Even non-dancers enjoy an old-style Contra Dance

    Originally conceived as a way to entertain the 200-300 people invited to offer their authentically recreated Civil War battles, the Saturday night Contra Dance has proved popular with event visitors also.  

   Celia Ramsay, one of the most popular Contra callers in northern California, will front the Cobb Stompers Mountain Stringband again this year.

    A voluntary donation of at least $5 is suggested to help compensate the band.

    Contra dancing may be “as old as the hills.”

    Forerunner of square dances, line dances and barn dances, it was first formalized from country dances in Britain in the 1600s.

    

     The secret to enjoying Contra is simply to relax enough to let your body feel the rhythm and then move.

    A dance typically starts with two lines of participants facing each other. In response to the caller’s instructions the dancers pair off and follow her directions, perhaps forward, back, left, right, twirl … the caller’s creativity and alertness to her audience determines the moves.    

This year's Contra Dance at the Mansion will be an outdoor dance, a good old-fashioned tradition. 

       Beginners are coddled by the caller and by seasoned dancers, all eager to help everyone enjoy this healthy, easy recreation.

    Partnering morphs with differing dances as part of the process; it’s a great way to meet new friends — that you may forget tomorrow or stay in touch with for a lifetime.

   

process; it’s a great way to meet new friends — that you may forget tomorrow or stay in touch with for a lifetime.Contra is especially family-friendly.

     We'll hope to see you there.

 

Organizers have also noted that anyone who offers to hang around

a bit after the dance to help clean up will be truly appreciated.