Sunday, February 10, 2008

contra indications

YaBRRRR! It's -12 degrees here today, on the way to a high of 0. I am NOT going out, not even to the gym or the cat food store.

I don't really need to hit the gym today. Last night my friend Lisa persuaded me to go contra dancing with her, and it was a dandy aerobic workout. Also a lot of fun. Contra dancing is folk dancing, and it's "called" dancing — a guy like a square-dance caller tells the dancers what figures to do, and they execute them. We did the swing, which is basically spinning in circles with your partner, so much that I was still a little off balance when I got home.

We went early so I could attend the lesson for newcomers, which made participating in the actual dances easy and fun. We shook our folk groove thangs from 7:30 until about 10:30, so I consider that a worthy workout. And for once I wasn't the only one sweating. Several people changed their shirts during the evening's revels.

Fun fact #1: And speaking of clothing, many women who contra dance wear dresses or skirts that flare wonderfully during the swing and other numerous twirls. But why should the chicks have all the fun? A couple young men showed up in skirts, too, one wearing his over sweat pants and one over kilt-worthy knee-highs or hose.

Fun fact #2: The guy playing accordion and about four other instruments in the live band was Bob Walser, owner of a string of Twin Cities car dealerships. He chatted with Lisa and some of her many acquaintances during the break. Nice guy.

Small-world moment: I bumped into Joan, a coworker from the U, as we lined up for the first dance. I had no idea she did this sort of thing. I had a dance later with her gentleman friend, and he was very smooth.

Lisa had said there would be some eligible bachelors there to flirt with, but the only men I danced with reminded me either of the sea captain from "The Simpsons" or the dad from "Family Ties." They were sweet ol' gents and very generous to me as a newbie partner, but definitely not my dating type. *Sigh.* Maybe I should go back for swing dance night on Thursday.



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