On this page we offer a few tunes and dances that were dedicated to Ted Sannella.



Allan and Ted
By Larry Jennings
Published in Give-and-Take, by Larry Jennings
Becket formation (ccw progression)

 A1 Give-and-take to gent’s side and neighbors swing, end facing left diagonal
 A2 Circle left until across from the neighbor you swung
Balance the ring, neighbors California twirl to face partner
 B1 Circle right 3/4, turn away from these neighbors; with the next, right-hand star 3/4 until all are on original side
 B2 Partners swing, end facing across in half shoulder-waist position, ready for the give-and-take

Larry writes, “Allan Block, as a musician, and Ted Sannella, as a caller, were very supportive in my early days as a contra dance administrator.”

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Cappuccino Reel
Published in Dances in Time, by Don Flaherty
By Don Flaherty
Becket formation (cw progression)

 A1 Gents allemande left 1-1/2
Neighbors swing
 A2 Circle left halfway, shift left with neighbor to face a new couple
These four circle left once around (there is a shadow)
 B1 Hey-for-4, begins with ladies passing right
 B2 Ladies allemande right 3/4 until ladies are all in the center (facing as though they might make a long wavy line); with new lady on the left, ladies allemande left 3/4
Partners swing

Don explains how he came to write this dance for Ted in the story he sent us.

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Circle of Friends
By Steve Zakon-Anderson
Circle Mixer

 A1 Ladies forward and back
Gents forward, turn to face out, and return, giving left hand to partner and right to the next to make an “Alamo ring” (wavy circle) with gents facing out and ladies in
 A2 Balance, partners allemande left once around
On the corner do-si-do (this was your former partner)
 B1 Current partners balance and swing
 B2 Promenade 4-6 steps, ladies roll back over right shoulder
New partners promenade

Based on Ted Sannella’s dance, Love and Kisses. “Circle of Friends” was danced one night at the VFW Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts when Ted was there being honored.

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David’s Triplet #3
By David Smukler
Triplet (3-couple longways set)

 A1 Ones cast down one place (unassisted, as the 2s move up); then immediately cross over and face down to the threes
Ones and threes: right and left through up and down the set, then take right hands with this neighbor (twos at the top also give right hands to one another)
 A2 Balance, pull by right, with the next pull by left
Balance the third, box the gnat to face back the other way
 B1 Pull by two people (right hand and left hand)
And swing the one you meet (the first person you balanced), end facing in
 B2 All six circle left halfway
Top two couples swing your partner, end facing up

Ends in 3-1-2 order.

On the weekend of March 2-3, 2002, three separate groups of callers met in three different locations across the US to dance through all 41 of Ted Sannella’s triplets for the first ever Ted’s Triplet Marathon. This dance was written on February 17, 2002 to honor Ted Sannella and that occasion. The dance was premiered during the Marathon (somewhat presumptuously) as “Ted’s Triplet #42.”

Ted often based his triplets on other pleasing dances. In that tradition, this one is based on Steve Zakon-Anderson’s Three Thirty-Three, whose distinctive figure appears in the A2 and B1 parts.

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The Improper Apothecary
By Marianne Taylor
Published in Give-and-Take, by Larry Jennings
Duple improper and double progression

 A1 Neighbors allemande right 1-1/2
Next neighbors allemande left 1-1/2
 A2 Ladies chain over and back
 B1 Actives balance and swing, end facing up
 B2 (Assisted) cast off, go twice around
Actives half figure-8 up through the couple above, end facing down

This is Marianne’s modification of Ted Sannella’s Apothecary Reel, wherein she changes it from a proper dance to an improper one.

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Master of the Dance
By David Kaynor, for Ted Sannella
Duple improper

 A1 In a ring-of-4, balance and spin one place to the right as in Petronella
Balance again, pass through across the set
 A2 Partners balance and swing
 B1 Right and left through
Over and back
 B2 Long lines forward and back
Ladies chain across, then make circles with new neighbors

David Kaynor’s Tribute to Ted Sannella. David also wrote a stirring tune with the same title.

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Salute to Larry Jennings
By Ted Sannella… and Larry Jennings (see note)
Sawtooth Formation (see note)

 A1 Circle left about 3/4 until you face neighbor on the side of the set
Neighbors do-si-do and take right hands
 A2 Grand right and left along the line (wrapping around at the ends), four changes
Allemande left neighbor 4 to face back the way you came and grand right and left back to original neighbor
 B1 Neighbor balance and swing
 B2 Give-and-take to gent’s side and swing partner

Ted’s original, duple improper version was composed in October 16, 1980. Shortly thereafter he made some changes based on Larry’s suggestions, and published his version in Swing the Next. Larry then further adapted the dance to make it conform more closely to his vision of “zesty” dancing. It was very much like Larry to alter a dance that was intended as a tribute to him.

