Sharon’s Sunday Dance

Sharon Spangler

At my first contra dance in 1989, I fell in love with dancing--and with my first partner, Gerald Pottern. We had a contra-dance wedding in 1991, and danced regularly with Triangle Country Dancers, Carolina Song and Dance Association, and the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, where we taught the beginners’ lessons. We discovered English Country Dance at Sun Assembly's New Year’s Eve dance in Durham, NC, in the mid-90s and have been dancing with them ever since. I learned to call through mentors, observing the excellent callers at Sun Assembly's weekly dances, and calling at our bi-monthly Learning Lab. I began calling for Symmetry's Sunday dance in June 2020.

The Sunday dance is from 2-3 pm Eastern time. There are usually 5 or 6 dances and a final waltz. I do 2 walk-throughs for each dance with all figures described and many of them demonstrated, and allow time for questions. I like to call challenging dances that are well explained so that any experienced dancer can do them, but I also welcome improvisation and creative expression on the zoom dance floor. I call all the way through each dance, providing at least brief, one-word reminders of each move.

Q&A

Questions and Answers about the Sunday dance:

You use the terms “left file” and “right file.” What does this mean?

When I use the term “left file,” I mean the dancers currently standing on the left side of the set as you face up the hall. Similarly, when I say “right file,” I mean the dancers currently standing on the right side of the set as you face up the hall. These are examples of positional calls, where you identify dancers by their position instead of by their gender. My husband and I like to switch sides after every dance—it's fun, and it gives you more flexibility as a dancer to be comfortable on both sides. Please feel free to stand on the side of your choice.

I liked the diamond figure you used in the last dance. But where are the other couples standing?

I modify the dances so that they can be enjoyed by one or two people. Therefore, I usually refer only to what you and your partner (invisible or visible) are doing. Rather than talking about couple #1, 2, 3, etc., I focus on what you and your partner are doing at the top, middle, and bottom of the set. If it helps you to envision other couples, feel free—that can be fun too! You have your own personal dance floor to experiment with.

I kept ending up on the wrong side of the set after the last dance. What did I do wrong?

Sometimes I design dances so you end on the opposite side from where you started! But even if that is not the design, do not worry if you end up someplace other than you thought you would. As long as you and your partner agree, it is not a problem for anyone else. There are no dance police and nobody to be thrown off if you don't “do it right.” Some solo dancers like to adapt the moves so that they face the screen most of the time. There is no right way or wrong way on your own personal dance floor.

What should I do if I don't understand how the dance works?

Feel free to unmute and ask your question. I always do a second walk-through, so I can address your question or ask someone to do a demo of the figure that is unclear.

What's your process for modifying the dances?

I start with a video of the original dance, or instructions if no video is available, and create a rough “literal translation” of each move into a one or two person version. Then I dance it. If it flows nicely and is enjoyable, I am done! However, like a translator working with a different language, I may need to rearrange or substitute moves to preserve the “meaning” or “feel” of the original dance. Thankfully, our original dances are still there. Someday, we will dance them again!

Dance List & Music Credits

 

Music Credits for 10/18/20:

Daybreak -- Roguery, Impropriety vol. 2 -- https://www.amazon.com/Impropriety-Vol-2-Roguery/dp/B003GGIEWQ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=roguery+impropriety+vol+2&qid=1603059074&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Barham Down -- Foxfire, Winter Oranges -- https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Oranges-Foxfire-Daron-Douglas/dp/B007F34W6I/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=foxfire+winter+oranges&qid=1603059126&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Cat in the Window -- Mara Shea, violins and viola -- marashea.com/music

Trip to the Manors -- Foxfire, Winter Oranges -- https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Oranges-Foxfire-Daron-Douglas/dp/B007F34W6I/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=foxfire+winter+oranges&qid=1603059126&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Delia (or the Amorous Goddess) -- Bare Necessities, A New English Ball -- cdss.org

Final waltz: Dark Moon -- Elftones, Mist-Covered Mountains -- marashea.com/music

 

