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What is Contradance?: moving this section
How things have changed.
One line would be all of men, and across from them a line of women only, each man across from his partner for that dance.
== What is Contradance? ==
The question draws a [ gammut of answers], and even after years of dancing it remains hard to respond well to. It's not a square dance, though many of the moves are reminiscent of square. It's not a line dance, though a ''set'' consists of two lines. It is more like an intricate, moving knot of dancers, in which you and a partner progress down the dance hall and back again, dancing a series of ''figures'' with each couple you encounter on the way.
Contra music (like the dance itself) draws from Irish, Scottish, English, Canadian and American bluegrass traditions, among others. Melody is usually carried by a fiddle or a whistle, or guitar, piano, handdrums, banjo, mandolin... pretty much any instrument is eligible to play a contra tune. Tunes are usually jigs or reels that last 32 measures and then repeat. They tend to be quick and energetic.
At its best, a contradance flows perfectly, seeming to lift you into the right spot. At its worst, it is a challenge of figuring out where you and your partner need to be, and getting there in time with the music. Either way, the dance is energetic, social, and fun.