Circle Left Circle Right




Work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner on the dance floor. Peeling potatoes, making pumpkin pie, sharpening the carving knife -- if you're hosting the Turkey Day dinner, that's what you'll be doing the night before. But if you're not in charge this year, put on your dancing shoes and head to the Peterborough Town Hall -- the Monadnock Folklore Society is holding its 24th annual Thanksgiving Eve contra dance from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. It's a good way to work up an appetite and make some room, poundage-wise, for all the goodies the next day. "It's three hours of fairly aerobic activity," says Rich Hart of N.H. Dances, which coordinates information about contra, country, square and barn dancing. "I guess it's just about as good as running." If it seems like an odd time to throw a contra dance, it's not. Hundreds of people show up. There's even one on Christmas Day at the Nelson Town Hall. "That started one year because Christmas fell on a Monday when the regular dance was scheduled," says Hart, an Amherst resident. "Now it's every Christmas and it's better attended than most winter dances." If you've never done contra dancing, fear not. It's easy, says Hart: "If someone goes to dance, they can join right in. In a week or two, they'll know as much as anybody." Hart says contra dancing is similar to square dancing (you'll hear "circle right," "dos-si-dos your partner" and "alamande left") but the dancing (mostly jigs and reels played by fiddle and piano) is not done in a square. It starts with partners facing one another in two long lines and shifts into circles with two couples who dance together for 64 beats and then move on to another couple. There are variations on that pattern as well. Contra dancing has long-ago roots in English country dancing, but Hart says early on it mixed with French-Canadian music and then, in the 19th century, with Irish music and, more recently, with American music like blues and rock. Dress for contra dancing is casual, but women often wear long skirts. Soft-soled shoes will preserve the floor.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. A walkable weekend in the town of Littleton
    Littleton is regularly praised as one of America’s best Main Streets, and we wondered if we...
  2. Littleton's Schilling Beer Co.
    Tradition meets modern science in the White Mountains at Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton.
  3. The best new chef-owned restaurants
    Check out Cure in Portsmouth and DRAE in Derry, NH for a great dining experience.
  4. Holiday Decorating Ideas
    Deck the halls! Easy seasonal ideas for holiday decorations you can use in your home.
  5. The Power of Platelets
    Platelet-rich plasma therapy can remedy tough-to-treat injuries
  6. 2014 It List
    These influential Granite Staters represent the arts, philanthropy, business, the local food...
  7. Our favorite cafés in New Hampshire
    Coffee shops build communities with a warm welcome and a creative jolt. Here’s the “crema”...
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags