The Girl I Left Behind Me #1

The Girl I Left Behind Me #1 is a Square Dance. It was devised by Duke Miller in 1949 and published in Northern Junket. It was interpreted by Ralph Page in 1949. It is a Square dance. It is a mixer. The minor set lasts 276 bars.

Ralph Page writes:

Adirondack version
Duke MillerContributed by “Duke” Miller, Gloversville, N.Y.
Allow music to run 4 bars4
Bow to your partners one and all2
And to your corner la-a-a-ady.2
The Break
Allemande left the left hand girl
Touch right hands with your partner
Allemande left that right hand girl
Come back and promenade your own
(promenade takes 8 more bars)
The Figure
First old couple lead to the right2
And balance there so kindly2
Walk right through and balance again2
And swing the one behind you2
Long swing 8
Take that new girl to the next
And balance etc. etc.8
Long swing8
Note — at this point each man should be home with a new girl.
Now insert the complete break including the promenade.
Second couple now does the figure and the break
and as the promenade starts, immediately call:

Spin her back and walk the next
She walks with the man behind her
Spin her back and walk the next
She walks with the man behind her
Spin her back and walk the nextor
She walks with the man behind her24
Spin her back you have your ownif not
So promenade that lady homehome in position
Third couple same as the first,
Fourth couple same as the second.

Although description is long, the dance is fast, taking about six minutes to do the whole dance.

The call “spin her back” etc. should be done from New England promenade position as follows:

Raise left hands high, as left feet hit the floor the man exerts a sharp pull with his right hand on girl's waist. This causes the girl to spin once in place. At the same time the man keeps moving ahead and the next girl ahead of him should drop onto his right arm in promenade position.

“Walk through and balance again” - girls go thru on inside, and this balance is back to back with that couple. Thus, when they balance, the first man and second lady are back to back; likewise first lady and second gent are back to back.

Ralph seems to suggest that the figure consists of two iterations of the same sub figure. But then he says at this point each man should be home with a new girl however that is not the case. If you alter the figure a bit it could be the case after the third time through, or, with a different alteration after the fourth.

Doing only three iterations means that the 4th lady doesn't get to do the balancing with anyone (but then, Lady1 doesn't get to swing). But they get their turn when the 2nd man leads

Another problem is that the second balance of the third iteration will be to the empty space where the 1st couple usually lives. You could go all the way across the set to balance to the 2nd couple, but that's awkward too.

Note: When Ralph Page said "balance" in 1949 he probably didn't mean what modern Contra Dancers think "balance and swing" means. In the March, 1955 edition of Northern Junket, Ralph Piper gives 50 variations of the balance (setting) step.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), lead, swing (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

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The dance is copyright © 1949 by Duke Miller. The interpretation is copyright © 1949 by Ralph Page. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.