Dancing, we learn the meaning of sweat--
not the polite shine of forehead
or underarm line of faint
perspiration but sweat, the full
outpouring drench of body as pump
as we whirl, gloriously cool, through
ninety humid degrees, sweat splashing
off hands that we slap in long lines
forward and back, sweat running in rivulets
down partners' necks, dripping from eyebrows,
noses, and chins as we swing in eyelocked embrace,
sweat soaking the shirtbacks, cool wet
to the touch, as we cast off our neighbors
for ladies' chain, offering our slippery
grips, hair plastered to forehead and nape
as though caught in a sudden summer storm,
the fiddlers cranking up the pace
as we weave and drip through the hey
for four, circle left, swing once more,
thank the band, rush for water and another
partner--walk out into heat, two hours later,
washed salty and clean from every pore.

--Robin S. Chapman

Summer Contra Dance

Duple improper
A1   8  Short swing opposite (as we whirl)
     8  Long lines forward and back,
A2   8  Ladies half gypsy with a courtesy turn (swing in eyelocked
        embrace ... we cast off our neighbors)
     8  Ladies' chain
B1   16 Hey for four passing right shoulder in the middle
B2   8  Circle left
     8  Short swing in center with partner, active end facing down,
        inactive facing up (swing once more)

--Michael G. Mudrey

Back to the Madison Contra Dance Schedule home page