Here are the entries for the NEFFA 75th Contra Contest. Thanks again to all of 
you who submitted dances.

The dances are presented as written, mostly unedited. They are grouped by 
author in order of submission, with the exception of the winning dance, which 
is at the top. I do have all of this in a Word doc., so feel free to write me 
off list for a copy as it may be easier to read.

And a big thank you to Bob Isaacs for being a co-judge, as well as caller of 
the winning dance at Neffa this past weekend. We had a blast working on this 

Lisa Greenleaf

What Bob Isaacs and I said to announce the winner:

The winner is Diamonds Are For Neffa, written by Chris Page. The judges feel 
that his dance has good flow, is suitable for the NEFFA audience, and includes 
very NEFFA-appropriate inter-set allemandes and a celebratory diamond. Even the 
title is clever. We thank Chris for this wonderful contribution to the NEFFA 
tradition. Congratulations!

Diamonds Are For NEFFA Chris Page
A1 Shift left to new neighbors
  Circle left ¾;
  Neighbor swing
A2 Long lines forward and back;
  Hands-across star right 7/8 (until Ladies are in the center of a
diamond, Gents are on the outside).
B1 Ladies (next Lady from the next star) allemande left 1;
  Hands-across star right 3/4 (with original foursome);
  Gents (with previous Gent from the next star) allemande left 1
B2 Gents (in center of set, facing partner) walk forward to partner on side
  Partner R Shoulder Round
  Partner swing

This is the base version of the dance. However, when there's multiple
lines and skilled dancers, point out that inactive dancers during the
B1 can allemande left once with a dancer from an adjacent contra line.

If this is done, at the top of the A1, it's likely that your current
neighbors will be on the slight left diagonal, so you'll need to take
an extra step to the left to make sure you get to new neighbors.

(as for the title, diamonds are 60th anniversary, but sometimes they
are 75th anniversary as well)

Here's the one-line test video (times 14 through 17 of the dance, so
things had smoothed out):


 Diamond Jubilee  Becket (reverse progression) Jim Hemphill

A1 Balance in a ring and spin to a diamond (ladies in center facing up & down, 
gents facing across)

     Balance the ring and petronella, gents form a long wave in the center

A2 Balance the wave, turn by the right half way

     Swing a new neighbor

B1 Slice on the left diagonal (to meet your partner), push straight back

     Ladies allemande right 1 1/2 

B2 Partner balance and swing

Notes:  In A1 the 1st spin covers half the distance of a regular petronella.  
The second spin gents turn an extra quarter to face across, take left hands 
with current neighbor & right with the next.

End effect: Put Lady on Left

NEFFA! Say NEFFA Again!  Cary Ravitz

(8) Right and left through across.
(8) Circle RIGHT 3/4.
(6) With partners, ladies lead a zig zag right and left to pass
(10) Look for a new neighbor to swing.
(8) Gents pass by the left to start a 1/2 hey.
(8) Gents allemande left 1+1/2.
(16) Partners balance and swing.

Neffanella  Cary Ravitz

(16) Neighbors gypsy and swing.
(8) Right and left through across.
(8) Ladies allemande right 1+1/2.
(16) Partners balance and swing.
(8) Petronella balance and spin 1+1/2 places to a diamond.
(8) Petronella balance and spin 1+1/2 places to indecent progressed
   position and turn to look for a new neighbor.

Neffarious  Cary Ravitz
Becket, progresses right

(7) Right and left through across.
(2) Partners trade places, gents behind ladies.
(7) Circle RIGHT 3/4.
(6) Neighbors allemande left once around.
(10) Look for a new neighbor to swing.
(8) Circle left 3/4.
(8) Ladies pass by the left to start a 1/2 hey.
(16) Partners balance and swing.

