I attended the Sacramento Country Dance Society Zesty Contra dance on January 29. The band was Bandemonium, which is Eric Anderson and Lee Anne Welch from Seattle, and the caller was Spider Vetter. The dance, held at the usual Sacramento location of Coloma Community Center, which is an old school with a nice dance floor. Some dances were taught, some not, some dances were easy, some challenging, and some just awkward.
I had taken zesty to mean higher level dances, sometimes without walk-throughs, however, Joyce Miller and I had a long conversation about the meaning of zesty last weekend (in Grass Valley), and she informed me that the term actually comes from Larry Jennings who published a book called Zesty Contras in 1983 (NEFFA, out of print). Unfortunately I can’t find a copy or the text online, so I can’t read how Larry defined zesty, but Joyce said that the key point is dances called and danced with enthusiasm.