Sannella Stories

Ted Sannella was an internationally-known caller, choreographer, author, and mentor for many in the traditional square and contra dance community. He published more than 170 dances, including 41 of Ted’s Triplets, a three-couple dance form adapted from English country dance. David Smukler and I have collected stories and photographs from people who knew Ted and plan to …

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How To Be A Well-Known Dancer

During this time of social distancing, I thought it might be helpful to provide some food for thought so that when we all return to the dance floor, we’ll be able to up our game.

Dolphin Hey – Everything You Wanted to Know, and Then Some!

Dance historian Allison Thompson and I had been independently researching the “dolphin hey,” a figure that in recent decades migrated from Scottish country dance to English country dance and thence into contras. We combined our articles and came up with what is almost certainly the definitive story, including more than most mortals will care about. …

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Becoming a Better Dancer

Becoming a Better Dancer (This post is aimed articularly at English country dancers, but contra and square dance enthusiasts may also find food for thought.) One of the challenges that callers face is that of teaching style to dancers. Note: by “style” I’m not talking about the over-the-top mannerisms that some dancers affect. Rather I’m thinking of moving gracefully, with ease …

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The Sleepwalker

Midwinter blues or post-holiday blahs got you feeling down? Here’s a cure that’ll bring you back from the doldrums. This short piece of colorful animation is based on a poem by Federico García Lorca; the images are what might result if Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Paul Klee collaborated after a wild night of dancing …

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International Money Musk Moment – 2009

In sorting through some old files recently, I found this account of the International Money Musk Moment that David Smukler and I instigated in 2009. It just might be of interest. Here’s the tune: