Unique and fun dancing experience offered by Wild Rose Moon

Those interested in Contra Dancing will have the opportunity Friday Jan. 25 at Wild Rose Moon.
Shelby Harrell

Participants in the lobby of Wild Rose Moon at 7 p.m. next Friday will have the opportunity to learn a new style of dance in which individuals will be positioned into opposing lines that will be divided into squares, with couples in attendance taking a brief moment to sit down and trade places once they reach the end of the line.

Executive Director George Schricker, who will be acting as house manager for the evening, tells potentially interested community members that each dance move will be taught by an instructor before being called.

“No one makes mistakes, we help each other and slip-ups are just part of the fun,” said Schricker.

Goshen resident Karen Andrews will be acting as the caller for the evening.

“Karen is a graceful human being who treats everyone with a deep respect and is a blast,” said Schricker.

Contra Dancing is a form of country dancing in which two opposing lines take form with ladies to the right of their partners. The caller then proceeds to teach every individual move within the dance routine without music, until the majority of participants are able to sync with each call, at which point the caller will call all moves while the music begins.

“There are many moves that are similar to the square dance however not everything, such as the swing, is the same,” said Schricker of the inter-age phenomenon that is massively popular across the nation.

“It’s a great social activity and usually quite family friendly and is mostly done in alcohol free environments.”

Almost every state within the union has a venue in which Contra Dancing is taking place including Bloomington, which has hosted an ongoing Contra Dance for multiple years.

Though Friday, Jan. 25, marks the first instance in which Wild Rose Moon will be formally hosting a Contra Dance, the venue’s Assistant Director Marcia Heintzberger has previously taught dance sessions to Jim Yocom’s Earth Day ballad titled Earth Hug Boogie.

“She came up with a bunch of fun moves,” said Schricker. “She’s also presented several dance presentations of her own which have been terrific.”

The evening’s selection of music will consist of traditional folk dance tunes that will be played by musical historians Mark and Lisa Woolever.

According to Schricker, each song has a set pattern that shifts to what are essentially referred to as A and B parts.

“These songs carry patterns in themselves and may have essential folk roots from which we all are sprung,” said Schricker. “To know the old forms is to recognize that they still exist within us, which deepens us to traditions that are at once particular and universal.”

In regards to expectations in attendance, Schricker subscribes to Philosopher and Economist E.F. Schumacher’s belief that ‘small is beautiful.’

“It’s the building of qualitative relationships that matters,” Schricker stated simply before continuing. “As of right now, however, we have about 20 people who are planning on coming thus far and are currently expecting more.”

Put simply, Schricker feels as though Contra is really all about the pure enthusiasm for living in such a joyous community and dancing for nothing more than simply the love of being alive.

“It gets us off our duffs and out from behind our computer screens and into the light of day with each other,” Schricker said. “And we’re building something beautiful by doing so.”