Frequently Asked Questions
Contra Dancing FAQ:
What is contra
super fun but really hard to describe: check out this video, then come
to our dance and give it a try! Beginners are always welcome at our
I've never contra
What should I bring
What other contra
dances are there
in the area?
- Wear comfortable
clothing and be
prepared to sweat
some; it's a good idea to bring an extra shirt, especially in the
a clean pair of shoes to change into, in order to protect the floor.
Many dancers prefer suede or leather soles, but sneakers are fine --
you don't need anything special, just avoid tracking in grit from
- A reusable water
bottle – we’ll
available, but help us cut down on the number of disposable cups we go
What does BIDA
How do you pronounce "BIDA," anyway?
Where is your dance and how can I get
accessible by public transportation! Most of our dances are held at the
Cambridge Masonic Hall, 1950 Mass Ave, which is less than a block from
the Porter Square stop on the Red Line. For other public transit
options (including commuter rail and bus schedules), check out www.mbta.com
or Google Maps transit directions
. If you
prefer to drive, on-street parking is free on Sundays, with no permit
Whaddaya mean, "intergenerational?"
want to encourage everyone to socialize and dance with
different generations, in order to share their enthusiasm and
experience, and to have fun! We think our dance community will benefit
from breaking down barriers that seem to exist between generations.
You have all these goals: how do you make them
We hold a variety of different events, some of which focus on certain goals more than others. As a whole, we make sure that all of our events work towards our primary goal of developing community.
Our potlucks and parties allow people to socialize informally, and we encourage people to wear nametags at our events. We post etiquette and dance style posters encouraging everyone to think about how they can improve their own dancing and raise the dancing level of the community, and we also ask our callers to give style and dance-improvement tips from the mic. Our mentoring program cultivates opportunities for experienced performers to share their knowledge with newcomers, which also strengthens everyone's ties to the community.
How can I get
involved in BIDA?
for asking! We'd love to have you get involved. There are lots of
opportunities available for dancers, musicians,
callers, and organizers, whatever level of experience or
interest you might have. Check out our "Get
How can I start
something like this in my area?
figure out what your goals are, and how a
new dance organization can benefit your community. Then, check out the
amazing "starter kit
" resources provided by the
Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS
These kits cover all sorts of dance-related
topics, and the section on organizing community dances
is especially helpful if you want to start an organization like BIDA.
And feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be happy to share any experience or ideas that we have, and we are always interested in learning about what other groups are doing.