Forty-Four Friends for 6 Bits (NEFFA Diamond Jubilee)
Barbara Renna  DI  

1.    Two lines forward and back

2.    Box the gnat with your partner

3.    Right hand star with your group of four

4.    Left hand star with the adjacent couple up or down the set

5.    Right shoulders around with your original neighbor

6.    Box the gnat with your neighbor (all have now progressed but are in 
reversed positions)

7.    Balance 2x with partner across the set

8.    Swing partner (end with partner on original side of set, ready to begin 
dance from start)

About the title: The 44 is because NEFFA started in 1944, and because you meet 
a lot of people at NEFFA, who
About the dance: Just as you meet and interact with many people at NEFFA, you 
meet and interact with many people during this dance.

NEFFA Jubilee Jumble  Barbara Renna   (regular contra formation):

1.    All circle to the left (end in original place)

2.    Balance the ring 1x (and move one spot CCW around circle)

3.    Right and Left through ¾ (W now back to original place, M are switched)

4.    Left hand star with your own group of 4

5.    Right hand star with the adjacent couple from the next group up or down 
the set (no one is in a group with their partner for this)(good to release the 
left hand star when it’s about ⅞ of the way around!)

6.    Balance the ring 1x with your original foursome (and move 1 spot CCW, all 
are now progressed)

7.    Left shoulder dosido with your neighbor along the line

8.    Balance and swing your partner

About the title: Sometimes things get a bit mixed up by accident during a 
dance, but in this dance things get
About the dance: Everyone not only dances with everyone else, they even dance 
outside of their foursome with someone other than their partner!

NEFFA 6.75  Barbara Renna (regular contra formation):

1.    All circle to the left (all the way back to place)

2.    Balance the ring 1x (advance 1 place CCW)

3.    Right and Left through and back to place

4.    Ladies chain ½ way

5.    Men left hands around 1 ½ times (men are now progressed)

6.    Balance and swing your partner along the side of the set

7.    Ladies chain halfway (all are now progressed)

8.    Dosido your partner across the set

About the title: There are 6 states in New England and NEFFA has been happening 
for 75 years. Also, 0.75 is ¾ and there are a lot of fractions in contra 
dancing! (balance the ring + ladies chain = ¼ + ½ = ¾)
About the dance: I just put a lot of things I enjoy together in a way that I 
thought was smooth and happy the way fractions and math and dancing all go 
together and make me happy!


Friendly New England Folks      By Jane Ewing 11-2-18  Duple Improper

A1     Neighbor Rt Hand Balance – pull by

         Partner Lf Hand pull by

         Neighbor Rt Hand Balance – pull by

         Partner Lf Hand pull by

A2     Neighbor Balance & Swing

B1     Circle Lf 3 Places

         Partner Swing

B2     Long Lines Forward & Back

         Ladies Chain (face New Neighbor)

 Diamond Jubilee in Mansfield by Bob Green (duplex improper)

A1 Balance the ring & spin to a diamond (Gent 1 top center, Gent 2 bottom 
     Balance the ring, partners twirl to swap & reform the diamond 
A2 Balance the ring & partner swing on the Gents current side
      (Break the swing back in a diamond, Lady 1 bottom center, Lady 2 top 
B1 Balance the ring & spin to neighbor on the gents side
     Neighbor swing
B2 Long lines forward & back
      Pass through and twirl to swap with neighbor 

NOTE: The dance can be made slightly easier by replacing the balance and twirl 
to swap in A1 with a balance and roll away with a half sashay. Also in B1 it 
can be simplified with a balance the ring & swing on the Gents side.

Here was a trial run with a mixed level of dancers:

75 Already?  John Robert   Becket

A 1 : Slide left and circle left with a new couple, flatten into wave with 
ladies In middle (8
Balance r&l. neighboor allemande R Gents Allemande L  to take hands with 
partner and with other gent In the middle.
A 2 : Balance r&(4)l, partner allemande right(2), ladies allemande left (2), 
swing neighboor(8)
B 1: Ladies Allemande left 1 1/2, pass partner right shoulder 1/2 hey
B 2 : Partner B&S

75th Stomp  John Robert   Becket

A1: Left Diagonal Slide Foreward, fall back(8) Ladies Chain(8)
A2: Balance ring, spin right, petronella 2x
B1: Neighboor B&S
B2: Balance Ring, Ladies Draw partner Back For A Swing 

