TryContra Events

June 13th, 2023
contra, trycontra
I've been maintaining a spreadsheet of contra dance events for a while. With the end of the Dance Gypsy, and ContraDanceLinks going stale, however, people asked if I could convert this into something more usable. So! Here's trycontra.com/events:

Initially it shows you all the events that it knows about. These are dance weekends, camps, festivals, etc which have a bunch of contra dancing. You can limit to just one state if you want:

If you click the "map" tab at the top you can see where these events are:

Clicking on a marker on the map shows you more about it:

If your screen is wide enough it shows both views at the same time:

One thing that makes this tricky is that events are usually annual, but for a while after an event it's not clear when the next one will be or even if it will happen. I handle these by guessing that there will be another one next year, same month, and showing an empty entry with a question mark:

Note that this doesn't replace the main trycontra.com functionality of listing local dance series. It also has a pretty different audience, and so different design goals: the main site is aimed at people who don't dance (yet!) and is very simple, while this is for people who already contra dance and would like to go to more events.

Right now this only shows the data that I was already collecting in the spreadsheet: name, date, url, location, contra bands, contra callers. Several people have asked for additional data for filtering, including:

  • Covid requirements (especially masking)
  • Event length (day, weekend, week)
  • Role terms
  • Family events
  • Which non-contra dances or performers are included

While I'd be happy to tweak the UI to add them, each bit of information requires collection and maintenance. If someone else wanted to volunteer to take on some amount of collection, however, I could give them edit access to the sheet and they could go do that?

Let me know if you run into any bugs, inaccuracies, or other frustrations!

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