April 2018

April (snow) showers bring Contra Dancers!

When: Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15 pm
Where: 
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1st Street N.W.
Callers: 
Steven Méthot and Leslie Gotfrit
Admission: 
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday, May 5, 7:30 pm

The calendar says that it is spring, even if we might not believe it.  Come and dance to celebrate the change of the season.

Medley Mania

Last month’s (very enjoyable) dance featured a medley. A Contra medley is when two or more dances are combined into one set.  The first dance is taught and then once things get going, at some point in the dance the prompter changes one or more figures of the dance to “morph” it into another dance.

This was so much fun that we’ll do it again this dance.  Do not be afraid, the dances are all simple and the changes will be easy to adapt to and adopt!

This Month’s Videos

This month we present two short videos that will give you different perspectives on the same dance.  The dance is “Sunset Limited” and it is a beautiful flowing dance by Rick Mohr.  In the first video [it can’t be embedded, so you have to click] we see it danced in Denmark to the music of an energetic local band.  In the second edited video [see below] we see it called to the music of the Canadian band “Crowfoot”.  If you think that one was danced to faster music than the other you may be surprised to learn that the beats are the same.

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March 2018

Our March dance is in February!

When: Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15 pm
Where: 
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1st Street N.W.
Callers: 
Steven Méthot and Annette Le Faive
Admission: 
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday, April 7, 7:30 pm

We usually hold our dances on the first Saturday of the month, but for March that date is taken by another group.  We decided to hold the dance a week early, and our March dance is in February.  Confused?  Don’t be.  Come on out and dance and the date won’t matter.   PS.  It’s close to Natalie’s birthday and Steven’s going to write a dance for her.  Don’t tell her.

This Month’s Video

This simple dance will have a bit of a twist.  It flows so nicely that we thought it would be a good idea to let it flow into another dance as part of a medley.  You’ll get two dances for the price of one!

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February 2018

When: Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15 pm
Where: 
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1 st Street N.W.
Callers: 
Steven Méthot and James Presscott
Admission: 
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday, February 24, 7:30 pm

A word about our schedule of dances

We usually hold our dances on the first Saturday of the month, but for March that date is taken by another group.  We decided to hold the dance a week early, and our March dance is in February.  Confused?  Don’t be.  Come on out and dance and the date won’t matter.   PS.  It’s close to Natalie’s birthday and Steven’s going to write a dance for her.  Don’t tell her.

Community Dance Lessons in Olds

Alvin Nelson is hosting a series of lessons on basic dance steps, waltz, two-step, foxtrot, cha-cha and jive.  Each dance  event includes 40 minutes each of the Basic Rhythms above, dances with 3 or more people (Trios, Contras, Quadrilles, Squares, and Circles), and cued or freestyle Round Dances (7 step, Heel Toe Polka, a variety of mixers, and choreographed ballroom).  Tuesdays at the Evergreen hall from 1:30 – 3:30 pm for just $5.00  No partner needed, all are welcome.

This Month’s Video

This is a nice flowing dance that Steven will be prompting.  It is called “Groundhog Daze”, and we figure that it’s a seasonal enough offering to be enjoyed this time around.

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New Year’s Eve 2017

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, there’s always Contra!

When: Sunday, December 31, 8:00 pm [note later start time]; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:45 pm
Where: 
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1 st Street N.W.
Callers: 
Steven Méthot and Michael Pollock
Musicians: A delightful group led by Kelly Guenter and Dave Settles
Admission: 
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday, February 3, 7:30 pm

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, there’s always Contra!

You well may be asking, “What’s so special about New Year’s Eve?” Well I could go into a long description about the sidereal year and the path of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, but I think you would rather know about our evening. Here’s what makes our New Year’s Celebration special, in no particular order:

  1. The dance! The evening is structured around our Contra Dance in more or less the usual set up, 3 sets of dancing with breaks in between for dancers to catch their breaths, chat and mingle, share resolutions made and broken. We will be calling some of our all-time favourites.
  2. The food! We ask people to bring finger food, hors d’oeuvres, munchies, treats and trifles (nothing that requires plates and forks) and to resist the temptation to nibble on them until after we are done dancing, unless you bring enough! The evening can be a bit hectic, so we encourage everyone to label any bowls or serving utensils. After 11:00 we will clear the decks and tuck in! We do not have a liquor license and so we ask that you help us keep this a dry evening.
  3. Auld Lang Syne! We count down the old year and bring in the new with a song and a kiss and best wishes all around. After some more chatting and hobnobbing we can be on the roads before the crazies come out, and if you’re young at heart you can continue your celebrations knowing that you’ve already had a fine time dancing.
  4. 50/50 Draw! We are a non-profit organization, and we are (sadly) habitually in the red. To help cover the deficit in our finances we are holding a 50/50 draw at the dance. $2 a ticket gives you a chance to take home half of the pot. The other half goes to ensure that we can continue holding these dances.
  5. You! It wouldn’t be the same without your presence. Come celebrate with us as we mark another passing of our world’s dance around the Sun.

We do not have access to the dishes of the church, nor to the dishwashers, and so we ask you to be mindful of that as you prepare your dishes. As always, we encourage you to bring your own mugs and/or water bottles.

We will not be gathering up any “lost and found” items as we have no way of knowing if the item belongs to someone from the church. Items left behind will remain at the church. So be like Santa and make a list!

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December 2017

Dancing through the snow?

When: Saturday, December 2, 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15 pm
Where: 
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1 st Street N.W.
Callers: 
Steven Méthot and Annette Lefaive
Admission: 
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Sunday, December 31, 8:00 pm (New Year’s Eve – see details below).

This Month’s Video

I know that I have shared this one before, but it’s a good one and it happens to be of a dance that Steven will be prompting this week.  No, there won’t be any “Busby Berkley” camera angles from the ceiling, but we just might raise the rafters.

Crowfoot in Tacoma from Doug Plummer on Vimeo.

December Events

Chautauqua: The Other Sounds of Christmas.
An annual benefit for the Food Bank. An evening of music, storytelling, dance, mummery – a non-traditional traditional Christmas.
Saturday December 9, 7:30 pm, Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 1 St NW
Individuals $10, Families $25. NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR. Contact Natalie to reserve your tickets.

A Christmas Carol 
Charles Dickens told his story over 100 times in a series of soirees. Join Calgary storyteller Steven Méthot in a recreation of one of these performances. Music by Natalie Manzer, Michael Pollock and Karen Pollock.
December 5th  and 17th 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30) – Time to be confirmed. The Lougheed House, 707 13 Ave SW, Calgary
Visit the Lougheed House website for information on how to reserve tickets.

New Year’s Eve Contra Dance
December 31st at 8:00 pm, Unitarian Church of Calgary,
Admission is $12 at the door. No need to have a partner.
Bring finger food for sharing after the dance.  We’ll mingle and celebrate the turning of the year together.
NOTE:  Drug and alcohol free.

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