Contra Dance: New England Country Folk Dance, shortened to Contra Dance (according to some) or the french Contre Danse (or dance with people facing each other). Either way, Contra Dance is a fun form of social dance.
Essentially, it's a form of organized social dance that involves a set pattern. Much like traditional folk dance, each dance is taught and called, so it's easy for beginners to join in. Much like Social Dance, people dance as partners and you are encouraged to embellish and have fun with the dance. Beginners often start out dancing exactly what is called, but more advanced dancers will put in lots of extra fun things. As long as everyone is having fun, its right.
We normally dance to live music. Obviously, dancing to a live band is more fun, but it also means that the band can adjust to fit the way people are dancing. We can give people extra time or speed things up or just have fun with it. We've got a great band.
The caller has the ability to embellish which means they can do interesting things with the dance. If everyone gets lost, they can call in something new to bring everyone back together. Recently we've had some blind people dancing and we get to find ways to adjust the pattern to fit the blind people. It's a lot of fun.
Traditionally you change partners as you dance, so you don't need to bring a partner. Contra Dance is a great way to meet new people. Even if you stick with the same partner all night, you'll get a chance to dance with others as you progress through the lines.