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Contra Ceilidh Dance with Stringrays and caller Will Mentor; from USA.

Contra dance is rather like English barn dancing. You'll recognise a lot of the terms, like stars, circles and ladies chains. But it's faster and more energetic, and there's more happening.
Historically contra started in England a good while ago, and went to America with the colonists. When it came back in the 1950's it was much more fun.

Every dance is explained first. While you dance the caller will keep calling until people have the idea and will then shut up and let you dance. So you don't have to learn dances and practice them with a partner, you can just turn up, on your own or with someone else, and start dancing.
Normally people change partners after each dance, so you end up dancing with lots of different people. And the live music keeps the excitement up.
Dances start in two long lines, usually everyone facing their partner. Each couple interacts with another couple, forming tight patterns, often with all the dancers moving at the same time. Each time through the figures of the dance the couples change places, moving up or down the line to dance with a different couple. So you get to dance with lots of different people as well as your partner.

Stringrays, who last played for us in May 2018 is an inimitable trio of musicians with a shared interest in exploring great fiddle tunes. Their playing is fueled by a love of the living tradition of New England fiddle music and its cousins. Expect dynamic, lyrical improvisation and fresh, dance-inspired interplay. They are Audrey Knuth (fiddle), Max Newman (guitar) and Stuart Kenney (bass and banjo).
Will Mentor is a contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence. He loves to choreograph evenings with a variety of dances and tempos that at times surprise and always delight, all the while keeping intact his guiding principle as a caller: “It’s about the dancers!”
7.30 - 11.00 pm
£10 admission, reduction for students and children.
St Chads Hall, Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS16 5JT
Sat 21 May
Contact telephone: 07989618550 Call to check latest times or cancellations.
More about Leeds Contra Dance
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