Dancing in Delafield!

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This past weekend, a lucky seven of us drove up North to Delafield for our first dance of the Spring Semester. The pre-dance pot luck was delicious and gave us great fuel for four hours of dancing! A Rare Privilege, formerly known as The Ladies of the Lake provided the tunes. We’re excited that they’ll be playing at our next dance here in Beloit on February 21st.  1530401_10153079655800350_4292187086440212030_n 10409177_10153079620690350_2699212279945852945_n 10675554_10153079646320350_1128883026209018679_n 10897747_10153079654430350_8757586857291475663_n 10956216_10153079619810350_2823355438506969805_n 10959564_10153079653025350_4776320985217048301_n 10959658_10153079625785350_6274691569705405848_n 10959661_10153079646610350_8239825590233315439_n 10959733_10153079625390350_5229774557198326551_n 10968345_10153079657045350_7454789699990299745_n 10988527_10153079631390350_8889845711332281593_n contra

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Rounding out the School Year with the Turtle Stomp

This year was definitely a great one! We had indoor dances, outdoor dances, and a trip to Folklore Village in the fall. Last week, we had the Second Annual Beloit College Turtle Stomp on Chapid Quad. The Briar Pickers with Trent Cuthbert came up from Madison to play tunes and our caller Dot Kent kept everyone moving and grooving. Prior to the event, Taste of Beloit, an RA project, brought in samples from different local restaurants to fuel Beloiters up for dancing. During a dancing break, we announced the limited edition of Beloit Contra Club t-shirts (organic cotton–oh my) which cause a bit of a stampede. If you were fast enough, they are beautiful and designed by Grace and you should wear them everywhere. If you didn’t get one, there are more to come next year!

**Lovely photos by Grace

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Oh Beloit! See y’all next year to continue the contra craze 🙂

Our Trip to U Chicago’s Contra Dance Weekend

Last Saturday a group of nine Beloit College students went to the University of Chicago’s 7th Annual Contra Dance Weekend. We attended the second night of dancing for the festival which featured live music from the groups Nor’easter and Money Creek Boys with calling by Will Mentor and Roger Diggle.

After zipping down to Chicago in one of Beloit’s white mega-vans, we had a little bit of time to check out our surroundings before the dancing started. Believe it or not, Beloiters arrived somewhere early! The day was cloudy and, by default, windy as we explored the gothic-style architecture of the campus. Ida Noyes Hall, where the dance was to take place, felt like a warm colonial dance hall complete with chandeliers and huge arching windows.

The afternoon session included some more complicated contra figures, but we took it slow and soon got into the rhythm of the dance after a week of classes. During these slower and more instructive hours leading up to the night dance, we learned the proper arm arrangement when swinging, discovered the allure of being a contra gypsie, and how to shamelessly ask someone to dance. The two hours of dancing went by in a flash and we dispersed into Hyde Park to scrounge up sustinance for the night ahead.

At 7pm it was time for the real whirl of fun to begin. You could feel the energy building as more people crowded into the small–by then glowing–hall and the moon rose. The first of many sets (at least four or five) began with a fast tempo and twirling skirts. There was even one dance that felt like the robot with eight people moving in a rotating square pattern. One dancer on the sideline described contra to us as “controlled chaos.” So accurate. It was only after the final waltz when we sat down in the chairs at the sides that we realized how much our feet hurt. Peanut butter and jelly in the van on the way back at one in the morning never tasted so good.

The festival definitely gave our group good practice for our dance next weekend here at Beloit.