The word "contra" comes from the French word meaning opposing
as contra dances are literally danced in the formation of two
opposing lines of dancers. At the beginning of the dance the couples
line up, face to face, women on one side, men on the other, forming long
opposing lines that run the length of the hall.
American contra dances have their roots in the British Isles.
They were preserved and developed mainly in the New England area by the
settlers of English, Scottish and Irish descent. They have since
spread throughout the United States and the world because they are easy to
learn and they are so deliriously FUN to dance.