Contra Dancing is way, way cooler than Square Dancing, and way older as well. Sometimes called New England Folk Dancing, you can show up to a dance with NO experience and NO partner and have a rollicking good time. There are certain steps they'll teach you, but they're easy, and the tradition is to CHANGE partners each dance. There's live music, and people usually bring munchies for the breaks. There's usually no alcohol (something I appreciate, not being a drinker). It runs about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, but you can certainly sit out a dance if need be, or leave early, or come late.
Generally, a leader, known as a caller, will teach each individual dance just before the music for that dance begins. During this introductory "walk-through" period, participants learn the dance by walking through the steps and formations, doing what the caller says.
At most dances, nobody dresses up, or down, but you'll see "peasant skirts" or other full, lightweight skirts, even on men sometimes. Low, broken-in, soft-soled, non-marking shoes, such as dance shoes, sneakers, or sandals, are recommended and, in some places, required. However, dancing barefoot is also common.
There's a real sense of camaraderie without condescension here. At least, the dances I've been to in NePa. Everybody is extremely tolerant of newcomers; they know you don't know the steps and will call out encouragment and helpful tips (like the one about looking right into your partner's eyes when you spin, otherwise you'll get dizzy). They also know you're going to LOVE the whole thing and will soon become part of the group.
And I'm happy to report there's no correlation between the Iran-Contras and the Kingston Contra Dancers!!
The ones in Kingston are the first Saturday of the month (mostly), sponsored by the Chicory House. The next one is February 6, at 7.30 pm, at the Church of Christ Uniting in Kingston, Sprague Ave, Kingston PA (that's where they usually are). Admission to the dance is $9 for adults and $24 for families. Well worth it!
What say we show up next Saturday with a whole bunch of newcomers! See you there!!
Information on the dance: folkloresociety.org
Here's a video from a place I've actually danced at! The quality's awful but it'll show you what Contra dancing's all about Contra dancing in Glenside, Pa
[...] of Edmonds Police Department reports? Perhaps the guy who poured bleach and noodles into the gas102 The Mountain YOU GOTTA TRY CONTRA DANCING!The next one is February 6, at 7.30 pm, at the Church of Christ Uniting in Kingston, Sprague Ave, [...]