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Johnson's Special

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Johnson's Special

Source: Rickey Holden, submitted by Keith Uttley; published in English Dance & Song, June July 1954. Vol XVIII. No. 6
Formation: Longways; Improper

A1 #1s Down the Outside & Back - finish between the #2s Facing Down
A2 Down the Hall in Lines of Four, Turn Alone
Up the Hall in Lines of Four, #2s Gate the #1s into Progressed Places OR Bend the Line
B1 Ladies' Chain x2
B2 Circle Left; Circle Right

Music:
32 bar reels or jigs.

Notes:
The dance was written by Rickey Holden in 1953.

Timber Salvage Reel and Johnson's Special were published together as part of Keith Uttley's "TEEN-A-PAGE… for younger sets"

The dance has been published many times; some versions have "Cast Off", some have "Bend the Line". Northern Junket (1969), on page 25, just has "same way back to place". For a "Cast Off". "Zesty Contras" distinguishes between "Cast Off" (assisted) and "Cast Around" (unassisted); from a Line of Four, a Gate is the most likely move.

A different interpretation is shown here, being danced in Germany (?). The A1 is down the middle instead of down the outside; they start Indecent (i.e. Second Couples Improper), so they have to do the Ladies' Chains up and down the set instead of across, the dancing is not particularly zesty (e.g. the circles only go just over halfway) and the music is not what one would expect for an American contra. Isn't the Folk Process wonderful? :-) Here are the instructions in German.

Original page from English Dance & Song, June July 1954

Johnson's Special
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