To be honest, I don't know that I've ever personally invited a local square dancer to my beloved contra dance. Yet.
Instead of whining and wondering why there isn't more cross-population between the local contra dancers and square dancers, I decided to do something radical. I decided to "be the change" that I wanted to see happen. I went to my first square dance lesson today.
They let new people come during the first three weeks of the series. But today was week four, and past the time for new people to join. I was told that I might not be able to start so late, but they'd let me try today - the caller kept a close watch on me to see if I could keep up. There are a lot of calls similar to contra dancing, and I had done some squares in the context of a night of contra dancing. I must have "passed the audition" because they said I could continue with the lessons.
The hardest move for me was the "star through" - the lady (woman/follow/girl) gives her left hand to the gent (man/lead/boy), who takes it in his right hand and they basically trade places, then stand side by side. I instinctively wanted to offer my right hand.
The music was indeed ridiculous - "without love, where would we be now... sides promenade...". The people were very nice. The floor isn't wood, and I am concerned about that. However, unlike folk dancing, there's no stomping, so it may not be an issue. The calling was great. It was spot on. Sherm did a really good job with the teaching, too. I think I can learn a few things from him. I loved that after dancing each square, those 8 people did a group hug and together said, "Thank you!" At the end of the evening, all the dancers and the caller made a large circle and gave thanks. That was sweet.
It's a new day dawning. Operation cross-over has begun.