This is an old thread, but recently had interest from an active retirement community to teach contra, which we started last week.

The active retirement community is a gated community with lots of resources, e.g. indoor and outdoor pools, ballroom, maybe a dozen tennis courts, etc. The community already has one square and two line dance classes each week. We had 21 individuals at our first contra class in an odd shaped aerobics room that was not large enough or regular shaped enough to be able to start with everyone in a circle. I've called maybe 10 full evenings of dances, two of which were mostly beginners, but that was 2 decades ago. I made a few mistakes in how I ran that first class last week, mainly in not really getting down to the most simple basics and running those basics several times with music in order to establish patterns of movement. I've been contra dancing over 30 years and watched square dancing 50 years ago. It's hard for me to realize how complex the simplest moves are. I did talk with Cis Hinkle Friday evening and she gave me pointers for this age group, e.g. swings are hard, so avoid at first & teach 2 handed before ballroom, build up from 16/32/... sequences, etc.

I'm mentioning this because:
 - possibly a good demographic that can be tapped into
 - ringers (experienced dancers helping out) would be very helpful
 - start at simplest level and work up


CDSS should maybe take on a coordinating effort to be a resource and clearing house for ideas to engage others, older and especially young, even proactively promote these efforts. 

Related I wonder if there are any efforts to actively engage college students. I am considering approaching our local college to see if we can’t increase participation. 

Related, at least for summers, we have a couple of summer camps that bring kids to our weekly dance, dramatically increasing our numbers to the point that some regulars stay away for the summer. 

Sent from miHand,

Peter K Martel

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