I found some interesting similarities in the article with some of the participant comments made about the Bates College (Lewiston, ME) hip-hop contras held a few years back when I talked to caller Chrissy Fowler. In particular, in the article I noticed the following quote: "'My first time going contra dancing was two weeks ago and I liked this dance a lot better,' [Appalachian State freshman Shannon Wright] said. 'Both dances are enjoyable, but I love techno music. This is a lot more fun and more intense, but not difficult to dance to.'"
(To wit, Chrissy Fowler mentioned in her interview: "...My only surprise was that a few of the experienced dancers avidly suggested that this type of contra dancing should replace the regular (traditional) contra series at Bates, which was not what [organizers] Blaise, Sarah or I had in mind at all.")
I wonder if this is a signal of college students in general (the ones who aren't already entrenched in the folk/contra scene) , or if there's some other common characteristic I'm missing between the two populations? These two college events are the only ones I've heard of where the participants were saying they liked the alternative music more than the usual contra fare to the point of actually suggesting a complete switch.
I welcome your thoughts in the comments.