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A word about gender roles:
Country dancing lends itself to flexibility about gender roles. Although we call the roles “gents” and “ladies,” all dancers dance either role and same-sex couples (or LGBT singles) are very welcome. Like many dances, the Palo Alto Contra dance sometimes is skewed in the direction of more men or more women. We encourage all dancers to learn both gender roles and especially encourage experienced dancers to take the opposite gender role, if needed, so that newcomers can learn to dance the traditional role first. Also, we support everyone’s choices to dance either or both roles and realize that sometimes people even switch back and forth. Dancers who choose to dance a non-traditional role or swap roles are asked to be aware of other dancers’ possible confusion. All dancers should remember to dance with the position, not the person.