The Calamitous Milkcrate Caper, a contra dance

The Calamitous Milkcrate Caper

by Erik B. Erhardt, 2003.05.27 Duple Improper Contra Dance [Pulses Call] A1: 4 Circle Left 1/2 4 Gent Roll Partner [Lady] Left into (no sashay, Gents are anchored in place) 4 Gents Chain across by the Right [hand] (the Gents are doing a Ladies chain) 4 Ladies Courtesy turn Gents (give Left hands, wheel around) A2: 4 Circle Right 1/2 4 Lady Roll Partner [Gent] Right into (no sashay, Ladies are anchored in place) 8 Ladies Left shoulder 1/2 Hay B1: (the tease) 6 Gypsy Partner 3/4 around (until the gents are facing in) 2 Gents cross set (by right shoulders) into 8 Swing Neighbor on Lady’s side B2: 4 Ring Balance 4 Active Lady California twirl Partner/Gent (Lady lift right hand, gent turn under, and pull into a swing) 8 Actives Swing while Inactives cast alone over outside shoulder [can alternate actives and inactives role in B2 if long sets and very sharp dancers, caller may need to cue actives/inactives for swing throughout] Dance Notes:
  • This dance was written with gender role reversal in mind. It’s about time the guys get the dance action! Also, if the gypsy is done meaningfully, it can be a real tease.
  • It’s probably worth a little extra instruction to get the Gents Chain across correct. Most people only dance one gender role. As such, they have difficulty when called upon to reverse roles. I suggest two walk-thrus of the Gents chain across. The first one suggest the traditional courtesy turn with the right hands on the waist/lower back. The second one suggest an underarm twirl. This will give the dancers a wider vocabulary of moves.
  • Also, I would suggest that if the man is much taller than the lady, that they resort to the traditional courtesy turn rather than the underarm twirl to avoid injury. In this case there is a nice “whip” twirl where, if they take hands in front for the turn, at the end the lady can whip the guy for an unspotted spin (guy spins counter-clockwise) at the end. More advanced dancers will find this on their own.
  • 12/30/09 – Made two corrections (B1 gypsy 1/2, B2 Actives only Cali turn) and expanded explanations.
  • 2008: I’m starting to dance again, after developing (2004ish) and having surgery (Dec 2006) to remove a Morton’s Neuroma in my left foot from dancing in beautiful shoes that were too narrow; it’s hard to find dance shoes in a 11-4E. To celebrate, here’s a contra I wrote some years ago, which I first called at CCDS 2009.

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