California Clover

By Rick Mohr; May 2003

Contra, Progressed Improper Caller's Box

Level: Intermediate

(Join hands in a wave of four—gents left, neighbors right)


Balance the wave (4)

Allemande right with neighbor 3/4 (4)

Swing next neighbor (8)


Circle left 3/4 (8)

Balance the ring (4)

California twirl with neighbor (4)


(Keeping hands, face neighbor and form cloverleaf by reaching across to join free hand with partner)

Balance the cloverleaf (4)

(Optional) Nevada twirl with partner (4)

Swing partner (8)


Long lines forward and back (8)

Gents allemande left 1 1/2 (8)

A nice dance with a different way of forming a "cloverleaf".

For a simpler setup consider starting the walkthrough with the neighbor swing and ending with the A1 balance and allemande. Then start the dance with a long neighbor swing.

The transition from A2 to B1 is novel but not difficult. Keep hands with neighbor after the A2 California twirl and turn to face each other. Then reach free hand over joined hand to take partner's hand and form the cloverleaf.

Partners are now well connected for a swing. Or if you think the dancers can handle an unfamiliar move, teach the "Nevada twirl"— a California twirl with opposite hands. Partners trade places, with gents walking to the outside of the set and ladies inside. That feels unusual to the gents and requires emphasis in the walkthrough, but it's rewarding when they get it.

Some callers use a simpler progression—the first video below omits the A1 balance and allemande right, and the second video omits the B2 forward and back, adding an A1 gypsy. Fine! I still like the original progression because it puts the balance at the top of A1 and adds a bit of surprise to the neighbor swing.

Thanks to Susan Petrick and Nils Fredland for convincing me this dance was a keeper, by calling it after its trial run at the Scout House and bugging me to give it a name!

Video: Lisa Greenleaf & Mean Lids at Spring Zing Promenade 2017, Flint MI (posted by John Newsome):
Video: Frannie Marr & Celador at Catapult 2017, Atlanta GA (posted by Jim Crawford):