 NEFFA a Dull Moment by Jon Greene  CCW Becket

Suggested music: smooth jigs or reels, slow to moderate tempo

A1: Circle left 3/4 and let go of partner’s hand to take hands in long lines 
(with current and next neighbors), connecting the set at the ends to form a 
giant oval (8)
      Oval left (8)

A2: Oval back right (8)
      Drop next neighbor’s hand and retake partner’s hand to make a circle of 
four and circle right exactly 1/2 (4)
      Drop neighbors hand and give both hands to partner to start a CCW 1/2 
pousette (ladies initially backing up) around these same neighbors (~5)

B1: CW 1/2 pousette (gents initially backing up) around next neighbors (~5)
      Swing next neighbor (~10)

B2: Two changes of a hey, gents pass left in the center, right with partner,
       ladies push back (ricochet) (6)
       Swing partner (10)

Notes: Partners should drop hands a little before the end of the 3/4 circle 
left in A1 to make it easier for the ladies in particular to flow into the 
oval. Also, I’m hoping that dancers will naturally adjust the timing of the 
circle to take a full 8 beats (instead of say 6 or 7) so that the oval left 
starts right on beat 9. But the dance should still work even if the oval starts 
a beat or two early as the eventual neighbor swing in B1 will synchronize the 

During the transition in B1 from a pousette to a neighbor swing, partners 
should stay connected until the last possible moment when the gents “catch” the 
ladies almost blindly as they back into the swing.

The push back hey in B2 has a similar dynamic as the gents catch their partners 
as they back into the swing.
Couples waiting out are strongly encouraged to participate in the ovals. They 
formally reenter the dance in B1 with the CW 1/2 pousette around new neighbors.
The title has two meanings for me. First, that NEFFA remains a vibrant and 
exciting organization (even after 75 years) and second, that everyone is always 
moving in the dance (i.e., there are no same gender allemandes, for example).


Diamond Jubilee by Fred Wersan   DI, Double Progression

1. Circle left all the way. (8)
2. Swing neighbor. (8)
3. Ones cast up the set and down the outside below the next neighbor. (8)
4. Long lines forward and back. (8)
5. Active couple turn contra neighbors: (16)
      (First neighbor is to active dancers right, second is to the left.)
    a. Active couple allemand right about 7/8 to
    b. Allemand left first neighbor and back to center.
    c. Active couple meet in center of set and ricochet to
    d. Allemande left second neighbor.
6. Active couple swing in the middle and end facing up. (8)
7. Circle left with couple above half way and pass through to next neighbors. 

End effects – Could at the top will need to go below a neighbor at the cast. 
Couple reaching the end will need to switch sides to get into the contra 
neighbor figure.

This might be a little challenging for what you want. You could alternate 
between ones and twos by having the twos cast down the set and up the outside 
to mirror what the ones do. However, I think that would be confusing for this 
dance and given its duple minor, people will move up a reasonably size set 
fairly quickly.


Diamonds for (N)EFFA  Keith Wood November 2018
Longways duple minor diamond, double progression 32 bar reels

To get into diamond formation, start in improper Contra formation and each 
group of four circles ⅛(. place) to the left so ladies are in a line down the 
middle of the set and men are on the side of the set. Diamond dances have a 
double progression.

A1 Do-si-do neighbour

      Swing neighbour; finish facing your partner in the diamond, now with 
Gents down the
      middle and Ladies on the side of the set

A2 R shoulder around partner

      Swing partner; finish diagonally opposite where you started, facing your 
neighbour in the
      diamond, once more with Ladies down the middle and Gents on the side of 
the set

B1 Star right once around

      Star left once around

B2 Partners butterfly whirl half-way anti-clockwise to face out of your set (4 

     Still joined with your partner, Gents take left hand with the Gent from 
the next set (where
     possible) and Star promenade half-way into the next set, facing out (8 
beats); a couple
     coming out at the top or bottom

      Swing partner (12 beats)

In your new set, partners butterfly whirl half-way anti-clockwise to face new 
neighbours in
the diamond (Ladies down the middle, Gents on the side) (4 beats)

NEFFA Enough  Keith Wood November 2018
Becket formation, clockwise progression 32 bar reels

