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Contra Dancing

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Dozens of people packed the City of Pinellas Park Auditorium recently to listen to the funk-infused Celtic, Irish, bluegrass sounds of Perpetual e-Motion from Maine while contra dancing the night away. Contra dancing is similar to square dancing, but is less formal with a family atmosphere. Instead of dancing in squares, dancers form a set of two parallel lines that run the length of the hall. In each dance, couples dance a sequence of moves that take them up or down the set. As the sequence is repeated, a couple will eventually dance with every other couple in the set.

"A lot of the moves are similar (to square dancing)," said Friday night's guest caller Diane Silver of Asheville, North Carolina. "Picture your dos-a-dos and swing your partner... then put with it the hot driving music of something like Riverdance, and then plop the whole thing in the middle of Woodstock."

The next Tampa Bay Area Contra Dance will be held Saturday March 13 at the City of Pinellas Park Auditorium, 7690 59th St. N. at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $8. Music will be by the Avant Gardeners of Charlottesville, VA, and the caller will be Joey Norton. For more info, go to: www.tampabaycontra.com

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