Newcomers to contra dancing are very welcome and wanted. Dancing is done with a partner in company with many other couples to form longways sets. However, there is no need to come with a partner as you can always find people to dance with on the night.
This can be a bit scary due to the fear of mucking it up for the other dancers. Its ok, every dancer in the room was once new to Contra as well and will understand. There is a lot of repetition with the dance with each time through lasting about 30 seconds, you go through the dance many times though, so you will have pleanty of time to pick it up.
All dances are walked through beforehand and the caller will prompt you during the dance as well.
If you are new and a bit nervous, feel free to let an organiser know. They may inform the caller so the caller can keep an eye out for you. It is also best to get up near the band end if you can, this makes it easier for the caller.
A quick note on roles: Bristol Contra uses Gender free calling, ususally in the form of Larks and Ravens. You are welcome to dance which ever role you feel like and change which role you are dancing with in the evening if you want to.