"Sorry, I'm busy. I'm going contra dancing tonight. "
"You're going what?"
"Contra dancing. It's like square dancing except in lines."
"Do YOU want to come."
"Oh, do come! It's so much fun"
"I'm not good at dancing"
"You don't have to be, it's American folk dancing, for goodness' sake. It's all stomping and hollering, no gracefulness required Please come..."
Here's 11 reasons why I love to go contra dancing and why everyone should try this awesome dance form.
1. It’s easy.
Every dance is walked through before the music starts. You're taught everything right before you have to do it so it's easy to jump into as a beginning.
2. It's an obscure hobby!
So you can seem like a edgy, hipster without trying lol. Speaking from experience, people will think you the coolest person if you enjoy doing something they've never heard of.
3. Doesn’t need gracefulness/poise/dancing talent.
Can you get good at this? Of course. But as a beginner, you can literally just walk around in patterns and actually be considered a good dancer.
4. Doesn't require special shoes/clothes.
There isn't an official contra dance shoe, some dancers have shoes from other disciplines others just wear clean sneakers that haven't been outside.
5. It's social without extensive commitment.
Since partners are switched frequently (in mixer dances, it happens multiple times a dance) contra dancing is great for the socially awkward.
6. Historical Connections!
Don't you want to dance the dance that was done at Washington's inaugural ball?
7. Creating art with your body is fun.
All the contra dances patterns are so pretty in a mathematical way. People just logically twist and turn around each others and it comes out looking awesome. If you mess the pattern up the first few times, you gratitude will be even greater when this pattern perfection occurs!
8. There's live music!
Now who doesn't enjoy that!
9. Cheap fun!
It's waay more affordable than a nice dinner out or a trip to the movies. And it totally counts as exercise to boot!
10. Meeting the nicest people.
Contra dancers tend to be a group of happy nerds (a noun I use in the most loving way possible). If you make a mistake, everybody just giggles and helps you fix the figure.
11. It's a built-in community all over New England.
People love having new faces both experienced and beginners at their dances; you should try going to a new dance sometime.
Finally here's an example from the New England Folk Festival to show you how awesome contra is!