With the ringing in of the New Year it is once again time for G.A.L.A. to launch their Contra Dance Series, an exciting and fun way to begin 2013. G.A.L.A. will be hosting a series of dances at the Ossipee Town Hall Gymnasium every 4th Saturday from the months of January through April. The first in the series of contra dances will be held on January 26 at 7pm. The band that will be providing the lively and energetic music for the night is Beverly Woods and Zythyra. The night is sure to be one to remember, with the community coming together to share in this New England tradition of dancing and fun.
If you have never been to a contra dance, or have, and are curious about its origins look no further! Contra dance refers to partnered folk dance styles, where couples dance in two facing lines. Contra dance is a hybrid of English country dances and French court dances. At the end of the 17th century, French dancers began to incorporate the English country dances with steps from their own court dances and in turn called these dances contra-dance, or contredanse. Many of the moves called out during the dance originate from the French terminology.
The contra dance was very popular throughout America from the 1700’s well into the 1800’s, but with the arrival of the square dance, waltz, swing, and other forms of dance it’s popularity was mostly confined to rural areas. It is interesting to note that before the contra dance’s revival it was not known to be called a night of “Contra Dancing.” Rather it had other names such as: Barn Dance, Kitchen Junket, Old Timers Ball, and The Dance. These dances were held in church halls, grange halls, town halls, barns, and even places like kitchens and living rooms. There was a time in New England when contra dances were so popular that one band might be booked 6 nights in a single week!
The Ossipee Town Hall is located at 55 Main Street in Center Ossipee. The dance will run from 7-10pm. Ticket prices are $7 adults, $5 students, and $3 for youth 14yrs and under. Refreshments and snacks will also be available. All ages and levels of experience welcome! We really hope you will come out and join us for a night of fun!
Complete list of Contra Dance dates and band list:
January 26 @ 7pm: Beverly Woods and Zythyra
February 23 @ 7pm: Puckerbrush
March 30 @ 7pm: Briar Hill
April 27 @ 7pm: The Fiddling Thompsons