The fiddler tunes the strings. The guitar player strums a couple of chords. Around the room the dancers ask a partner for the first dance of the evening. Smiles are plentiful. Cares are left at the door.
For the past two hundred years people across America have gathered in houses, churches and dance halls to enjoy an evening of social contra dancing. And people shall gather again soon.
Accessible to all people, it requires no special training or natural talent. Young or old, tall or short, fast or slow you can have a beautiful evening, interacting with friendly people in simple yet elegant traditional dances. Melodies, though traditional, sound fresh and new each time as the dancing lived on, each time similar to the last but never the same.
At regular intervals the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music community post a dance at the First United Methodist Church for the enjoyment of all who care to attend. Come be a part of the tradition.
It won’t be the same without you!
(adapted from S Tossey, Cincinnati Contra Dancers)