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Changes in (contra) dancing and choreography

by Jenny Beer

(This article was originally posted to the Usenet newsgroup <rec.folk-dancing>.)

Here are some of my observations on how contra dancing has been changing, at least in the dance groups I have been in (New England, Philly, and the San Francisco Bay area).

An emphasis on partner/neighbor as opposed to the set.

Everybody is active.

The demise of the "figure" in favor of "flow"

Different (though still very limited) choreographic elements

More emphasis on aerobics and less on moving with the music.

More men (hooray!!) and greater intensity/roughness (boo!)

I confess in closing that I'm one of those long time dancers who has mostly left the contra scene, but (with the exception of gentleness and music-sensitivity issues) while I miss what contra has lost, I like what it has gained.

Jenny Beer


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Last updated on July 30, 1996 by entropy@prismnet.com (Kiran Wagle)