THE CONTRA GOAL
We not only have fun, we have fun as a group because we can have more fun together than we can separately. While being energetic, be gentle. While being playful, be considerate.
WHAT YOU DO NOT NEED
YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW OR LEARN ANY FANCY FOOTWORK.
Contra dancing welcomes people who can walk and chew gum at the same time, people who can clog or step dance or swing dance, as well as people who can only walk if they are not chewing gum.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING A PARTNER WITH YOU.
In contra dancing, "partner" is a position in the formation. It does not signify who is married to whom, who is dating who, who came with whom or who is interested in whom. Most of us find a different partner for each dance of the evening, but we certainly do not have a rule to that effect because making it a rule would make it a requirement, and I would be uncomfortable having more than two requirements .
YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE "THE RIGHT THING TO WEAR".
If you want to wear a tux, wear a tux. If you want to wear bib overalls, wear bib overalls, although clothes that are cooler are better. Here are a few other guidelines.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING THE CALLERS SAYS
You will not hear everything the caller says. Even if you did, the caller does not continue calling throughout the whole dance. If you do what the other dancers are doing and it works, be satisfied.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THE DANCE PERFECTLY
There are only two ways to do contra, the right way or a different way. The right way is often the most fun. If you are not satisfied with the "different way" you did something, laugh about it as you keep dancing, and keep moving because you are needed for the next figure. If you feel really lost, at least you will spend a lot of time laughing.
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