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Contra Choreography

The format for this collection of contras is designed to make it easy to cut and paste.

(Updated or Revised July 2017)

Sicilian Circle Contras

Sicilian Circles are danced in a big circle of couples facing couples.
Couples are facing either clockwise or counterclockwise around the big circle.

Concentric Circles

Concentric Circle Contras are danced in two concentric circles of couples.
Couples in the inside circle are facing out towards a couple in the outside circle.

Proper Lines Contras

Proper Contras begin in two long facing lines with every dancer facing their partner.
Ladies are in the line on the caller's left and gents in the line on the caller's right.
Most of the action occurs between partners or in the long lines.
The sequence usually ends with a top to bottom progression.

Proper Duples

Proper Duple Contras begin in two long lines of partners facing across.
The caller sees Ladies in the line on the left and gents in the line on the right.
"Take hands four from the top" forms small groups of four dancers starting at the top.
The couples nearest the caller in each group are #1's or "active" and move down.
The other couples are #2's or "inactive" and move towards the caller.
In the case of an odd number of couples there will be a neutral couple at the bottom.
After a single progression, there will be a neutral couple at the top.
A neutral couple waits through one sequence, participating where possible.
Neutral couples at the top become #1's, neutrals at the bottom become #2's.
Couples maintain their number and move in one direction all the way to the bottom or top.

Alternate Duple Contras

Alternate Duple Contras begin in two long lines of partners facing across.
As for Duple Contras dancers are sorted into groups of four beginning at the top.
The #1's in each group exchange places with each other ("crossover") from the Proper position.
The Ladies and gentlement alternate down each line so these are sometimes called Improper Duples.
The action occurs in groups of four dancers and these groups change as the dance progresses.
Neutrals at the top or bottom must crossover while waiting to rejoin the action.

Couples Facing Couple Contras (Beckets)

Becket Contras begin in two long facing lines.
Partners stand side-by-side and each couple is facing another couple.

Mescolanzas

Mescolanzas are danced in a series of facing lines of four dancers (two couples).
These lines are arranged parallel to the front and back of the hall.

Triplets

Triplet Contras are contras for just three couples.
They usually begin with the dancers arranged in short Proper Contra lines.

Facing Trios

Facing Trios are a lines of three version of a Sicilian Circle.

One-Way Trios

One-Way Trios are danced in lines of three arranged in a big circle like spokes of a wheel
They usually include some movement between groups of three to mix the dancers.

Mixers

Mixers are usually danced in a big circle of couples.
The name implies that partners change as the dance progresses.
Some mixers have a "No Mix" option.

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