Can you contra?
Even if you’ve never tried this style of dancing before, the answer is probably, “yes.”
Contra dancing is a kind of folk dancing with mixed origins from English, Scottish, and French country dance, with a peppering of Appalachia folk dance thrown in. Think of it as a kind of square dancing – since it’s done with two pairs of partners – but to folk music.
Unlike many styles of dance, contra is friendly to beginners. It’s led by a caller, who teaches the sequences of dance figures, and then guides dancers through the song once the music starts. The best part: contra footwork is basically the same as walking. There’s technique to be learned, and figures to memorize, but a few dance sessions is all it takes to start having fun.
Portland Country Dance Community (PCDC) offers a continual series of contra dances throughout the year. They’re family-friendly, alcohol free, and welcoming to beginners. PCDC hosts contra dancing on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturday evenings of every month at the Fulton Community Center. They also support other contra dances in various locations and different days of the week every month, and host larger dance gatherings on an annual schedule.
Admission is $6-$8 per person depending on the dance. Children, seniors, and students receive discounts. For the full schedule, exact admission, contra dance rules and more, click the “Learn More” button above.