Posts Tagged ‘country music’

There is a dance that is new to me and maybe to you too.  It is a dance that is “as old as the hills.”

My good friend, Amy, who is always trying new things, filled me in on this enchanting activity that is good clean fun, great exercise, and a place to meet friends and smile.

 Have you ever heard of Contra Dancing?

Well, one site describes it like this: “If Swing Dancing and Square Dancing met in a bar, you’d get Contra.”

  • It is similar to square dancing but not the same.
  • It is considered a social dance that you can attend without a partner, but is danced in pairs.
  • It is danced in long lines and couples progress up and down the lines dancing with each other and other couples in the line.
  • There is a caller who teaches the sequence of figures before the music starts.
  • The music can be Irish, Scottish, old-time, or French Canadian folk tunes.
  • It is impossible not to smile at the music.
  • The fiddle is the core instrument, but can also feature the guitar, banjo, bass and mandolin.

 Contra is a folk dance with mixed origins from English country, Scottish,  and French dance styles in the 17th century and African influence from Appalachia.  Sometimes described as New England folk dance or Appalachian folk dance, Contra Dances can be found around the world as well as in most US states.

Check out Contra Dancing in your state or community.  Guaranteed to make you smile!


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Just the name makes me smile.  Hootieville.

It’s Hootieville Bluegrass Park. 

Going there is grounds for laughter and the urge to dance.

Doesn’t matter how old or how young I am,

when the sun goes down and the music takes on a

contagious beat, I want to run with the kids  up and down the green slopes

where families camp, and friends meet just a few times a year.

It’s an old-fashioned gathering that leads to foot stomping and

as the sun sets, I watch and listen and smile.

They begin their flat-foot dancing – spontaneous responses to

the urge to move – mesmerizing to watch,

and I want to do it too but remain the observer, listening,

tapping my feet,

and smiling – always smiling.

I was there this clear, cool weekend in June,

and guess what?  I’m still smiling!

Settling In

For 30 years, Mr. Houston (Hootie) Hatcher held a bluegrass festival on his farm near Natural Bridge, Virginia. It has become widely known as Hootieville and features local bluegrass bands and a family atmosphere. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of Appalachia. It has mixed roots in Scottish, Irish and English traditional music.

Flat-footing at Dark

 I heard a great local group called The Plank Road Express and another called the Special Edition.  Different bands are there by invitation and play into the night at Hootieville while folks share picnic fare and children try flat-foot dancing right along with the adults.  There is a fabulous sense of freedom at Hootieville.  It’s like a Norman Rockwell drawing might be of an event in Small Town America – the way it was, the way it is, the way it should always be.

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