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Contra dances liven up campus with fancy footwork, music

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

By Hilary Dickinson, communications specialist

Contra MusiciansWhere could you find Chemistry Professor Laura Parmentier playing the flute?

Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow Tes Slominski performing on the fiddle?

Chemistry Professor George Lisensky calling out dance steps?

At last weekend’s contra dance.

Held in the Hendricks Center for the Arts, it was attended by 90 people including an array of college students as well as community members from as close as Rockton and Roscoe and from as far away as Milwaukee and Madison.

“The dance went really well,” says Kate Parsons’13, the president and founder of the Beloit College Contra Club. “There’s a large learning curve because everyone is new, but even though it can be confusing and people are twirling around in different directions, the number of smiling faces I see is overwhelming.”

So far this academic year the Beloit College Contra Club has held five contra dances, which are similar to partnered folk dance styles. The club, which became official at the end of last month, is comprised of Parsons, Marlee Breunig’15, Kiara Caruso’15, and Julia Roche’15.

The next contra dance is scheduled for Friday, April 26 on the Chapin Quad. (A time is to be determined.)

“People should come because it’s a unique social event,” Parsons says. “It’s a very different way of having fun on campus, and it’s a true public social event. Those are hard to come by on campus. We get stuck in our groups and doing our own things. If you’re open to it, it will be the most fun night you will ever have.” 

View slideshow from the March 30 event.