|October 20th, 2017|
I've been hearing people saying there are fewer contra dance weekends than there were, with several long-time weekends recently coming to the end of their run. I've been tracking dance weekends for the past few years, so I thought I'd just look at what I'd seen there.
There are a few problems with just comparing the list of dance weekends one year with the list the next:
- It's hard to tell the difference between incomplete data and a real change: did this weekend start in 2016, or is that just the first year I had heard about it?
- Events sometimes change their names, and if you don't account for this you'll think there's more year-to-year change than their really is. 
- Events sometimes skip a year, often due to organizational issues. 
So, making good use of the Wayback Machine, here's what I see:
- Endings (final year)
- Beginnings (initial year)
(I'm probably missing some, so let me know if you have information I don't!)
There are ~135 of these events in total, and this is
six seven ending and five four
starting over the course of ~4 years. This doesn't seem like a large
change to me?
 It can be hard to tell when these are name changes vs the same dance community ending one weekend and starting a new one in its place. For example, I'm pretty sure Gypsy Moon Ball → Hoosier Partner for 2017 is just a name change, while Butterfly Whirl and Catapult trading off is two very different sorts of dance weekends. I think Cville Fall Festival → Dancing Leaves (2017) and Kimmswick → Meet Me in St Louis (2016) may have been about location changes? Summer CDH isn't the same as the shorter events it replaced (ContraBlossom: Appalachian Spring / Cool Mountain Contra / Mountain Color Contra / etc) but I think they filled a similar role?
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