Contra dancing returns to the Central Peninsula

Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Old friends who hadn't seen each other for years, singles, couples, families, and community members of all ages and backgrounds filled the K-Beach Elementary School gymnasium last week for the Contra Dancing season kick-off.

It may have been the largest Contra event yet to be held on the Peninsula, according to some who attend the dances regularly. Contra dancing first started on the Central Peninsula in 1998 and is now in its fifth season. Founded locally by Heidi Chay and members of the Kenai River Folk Dancers, the roots of Contra dancing go back to barn and country-dances brought to America by early settlers. No experience is necessary and you are guaranteed to meet and dance with a new friend before the evening is finished.


Over 100 dancers lined up and circled their partners at the season kick-off of Contra dancing at K-Beach Elementary school.

"It recaptures the tradition of Americans coming together, having fun, meeting new people and gaining a sense of unity that I have only read about in books, but never personally experienced anywhere else, even though I've lived in Alaska most of my life along with my two left feet," commented one dancer lining up for the next call.

The Kenai River Folk Dancers sponsor monthly Contra Dances that feature potluck and home made goodies that keep the energy flowing and the feet tapping. The next event is scheduled for October 19th at K-Beach Elementary School on E. Poppy Lane, at 7:00pm. The fall schedule continues November 16th, and December 14th, for further information call 283-9227.

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