
Two hand turn; end on original sides, and take hands
in big circle to start the whole sequence over again.  (24)
NOTES: To make this work with young children (we’ve done it down to 2nd grade) and to make it work at a community dance, replace the two hand turn in the end of B with a slow bow to partner.
See Teaching the Circle Waltz Mixer and
Dancing the Circle Waltz Mixer