Fun, Flirty and Great Exercise: Contra, English Country, folk
Contra Dancing/English Country Dance
Fun, Friendly, Flirty Exercise Where else can you be in the arms or a new person every 12- 32 beats of the music, dance to live bands, and flirt with everyone (or no one)? Only at a Contra Dance, an energetic, fun dance form that requires no fancy steps and no leading. We dance to jigs and reels in the English, Irish, French and Scottish traditions, the roots of Bluegrass and Country Music. Contra has some of the same patterns as Square Dancing, but without the sting ties. It's an Americanized form of English Country Dance which you may have seen in all the movies of Jane Austin books. It can get how and sweaty. You can dance to conserve energy or spin and twirl.
Flirt, but Don't Hurt One of the secrets of Contra Dance is the flirting. Just look into the eyes of a partner, smile or not, pull the person closer, add flourishes and your individual style, and you are in love in the moment of the dance. The sexual energy can be intense; don't carry it off the dance floor without mutual agreement.The pleasure of sharing positive energy with many people and the opportunity to validate each other brings joy to out hearts.
Swing That Tune Bands that play for Contra Dancing have many styles: New England (where the dance originated), Old Timey, rock accents, swing, Klesmer, French-Canadian tunes and Middle Eastern drums.
Make New Friends People of all ages are welcome. Children probably should be at least 10. It's an inexpensive night out, usually around $10. An introduction is given 1/2 hour before dances. Dances are run by volunteer community groups. Parents cooperate to watch children who are not dancing. Bring toys and activities for them.
Women love men who can dance, so try Contra Dance.
"Oh, Father, a Ball, Please" If you have seen any Jane Austin movies and liked the dancing in them, you might want to try English Country Dance. English Country dance tunes are beautiful, a living tradition, with live music. No formal dress is required, though at special balls, people like to dress in period attire.
Train Your Brain We know now that learning new things helps keep the brain young. Try Contra Dancing and English Country Dance. I think you'll like it.
In the San Francisco Bay Area http://bacds.org
Balance the Bay, May 2008 photo by Davey
Pictures and dance info
- Contra Dancing
Lots of dance information on this web site maintained by Karen, a dancer and organizer. Davy took the pictures and helps organize the Hayward, CA dance.