Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Contra Dancing is Awesome and This is Why

I don't only do event videography but this seems to be a lot of what I film and edit these days (huge thanks to Ruth for doing 99% of the filming.) This was a costume party/dance/fundraiser that I organized for the Oregon City-based Hope 360 pregnancy resource clinic.

The majority of the dancing was contra dancing, or folk dancing as some people call it. We also had some swing dancing but unfortunately didn't capture it on video.

While I was organizing the dance I watched a lot of contra dancing videos on YouTube in order to find some new songs to dance to. Because the videos I found were so helpful I decided to film this dance to help anyone else looking to organize a contra dance.

If you're new to contra dancing (or only think of it as a slow, boring, and awkward pastime enjoyed by people in the late 18th-century) this website is a decent introduction. Honestly, contra dance can be a slow, boring, and awkward pastime, but if you're looking for a dance where you don't have to know all the moves (or any moves) then this a great place to start. If you can count to eight, clap, skip, spin, and run, then you can contra dance. When its done with enthusiasm (and the right music!) contra dancing can be incredibly fun (and an intense workout.)

Using modern music helps a lot. I'm really excited about how a lot of newer pop songs incorporate EDM music into their choruses or throughout their songs. EDM is dance music, and if you get one with the right beat it makes for some really epic contra dancing (this is technically called something like "techno-contra.")

My biggest goal for organizing and promoting these dances is to make it fun and exciting for all the kids that come. Contra dancing was a big thing at my church when I was their age, but it kind of faded out after a while. I'm hoping to bring it back in a big way while changing a few things that I'd always thought could use improvement (this is the beauty of volunteering, guys.)  I've changed it for the group of kids that are growing up going to these dances, and I can't wait to see how they'll change it when they're old enough to take over. It's a great tradition, and at its heart, contra dancing is a simple but fun activity that has more form and substance than the freestyle dances that are typical today. And it is awesome.

Just like Ruth's "Matchmaker from Mulan" costume.

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to attempt dancing. These pictures only renewed it.



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