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Posts Tagged ‘Dancing’

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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dancersI  am not particularly coordinated.

Oh I never fall over my own feet or anything like that, although I did trip once and got a green stick fracture.

And then I slipped another time and broke an ankle.

Sometimes I run into things too – like the deep sea diver at Disney World, or that pole I walked into once, and a few cabinets and things.

And the family did get a bit concerned when I banged my head on the jungle gym trying to play chase with a grandchild.

Oh, and there was that time I tried to ride on a skate board and rolled over the edge of a semi-cliff!

But basically I think I am fairly stable.

I just never really learned to dance.

When I met my husband-to-be he loved dancing.  His girlfriend before me was an Arthur Murray dance instructor!

Anyway, he (Bill – my then boyfriend) was good at dancing.  He looked suave out there with other girls.  I would only very slow dance with him since I could just hang on and get drifted shoved around.  And if I happened to step on his foot, he didn’t seem to notice much.  We were young and in love, and passion was meant to override pain.

But I was determined to dance – the Cha Cha and the Waltz – you know – the ones on Dancing with the Stars!  Even now, I yearn to learn the Quick Step.  Maybe I could still be a professional dancer!

With the visions of grandeur of a 19 year old,  I dropped in on a local dance studio for secret lessons.  If Bill could learn from the experts, so could I!

 There were several couples on the dance floor looking very smooth.

I was welcomed by a handsome instructor, who said the way to begin was at the beginning with a TRIAL RUN!

And so, off we went onto the dance floor where I gave the Trial Run my best stumble-and-grin try.

I hoped Dan the Dance Man didn’t notice my sweaty palms, the frown lines, or the fact that I was listing left when he was guiding right.

Music?

What music?

I didn’t even hear the music over the roaring in my head,

“Step.  Step.  Step-Step!

Step.  Step.  Step-Step!”

And finally, after what seemed like hours, we stopped stepping.

My feet hurt and my arms were shaking like that time I did the weed eating and couldn’t hold a coffee cup afterward.

“When do lessons begin?” I asked. 

I figured I had already suffered the initial plunge. 

And Dan the Dance Man answered,

“Uh.  I would not advise you to take this course Miss. 

You have no balance and no rhythm.” 

 I am not kidding. 

That is exactly what he said.

Thus began my lifetime of insecurity wherever I encountered a dance floor.  And thus began a somewhat destroyed self image due to one life changing moment.

There is a happy ending though.

Oddly enough my husband-to-be, actually did marry me many (many many) years ago and we are still blissfully wed even though I have no rhythm and no balance.

I continue to trip over Bill’s feet on the dance floor too, and I never lost the ability to list left when being guided right.

So much for life changing moments huh?

But I would still love to learn the Quick Step!

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