Community is invited to enjoy contra dancing | TheUnion.com
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Community is invited to enjoy contra dancing

“Contra dancing has the romantic potential of ballroom, the energy of jazzercize, the traditional community feel of folk dance, and the creative possibilities of freestyle and contact improv,” says long-time dancer Eric Engels.

The Odd Fellows Hall, at 212 Spring St. in Nevada City, is the place where people will be contra dancing this Saturday, starting at 8 p.m. No partner is necessary. As all dances are taught at the event, beginners are welcome around 7:30 for instruction.

Music by Hot Cider is live and lively. The caller is Paul Moore, who has national experience.



Contra dancing is rooted in New England folk tradition. It is community-style, akin to square dancing. “You definitely don’t need lessons and years of experience to feel competent,” says Engels, “as is the case for swing, salsa, or ballroom. There are no steps to learn; you mostly just walk and dance with your upper body. At the same time, there’s enough complexity and nuance to keep you learning forever. After 24 years, there’s still more for me to master.”

About 60 people normally come to the dances, organizers said, with kids as young as 8 doing well.




Says Barry Angell of Grass Valley, who has been dancing more than 10 years, “It’s easy. You have a caller telling you what to do, and you have different partners all the time. It’s all about having fun.”

Sponsored by Foothill Country Dancers, the dance costs $8 and is held the first Saturday of every month. For more information, call 477-8103 or check the Web at http://www.members.aol.cm/foothilldancers .


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