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Kick up your heels with the contra club, Saturday night

January 24, 2013

According to Kate Parsons'13, “Contra dancing can be some of the greatest fun you can have, if you let yourself.” That might sound like a tall order, but some 80 dancers turned out at the last Beloit College Contra event, even driving in from Madison and Milwaukee.

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If your curiosity is piqued, you can satisfy it Saturday (Jan. 26) at 7 p.m., when the club hosts its January Contra Dance in the Hendricks Center. The event will feature caller Steve Pike, with live music by The BriarPickers of Madison.

But what is contra dancing? According to the BCC’s Blink profile:

“Though its roots lie in partnered line dances and tradition European folk dance, no partner is necessary and the partnering process is gender-neutral. By the end of the night, everyone has danced with everyone regardless of age, gender, class, race, height, weight, smell, creed, or dang near anything else you could name.”

No experience is necessary, and the only dress code requirement is a pair of clean, soft-soled, non-street shoes—socks or bare feet are fine, and rubber soles are not recommended.

“Try something new and invigorating!” suggests Parsons. “Come on down to Hendricks Center on Saturday! You'll get really warm after your cold walk, we promise.”

To see examples of contra and learn more about the featured musicians and upcoming events, visit the group’s blog at

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