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DANCINGwithWolves

the ballroom dance
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Contra Dance Videos
are offered below (click on the YouTube Logo to pop them up in a new larger window or just watch them here).



The lesson is fun and it helps if everyone learns some of the basic moves.



If these videos look like fun, being there in person is so much more fun! Mark your calendar and make plans to be at the next NCSU dance! There is always room for you, but come along early, just in case.

These videos should give you an idea of what to expect at our dances. Notice that people dress in a variety of ways: some women prefer dresses and skirts and others are comfortable in shorts and slacks, and men will wear comfortable casual clothes and sportswear from tee shirts to polos, shorts to khakis, etc. Some will dance barefoot, wear socks, sandals, tennis shoes, dress shoes, or dance shoes/slippers --whatever makes you and your feet happy and won't scuff or damage the wood floor. Small heels are not good on the floor. 

Dancers can work up a sweat sometimes, so quite a few of the experienced dancers will bring along extra clothes and change between dances. One thoughtful sweaty guy at the weekend dance events makes it a point to change shirts after every dance! His dry cleaner loves Contra Dance!

If you watch these few video clips you can observe many of the moves that are made in contra dances, and you can see the progression couples make within the dance--couples moving up and down the lines and dancing with new couples every 64 beats. It looks like it is moving fast but in fact, contra dance is usually done in a moderate walking pace that repeats and has a grace and peaceful flow and rhythm.

All of these dances are really very easy to do! Contra dances are all "called" dances and therefore dancers are constantly reminded of the steps and moves (one doesn't have to rely on memory). What you can see in these videos is not choreographed precision as if it is some kind of performance, rather it is friendly, happy, lively experience of people interacting with all of the other dancers. You need to try it to really understand contra dance. These videos are cool but can't possibly convey what this is all about.

A special thanks to Sandi Miles and friends for making and posting these videos so we can reflect them here. We look forward to adding photos and videos of all our dances.


2014 Summer Schedule


CONTRA DANCING at TALLEY!
We are back dancing at STATE!!!

on SATURDAY,
July 12, 2014

Summer Electrotrad Dance

with DJ and caller Eileen Thorsos
To learn more about Electrotrad click here!

FREE lesson with admission at 6:30
If you are new, please don't miss the lesson! Experienced dancers are needed, too!

We highly recommend bringing a water bottle--the water fountain is not close to the ballroom and we are unable to serve beverages.

Dance is from 7-10
in the Talley Ballroom!

The Cates Avenue entrance to Talley is currently closed due to the renovations. Therefore, the best place to park is the Coliseum Parking Deck. Parking is free after 5 pm and on the weekends. For directions, follow this GOOGLE DOCS LINK


Admission price is
$6 for students/faculty
$8 for everyone else


Check out local dances, especially
TCDancers.org




What is Contra Dance?

Contra dancing is a type of folk dance similar to, but in fact older than, square dancing. In Contra Dance, couples interact with other pairs in long lines of couples, and end up eventually dancing a turn with almost everyone in the line.

An experienced person "calls the dance", instructing dancers with a practice dry run or "walk through", and then continuously calling throughout the dance along with the music. 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. Perhaps dancers will get to repeat the moves 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 very easy for beginners as one is taught essentially everything one needs to know for each dance. The lesson is important and covers the basics and throughout the night the caller will add details if the particular dance demands it. Between dances one can refine and clarify by asking experienced dancers to demonstrate steps and moves. During the evening, the caller prompts you 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. 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!

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.





© 2014, ContraDanceswithWolves.org, All Rights Reserved

MOST PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHT © 2014, DOUG PLUMMER
All Rights Reserved
--used here with his permission.


Want to Share Your Contra Dance Photograph or Videos?

We'll be glad to consider adding your contra dance related links or photos to this site --please contact: ncsucontraclub@gmail.com