Music Credits for 10/11/20:

Elephants Stairs -- Persons of Quality, Elephants Stairs (https://www.amazon.com/Elephants-Stairs-Persons-Quality/dp/B06XDLM283/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elephants+stairs+persons+of+quality&qid=1602777499&s=dmusic&sr=1-1)

The Chocolate Equation -- Roguery, Impropriety vol. 3 (https://www.amazon.com/Impropriety-Vol-3-Roguery/dp/B007UA4LNU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3627PYJVG8010&dchild=1&keywords=impropriety+vol+3&qid=1602777550&s=dmusic&sprefix=impropriety%2Cdigital-music%2C155&sr=1-1)

An Enchanted Place -- Mara Shea on violin, viola, and mandolin (marashea.com/music)

A New Leaf -- Roguery, Impropriety vol. 6 (https://www.amazon.com/New-Leaf-Impropriety-Vol/dp/B07T2PGQLT/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=impropriety+vol+6&qid=1602777703&s=dmusic&sr=1-1)

Autumn Moon -- Rebecca King, Nearer and Farther (https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Moon/dp/B00R9K18LO/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=rebecca+king+nearer+and+farther&qid=1602777747&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Final Waltz--Waterfall Waltz--Bare Necessities, Mrs. Beveridge's Triumph (cdss.org)

 

Music Credits for 10/4/20:

Blythe Company -- Roguery, Sweet Mischief (Impropriety, vol 5) -- https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Mischief-Impropriety-Vol-5/dp/B019HCA9GG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=impropriety+vol+5&qid=1602777943&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

Up With Marcia -- tune "Up with Aily," Bare Necessities, More Favorites of the Boston Centre (cdss.org)

Emma's Commencement -- Childgrove, Early Instincts (https://www.amazon.com/Early-Instincts-Childgrove/dp/B0014BZOMS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=childgrove+early+instincts&qid=1602778102&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Mrs. Savage's Whim -- Bare Necessities, By Request -- cdss.org

Castlewall -- Goldcrest, tune Castlewall/Floating Ground (https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598747540&s=dmusic&sr=1-1)

Final Waltz--My Cape Breton Home--Bare Necessities, By Choice (cdss.org)

 

Music Credits for 9/27/20:

Henry's Hornpipe -- MGM and Reunion, New Friends (cdss.org)

The Bonny Cuckoo -- Bare Necessities, More Favorites of the Boston Centre (cdss.org)

Asking for the Road -- Tune: Star of the County Down (traditional Irish) -- Mara Shea, solo fiddle (marashea.com)

Astoria Lass -- Bare Necessities, Modern Treasures (cdss.org)

Treasure of the Big Woods -- Tune: Lamp on the River, by Dave Wiesler,-- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1601577820&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Final Waltz: Captain O'Kane -- The Elftones (Roger Gold and Mara Shea), Mist-Covered Mountains (marashea.com)

 

Music Credits for 9/20/20:

Shrewsbury Lasses -- English Echoes (Liz Donaldson, Becky Ross, Colleen Reed) -- liz@us.net

Sunlight Through Draperies -- Roguery, Minding the Gap --

Fleur-de-Lis -- Mara Shea -- https://www.marashea.com/product-page/fleur-de-lis

Faraway Friends -- Tune: Far Away by Peter Jung -- MGM and Reunion (cdss.org)

Highlander Be Well -- original dance Highland Farewell by Pat Petersen -- Tune: Highlander's Farewell (traditional) -- The Elftones (Mara Shea and Roger Gold) -- marashea.com

Final Waltz: Dawn Waltz by Mara Shea -- Copious Notes (Julie Gorka and Mara Shea) -- https://www.marashea.com/product-page/dawn-waltz

 

