Contra dance Saturday

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By Kirsten Laskey

The opportunity to learn a few new dance steps has arrived. The Roaring Jelly band will be hosting a contra dance Saturday at the Unitarian Church.

An instructional session will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a dance at 7 p.m.

Mark Petersen, who plays the accordion in the band, encourages the community to participate.

“I think for the dancer, the appeal is you can learn the moves in the first half-hour,” he said.

Contra dance, he explained, is American folk dancing that is like square dancing, except the four couples are in a long line. Also, there is progression with the music, where the couples move from back to front.

The dancers are not the only ones who will be enjoying themselves, the band is also looking forward to the dance.

Petersen said, “We love the catchy, upbeat tunes and the excitement of playing live music for the dancers.”

Roaring Jelly has been entertaining audiences for more than 20 years. Petersen said the original band started playing for Scottish dances in Los Alamos. Today, the band performs contra dances in Durango, Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

In addition to Scottish music, Roaring Jelly plays Irish, and American Folk music.

The band can be seen everywhere from graduations to local nonprofit fundraisers.

Roaring Jelly’s members include Martin Schauer, Nancy Ullmann, Dorothy Brown and Sky Korber on fiddle, Cathy Turner and Esther Kovari on piano, Gordon Keating on mandolin, Bette Korber on whistle and drum, Jim Cooley and Cathy Hayes on guitar and Petersen on accordion.

There will be a suggested $5 donation for adults and $3 for children at the upcoming dance.