Ten stupid things beginners do to mess up their contradance experience/Leaving Too Early

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10. Leaving too early,[edit]

There are two variants of this Stupid Thing: leaving an evening of dancing too early, and deciding that contra isn't for you and leaving the entire dance form too quickly.

Regarding the former, it's usually best to come to the first few dances planning to stay for the whole evening. Staying for the whole evening will provide you with more experience in dancing, and you'll remember more of what you learned at the next dance. If you have an unavoidable reason for leaving before the evening is over, then dance until you need to leave and have fun (it's better than not dancing at all).

Regarding the latter, avoiding the other Stupid Things will help you to avoid this one. Contradance does take some learning, including some trial and error. No dancers, whether beginning or experienced, are perfect... and every experienced dancer was once a beginner. As you continue dancing, you will learn more about which variations you can use to make the dancing work better for you, and how to recover when a figure (or a whole progression) gets messed up. You'll also get to know and become friends with more of the dancers. If you're really feeling clumsy and awkward and like you're messing things up for other dancers, talk to the dance organizers about this and get their perspective. You might just be having normal learning-curve experiences that everybody has, or you might just not be a good match for contra. Dance organizers can be useful in distinguishing which applies to you.

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