Music Credits for 9/13/20:
The Jolly Company -- Persons of Quality, Elephant Stairs -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WImGPWFGlp8&feature=push-u&attr_tag=EptZ7d8gWC0-6
Bar a Bar -- Bare Necessities, At the Ball -- cdss.org
A New Leaf -- Roguery, Impropriety vol. 6 -- https://www.amazon.com/New-Leaf-Mr-Millstones-Defenestration/dp/B07SZJT223/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=mr.+millstone%27s+defenestration&qid=1600095954&s=dmusic&sr=1-1
The Introduction -- Bare Necessities, Favorites of the Boston Centre -- cdss.org
Come With Voices Singing -- Goldcrest -- https://www.amazon.com/Come-With-Voices-Singing/dp/B00T5ZR3HY/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=come+with+voices+singing&qid=1600096043&s=dmusic&sr=1-12
Final Waltz: Carolynn's Waltz -- Elftones (Roger Gold and Mara Shea) -- marashea.com 

Music Credits for 9/6/20:

Gambols -- Boldwood, Feet Don't Fail Me Now. Tune is Shepherd and Shepherdess (slowed to 90%) -- https://www.amazon.com/The-Shepherd-and-Shepherdess/dp/B06WGRMMWK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=shepherd+and+the+shepherdess&qid=1598748587&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

Alex and Charles -- Mara Shea, solo violin. Tune is Slane ("Be Thou My Vision") -- marashea.com

Charlene's Celebration -- MGM and Reunion, Band of Friends -- cdss.org

Easter Thursday -- Bare Necessities, English Country Dances -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZV7VMPT/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk7

Potter's Wheel -- Roguery, Impropriety Vol. 3 -- https://www.amazon.com/Impropriety-Vol-3-Roguery/dp/B007UA4LNU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3AYDQ8U8LZ7YZ&dchild=1&keywords=impropriety+vol+3&qid=1599506245&s=dmusic&sprefix=improprie%2Cdigital-music%2C194&sr=1-1

Final Waltz: Wedding at Cleary Lake, by Larry Unger, from Waltz Time (Larry Unger and Ginny Snowe) -- https://www.amazon.com/Impropriety-Vol-3-Roguery/dp/B007UA4LNU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3AYDQ8U8LZ7YZ&dchild=1&keywords=impropriety+vol+3&qid=1599506245&s=dmusic&sprefix=improprie%2Cdigital-music%2C194&sr=1-1

 

Music Credits for 8/30/20:

From Aberdeen -- Bare Necessities, More Favorites of the Boston Center (cdss.org)

The Punch Bowl -- Bare Necessities, More Favorites of the Boston Center (cdss.org)

Say I Do -- MGM and Reunion, Band of Friends (cdss.org)

Wave(s) of Grain -- Martha Edwards and Alex Coppock -- contact Martha Edwards at meedwards@westendweb.com or check out this recording by the band Steam (https://www.amazon.com/Wheat/dp/B07LDLBVGX/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=wheat+steam&qid=1598817210&s=dmusic&sr=1-3)

Blythe Company -- Roguery, Sweet Mischief (cdss.org)

Final Waltz: End of Summer by Larry Unger -- Stringdancer (Martha Edwards, Pam Carson Stoll, David Kirchner) -- contact Martha Edwards at meedwards@westendweb.com.

 

Music Credits for 8/23/20:

Champagne -- Mara Shea, violins and viola (marashea.com) -- tune: Fete de Village

Sally in Our Alley -- The Dancehall Players, An Evening at Dan's Hall -- https://www.amazon.com/Evening-at-Dans-Hall/dp/B07NJL3ZNH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=an+evening+at+dan%27s+hall&qid=1598826814&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Movement Afoot -- Stringdancer (Martha Edwards, Pam Carson Stoll, David Kirchner) -- tune: Steciak's by Larry Unger. Contact Martha Edwards (meedwards@westendweb.com about the Stringdancer CD or you can find this on Larry Unger's CD Waltz Time --https://www.amazon.com/Waltz-Larry-Unger-Ginny-Snowe/dp/B0013R602Q/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=larry+unger&qid=1598826897&s=dmusic&sr=1-3

Muriel's Measure -- Bare Necessities, By Choice (cdss.org)

