SparkPeople Contra, Square, and Folk Dancers Team Messageboard A team for people to chat about contra dancing and other forms of folk dancing, including round, old-time, and modern western squares. SparkPeople Contra, Square, and Folk Dancers Team Messageboard Spark Meetup in Binghamton, NY Sat 11/9 Hi Everyone, <BR> <BR> If you're anywhere near Binghamton, NY, come join me and DDOORN at a beginner-friendly contra dancing event happening next Saturday, November 9 in Binghamton. There will be LIVE MUSIC and lessons! And English Country Dancing and Swedish Turning Waltz and Introductory Scottish Dancing! <BR> <BR> For those on the team who haven't done contra before, it's sort of like square dancing crossed with swing. There is always fun live music. It’s super beginner-friendly and ... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 20:16:43 EST Lets Dance! <em>350</em> Tue, 1 Oct 2013 20:07:34 EST Video from 2013 Great Bear Groove <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I missed that dance - had to run to the ladies room. So there's only one shot of me, at about 3:19, standing on the side under the white umbrella. <BR> <BR> It was a great time. Looking forward to next year! Wed, 7 Aug 2013 00:46:39 EST Shout out on Spark Radio I'd suggested contra dancing as a fun alternative kind of exercise to one of the Spark Radio hosts, and it appears she thought so too: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> (It may say “error” at first, but just be patient and the segment will load and begin to play.) <BR> Thanks to CMCGRUN for telling me! <BR> <BR> The part mentioning contra dancing happens near the end of the segment. <BR> <BR> It was a nice mention, although I suspect some people will hear ... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:12:36 EST Do you monitor your steps or heart rate? I have both a HR monitor and a fitbit, and in a vigorous 3 hr dance I typically burn about 600-800 calories. This past Saturday it said I burned over 1000, but I'm a little skeptical of that. <BR> <BR> In steps it's usually somewhere between 8000-12000 ( about 4-6 miles). <BR> <BR> When I can keep myself away from the snack table, that adds up to a nice deficit. I'm not always successful with that, though! Wed, 26 Jun 2013 06:03:55 EST What style of dance do you like? I enjoy the energy and simplicity of contra. <BR> <BR> The "floatiness" of English Country Dance is nice, but doesn't get me going as much. It could be fun to put together a period costume and do it, though. <BR> <BR> The occasional old-time squares they throw into a contra dance are fun, as are the odder "ninepins" and three-couple dances. <BR> <BR> I'll enjoy the contra waltzes more once my bf has gotten more comfortable with finding the beat and counting to 6. :-) <BR> <BR> I haven't... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 05:59:46 EST What kind of shoes do you prefer? I've found that my arthritic knee can't handle any kind of heels, but it's happy in flats. <BR> <BR> So I've been wearing the "Mary Jane" style karate flats with washable Pedag inserts. <BR> <BR> There are so many fun kinds of these to choose from, including various colors of canvas, silk, emroidery, brocade, glittery mesh, etc. Here's an amazing assortment: <link> </link> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 05:51:18 EST Funny stuff I find these YouTube videos hysterically funny. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> It might be one of those things where you have to be a contra dancer to "get it" though. Sun, 23 Jun 2013 14:44:47 EST What has dancing done for you? Here's a neat video with people explaining why they like contra dancing and what they get out of it, while showing them dancing: <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Some of the things I love about contra is that it has helped me get used to physical contact with others, it's pulled me out into a more social scenario, and I'm getting used to how my "new" body feels and moves. <BR> <BR> Plus it gives me a chance to channel my inner femme, with all of those twir... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 14:09:13 EST Do you eat the snacks? Bring your own? Although I can burn over 1000 calories in a vigorous 3-hour dance according to my HR monitor, the baked goods at the snack table can easily undo a calorie deficit. <BR> <BR> How do YOU manage this dilemma? <BR> <BR> Here are some things that I try to do: <BR> <BR> 1) Bring a bottle of water that I can refill <BR> 2) Bring protein bars <BR> 3) Bring veggies to share, like baby carrots, hummus, etc. Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:40:54 EST a video, finding dances, and how to do flourishes Do you have any favorite links or videos? <BR> <BR> As a video showing how much fun contra can be, I like sending people here: <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Here are my three favorite ways to find dances by geographical region: <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> And for figuring out fun ways to add twirls and other flouri... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:28:28 EST Where do you dance? I'm in the Upstate NY area and dance mostly in Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca. We're lucky - Ithaca alone has THREE contra dance organizations! <BR> <BR> Plus there's English Country Dancing all over the place too. <BR> <BR> In the fall I'm going to investigate the modern western square dancing in Auburn. I've heard there are some differences, and maybe I won't like it, but maybe I will, and I won't know until I try! Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:21:29 EST