The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.
Performing for the dance will be Groove Contraption. The caller is Stephanie Marie from Charlotte. A class for beginners will be held at 7:00pm. Every dancer is encouraged to attend the class to become familiar with dance steps, formations, and flow. Klondike Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be served at the 9:00pm waltz break. This event is open to all.
Our winter promotion to attract new dancers is an offer to all comers to “Buy one ticket and get one free for new dancers”. The BOGO offer is intended for those who have never tried contra dance before” offers event organizer, David Wiley, President of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society. Bring a friend who has never danced and they get in for free.
Admission to the dance is $7 for (yet-to-be members), $5 for HJDS members. Full time Students and children get in for $5. A Family Package has been instituted for members that allows parents and as many children in their core family to get in for only $15.
Come to dance or come to listen. No partner is necessary. It is customary at contra dances to change partners after each dance. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Families, students and singles are welcome. All dances are taught by the caller. No previous dance experience is necessary.
Contra dancing can be aerobic! Most dancers like to wear short-sleeved shirts and skirts, pants or shorts, depending on the season. Don’t forget to dress in layers – what may be comfortable at the start of the evening might be too hot by the second or third dance. Some folks, who find that dancing really makes them sweat, bring a spare shirt to change into at the break. Generally, contra dancers are an informal bunch and dress to reflect that.
Please wear comfortable shoes. The most important feature is a smooth sole that will slide across a wooden floor. Contra dancers have used jazz shoes, leather dress shoes, bare feet, duct-taped bare feet, character shoes, dance sneakers and regular sneakers with or without suede glued to the sole.
Contra dancing is social dancing. The best way to improve your dancing is to dance with people who are more experienced than you. More experienced dancers know this, so you may be surprised to get many invitations to dance from people you haven’t met before. Although contra dancing is a couple dance, it is, in the larger sense, a “team sport.” If new dancers get to dance frequently with more experienced partners, they learn the basics faster and everyone has more fun.
Usually, people change partners after each dance. Men ask women to dance and women ask men to dance. Sometimes men dance with men or women dance with women.
One surefire way to make sure you have a partner for the next dance is to ask someone. Otherwise, rather than sitting down at the side of the hall, stand up and walk toward the front of the hall. Some people take sitting down to mean that you would like to rest.
Groove Contraption comes from the upstate of South Carolina. The band consists of Clinton Ross on mandolin, Chris Liakos on fiddle and Wes Maluk. Clinton Ross graduated from the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program two years ago. He returned last fall to attend graduate school and continue to work with young musicians entering the program. Wes Maluk has played for contra dances for over 25 years and was at one time a very sought after sound engineer. He plays tenor banjo, guitar and percussion.
Stephanie Marie is a contra dance caller from the Charlotte, NC area. She began contra dancing in Durham and Charlotte in 2009 after being invited by some fellow Civil War reenactors. She has been hooked ever since by the energetic music and friendly community. Stephanie began calling dances in 2012 and now has traveled far and wide in the region to call local dances. This past summer, she went to the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) camp at Pinewoods, MA, to work with nationally acclaimed caller, Lisa Greenleaf. The camp offered one-on-one and group instruction to build her skill set for calling. Stephanie enjoys and is inspired by the smiles and the energy given up by the dancers out on the floor and the tunes provided by the bands.
For more information, contact event organizer David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.