January 25th, 2009

HarvestBall

A most incredible celebratory Dance yesterday

In the fall of 1988 Chris Ricciotti called a Gender-role-free Contra dance in Jamaica Plain which turned into a regular twice a month series; this year is the 20th anniversary season and yesterday was the celebratory dance to mark the anniversary. I don't know the official numbers but there were 60-80 people at the afternoon dance - not all at once, close to 100 people at the potluck supper (the hall was full of every table we could find), and ~120 people at the evening dance (not all dancing).

It was incredible day with the jammed hall and so many people having a great time. The hall was decorated with crepe paper hanging from an array of helium balloons in the center and taped to the outside wall (design by homorphus). The food was great; at supper I filled my plate with little bits of ~20 delicious things and there was more that I didn't have room for.

We had three different bands and six callers and there was a lot of high energy dancing. As is usual these days we had quite a few new people some of whom had never contra danced before but our group is incredibly welcoming and helpful and people got into it pretty easily.

After supper a few people reminisced about their experiences in this group and we saw a video of a 1991 dance. What is pretty amazing to think is that in addition to this dance series, spawned off from Chris's vision and energy are the two LCFD dance camps each year (20th anniversary in the fall), gender-role free dance series in NYC, GlenCove (LI), Montague (MA), SanFrancisco/Oakland, and Atlanta; and the West coast group is running their second annual dance camp this April.

Info about all these dance series and camps can be found on the LCFD web site.