A1 Circle left . to a wavy line, Ladies join left hands, right to neighbour

      Balance the wave (forward and back) and walk forward to new neighbours 

A2 Do-si-do neighbour

      Swing neighbor

 B1 Half hey, Gents pass L

      Mad Robin, clockwise with neighbour, Gents in to start

B2 Slingshot: Neighbours butterfly whirl once around clockwise, Gents moving 
forward, Ladies
      backwards, and Gents cross the set passing right shoulder to partner

     Swing partner


This first one is inspired/along the lines of Linda Leslie's prior NEFFA 
anniversary dances, e.g.: "Celebrating 60". I noted that hers had very easy 
moves overall and featured long waves. This one honors that heritage and other 
familiar contra themes while finishing with an unusual twist to reunite 

Celebrating 75 - Becket - Don Veino 20181216B
(or "Looking Back on 75", should Celebrating 75 not be available)

A1 Gents to Center Wave, Balance
Gents Back Out WHILE Ladies to Center Wave, Balance
(Ladies note Gent on left diagonal)

A2 Ladies Allemande Left 1/2x, Next Ladies Right 1/2x to
Neighbor Swing

B1 Long Lines Forward to Partner and Back
(swing should finish straight across from partner but might be slightly offset)
Circle Left 3/4x (to face Partner up/down)
With Neighbor, Couple Dosido 1/2x* around Partner, drop hands and look 
back/right to...

B2 Gypsy and Swing Partner

* Technically, 3/8x. This seems to be the best way to describe the move to 
dancers, but I'm open to others. I've tried "Zig Left and Right around Partner" 
and "Sliding Doors" as well. I have them drop hands as they move left and start 
turning over shoulder as they shift back right. It goes very smoothly after a 
try or two.

My second recognizes NEFFA's Diamond Jubilee in the title and plays on the New 
England-based Friendly's Ice Cream classic dessert. It incorporates several 
"modern" moves while honoring a little of our ECD/early contra heritage in 
forming the diamond.

Jubilee Roll - DI - Don Veino 20181105D

A1 Long Lines Forward & GNT/LRK Roll LDY/RVN on way back
LDY/RVN Gate GNT/LRK CW 1+1/4x (to GNT/LRK facing up/down in center)

A2 Diamond Balance, GNT/LRK Pass NBR Right**, LDY/RVN Pass Left
Half Hey, Pass PNR Right
(so feels like a 3/4x Hey overall, Lefts in center)

B1 PNR Gypsy & Swing

B2 Gents Allemande Left 1+1/2x, NBR Swing

** Having the Gents move to the outside first creates more room for the first 
pass of the Ladies.

My third entry is simply a fun dance inspired by the classic tune Joys of 
Quebec - the title salutes that tune and the myriad ways NEFFA brings joy to 

The Joys of NEFFA - DI - Don Veino 20190129

A1 Long Lines Fwd & GNT/LRK Roll NBR Away Back, keep tension to...
(or alt., if you are concerned about difficulty: NBR RH Balance, Box the Gnat)
NBR Dosido 1+1/4x to a Wave/4 across (GNT/LRK by LH, RH to NBR)

A2 Wave/4 Balance Rt & Lt, Slide/Twirl Right
Wave/4 Balance Lt & Rt, Slide/Twirl Left (GNT/LRK all the way across to PNR)

