The best way to get a sense of what contra dancing is all about it to come to a dance! The next best way is to watch a few live videos. Here are some nice examples that show off the steps, the music and the fun that make up this easy, yet exhilirating, dance tradition!
2016 Toronto Spring Thaw (by Simon Chambers)
Caller: Michael Hamilton, Band: Barefoot
Crowfoot in Tacoma (by Doug Plummer)
Caller: George Marshall, Band: Crowfoot
After the Videos...
There are many websites that give helpful and entertaining descriptions of contra dance. Here are some of my favourites.
- What is Contra Dancing? - Syracuse Country Dancers
- Hands Four - Greg Rohde
- Contraculture: An Introduction to Contradancing - Steve Nagy
Here is a set of instruction videos, showing basic steps and concepts of contra dancing, from the Chattahoochee Country Dancers.
- basic two-person steps
- basic four-person steps
- contra lines and progression
- putting it all together
- tips for good dancing
Once you know the basics, here are some additional articles well worth reading, for the info or just for a laugh.
Top Ten (plus) Things That Make a Good (Contra) Dancer -
For Experienced Dancers Dancing With Beginners - Jonathan Sivier
- Good Contra and Square Dancing Defined - Paul Tyler
- More Ways to Swing
than You Probably Want to Know - James Williams and Dana S. Nau
The more you search, the more you find. Here are even more fun and interesting contra related sites.
History of Contra Dancing (video) - GreatMeadowMusic.com, edited by Steve Alves
Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter - Richard Powers
- Contra Dance Etiquette for the Guys (funny video) - Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, of the Great Bear Trio
Toronto Contra Dance YouTube channel (lots of videos)