Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fayetteville, Arkansas July Contra Dance

"Allemande right!"..."Ladies chain!"

Joyous hoots and yells fill up the emptiness that is the remote downstairs of Trinity United
Methodist Church.


The clattering racket emitted by feet in time reveal bodies obedient solely to a fiddle tune and the caller.

"One's down the line!"

Stomping and clapping to the beat, rhythm bleeds into gay faces to tickle hedonistic ears.

"Last time!"

Curly holds the last note of the tune an extra beat signifying the end of the dance. Sporadic untimely yet profound appreciation
is awarded the musicians as laughter and clapping erupt high into the air. Indeed, it is the monthly contra dance in the hills of northwest Arkansas!

Each month, tens of people come together to enjoy one another's company, wonderful old time music, and delightful dancing. Though not large in number, the community of dancers is always thrilled to partake in the festivities of the evening. Ladies wear large dresses that splay out filling the night with brilliant colors and designs throughout t
he evening. It seems no one is short of smiles as the music brings everyone pleasantly together.

The Old 78's usually provide the music. Performing frequently at prestigious festivals such as Doc Watson's Merlefest and at Winfield, KS where the National Flatpick Championships are held each year, Curly and Carol Anne provide some of the best and most unique old time music anywhere! Not bad for an Arkansas fiddler!

When the French took up the English country dance, it was called contradanse. They hardly knew the term would be adopted by Americans as it traversed the Atlantic. Contra dance as we call it today is a form of dancing that takes place all over the world. Usually forming two lines, partnered dancers move up and down the line dancing with
another couple until the music stops. Every third Saturday of the month, Trinity United Methodist Church opens its dance floor to anyone willing to get out and give it a try! Dances are always taught before they are performed. Mark your calendar and join us next month!

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