September 22, 2017

For 2018: Contra Dance–Play in the Band or Dance

The last activity on Saturday afternoon will be a Contra Dance with all dances taught and called by Chris Kermiet. Chris, a 50-year veteran of organizing such events, will be putting together a combination of dances that will provide a rich program with a variety of easy dances that involve less learning and more dancing.

The band is open to anyone who wants to learn the material and practice—Hammered and Mountain Dulcimers and any other instruments you might want to play. We would really like to encourage more of our Mountain Dulcimer friends and, to this end, Bob Elieson has made good music with Mountain Dulcimer tablature for all the sets we’ll do, with melody arrangements as well as chords so you can choose which approach to take.

The dozen and a half people who played last year in the band had so much fun and learned so much that we are repeating the activity this year. The dance will be shorter so we will need roughly half the number of sets from last year. You are welcome to participate by learning one or two sets, or half of the sets or all of them; you may play melody or chords. Some people want to dance some of the five or so dances, and play for others. Just participate in the band at whatever level you like!

Our Contra Dance Director for 2018 is Bob Elieson (970-685-0359 or [email protected]). Please call to let us know you’re interested and he will send you a Doodle Poll to schedule rehearsal times that will suit the most people. They will be primarily during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. We hope to have one session in September or early October, one in late November, one in December,  and one in mid-January.

This is a very low-stress situation in which you can learn to play with other people and to play for dances and just to get together once a month or so and play together. There’s little else that is as much fun as playing music with other people, so please join us.

Oooooeeee, here goes some fun!

Some Examples

To get an idea of what some of the dances look like, watch some youtube videos . . .

(And don’t get intimidated by these dancers. Remember, the caller will step you through it every step of the way. And any “mistakes” can lead to a lot of laughing and fun!)

  • A sample overall Introduction (13 minutes):
    (But be aware that every caller does the introduction differently!)

 

  • An actual Contra Dance—starting out a little slower (9 minutes):

P.S. In the videos it appears that all partner pairings are male/female. But if there’s a gender imbalance, it’s quite acceptable that women pair up, or men pair up.

 

  • An example of flatfoot dancing—and the fun of playing in the band (3 minutes):