After you’ve finished voting and the ink on your thumb is dry, do-si-do with your partner to the Big Yellow Merville Hall on Saturday for the last Contra dance of the season.
Slip on your fancy dancing shoes and join in with the other dancers forming those long contra lines up and down the hardwood floor. The merry Funtime Fiddlers will play medleys of tunes while June Cannon calls the moves.
Contra dancing is a style of folk dance in which the dancers form a set of two parallel lines which run the length of the hall.
Many of the basic moves in Contra dancing are similar to those in square dancing (swings, promenades, dos-à-dos, allemandes). The difference is that the dancers progress up or down the line eventually dancing with every other couple in the line.
Each dance is taught by the caller before it is danced, with the caller prompting the dancers as needed. Contra dances are very easy to learn because the pattern of moves of each Contra dance is repeated often. Contra dancers form a community of friendly, active people and they welcome new dancers of all ages.
Of course, the fiddlers will have other dance style between the Contras. You’ll be able to waltz, jig, two-step and polka or wander over to the canteen for a little refreshment. It’s an old style Saturday night with a modern twist.
There will be a Contra workshop right before the dance. From 6:45 to 7:15 p.m., June will introduce the dancers to new moves as well as teach the basic moves. This workshop is free of charge.
At 7:30, the Funtime Fiddlers start the music and the dancing begins. Single dancers are definitely welcome as they can pair up with anyone during the Contras and our Contra sets last about 15 to 20 minutes per dance.
With subdued lighting and cunningly arranged tables, the fiddle club creates a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
So, cast your ballot this Saturday in favour of dancing at the Big Yellow Merville Dance Hall, right on the Old Island Highway, between Campbell River and Courtenay.
The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth and you can come as a family for $22. The free workshop starts at 6:45.
For more information, call 250-339-4249.
— Merville Hall