Last time I went contra dancing, I never got around to blogging about it. I think I was either apathetic or busy at the time (or perhaps a combination of both). Anyway, now I'll get around to that and more.
I went contra dancing at Phinney Ridge at one of their Friday night regular dances. For the entire night, I swung, chained, and turned around the dance floor as I switched from partner to partner. I had a wonderful time there; where else is it socially alright to enjoy holding hands with sweaty strangers? For two whole hours, I felt like an extra in a Jane Austen party scene, and I loved it.
My favorite part about contra is the calling. Like in square dancing, a caller says the moves as you do them, so it's hard to get lost. Everyone has a role, and you're guided through your role. Even the leads don't have too much difficulty with it. The lesson ahead of time taught me all the basic moves, and the caller taught other moves during the dance if we needed to know them. Many moves are also similar to square dancing, but contra is better than square dancing because the music is better.
Last night, then, I went swing dancing. On the way back from Pittsburgh, I sat next to a guy who dances swing in Seattle, and he offered to take me out (well, I think it was a date, really). I went to his place and got a swing lesson first, and then we went out for sushi (at a great, affordably little hole in the wall on 45th) before hitting the Century Ballroom.
I found swing harder than contra, for obvious reasons. Being a follow still involves some skill and the ability to keep a frame. I found myself trying to remember everything I had learned from Dirty Dancing, but I think the only way that would have improved my dancing is if I had actually been Baby. Keeping a frame was my weak part, so it made some of the dances harder, but I was happy to say that I did fairly decent on the dancing for being someone in my first week. Practice makes perfect, so I intend to go back there or perhaps find somewhere else. I did meet a cute guy from Capitol Hill there, but I keep reminding myself that my future is up in the air and nothing more than casual dating will work for me right now.
Anyway, there you have it. I went dancing, and it was excellent. I'd recommend it to anyone. It's even okay to go alone -- people will ask you to dance, or you can ask people to dance. And it's an easy way to get an extra hour or two of exercise in when you don't really realize you're doing it.