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Contra dancing returns for summer

The Southern Nevada Old Time Contra Dancers will return to the historic Los Angeles Department of Water and Power building Saturday for its first of three monthly summer dance sessions.

Introductory lessons will be held from 6:30-7 p.m. so that newcomers have the opportunity to learn the calls and steps before the official dance, which runs from 7-9:30 p.m.

Contra dance is a North American folk dance with roots in English and Scottish country dances, according to the group’s vice president, Renee Halm.

“Contra dancing is related to square dancing, which is probably more famous, with similar calls like ‘do-si-do,’” Halm said. “It has older origins, but it’s actually much easier to learn. After the half-hour class, attendees will be able to enjoy the full evening of dancing, or enjoy contra anywhere else in the country.”

In contra dancing, men and women line up across from each other, and alternating in a line and then move through a progression of called-out steps before moving on to a new partner, according to the group’s treasurer and “caller,” Eileen Hug.

“We encourage dancers of every age group and all levels of experience,” Hug said. “It’s a great way to socialize as people will likely interact with almost every person there and dance with every available partner. And it’s great exercise, recent studies have shown it is one of the most effective ways to combat Alzheimer’s and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”

Dancers at all three summer events will enjoy live music performed by locals Sagebrush and Shamrocks, as well as 112 and Then Some. The two bands will mix things up by appearing in alternate months.

The fun won’t end with the final summer dance in September as the group will return Oct. 29, just in time for Halloween, with its annual “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” themed costume ball.

The Pride and Prejudice and Zombie dance will be more focused on English and Scottish country dancing, and anyone looking to attend is encouraged to learn the steps at one of the group’s weekly sessions in Las Vegas.

For more information, visit las
or call 702-303-3020.

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Best Bets, March 9-15

1 READY TO ROCK: The Rock, Roll & Stroll fundraiser for the Senior Center of Boulder City’s Meals on Wheels program will be presented from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Bicentennial Park, 999 Colorado St. The fifth annual event will include a car show, games, food and music by DJ Mike Pacini. For more information, call 702-293-3320.

Best Bets, March 2-8

1 MUSIC MAKER: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ted Sablay will perform at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company from 7-10 Saturday night. A native of Wisconsin, Sablay now calls Las Vegas home. He has spent much of the past 20 years as a touring member and regular collaborator with The Killers. He debuted his first album as a solo artist in 2022. The Brewpub is at 453 Nevada Way. Call 702-243-2739 or visit www.boulderdambrewing.com for more information.

Best Bets, Feb. 23-March 1

1 FANTASTIC THEATER: The Young Hearts Theater Group, sponsored by Boulder City United Methodist Church, will present C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy tale “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St. Admission is free.

Best Bets, Feb. 16-22

1 MORE MOVIES: The Dam Short Film Festival returns for its 19th incarnation and with in-person screenings, but at a new location. Scheduled Thursday through Monday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St., the festival will screen 153 short films in about 30 programs. Tickets are $12.50 per program, $45 for a full-day pass and $150 for an event pass. Visit www.damshortfilm.org for more information.

Best Bets, Feb. 9-15

1 RED CARPET READY: Celebrity couples will be roaming the streets downtown Saturday as the Best Dam Wine Walk hosts its monthly event. Scheduled from 4-8 p.m., with check-in through 6:30 at My 4 Sons Comic Cards, 1308 Wyoming St., the wine walk provides an opportunity to visit local businesses, often after their regular hours. Admission is $25 per person, plus Eventbrite fees, in advance or $30 at check-in.

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