Castlewall -- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- tune: Castlewall/Floating Ground by Dave Wiesler -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598747540&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Final Waltz: Walt's Waltz -- In 3/4 Time (Julie Gorka on piano, Mara Shea violin, Walt Robinson recorder) -- marashea.com

 

Music Credits for 8/16/20:

Red House -- Bare Necessities, At the Ball (cdss.org)

Dovetail -- MGM and Reunion (cdss.org)

Softly Good Tummas -- Bare Necessities, By Choice (cdss.org)

Cat in the Window -- Mara Shea, violins and viola (marashea.com)

Emperor of the Moon -- Persons of Quality, Next of Kynaston (https://www.amazon.com/Next-Kynaston-Persons-Quality/dp/B0096U5K1O/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Persons+of+Quality&qid=1598982127&s=dmusic&search-type=ss&sr=1-1)

Final Waltz: As Laurie Sleeps in the Dawn -- Stringdancer (Martha Edwards, Pam Carson Stoll, David Kirchner) -- contact Martha Edwards at meedwards@westendweb.com.

 

Music Credits for 8/9/20:

Key to the Cellar -- English Echoes (Liz Donaldson, Becky Ross, Bruce Edwards, Colleen Reed) -- https://www.amazon.com/English-Echoes-Country-Dance-Favorites/dp/B001AJASMU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=English+Echoes&qid=1598982237&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

De'il Take the Warr -- Bare Necessities, Mrs. Beveridge's Triumph (cdss.org)

V (Vee) -- Roguery (Anita Anderson, Jim Oakden, Shira Kammen, Dave Bartley) -- Impropriety vol. 5, tune is Incunabula (cdss.org)

Henry's Hornpipe -- MGM and Reunion (cdss.org)

Beautyberry -- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598982702&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Final Waltz: Caesar's Waltz -- tune by Marty Somberg -- Stringdancer (Martha Edwards, Pam Carson Stoll, David Kirchner) -- contact Martha Edwards at meedwards@westendweb.com.

 

Music Credits for 8/2/20:

Corelli's Maggot -- Bare Necessities, At the Ball (cdss.org)

The Black Nag -- Walt Michael, Retrospective -- https://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Nag/dp/B07MG336W1/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Walt+Michael%2C+Retrospective&qid=1598987375&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

Heidenroslein -- Mara Shea and Julie Gorka, In 3/4 Time (marashea.com)

The Pursuit -- Bare Necessities, At the Ball (cdss.org)

Crystal Spring -- Mara Shea, violins and viola (marashea.com)

Final Waltz : Weathered Inn Waltz by Al White -- Stringdancer (Martha Edwards, Pam Carson Stoll, David Kirchner) -- contact Martha Edwards at meedwards@westendweb.com.

 

Music Credits for 7/26/20:

The Young Widow -- Bare Necessities, At the Ball (cdss.org)

Orange Nan -- Persons of Quality, Next of Kynaston (https://www.amazon.com/Next-Kynaston-Persons-Quality/dp/B0096U5K1O/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Persons+of+Quality&qid=1598982127&s=dmusic&search-type=ss&sr=1-1)

Mary K -- tune is Scherzo in C Minor by Dave Wiesler -- MGM and Reunion (cdss.org)

Rafe's Waltz -- Bare Necessities, By Choice -- tune is The Cutty Wren, trad. arranged by R. Vaughan Williams -- cdss.org

Easter Thursday -- Bare Necessities, English Country Dances -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZV7VMPT/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk7

Bluebonnets -- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598982702&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

 

Music Credits for 7/19/20:

Asking for the Road -- Mara Shea, solo violin (marashea.com)

Sun Assembly -- Bare Necessities, Favorites of the Boston Centre

Michael and All Angels -- Foxfire and Daron Douglas, Winter Oranges -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F34Y02/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk3

