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  • Simple Triplets

    August 30th, 2012
    calling, contras
    A lot of dances start slow, with just a few couples in the hall and ready to dance on time. So you need some dances for just a few dancers. Triplets only need three couples, so should be great, except that all the triplets I can find are relatively hard. I usually find myself needing triplets for the first few slots at monthly rural dances that struggle with attendance, and don't want to spend a long time teaching a too difficult dance. Even triplets intentionally written to be on the easier side, like David's Triplet #4, are much more challenging than my fallback contras (Haste to the Wedding, Broken Sixpence, and Midwest Folklore).

    On my way to a dance that I suspected would start off with a small number of mostly inexperienced dancers I wrote this triplet:

    A1 (16) Head lady leads their line up around the gents,
    down the outside, and back to place.
    A2 (16) Head gent does the same.
    B1 (16) Top couple sashay down the middle and back up,
    end at the bottom of the set.
    B2 (16) Partner balance and swing.
    While I'm not totally happy with it [1], it went over well. Are there other triplets at this level of accessibility?


    [1] These will move toward the bottom of the hall one place for every time through the dance, the timing of the sashay is weird because you don't come back as far as you go, and 16 counts is a little too long for leading around. Also, the lead-around and sashay figures are hokey enough that I'd be a little cautious about calling them for contra dancers. On the plus side, I think it would work as a quadruplet too.

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