Next Dancing to a Waltz Jam is Oct 3rd 2008 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Bethel Grove - that is this Friday Oct 3rd, 2008 at Bethel Grove Community Center Ithaca NY. NEW Facebook Contra and Square Dance group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=31552309563
I’ve discovered that many of the dancers are not on the musicians list-serves, so please pass the word to your dance friends. If anyone wants to join my email list, please send me a hello and I’ll set you up: I send out a lot of emails about music and jams and dances (about one per day, sometimes more, sometimes less) and there is a digest mode available in addition to this RSS feed.
The band is and open waltz band — anyone can play, however there will be no electricity because we are in the center of the dance hall and thus no extention cords! Acoustic (or battery power?) only. We play waltzes mostly from the “Waltz Books” I have extra copies available, so email me if interested. I will bring some extra copies for sale to the waltz jams. There are 3 books now — they are all great, we will play mostly from the first one.
This waltz event is FREE and was organized for fun - the musicians are random volunteers who play for the fun of it and there is no charge for the waltzing (although donations are accepted to cover cost of renting the building). This “dancing to a waltz jam” is preceding a regular contra dance event that happens every Friday at Bethel Grove Community Center in Ithaca NY. There is a $6- fee for the regular dance which starts at 8:00 — a very reasonable fee and contra dancing is a ton of fun. There are really excellent professional musicians playing every Friday at Bethel Grove — so come dance. Come early and jam or waltz, then just contra dance! Waltz musicians I hope will stay and pay and dance. Thanks to Ted Crane for organizing. Thanks to all the musicians and dancers who have made the open waltz jams of the past a success.
“Wow! As a musician, it is really an incredible musical experience to sit in a jam circle with your new and old music friends in the middle of a dance hall and be surrounded by your group’s pure acoustic sound and simultaneously have dozens of dancers swirling around you. I’ve never experience anything quite like it. I hope the dancers had as much fun as the musicians! I really thought it was a successful experiment!” - from the first ever public Waltz Jam January 2007
Contra Dancing is very popular in Ithaca NY and attracts a broad audience. It is sometimes a mystery to beginners though. Here is an excerpt from a nice article about contra dancing from an Ontario web author:
“As webmaster of the Hamilton Country Dancers’ site, I sometimes receive enquiries from people asking for instructional books or videos about contradance. They would feel more comfortable about coming out to a contra, they say, if they knew a bit more about the conventions involved and what to expect once they arrive. I know there are contradance books out there (although I haven’t read any yet) and I’ve heard that there are even contradance videos available (don’t ask me where) but instead of having to refer people to other sources, I thought it would be useful to make some of that information available right here. We already had a Contradance Primer online which describes contradancing in general terms. Some people, however, are looking for more detail. That’s the purpose of these notes: to define some fundamental terminology, illustrate and explain the basic formations, provide some insight into a few contradance social conventions and then describe the dozen or so figures which make up the major part of most contras.”
SOURCE ARTICLE HERE http://www.hwcn.org/link/jig/contraculture.htm