Erik Hoffman     

Old Time Music and Dance

From my book, The Contrarian.   If you are interested in purchasing this book, go to Ordering Information


Table of Contents     Dances


My third (or is it fourth?) book, is one of dances. Unlike my previous books, no articles, just a bunch of dances and a few tunes. It's been a while since I put out a book. Well, that's not exactly true, because at the same time as I'm putting out this book, I'm published a book on One-Night-Stands. It's one big long article, along with a number of dances I use for non-dancer dances. So this is a collection of dances suited for mostly dancer dances. (See back page for ordering information on my other publications.)

As far as I know, all these dances are as original as what we mean by original. I mean, I take the dance figures we do, string them together in a sequence, and say I authored them. It's highly likely that some of these sequences have been strung together by others as well. Then again, some of these constructions might have lodged in my brain after some dance only to be regurgitated by my brain as "original" at some later date and thus may not be original at all.

Dance writing has become so much more common, and with the few figures we use, we are likely to come up with the same dance. As a matter of fact, in a previous book I included a dance I made up, the Second Third Friday, an adaptation of Bill Cochran's Third Friday. A couple years later I found out Tony Parkes had preceded me with essentially the same dance (Friday Night Fever). Then, in another book, I found another author, Myrtle Wilhite, had published her dance - exactly the same dance as the one I wrote (Balanced Out #2). So synchronicity abounds.

The dances are in order: by type (Circle, Contra, Other Formations) and alphabet. I still don't label by level of challenge. I find so much of challenge arises from what I don't know. If I know a dance cold, with all its pitfalls, and I've come up with clear ways of explaining that, then some dances I thought were challenging become easy. So, I leave it to you to assign those classifications as benefits your style. I do wish I could keep in my head all the considerations Larry Jennings gives to his dances, but I can't. I seem to do it more on feel than analysis. Oh well. (If you don't know what I mean, read Zesty Contras - mandatory reading for all callers!)

Also included here are a few tunes I've written, along with two, Merengue and The We Three Kings Jig, for which specific dances were written. Otherwise they're mostly waltzes - I hope you like them.

I know I should thank a lot of people. Thanks to all the people past and future, who help with editing this treatise. And my mom and all the people past and present who participate with me in this, the joy of my life. So thank you all! And special thanks to Deirdre Hallman, who makes it easy to dance, and who knows how to spell everything (but has yet to check this book).


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