Let the square dancers have their crinolines and sequins, the contra dancers at Central United Methodist Church were a wonderfully colorful group. From the man who danced barefoot, to the young woman with blue hair and the woman with the hypnotic black-and-white skirt, people of all ages twirled and swirled their way across the floor in ever-changing patterns dictated by caller Mike Clark and the Scarlet Runner String Band.
Ten Pound Fiddle organizes the dances roughly once a month, mostly at the church but occasionally at other venues such as the Hannah Center in East Lansing. The Ten Pound Fiddle website offers an article by Julie Weston-Levy that explains that the dance form dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
Newcomers are welcomed warmly. Beginners are encouraged to come a half-hour early for a quick lesson so that they can literally get up to speed. And, as Maria Danielle Casinelli tells us in the video, contra dancing just makes you smile.