Here are some dances I've written. If you enjoy them, please let me know! I'm always interested in hearing feedback on what works and what doesn't, especially helpful teaching notes. If a dance needs a name, suggestions are welcome.
The ones that have actually been tried with real dancers have sometimes undergone revision. The usual disclaimers apply: nothing is ever truly original, and I hope to give credit to others where it's due. If you borrow pieces to write your own variations, I'd appreciate some attribution, but also, please share whatever you come up with!
I'll use the convention of only annotating moves with their time (in counts) if it's not obvious how to break up 16 (as 6+10, 8+8, or 16). Also, neighbors are numbered - N1 is the current neighbor, N0 the previous neighbor, N2 the next neighbor, and so on. The neighbor number increments when the dance begins again, so N2 becomes N1 and so on.
Cross trail thru - pass by right shoulder across, left shoulder up/down.
Swing thru - from a short wavy line, all allemande right 1/2, then middles allemande left 1/2.
Sawtooth - see Give and Take. Basically it's Becket, but the dance ends slightly left of your original neighbors, so you don't need to slide left as far.
Legal mumbo jumbo: All dances here are Creative Commons CC BY. You're welcome to call them anytime.
Often, when we pull across by the right hand, if we hold on too long, it leads to ladies turning over their right shoulder, which is bad for e.g. a right and left thru. But in this dance, it's good flow for the ladies to keep turning right into the N swing.
The title refers to a physics joke about combining theory and practice, and it alludes to the broken heys in this dance.
Written as I was listening to Jaige Trudel's uplifting jig, Sunny Windows, in an airport with blinding sunlight, overlooking the Min Mountains in shadow.
For Kristin Seibert. In Scottish dancing, heys are called reels.
For the organizers of Fall Has Sprung: Dan Skeahan, Eric Engels, Joyce Miller, and Lisa Frankel. You also get to see four of your neighbors each time through.
Some have suggested, in the B1, changing the pull by left to an allemande left 1/2. I prefer the timing with a pull by, but the allemande left 1/2 may be better in a crowded hall.
For Jim Saxe. The B1 is as in David Kaynor's Mary Cay's Reel, but left-handed, for the gents.
For Ruth Gorrin. Notes:
Your next neighbor is next to you after the neighbor swing, but you meet on the other side. Cross over when waiting out at the ends.
Named for Pure Ingredient Cafe at Google, close to the location of the Google contra.
Note the two consecutive do si dos add up to make an elongated do si do; there is no weaving.
This is suitable for one of the first dances of the evening, but the up the hall into gents allemande is suprising for experienced dancers. An alternative is to turn alone, come back, roll away the N lady, gents allemande.
So named because it was written on a Caltrain.
The star promenade to give-and-take transition was inspired by Lisa Gets Cozy. I wanted to find a way to star promenade without gents allemanding left 1+1/2, as they always do.
A recombination of Pedal Pushers, Harmony Supper Line, and Sweet Music. One of those dances that you're sure somebody has already written.
A left-right inverse of Fairport Harbor by Paul Balliet. There are several things to watch out for; one is that the first promenade is not the regular promenade direction. The scoop is also interesting: couples turn clockwise halfway to face backwards, then ladies turn over their right shoulder to face forwards again.
A variant of the Green-Eyed Girl by Jim Kitch, which seemed like it had a nice flowing signature figure without good flow around it. (If you call the Green-Eyed Girl, I'll suggest this as a replacement.) The gypsy 1+1/2 is a Jim Kitch-esque forgery.
The B section is from Balance to my Lou by Becky Hill. This was my best attempt to add a neighbor swing. It's still a dance in which you don't see your partner as much as your shadow, though.
The hey is similar to Erik Weberg's Joyride (and Victor Skowronski's Companions). In teaching, after the progression to new neighbors, the ladies should take a step left (out of the set) to set up for the hey, which is really 5 passes (5/8 of a full hey).
Named for the fruit we picked in Grass Valley and brought to the potluck table at Fall Has Sprung in 2012. Some inspiration from Apples and Chocolate.
A Dixie twirl is a California twirl for couples acting as units. The couple on the right walks under the joined arch, with both couples walking forward. "Invert the line" means that the line has basically turned around in place. This is harder than it seems like it should be, especially when the dance is alternating.
The inspiration for this dance comes from Carol Ormand's choreography workshop at American Week and Patrick Morris's Hallucination Jig. And arguably Dean Snipes's Our House.