“Stylish Contras” - with Lisa Greenleaf
Last night, at the Downtown Amherst weekly contra dance, we were blessed to have master
caller Lisa Greenleaf present her special evening of “Stylish Contras”. The “Stylish
Contras” evening is a regular open contra dance with the exception that before each dance
in the first half, Lisa does a short teaching session on a particular aspect of contra.
This is different from the beginning lesson before the dance and is appropriate for
everyone regardless of experience level. Topics include, the swing, allemandes, courtesy
turns and twirls, Rory O’More, and, with her wonderful humor, also emphasizes shared
responsibility, having a conversation with your partner about what does and doesn’t work,
making “I statements”, and consent.
Having Lisa do the a “Stylish Contras” session is like having a “tuneup clinic” for your
entire dance community. Beginner and experienced dancers both will benefit from Lisa’s
clear and humorous instruction and insights. She addresses directly how to do a swing that
is stable, safe, and comfortable for both dancers; how to do an allemande that is
connected but easy on the wrists; how to do a courtesy turn (or twirl), again so it safe,
fun and comfortable for everyone. When Lisa has done this special presentation in the past
in Greenfield, the effect on the entire dance community has been deep and long-lasting.
So-called “perpetual beginner” dancers suddenly improve and the overall connectedness,
quality and enjoyment of the dancing goes up for everyone. So, next time Lisa is coming to
your dance, I'd encourage you to consider having her do this special evening for your
Founder & Programming Director
• Downtown Amherst Contra Dance
• Greenfield Challenging Contras (4th Fridays)