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Contra Dance Calling: A Basic Text

Contra Dance Calling cover imageSecond Edition

by Tony Parkes

This is the first comprehensive entry-level book ever written on contra dance calling, newly revised and updated for the Internet age. Every aspect of the caller's work is dealt with clearly and thoroughly, including: how to get started as a caller; music as it relates to the dance; timing and phrasing; voice technique; fitting the calls to the music; dance notation; teaching and walkthroughs; choosing material; calling for special groups; working with live or recorded music; buying and using a sound system; and running a dance series. In addition, the book includes: an in-depth discussion of the basic movements; a selection of easy-to-call dances; a complete glossary of terms; an extensive list of resources; and information on how to use other dance books. In short, this is your guide to the entire world of contra dance calling, teaching, and organizing.

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Shadrack's Delight and other dances

Shadack's Delightby Tony Parkes

Here are 43 original square, circle, and contra dances by one of New England's most active callers and choreographers. Most routines are suitable for the average country dance group. Complete explanations show exactly how the steps fit the music. Included are such favorites as: Duck Through and Swing, Flirtation Reel, For Those Who Cared, Parisian Star, The Snowy Day, Spring Fever, Star Breakdown, and, of course, the classic Shadrack's Delight, with the complete story of how it got its name. Also included are teaching tips, history, and a glossary of terms.

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Shadrack's Delight – recording

Shadrack's Delight RecordingWritten and called by Tony Parkes

Tony calls each of the dances in his Shadrack's Delight book at least twice. We find that listening is more effective than reading when we're trying to learn new calls. For this reason, the actual calls don't appear in the book, but only on this recording. Music is taken from the F&W records – a different tune for each dance (learn how to pick tunes!). This album is mostly not danceable, though a few squares are called as complete dances to illustrate the use of "breaks" or chorus figures.

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Son of Shadrack and other dances

Son of Shadrack and other dancesby Tony Parkes

Here are 42 more square, circle, and contra dances, ranging from very easy to fairly difficult. Some are variations on older routines, Tony's and other callers', that have been fine-tuned for smoother dancing. Others are completely new. Every dance has been tested with real people.

Dancers and callers who enjoyed Tony's first collection, Shadrack's Delight and Other Dances, are sure to find many new favorites here.

Like the first volume, this book includes complete explanations, teaching tips, history, and a glossary of terms.

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Non-Paypal Order Option

We understand that some people would prefer not to use PayPal. If you would prefer to mail a check or submit a purchase order number for an institution, we will be glad to accept orders by postal mail. To facilitate this, here is a link to a PDF order form that you can print and mail to us with a check. (Please note that this is not available outside of the United States and Canada.)

(The order form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, available here.)

Educational institutions may submit the form with a purchase order number.

NOTE: You do not need to have a PayPal account to use your credit card with PayPal; just go to checkout and follow the steps to enter your credit card number. Currently PayPal is the only way that we can accept credit cards.

Thank you for your interest!

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