Contra Dances are also
found nearby at UNC!
Check them out on Facebook at:
UNC-CH Contra Dance Club
Triangle Country Dancers.org
has long supported and assisted
Contra Dances With Wolves.
Here is a link to TCDANCERS.org, with many
regular dances held in Carrboro (near Chapel Hill)
and in Durham. Check them out!
WATCH THIS WONDERFUL CONTRA DANCE
LESSON! IT’S EASY WITH GEORGE!
This is a link to a great 13 minute contra dance lesson -
taught, or rather introduced by one of the best and well
know callers, Mr. George Marshall. Watch to learn the
basics and review to avoid 'spaghetti arms' and other
nasty things! And arrive early for our free lesson!
Click HERE for the YouTube link!
Here’s a cool Guardian article in praise of
dance: Click HERE!
Nils Fredland, an extraordinary Contra Caller, who visits NC
and often calls at local and weekend deance events,
referenced this article on his Facebook Page
This is a great article about Contra Dance
from a newcomer's perspective:
from the Louisville Magazine. Click HERE!
Many people have the same experience
and feeling at the NCSU Dances with Wolves!
National Public Radio
ran a fun article about Contra Dance entitled:
Youth Flock To Contra Dance
Click HERE for a transcript
and to listen -and then
Flock Over to NCSU Dances!
SPREAD THE WORD!
SHARE THE JOY!
TELL FRIENDS AT OTHER
SCHOOLS ABOUT CONTRA
Here are some dances you can find
throughout North Carolina and beyond
EVERY NC DANCE / ContraDanceLinks.com
a very comprehensive list by date and place
Regional dances including the
OldFarmersBall.com at Warren Wilson College
CHARLOTTE DANCE GYPSIES
GREENSBORO & WINSTON/SALEM
WILMINGTON / Cape Fear Contra Dancers
OTHER DANCE LINKS and WEEKEND DANCE
EVENTS at TCDANCERS.ORG
MOST PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHT © 2019,
DOUG PLUMMER, All Rights Reserved
-used here with his permission. Check out his website:
COPYRIGHT © 2019, ContraDanceswithWolves.org, All Rights
webmaster: Jack Anglin art@JackAnglin.com
What Exactly IS
Contra dancing is a type of folk dance similar to, but in fact
older than, square dancing. In Contra Dance couples
(meaning just two people) interact with other pairs of
couples in long lines of couples, and end up eventually
dancing a turn with almost everyone in the line. You’ll have
a “partner”, and you both are dancing with “neighbors”.
An experienced person "calls the dance", instructing
dancers with a practice dry run or "walk through", and then
continuously calling, or prompting, throughout the dance
along with the music. The music is generally live, with
great local bands, nationally known groups and musicians,
and sometimes even pick-up bands. Techno Contra is
offered occasionally and we have a link below to a DJ style
contra dance experience that is frequently offered at State.
The caller keeps the beat and drives the dance, reminding
dancers of the moves they practiced in the "walk through".
A particular dance might last ten minutes or so, and the
practiced moves are repeated every 64 beats, so dancers do
the same set of moves repeatedly, with new neighbors
every 64 beats. Perhaps dancers will get to repeat moves
for that particular dance a dozen times or more with other
couples up and down the line. When that dance is over, you
thank your partner, invite someone else to dance, and
quickly line up ready for a new dance.
Contra Dance is fairly easy for beginners as everyone is
taught essentially everything one needs to know for each
dance. The lesson is important and covers most of the
basics, keep coming to lessons, -you’ll learn new things and
help the new dancers. Throughout the night the caller will
add detail or instructions if a particular dance demands it.
Between dances one can refine and clarify by asking
experienced dancers to demonstrate something like steps or
moves. During the evening, the caller prompts dancers
throughout the actual dance, and you are always with a
group of four people --so someone is bound to be able to
help keep your group straight! Everyone gets mixed up
sometime or another, but it is no big deal, and while you'll
always want to try and improve, and avoid gumming things
up, a mistake can be part of the fun.
There's usually a large and friendly crowd, so it's easy to
find a partner if you fly solo. Those who come as couples
are encouraged to split up for some dances and dance with
other people --it's just a dance! The point is to have fun and
see that everyone else is having fun, too!
Dances are becoming more and more gender neutral,
meaning,… traditional gender roles are not maintained and
anyone can dance in any position. This is a generous and
inclusive step forward and it’s lots of fun to dance in a
place that used to be declared as a more specific gender
role (as men/women, ladies/gents, etc.). You may choose
to lead or follow (even those terms are passing away), your
comfort level is important, as long as it’s not challenging to
others. It used to be that folk sat out often, whenever the
gender numbers weren’t matching, but dancing freely in
any position makes for more people dancing every dance,
and that informs us all in many wonderful ways.
Here's a tip --don't wait to be asked to dance. It is even OK
to ask someone for a future dance --just remember you
made that date! Best not to get too far ahead of yourself.
Contra dancing can become sort of a “tribe”, as some
dancers express it. Your local dance group or club becomes
a safe and fun support group. Contra is available in most
cities, so when visiting and dropping in to a dance
somewhere you’ll probably find yourself accepted and
included, and making new friends. After establishing
yourself you might plan on attending a weekend dance
event. These weekend offerings are a “baptism of fire”,
where you’ll possibly dance for 12 or more hours over the