Welcome New Dancers!
What is a contra dance?
This is the dance form America grew up with: the barn dance, the hoedown, the fancy dress ball. It’s been fun for more than three centuries. It’s still fun.
It’s easy, yet never boring. As quickly as you’ll pick up the mechanics of moves, you’ll also start seeing patterns, flow, rhythms, begin to appreciate the beauty of the patterns. All danced to live music: fantastic fiddle tunes, driving Celtic rhythms, Cajun and old-timey and whatever else the band gets charged up with.
Frequently asked questions
What is contra dancing?
Contra dance is an American folk dance that is a mixing pot of cultural influences. These influences include English, French, Irish, Scottish, Canadian, African American, Native American, & Appalachian, and maybe even more!
Is there a beginner lesson?
Yes! 30 minutes before the start of every dance we have a beginner lesson covering the basic moves of the dance.
Do I need to bring a partner?
This is “community” dancing. Come alone or with another; you’re WELCOME either way. Our dances focus on the group, not on individual couples. There’s no awkward singles scene, nor hidden agendas when asking someone to dance. People of all ages and social situations just come to have fun and dance!
I’m a new dancer. What should I wear?
Dress comfortably! Folk dancing is great exercise, and it is a good workout, and so don’t overdress. Don’t worry about what to wear – there is no special costume, just be comfortable. You probably will get sweaty as you dance. Please leave the perfume and cologne at home as other dancers may be sensitive to it.
Should I wear a certain type of shoe?
Since we dance on hardwood floors, many people bring a separate pair of shoes from the ones they wear to the dance. If possible, it is preferred not to dance in shoes with rubber soles, as these are harder on your joints – ankles, knees and hips. But people have danced in socks, barefoot, in tennis shoes or whatever.
What if I don’t know how to dance?
Contradancing is not difficult. It is said that if you know right from left, can walk, and can count to eight, that’s all you need. Contradances are repetitive; you do the same set of steps over and over – if you don’t get it at first, you have lots of opportunities to practice. Dancers are very welcoming, and they will help you and not expect you to know what you are doing. Everyone attended their first dance at some point. It is about having fun, not about making no mistakes.