# 11

A common contra dance figure is "right shoulder round": walk around the opposite-role person on the side of the set while looking at them. A less common figure is the "mad robin": walk the same path, but instead look at the opposite-role person across the set. This suggests a third option, which we can call "cross robin": walk that path, but looking at the same-role person diagonally across the set. [1]

Here's a potential dance:

Cross Robin
by Jeff Kaufman

(Beckett)

A1

• (4) Long lines forward to the left, progressing
• (4) On the way back, Larks roll Robins away (right to left)
• (4) Long lines forward in place
• (4) On the way back, Larks roll Robins away (left to right)
A2
• (8) Right shoulder round your partner while looking at your same-role neighbor.
• (8) Larks allemande left 1.5x while Robins orbit CW 1/2
B1
• (8) Left shoulder round your partner while looking at your same role-neighbor.
• (8) Robins allemande right 1.5x while Larks orbit CCW 1/2
B2
• (16) Right shoulder round your partner, and swing.

The goal is that after the cross-looking you should get to do something with that same-role neighbor. If you want, you can maintain eye contact throughout the A2 and B1.

I've tried this with three other people who happened to be in the same room (Harris, Cecilia, Lily) and it seems like it flows, though I'm not sure yet if the cross-looking feels good.

(I considered calling this "Mad Lark", but Harris tells me Shoshana Silverman has been pushing to call it "Mad Robin" when it starts with the Robin going in front and "Mad Lark" when it starts with the Lark going in front, and I didn't want to conflict. If that does catch on, this could be both "Cross Robin" in the B1 and "Cross Lark" in the A2. But I also think it's probably better not to name this figure at all in teaching it to dancers, and just describe it. It's good to keep the number of named figures low.)

[1] It also suggests a fourth option, where you walk the path while looking at yourself. But that seems more awkward.

# 11

New Comment

Dance feedback:

Pretty sure at the end of A1 you meant robins roll larks away R to L (So you're rolling away your partner rather than shadow)

Which then messes up the momentum a bit for A2, sadly. Could fix by reversing a series of handednesses, or by removing a roll away.

I do like the idea for A2 and B1. Is cool. Because they're so symmetrical, I'd be tempted to either try to split them up, or to have them both be in the A or B part. Probably the latter.

But also, I might play around with ways to make it so both cross robins are the same shoulder.

Maximally tweaked version:

A1: Partner RSR and swing

A2: Slice left

LLFB, robins roll away your partner (i.e. L to R)

B1: Robins in front cross robin. (i.e. center of mass moving as in a dosido / right shoulder round, looking at your opposite. Larks might find it smoother to gravitate towards each other a little as the move goes on.)

Larks Al L 1.5x in the middle, robins orbit CW 0.5x

B2: Larks in front cross robin, until robins are in the middle (i.e. center of mass moving as in a right shoulder round, about 1.5x around)

Robins Al L 1.5x in the middle, larks orbit CW 0.5x

Pretty sure at the end of A1 you meant robins roll larks away R to L (So you're rolling away your partner rather than shadow)

It should have read: "(4) On the way back, Larks roll Robins away (left to right)" instead of "(4) On the way back, Robins roll Larks away (left to right)". Fixed now!