icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
That was fun and I will totally do it again! There were enough newbs that I wasn't the only one flailing around, and the experienced people were very kind. I'm definitely a fan of the "we're here to have fun, not set the world on fire," vibe and how informal it was. Yay hippies! (And ohhhh, there were many hippies there.) This is great, because the lack of that informality was exactly what was keeping me from ballroom lessons--well, that and the price. What I really wanted was a place to dance around to some music and learn a few new things at a reasonable pace, and this is exactly what I wanted.

Contra is a nifty style of dance, just similar enough to ballroom to give me a bit of an edge over the other newbies, but otherwise very, very different. I like that all the steps can be done very simply, but as you get more experience you can add various flourishes, which is probably what kept the experienced people from wanting to beat their heads against the wall. I also like that the steps are barely gendered at all. Lead and follow do pretty much the same thing no matter what the step is, just maybe at different times. And there's not really much leading too it; it's all directed by the caller up front. (Well, maybe the flourishes require leadership. There was a guy I danced with who kept leading me into underarm turns, which was awesome.) As always, the gender ratio was a bit dismal--though much better than in most of my ballroom years; there were probably 40 guys to 60 girls--so I was a guy about half the time.

To no one's surprise, since this is Nashville, the four-piece band was very, very good.

Although I will say, the one great failing of contra dancing is that, as opposed to ballroom dancing where if you can start out on the correct foot, you're usually good for the rest of the dance, in contra, you continuously have to remember which is your right and which is your left. DON'T LAUGH, THIS IS HARD FOR ME. I failed the differentiating right from left lesson in kindergarten. (No seriously, I think I actually do remember that being sent home on a report card. I still sometimes have to look for the mole on my left thumb.)

Also, the other downside is that you and your partner travel up the long line (~20 people; basically you change places with the people to your right--or left, depending on the side you're on, but let's say right--continuously until you reach the end, then come back down by the same method) so the dance, or I think they call it set, can go on for like twenty minutes. And if you get confused or tired or want to stop for any reason, there is no escape because you would screw up the entire line. [livejournal.com profile] asinpterodactyl, you remember the Hustle of Death to...I think it was "Thriller"? Yeah, it's like that, only longer.

Nevertheless--fun! Yay!

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