Thursday, June 30, 2011

Contra Dancing or Your Mama Don't Dance

The Star Belle (my ukulele trio) ladies are heading out to Lincoln Saturday night for some contra dancing.  I'm watching instructional videos on youtube right now because I've never actually danced like this before.  I mean, I was on the dance team in high school.  I can do a few moves, mostly things I picked up from the movie Breakin' and a couple other things I learned from that Footloose montage where Mr. No Rhythm finally learns how to shake his good thing.  And after watching 8 or so contra dance videos, I'm thinking this is a whole new ball game.  My Travolta swagger and ability to moonwalk like Michael Jackson aren't going to save me here.  This is going to take some real practice, and here's why:

I can't follow for the life of me.  And, yes, it's fair of you to translate this into the larger picture.  My sister and I tried a few moves tonight (she was gracious enough to pretend to be the man) and, boy howdy, I was not doing very well.  She was downright stern with me, too.  And sitting here, I realize now what's happening.  Back in college, I took a social dance class to cover my P.E. requirement.  Most of the kids in that class had signed up with partners in mind.  Not this girl.  And because I'm tall, I ended up dancing the male lead for an entire semester's worth of waltz, country swing, and ballroom dancing.

So, I've got to somehow unlearn the way I tend to dominate the dance floor (and not in a "win" way).  This is serious folks.  If I don't learn how to yield and do a bit of relaxing into someone else's lead, I'm bound for toesville.

Any advice?


  1. um...can Mike teach you? Or your brother-in-law? I'd help but I can only dance the girl's part and then I have no idea how to do contra dancing.

    Otherwise, hope and pray you find a guy on the dance floor who's good at dancing and is a kind and patient teacher!! (Are you going to Pla Mor?)

  2. No leading involved unless you insist on waltzing during the break. Hold hands and move where you need to get it is mostly the advice I can give for social dancing. You'll see. No sweat (of sorts). See you on the dancefloor.

  3. Yeah, what hope said. And I'd say embrace the subtle drama. It all seems quite J.Austen.