I had been wearing a Tshirt and underpants for most of the day. To go out, I added a loose, light skirt, and yeah, this is important.
Passing the square on the way to the library I noticed people dancing. Nifty, I thought.
After leaving the books in a rather overloaded book drop, I stopped by to see what was up. I thought, innocently enough, that I would sit down and watch for a minute before continuing on. Didn't take me long to recognize contra dancing with a decent, though not fantastic, live band.
Much to my surprise, while that minute was going on the tune ended and a charming gentleman asked me to dance. "Me?" I said - I may even have looked behind me. He nodded enthusiastically. "I'm game," I said, and away we went! I mentioned it had been ten years since my last contra, though actually now I've had a chance to think about it, I think it was more like 15. He grinned, and said "Don't worry, you'll do great!" He was a good lead and very patient and encouraging, twirling me lightly around and reminding me of the order of the steps after the somewhat inattentive caller stopped mentioning them. My skirt made great swishing movements and I even grapevined a little. We were at the end of the line by the time I confessed, somewhat to his surprise I think, that I had just been walking by and wasn't actually there for the contra. Heh.
It had been so much fun, and I wouldn't have done it without him! So I gave him a hug, and my card, and said thank you. And as I turned my head, someone else stepped up and asked me for a dance. I had a feeling that one wouldn't go as well, and it didn't (when someone tells you they're out of practice, lecturing them on how they're doing it wrong isn't going to engender positive feelings) but the waltz after that was lovely, and then it was... done.
At least two people asked me where I'd last contra danced, and I said Brattleboro, Vermont, and they both knew of a contra event there! (I only think it was Brattleboro; in retrospect I'm not really sure.)
This made me remember fondly my tango lesson with gentlescholar - it took away a lot of my anxiety about partner dance and looking like I didn't know what I was doing. Carpe diem!
Apparently, there is such a thing as guerilla contra. And I was guerilla'd, and contra'd too. And now you know.