Karenís Parrot

Source: Composed by John Sweeney
Formation: Longways; Proper

A1 #1s Half Figure Eight down between #2s
#1s lead Double Half Figure Eight down as #2s cast up
A2 North Country Ladies' Chain
North Country Ladies' Chain
B1 Give two hands to Partner: Half Poussette to change places (CW - Ladies pull)
Half a Draw Poussette to change places again (CW - Men pull)
B2 #1s Lead Down the Middle; Turn as a Couple (Wheel Around or California Twirl) - #2s Move Up
#1s Lead Up; #2s Gate #1s into progressed places - #1s flow into...

32 bars. I use Momentum's "The Recruiting officer; Quick Step in the Battle of Prague; Dr Fauster's Tumblers" - jigs and reels at 108bpm.

North Country Ladies' Chain: Important: The man does NOT turn at all. Ladies pull by right and offer left to the man. The man steps to the right and raises his left hand; the lady backs under it to end facing the same way as the man, slightly behind him, on his left. The man lowers his left hand and steps to his left, passing the lady's left hand from his left hand to his right hand behind his back. As he does this the lady steps to her right and forward to stand beside him. They end up as a couple with the man on the left, lady on the right.

When teaching A1 to less experienced dancers I get the #1s to dance a full figure eight, then get the #2s to cast up around the #1s and cross over through them to end in their partner's place. Now that they know where they are going I explain that we don't have enough music so they have to start their cast when I tell them - halfway through the #1s full figure eight. #2s switch back and we try the actual figure.

The first time we did this dance and I said "figure eight" my wife, Karen, misheard me and started imitating a parrot saying, "Pieces of eight, pieces of eight". So the dance became "Karen's Parrot"!

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