That said, Larry never published his version of this dance. Ted’s original version appears in Larry’s first book Zesty Contras with the note, “Ted introduced this dance at my second annual fiftieth birthday party.” And it is Ted’s preferred version (the one from Swing the Next, not Larry’s alteration) that appears in Larry’s second book Give-and-Take, along with the following explanation: “The primary version is the culmination of Ted’s updates after Zesty Contras was published. Ted had strong opinions about traditional values and held tightly to them. Thus he was quite emphatic: the way he did the dance was [as published]. However, above all, Ted was the most supportive man I have known. His encouragement of me as a caller and choreographer was unbounded, even to the extent of supporting my presenting the non-traditional version of his dance. We miss Ted, badly.”

The version we offer here is Larry’s alteration, which we see as a creative tribute from Larry Jennings to Ted Sannella’s generous spirit.

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Salute to Ted Sannella
By Larry Jennings and Al Olson
Published in Zesty Contras, by Larry Jennings
Duple proper

 A1 Actives go down the outside and back
 A2 Actives do-si-do 1-1/2, end all facing down with ones between the twos
All put an arm around neighbor and turn twice around as in a cast off, ones going forward and twos backing up, end where you began
 B1 Down the hall four-in-line, turn alone
Return, bend the line to form a ring
 B2 Circle left once around
Actives swing, end facing up

Note from Zesty Contras: “Al noticed several figures and transitions appropriate to Boston style dancing in a sequence called by Ken Haltenhoff. We supplemented and adapted these to form a dance fully in the style of the caller most associated with Boston style dancing, our mentor, Ted Sannella.”

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Ted’s Birthday
By Philippe Callens
Published in From a Belgian Yankee Caller, by Philippe Callens
Duple proper

 A1 First gent and second lady balance and swing; end facing down the hall
 A2 Four-in-line go down the hall, turn alone
Return, twos only hand cast (ones face across)
 B1 Ladies chain across
Ones half figure-8 through the couple above
 B2 Same four: left hands-across star
Next neighbors: right hands-across star (first gent and second lady retain right hands for the next round of the dance)

The first gent and second lady (or “first corners”) begin this dance. The others adjust slightly to be across from each other while first corners swing, so that they are ready to form the line-of-4.

In Ted’s books (Balance and Swing and Swing the Next) he recommended a tune that would be a good fit for each dance. Philippe follows that practice for this dance by recommending the tune “Dominion Reel.”

Philippe writes, “I wrote this dance on August 10, 1987, for Ted Sannella’s 59th birthday. That year, I spent almost three months in the USA. While visiting the Boston area, I stayed at Ted’s. This dance was my birthday present to him.”

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Thank You, Ted
By Lynn Douglas
Published in Zesty Contras, by Larry Jennings
Duple proper

 A1 Actives swing, end facing up between original neighbors
Cast off and actives right-hand turn halfway
 A2 Right diagonal hey-for-4, first corners passing left to begin
 B1 As they meet in the center actives allemande right halfway and give left to first corner; balance the right diagonal wave
Actives allemande right 3/4 and give left to second corner; balance the left diagonal wave
 B2 Left diagonal hey-for-4, second corners passing left to begin

Twos can ensure that the progression works correctly by moving up as the actives swing, so that the cast off is with new neighbors each time.

Actives end each hey as they meet, rather than pass each other for one more change.

From Zesty Contras: “The title refers to Lynn’s mentor, Ted Sannella.”

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Thanks to the Pharmacist (10/28/1995, rev. 4/4/1996)
By Carol Ormand
Published in Jurassic Redheads & Other Dances, by Carol Ormand
Triplet or Duple proper contra

 A1 Actives down the center as a couple, turn alone
Return and cast off
 A2 Right diagonal hey-for-4, actives passing right to begin
 B1 Actives turn contra corners
 B2 Actives balance and swing, moving down to the bottom of the set as they swing (end swing on proper side)

The hey in A2 is for actives and their first contra corners. Actives pass right, first corners pass left, and so on.

The dance as notated above is a triplet. To change it to a duple proper contra, actives simply swing in place rather than moving down. If space allows, down the center in A1 can be replaced with down the hall 4-in-line.

Carol writes: “The pharmacist, of course, is Ted Sannella. The original version of this dance came to me in a dream above a month before he passed away.”

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Master of the Dance,
Tune by David Kaynor
You can see a video of this tune recorded in December 2020 on our “Videos” page

The Master of the Dance: Click on the image to see a downloadable PDF file

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Ted’s Triple Jig
Tune by Bob McQuillen
Published in Bob’s Note Book #9, © Great Meadow Music

Here are the words Bob wrote at the top of this tune:

Bob McQuillen, 25 Sept 92 — Ted Sannella is famous for his triplets, known as “Ted’s Triplet #___.” YAY!! (from the crowd!!) These are done with three couples (in a mini-contra formation) hence triplet, and they’re lots of fun. This tune is for his 333rd triplet (YAY!!). I hope you make it, Ted!

Ted’s Triple Jig: Click on the image to see a downloadable PDF file

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