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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Dancers move and groove to contra band

On Nov. 19 dancers of all ages avoided the evening chill by sweating on the Dana Auditorium stage during Fancy Feet’s final contra dance of the semester.

“Contra dancing is a great, community-building way to meet new people,” said first-year Lucas Blanchard-Glueckert. “It’s just fun.”

Fancy Feet’s contra dances always draw a crowd, but on Nov. 19 the dancers filled the stage. Junior and Fancy Feet Secretary Elizabeth Fisher commented on the success of Fancy Feet this semester. Fisher said that a lot of students and other Greensboro residents come out to the dances.

“This is a really good turnout, especially with Guilford students,” said junior Anne Rappe. “There are a lot of Guilford students and even outsiders — it’s a really great mix. It’s nice to have this turnout with Guilford students.”

Though a few people sat in the seats and watched the festivities, caller Diane Silver energized the event, encouraging everyone to get involved.

“To all you people out there in the audience, I’m just going to keep on plugging this,” Silver said. “It’s way more fun to do it than to watch it.”

Silver’s skill excited the crowd.

“She’s a fantastic caller,” said Rappe. “I’ve had callers that don’t explain things very well, but she’s one of the better ones. She only needs to go through the dances once and you’ve got it, and you don’t have to be good (at dancing) to have fun.”

Enjoyment of the dance was widespread among attendees. Even the rare complaint was mentioned in good humor.

“The music is really good, and it’s a pretty decent number of people for the stage,” said sophomore Jonathan Yatsky. “But I wish they had a longer tutorial. Then again, that might just be because I got here late. It’s a good turnout, anyway.”

No matter what time people wandered in, virtually everyone in the house could not resist getting on stage as soon as possible. The sounds of Perpetual e-Motion kept people moving through the night.

“I’m really glad we got this band because they use solar-powered equipment,” Fisher said. “It’s really cool and very conscientious.”

Dancers loved the band. Perpetual e-Motion impressed and engaged the crowd with a mixture of sonic grooves and bluegrass tunes. Hearing such grand sounds come from just two musicians was awe-inspiring.

“Perpetual e-Motion is the best contra-dancing band I’ve ever danced to,” said first-year Sarah Mehta. “They’re really unique, and the fiddle was amazing.”

Blanchard-Glueckert followed the band throughout the week, even giving up a chance to see the new Harry Potter movie at midnight to go to a contra dance in Asheville.

“I’ve gone to see them twice this week,” Blanchard-Glueckert said. “I’m seeing them tonight and tomorrow. They are — how do you say? — awesome.”

Perpetual e-Motion easily kept the stage alive with music, throwing in a few curveballs to keep dancers on their toes.

“The didgeridoo was awesome,” Fisher said. “I’ve never danced to a song with a didgeridoo before.”

Alas, before long, the band ceased playing. The dance was done. Dancers left with sore feet, the smell of sweat in their nostrils, and shining grins on their faces. The attendees’ excitement was not diminished by the inevitable wait for the next big dance.

“Contra dancing is a safe, healthy way to have fun that doesn’t involved alcohol or drugs,” Mehta said. “And it’s 20 billion times more fun.”

If you can walk, you can contra dance. Keep on the lookout next semester for your chance to wear yourself out.

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