At what point does a variant on a tradition become not part of that anymore, and become its own thing? There are those who argue that "lead" and "follow" divorce contra from being a community dance (and others who feel that while "lady" and "gent" aren't perfect, there aren't really better alternatives as yet). Others might argue that having itinerant musicians and callers from elsewhere coming in (which seems to happen frequently, especially in the bigger contra dance communities) makes it less of a "community" dance. Or if you don't have a fiddle in your band, or happen to use a synthesizer to loop your sounds, you're not really in the realm of "contra" anymore.
Most of the people I've talked to on this blog -- with a few exceptions, granted -- count techno contras as still part of the contra dance tradition, even if it's one they don't especially care for.
So where's the line? At what point does contra not become contra anymore? Or is any possible deviation -- from an uneven (e.g., with true "actives" and "inactives"), proper, heterosexually-paired, flourishless dance done to live music with precisely one fiddle and no brass -- somehow no longer "contra?"
(To me it seems like we're starting to get away from strictly "traditional" contra, but then again I don't really see that as bad as last time I checked we were in the 21st century, rather than the 18th. Evolving and elastic traditions are not inherently bad, in my book, but I'm curious about yours.)
*(And yes, the blog title is a shout-out to the Foggy Bottom Morris Men's mummer's play callback.)