All About Contra Dances

Are you new to contra dancing?

 

We’re glad you decided to give it a try! Here are some tips to help you figure it out and have more fun as you learn:

  • Join right in. You will learn faster by dancing than by watching. Experienced dancers are always glad to help new dancers get started.

  • You will make mistakes….but laugh and carry on. We have all been beginners at one time. The less worried you are, the faster you will learn.

  • Don’t wait for someone to ask you to dance. Anyone can ask anyone to dance, Men can ask women or men to dance and likewise women can ask men or other women. Try to choose an experienced dancer and tell that person that you are new to contra dance and that you would like their help.

  • Listen to the caller while the dance is being taught. It is very important that everyone listen to the caller rather than talk to each other during the explanation and walk-through. The caller is happy to do another walk-through if there are still some questions.

  • Changing partners after each dance is the common practice. Thank your partner and quickly look around for another partner. It is alright to politely decline an invitation to dance if you need to have a break and rest.

  • Eye contact is a common practice in contra dance. It may take a bit of getting used to, but it feels friendly and has some other purposes. When you and your partner are swinging, you will minimize dizziness if you look in your partner’s eyes. Also, it helps to look in the eyes of the person you will be dancing with in the next figure to establish a connection.

  • Wear comfortable low-heeled inside shoes. Dress is casual. Many women like to wear a twirly skirt while others choose to wear pants or leggings. We get quite warm while dancing so avoid wearing somethings that will be too hot. Some men bring an extra shirt if they sweat a lot.

  • Bring a drinking bottle of water. Dancing is thirsty work!

  • For people who would like some basic instruction on the internet, the Chatahoochee Country Dancers have a set of 8 lessons. Go to ccd contra dance basics on You Tube.

 

A Great Article About Contra

From the Globe and Mail, January 7, 2012

Click to enlarge

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Upcoming Events

Sep
28
Fri
8:00 pm Fergus Contra Dance Season Openi... @ St. James Anglican Church
Fergus Contra Dance Season Openi... @ St. James Anglican Church
Sep 28 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Fergus Contra Dance Season Opening - Contra meets Modern Square @ St. James Anglican Church | Fergus | Ontario | Canada
Fergus Contra Dance Season Opening – Contra meets Modern Square Live music by Rick Avery and Ben Bolker (Owen Sound) Callers: Judy Greenhill (Contra) & Yvonne Carman (Windsor Modern Square) 7:30             [...]
Oct
26
Fri
8:00 pm Fergus Fall Colours Contra Dance @ St. James Anglican Church
Fergus Fall Colours Contra Dance @ St. James Anglican Church
Oct 26 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Fergus Fall Colours Contra Dance @ St. James Anglican Church | Fergus | Ontario | Canada
Fergus Fall Colours Contra Dance Live music by Lake Effect (Rochester, NY) Caller: Kris Rosar 7:30              Doors open 7:45 – 8:00    Newcomer/Beginner’s orientation 8:00 – 10:30  Regular dance Lower[...]
Nov
17
Sat
10:00 am Contra Callers Clinic in Fergus @ St. James Anglican Church
Contra Callers Clinic in Fergus @ St. James Anglican Church
Nov 17 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Contra Callers Clinic in Fergus @ St. James Anglican Church | Fergus | Ontario | Canada
Contra Callers Clinic in Fergus With trainer Judy Greenhill Pre-registration required. $50/trainee $10/guest dancer Lower Hall of St. James Anglican Church, 171 Queen St E, Fergus. Indoor/dancing shoes only please!   For directions:
Nov
23
Fri
8:00 pm Dance Those Winter Blues Away wi... @ St. James Anglican Church
Dance Those Winter Blues Away wi... @ St. James Anglican Church
Nov 23 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Dance Those Winter Blues Away with Contra in Fergus @ St. James Anglican Church | Fergus | Ontario | Canada
Dance Those Winter Blues Away with Contra in Fergus Live music by Willie Henry and Ian Bell Caller: Lyn Allan 7:30              Doors open 7:45 – 8:00    Newcomer/Beginner’s orientation 8:00[...]
Dec
14
Fri
6:00 pm A Renaissance Revel: Contra meet... @ St. James Anglican Church
A Renaissance Revel: Contra meet... @ St. James Anglican Church
Dec 14 @ 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
A Renaissance Revel: Contra meets Older Styles of Social Dance @ St. James Anglican Church | Fergus | Ontario | Canada
A Renaissance Revel: Contra meets Older Styles of Social Dance An evening where we will gather to share food (potluck), sing carols (bring instruments), and dance (English Country, Renaissance, Contra Dances, etc) Live music by[...]