B1 PNR Pull By Right into Half Hey, PNR Swing

B2 Give & Take to GNT/LRK, NBR Swing


Happy Diamond Jubilee, NEFFA! - a Down-the-Hallmark Greeting Card*
(2-9-2019) by Elizabeth Bloom Albert
Improper formation. 
{Dance starts in short wavy lines, [Ladies in center, L-hands joined]}
A1      (4) Balance the wave R/L
          (4) Slide or spin right; form a new wave (as in Rory O'More)
          (4) Balance this wave L/R
          (4) Slide or spin left (as in Rory) but end in diamond 
{Ladies in center of the set (#1 Lady facing down the hall); Gents on sides 
facing in (standing to left of their partner)}
A2      (4) Balance the diamond
          (4) Spin one place to the Right (as in Petronella)
(4) Gents in center: R-hand {handshake-grip} Balance
          (4) Gents Allemande-R 3/4
{Form a new wave: Gents in center, R-hands joined; Partner is in Left hand}
B1      (4) Balance the wave LEFT/Right
          (2) Slide* Left
(10) Swing Partner
B2      (8) Star Left 3/4 
          (4) Neighbors: L-hand Balance
(4) Pull-by L
{Take R-hand with next Neighbor, Ladies join L-hands in center of new wave, 
ready to re-start dance in A1}
B1: Dancers can “Rory” here if they like, however they will have more time for 
the partner swing if they don’t.

There is no "Down the Hall" in this dance! But please don’t accuse me of false 
advertising; this dance has many of the **hallmarks** of a typical (corny) 
greeting card:
The Diamond in A2 is the central image on the face of the card, as it should be 
for a Diamond Jubilee, but the card is also adorned with stars (well one 
anyway, in B2) and curly-cue confetti that mimic the trail of the Rory spins in 
All the thumbs-up grips as dancers form waves in A1 & B1? That’s us in Chicago, 
giving you the thumbs-up, that all-American way of saying, “Way to go!"
When gents execute their right-hand balance in A2, they are shaking right 
hands, saying, “Congratulations!”
And last but not least:
The Petronella spin in A2 gives dancers the opportunity to clap, thereby 
applauding you. Keep up the good work, and give us many more years of dancing 
and fellowship!

The “Half We Had e-NEFFA Contra?” Dance*
Beckett formation; start one-quarter turn to RIGHT of Improper; this dance 
progresses CCW. 
A1      (8) R/L thru X-set w/ courtesy turn
          (2) Gents: Roll Partner with 1/2 sashay*
[w/ Neighbor:]
(6) [Ladies push] 1/2 Pousette
A2      (4) Neighbor [inside hands] Balance
          (4) Star thru**
          (4) Partner [inside hands] Balance
          (4) Star thru**
B1      (8) Gents pass Left to start a 1/2 Hey
          (8) Swing Partner 
B2      (8) Long lines F/B
(8) 1/2-Promenade X-set, with wide loop to right
[End promenade facing new neighbors X-set]
A1: Finishing a courtesy turn with a roll-away/half-sashay is unusual, but 
should flow nicely once dancers get the hang of it. Basically, the courtesy 
turn has both lady and gent rotating counter-clockwise; so when the gent uses 
his left hand to (gently!) tug before letting go of their joined left hands, 
she will continue (solo) her counter-clockwise spin until she is standing side 
by side with her partner, but on his left. (Gent makes room for her by shifting 
A2: Star thru is a move more common in square dance. Dancers begin facing each 
other, with the gent's right hand and the lady's left hand joined; dancers 
raise joined hands, ladies walk under arch; dancers end facing same direction. 
* Hopefully the answer to the question posed here is a resounding “No!” 
My original title was The Can’t Get e-NEFFA Contra Dance, but then I looked at 
all the halves I had incorporated (1/2 sashay, 1/2 pousette; 1/2 hey) and 
**halving** a soft spot for puns, I came up with a way to use “half” in the 

Time-y NEFFA Dancin'  Dane Wallinga
progressed improper (or reverse progression indecent, depending on which 
terminology you prefer)

 A1: Balance partner across the set (4) and star through (4)
       Take hands in a ring and balance (4) and petronella (4)

 A2: Partner balance and swing (16)

 B1: Larks allemande left 3/4 to form a long wave along the center of the set 
(4) and balance (4). At the end of this, ravens should be looking directly at 
their     neighbor's back. Larks are facing an empty space between two ravens 
(their partner and their shadow), with their partner slightly to the left.

Larks walk forward out of the center while ravens follow their neighbor 
straight forward into the set. Ravens catch left hands, allemande left halfway 
(4), then right halfway with a new neighbor raven while larks loop over their 
right shoulder to face back in.

B2: New neighbor balance and swing (16)

End effects:
The progression happens improper, so couples can wait out as normal with the 
lark on the left, and the raven on the right.


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