Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Star Turns in Contra Dance


Starting up recently, monthly contra dances are held in the Willits Methodist church fellowship hall. I had heard of these community gatherings in Sacramento, where my mother participated, but I had never been to one before. A half hour before the music starts (with a live ensemble), the dance caller instructs beginners in the movements for the dances to be done. Smiles of success filled the room here, as the group executed star turns under her watchful eye.

9 comments:

Saretta said...

What fun! We used to do contra dancing when I was in grad school in Vermont!

Bibi said...

Your photo made me Google contradances, since I at first thought it was a square dance. Now I understand the difference, and would be willing to give it a try.

Hilda said...

Sounds and looks like so much fun!

I've been trying to get my husband to agree to ballroom dancing lessons — so far, no luck. Sigh.

Benjamin Madison said...

Reminds me of the "Square Dancing" we were taught in elementary school back in the dark ages. "Do si Do and Allemand left." I guess contra dancing is the non-cowboy version.

Jana said...

That sounds like fun, or at least a good excuse to get out on a weeknight!

Ming the Merciless said...

It looks like a lot of fun. I actually signed up for a line dancing class over a decade ago. Unfortunately, I have two left feet.

USelaine said...

Saretta - Wikipedia (linked in the text) says that New Englanders kept the connection to the 17th century dance until it was revived for everyone else.

Bibi - Yes, style is older than square dancing, and isn't based on country music the way Americans think of it.

Hilda - This is less intimidating, because the moves are simpler overall, and there are fewer opportunities to step on other people's feet. It also doesn't carry the "romantic" overtones so much. It doesn't really matter if there are more women than men, or how old everyone is. More about fun, less about matched sets.

Benjamin - Yessireee!

Jana - Nice way to see the neighbors without just bumping into them at the post office.

Ming - This dancing was designed with you in mind. If you can walk, you have enough rhythm.

Thanks everyone!

Sara N said...

Hi Elain,
Visit my blog for a surprise ;)

Halcyon said...

I love the blurry action effect. Very neat!