How do you explain contra? What IS contra dancing?

  • I have described
    it as “American folk dancing; similar to square dancing, but in
    long lines of couples, so you dance with more people. Also, simple to
    learn and easy to have fun!”
  • I’ve described
    it as a human puzzle to be unraveled to music. There is a set
    pattern to be followed and each time it finishes the puzzle is
    started again.
  • Think of square
    dancing from your youth and replace all the hokey with folky. A
    tilt-a-whirl powered by smiling flirtatious humans.
  • Use terms that
    whoever you are talking to can relate to. Contra can fall into many
    categories: folk, fiddle, swingy, rave even. Use familiar terms!
  • Don’t.
    instead, let your enthusiasm be the draw – have a special event,
    and invite them.
  • If a computer is
    handy good clips can be found on YouTube and similar sites.
  • Some have had
    success with: “it taps into the same feelings as Whirling Dervishes
    get.” Or “it’s a way to turn off your brain without drugs or
  • Or “only place
    where a new person is thrust into your arms every thirty seconds.”
  • Talk as much
    about the great community, it’s as important as the dancing style
  • “live music,
    dancing and so much fun! You have to come try it!”
  • like a square
    dance on amphetamines
  • flirting set to
  • one (or two?)
    steps closer to “real dancing” than DDR (for nerdy non-dancing