Sunday, October 27
and it’s a RUSHFEST!
with caller and DJ Emily Rush
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!
Here 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 Dancing
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
RUSHFEST -contra calling to recorded music, an array of familiar tunes mixed
Emily Rush. “Your favorite songs and your favorite dance, together at last.”
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: www.dougplummer.com
COPYRIGHT © 2019, ContraDanceswithWolves.org, All Rights Reserved
webmaster: Jack Anglin art@JackAnglin.com
What Exactly IS Contra Dance?
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 weekend!