• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • You Should Try Contra Dance

    November 9th, 2013
    contra, dance  [html]
    Dancing socially can be a lot of fun, but most kinds have really brutal learning curves. With a formalized partner dance such as swing or tango you need to take lessons before you're ready to dance with people at an evening, and then you'll need to take more lessons before you're any good at it. "As a very rough guide a man will take about 3 months to be able to dance [tango], and a year to start dancing semi-competently; a woman will take about half the time." (a tango faq) At the other end, with nominally unstructured dancing like you might find at a club, there are lots of skills but you're expected to pick them up from the dancers around you. While staying original and true to your inner style, of course. Both of these approaches can be frustrating: lessons aren't much fun, but if there aren't lessons how do you learn what to do?

    Contra dance takes a different approach. In an evening you do a many individual dances, and before each one there is a mini-lesson where a caller takes a minute or two and briefly teaches the dance. This is just enough instruction that even people who just walked in off the street can have fun doing it, supported by the experienced dancers. This makes it really easy to get started.

    As you move from a beginner to an intermediate dancer you start to see how that dance as taught is a framework that you can build on and play with. This lets contra be simultaneously approachable and deep enough to hold interest for years. It looks something like this:

    If you're in the US and would like to try contra dancing, I wrote something where you can search for dances near you.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Randal O’Toole Gets High-Speed Rail Wrong

    Now that there’s decent chance of US investment in rail, Randal O’Toole is resurrecting his takes from the early Obama era, warning that high-speed rail is a multi-trillion dollar money sink. It’s not a good analysis, and in particular it gets the reality…

    via Pedestrian Observations May 12, 2021

    Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part II: Red Queens

    This is the second part in a series (I) that examines the historical assumptions behind Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period, Europa Universalis IV (EU4). Last time, we took a look at how EU4 was a game fundame…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry May 7, 2021

    Books and websites on babies

    Several people I know are expecting a first baby soon, and I wrote up notes for one of them. Might as well share here too: Medical:Scott Alexander’s Biodeterminist’s Guide to Parenting is an interesting read, and some parts are actionable.  If you live in…

    via The whole sky April 14, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact