The Nashville Country Dancers sponsor a Friday night contra dance at 3511 Belmont Blvd, but after working 10.5 hours at Amazon, dancing is the last thing my tired feet want to do on a Friday night. However, last weekend I paid $10 for the Sunday ala cart portion of Music City Masquerade, the dance weekend scheduled each year around Halloween.
Held at the Cohn School on Park Avenue in Nashville, there was plenty of parking in front of this beautiful building and the city park across the street. The only part of the weekend that could have been better was the antiquated restroom. Designed for elementary schoolers, the sinks were small and low to the ground, the stalls so narrow one had to turn sideways to close the door, and tiles busted on the floor.
It was obvious that a lot of folks helped to make this weekend spectacular, and I was sorry to have missed the Saturday night masquerade ball. After months on the road, it was a joy to walk in and spy longtime dancing friends Bob & Janine, Amy, Scott and others. During the first contra dance, I was reminded of why I love this art form so much – it represents the best of humanity: coming together in community, making sure everyone is having a good experience, and creating something bigger than ourselves.
It was a treat to experience the Mean Lids for the first time. Their music was lively, had a Celtic bent, and magically transformed the gymnasium into a whirlwind adventure. Cis Hinkle is a favorite fun and polished dance caller, and Michael Hamilton did an excellent job starting us off in the morning. I hear he was part of Catapult – the Atlanta dance program that promotes emerging callers and musicians. Other callers and bands were part of the weekend repertoire that I missed.
Of course, snacks are a huge part of my ultimate contra dance weekend, and this group did a wonderful job of fortifying hungry dancers with a healthy brunch. I munched on a ham, cheese and lettuce sandwich (sans bread) and was ready to dance for several hours.
My only regret is that I hadn’t known of or danced at Music City Masquerade in past years. It’s a wonderful group of folks, well organized, and features the best musicians, callers and dancers! Join the Nashville Country Dancers next year on October 28-30, 2016 as Diane Silver guides dances to The Latter Day Lizards.