Beautyberry -- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598982702&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Emma's Commencement -- Childgrove, Early Instincts -- https://www.amazon.com/Early-Instincts-Childgrove/dp/B0014BZOMS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Childgrove%2C+Early+Instincts&qid=1598988024&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Heys in Time -- English Echoes 2 (Liz Donaldson, Becky Ross, Bruce Edwards, Colleen Reed) -- https://www.amazon.com/English-Echoes-Country-Dance-Favorites/dp/B001AJASMU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=English+Echoes&qid=1598982237&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

 

Music Credits for 7/12/20:

The Round -- Bare Necessities, A Playford Ball (cdss.org)

Mr. Beveridge's Maggot -- Syllabub (Mara Shea, Julie Gorka, Walt Robinson) -- marashea.com

Emperor of the Moon -- Persons of Quality, Next of Kynaston (https://www.amazon.com/Next-Kynaston-Persons-Quality/dp/B0096U5K1O/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Persons+of+Quality&qid=1598982127&s=dmusic&search-type=ss&sr=1-1)

The Introduction -- Bare Necessities, Favorites of the Boston Centre (cdss.org)

Shrewsbury Lasses -- English Echoes -- Liz Donaldson, Becky Ross, Bruce Edwards, Colleen Reed) -- https://www.amazon.com/English-Echoes-Country-Dance-Favorites/dp/B001AJASMU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=English+Echoes&qid=1598982237&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

Candles in the Dark -- Elftones, All the Pretty Horses (Roger Gold and Mara Shea) -- marashea.com

 

Music Credits for 7/5/20:

Zephyrs and Flora -- Copious Notes (Julie Gorka and Mara Shea) -- marashea.com

Hambleton's Round-O -- Bare Necessities, Take a Dance -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G67E6Q/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk11

Vivaldi in Paradise -- MGM and Reunion, Band of Friends -- cdss.org

Irish Lamentation -- Hot Toddy Ceilidh Band, Purely Medicinal -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CCWZ40/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk5

The Jolly Company -- Persons of Quality, Elephant Stairs -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XD6K9F8/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk1

Blythe Company -- Roguery, Sweet Mischief -- Anita Anderson, Jim Oakden, Shira Kammen, Dave Bartley -- cdss.org

Final Waltz: Winter Wedding -- A Sheep at the Wheel -- https://www.amazon.com/Sheep-at-Wheel/dp/B0034PWQSM

 

Music Credits for 6/28/20:

Knives and Forks -- Bare Necessities, Take a Dance -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G67E0W/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk9

Easter Morn -- A Sheep at the Wheel -- https://www.amazon.com/Sheep-at-Wheel/dp/B0034PWQSM

Mock Hobby Horse -- Copious Notes (Julie Gorka and Mara Shea) -- marashea.com

Dance of a Lifetime -- Goldcrest (Daron Douglas, Paul Oortz, Dave Wiesler) -- https://www.amazon.com/Goldcrest-Collection/dp/B00T1D7JRE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=goldcrest&qid=1598982702&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Highland Farewell -- Elftones, Roger Gold and Mara Shea -- marashea.com

Elephant Stairs -- Persons of Quality, Elephant Stairs -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XD6K9F8/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk1

Final Waltz: One Last Time -- In 3/4 Time --marashea.com

 

Music Credits for 6/21/20:

Auretti's Dutch Skipper -- Bare Necessities, Simple Pleasures -- cdss.org

Braes of Dornoch -- Childgrove, Early Instincts -- https://www.amazon.com/Early-Instincts-Childgrove/dp/B0014BZOMS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Childgrove%2C+Early+Instincts&qid=1598988024&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Mr. Isaac's Maggot -- English Echoes -- Liz Donaldson, Becky Ross, Bruce Edwards, Colleen Reed) -- https://www.amazon.com/English-Echoes-Country-Dance-Favorites/dp/B001AJASMU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=English+Echoes&qid=1598982237&s=dmusic&sr=1-2

Bonnie at Morn -- In 3/4 Time -- marashea.com

The Physical Snob -- Bare Necessities, Simple Pleasures -- cdss.org

Sapphire Sea -- Copious Notes -- marashea.com

Final Waltz: Mrs. Jamieson's Favorite -- Copious Notes -- marashea.com