|September 17th, 2013|
- In contra dance anyone can dance either role.
- The current role names suggest men should dance one role and women should dance the other.
- To many dancers the traditionally male and female roles have a substantial lead/follow dynamic, while to others there is no or minimal role-based lead/follow.
- Calling the roles "lady" and "gent" doesn't work for some dancers, and continues a pattern of men telling women what to do.
- Calling the roles "lead" and follow" doesn't work for other dancers, and pushes contra toward becoming a full lead/follow dance.
- The terms "port" and "starboard" have emerged as a clear favorite over many discussions.
- I've made up a set of my dance cards to use port/starboard (pdf).
- When I'm booked to call dances I'll ask if it's ok for me to call this style.
Update 2015-02-27: If I were writing this now I would say jet/ruby or maybe lark/raven. The discussion's still going. Saying port/starboard was a clear favorite was probably wrong at the time, or at least only reflected a consensus among a small group of dancers who had been talking a lot amongst each other.