Part of the reason that Steve and I started registering for events as a couple was to avoid having me languish on a waitlist because not enough single* gents registered in a timely manner to balance my registering as a single* lady. The other argument that I've heard come up in favor of gender balancing is that older women, who may be less willing to dance with other women, "need" to have men to dance with, so a policy of gender balancing helps older women.
I'm not sure I buy this argument, but when I fall into the relevant demographic I might reevaluate my stance based on the facts on the ground. The "Stuff Contra Dancers Say..." community on Facebook has covered this particular topic exhaustively, so I'm not going to reiterate here, but I will mention it for the sake of completion of the current picture.
On the registration form for Contra Colours weekend in October (which, by the way, Steve and I are planning to attend), it asked not for gender but which parts you were comfortable dancing, with an option for "both." It looked like they were trying to role-balance, rather than gender-balance. It may turn out that by role-balancing, they also gender-balance, but I found this approach to be rather inspired.
What are your opinions on this? I don't tend to find that gender balancing (or the lack thereof) makes life easier or harder -- I have been to gender-balanced events where I have had a devil of a time finding a partner even when I was actively asking others (they were booked, or didn't want to dance with another lady), and to non-gender-balanced events where I've had my pick of partners. For my part, I am much more bothered by booking ahead 5 dances than I am by what the gender of the person I'm dancing with is, but that's me and I'm aware that there are other opinions out there.
*(for purposes of the dance weekend, not necessarily for their personal lives)