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Annual Christmas Contra Dance Has Long History

Live acoustic music accompanied the annual Christmas Contra Dance at the Carrillo Ballroom in Santa Barbara on Christmas night.

Dozens of people learned a few quick steps, then a caller called them out.

Many participants said they come back year after year.

You don’t need to bring a partner. Mixing is part of the Contra-culture.

By the end of the dance, you’ll have danced with everyone in the room.

The dance dates back to the 17th century and is similar to square dancing.

The Christmas dance was free, but for a small fee you can join a Contra class every Sunday night.

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