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Home > Visit our store > Contra Dance Calling

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.

2010, 300 pages, quality paperbound, acid-free paper
Suggested retail price: $30
Direct-from-publisher price: $27


Table of Contents

Part One: The Theory and Practice of Calling

1: Getting Started (Read the First Chapter)
2: What Is a Contra Dance? (a little history, the basic formation, the contra progression, neutral couples and the change of roles)
3: Music – the Cornerstone (tune structure, rhythm, timing, phrasing)
4: Delivering the Calls (voice technique, fitting words to music, opening and ending calls, diminishing calls, notation systems)
5: Teaching and Walkthroughs (teaching dance style, walkthroughs, classes vs. parties, demonstrations, teaching tips)
6: Choosing Your Material (programming a guest set, an evening, a series; pacing; selecting material; writing new dances)
7: Working with Music (tune types and flavors, working with musicians, working with recordings)
8: Sound Equipment (choosing & using amplifiers, microphones, speakers)
9: Calling for Special Groups (children, adolescents, older adults, same-sex & gender-free, using contras with modern square dancers)
10: Reaching Your Community (the schools, adult education, one-night stands, community & family dances)

Part Two: Basic Moves and Dance Routines

11: Before the Basics (etiquette and how to move)
12: The Basic Moves for Two People (do-si-do, gypsy, hand turn, swing, promenade, balance, & twirl to swap, all discussed in depth)
13: The Basic Moves for More than Two People (eleven more basics, with teaching techniques, variations, transitions, & timing)
14: Circle Dances (two big circle mixers and two progressive circles, with call charts)
15: Whole-Set Dances (three easy longways dances, including the Virginia Reel, with call charts)
16: Contra Dances (seven contras in order of difficulty, from Jefferson's Reel to Chorus Jig, with call charts)
17: Yes, We Do Squares Too (general discussion of New England squares, plus four figures and four sample breaks)

Glossary
Resources (dance and tune titles, books, recordings, videos, software, organizations, retailers, events, mailing lists, websites)
Index

 

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