Feel like dancing?

April 10, 2004

By SKY BARSCH Staff Writer

Take it from this recent first-timer: Contra dancing is a lot of fun, a great way to make friends, and a chance to feel silly and graceful at the same time. Though you begin with a partner, every 30 seconds or so you switch and dance with the next person in the line or set. The bottom line is, no matter how inexpert a dancer you might be, you have only a brief encounter with each person. Should you make a gaffe, you can quickly move on.

Not knowing the moves may keep many would-be dancers from discovering the fun. It helps to have an experienced dancer show you a few steps beforehand, and many organized dances include a beginner session at the start to break in the newcomers gently. For the most part, dancers are eager to share hints and suggestions.

Some things it's worth knowing before your first dance:

Organized dances in towns around Vermont can be found in newspaper calendar listings. The Web site www.thedancegypsy.com also compiles schedules of dances and festivals around New England.

Here is a sampling of regularly scheduled dances, but note that some go on hiatus for the summer:

Bennington - First Friday of the month at 8 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge; cost is $6 for adults. Call 447-2173 or visit www.benningtondance.org.

Bristol - Fourth Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Holley Hall; $6. Call 524-1466.

Burlington - Second Fridays at 8 p.m. at Edmunds Middle School; $7. Call 865-9363 or visit www.contracopia.net/sites/qcc/. Also third Fridays at 8 p.m. at the Champlain Club. Call 863-2199.

Montpelier - First, third and fifth Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Capital City Grange; $7. Call 744-6163 or visit www.contracopia.net/sites/montpelier.

Norwich - Second Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Tracy Hall; $7. Call (603) 448-2950.

Rutland - Third Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church; $7. Phone 492-3116.

http://timesargus.com/Regional_News/Story/81945.html Barre/Montpelier, VT

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Produced by Charlie Seelig
This page last updated on October 20, 2006.