Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Contra Dance

We had another full weekend, with a kid's birthday party on Saturday and, for more fun, contra dance later that evening! I even have an outfit for you, sorta...the contra dance photos are a little blurry but they were taken indoors with an iPad by my dear friend E's husband. (E herself, talented lady, was playing the flute in the live band.)

Dress: Mingle via Amazon | Flats: Blowfish via TJ Maxx

This was only my second time at a contra dance, the first time being almost nine years ago. Contra dance is basically the kind of dancing you'll see in Jane Austen films, although on Saturday we did many simpler dances because of all the kids present. Our caller was particularly fantastic for the children...she was a 3rd- and 4th-grade teacher and knew lots of dances/activities geared towards younger kids. For newbies like me and my husband, it was quite liberating to be given the directive to dance like a child! Make no mistake, we danced until we were sweating, and my leg muscles are still slightly sore a few days later. Dancing is one of the best exercises in the world. :-)

Besides the children, there were some elderly folks there, and I had a lot of fun laughing with them. No one laughs at themselves as well and as good-naturedly as our elders. Think of it, not-as-flexible older people trying to hunch over to pass under the tunnels made by short four- and six-year-olds joining arms...! There were pleas to "have mercy" and the like, and I was cracking up throughout the evening.

But my favorite part was the fact that my son actually joined in the dancing. He's the kind of kid who prefers to hang back and observe, and it takes him a while to follow movements and spoken directions. But it was a joy to watch him smile and dance and be led by older kids and other adults (not us). He was trying so hard, and I couldn't have been prouder of him.

Among the dances we did were the Virginia reel, a courting game/dance to the song "Skip to My Lou My Darling," and a waltz at the end. I also really enjoyed the dance where the caller asked each dancer what magical creature they were and what kind of creature they wanted to turn the other dancers into; everyone then had to dance like that creature for a few 8-counts. I was a unicorn who turned everyone into nymphs (er, whatever that meant to the kids), my son was a mouse who turned everyone into puppies, my husband was a turtle who turned everyone into bats, my friend's daughter was a grandfather clock who turned everyone into elephants, and someone (a magical ogre) even turned everyone into zombies. FUN!

Contra dancing here happens once a month on Saturdays, and we are planning to make it to the next one. It was so enjoyable! If you have the chance to go where you live, I recommend trying it out. You might just have a wonderful evening. :-)

xo, Gladys


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