Many aspects of contradancing make it especially appropriate for the Playa:
Contradancing is done to beautiful, energetic LIVE music with a wide range of traditional and electronic instruments (including bagpipes and didgeridoo), and many musical styles including old time, celtic, fusion, latin, motown, and DJ'ed techno.
Contradances are community dances - couples flow through each other in long lines and each dancer eventually interacts and bonds with all the other dancers. Synchronous stomping, clapping and hooting make for an energetic communal vibe.
Contradancing is very easy to learn - complete strangers to contradancing can walk off the street and enjoy their first dance. A caller gives a “walk through” lesson before every dance and calls out the cycle of moves during the dance. To make it even easier for beginners, the caller conducts an optional workshop at the start of the dance, introducing most of the moves, the flow, and the most comfortable and fun ways to connect with other dancers. We make it clear that 'getting it right' and fitting in all the moves is trumped by just having fun and the safety of each dancer. The moves do not require particular footwork. We supply a freestyle dance area for anyone who would “just like to dance”.
Contradances are exceptionally inclusive, with dancers adjusting moves for the needs of each new person they meet and gently reorienting anyone who is confused. Dances are a mix of all ages and family-friendly - even small children and parents carrying a baby can dance. We will be talking up our dances at the disability camp as we have every year - around the country there are dancers who are blind, dancers who are deaf and dancers in wheel chairs.
There is no need to arrive with a partner - dancers swap partners after every dance. Dancers are encouraged to ask others to dance independent of gender or experience. Dancers and callers frequently swap nominal gender roles mid-dance, and playfully mock gender conventions. And contradancing men have been wearing kilts and skirts hundreds of years longer than burners! Some of them anyway.- dancers come wearing whatever they find comfortable. We have a modest supply of clean skirts, and misc. costumery for anyone who arrives unprepared and feels so moved.
Contradancing is playful and creative - ad lib variation is celebrated as long as everyone can stay on time. Common improvisations are elaborate flourishes and humorous multi-dancer tomfoolery. Dancers can make their personal dancing experience as easy or as challenging as they wish while respecting what may be differing desires by other dancers.
Contradancing is a "living tradition", with new dances written all the time. Dances act as reunions and a time to swap and improve skills for dancers, callers and musicians from around the country/world.
If you come to a contradance and you are smiling, you are doing it right. Everyone who comes should have a good time.
We will be “supplying” musicians, callers and a critical mass of experienced dancers. We will put together the wood dance floor, the stages, the lights and the sound system and a 30 foot by 60 foot dance tent (no interior poles).