Live music is what makes
the dance go. We're lucky
to have the kind of great
old-time string bands
playing for us that lift our
spirit and keep our feet
moving to a solid groove.

WHAT IS CONTRA DANCING?

The short answer: It is an evening of fun, no pressure dancing to traditional American music played by an "old-time" string band. You will join dozens of other dancers moving together with easy walking steps, to directions from a caller. The caller explains the dance before you begin and prompts you through the dance.

For the more curious: In the 16th century, the country dancing of English villages became popular in the court of Elizabeth I. The fashion spread to the continent, picking up flavor from each locale and developing all the existing forms: circles, squares, and longways sets. Ironically, contre-a French rendering of the English "country"--became the term for this style of dancing in New England because French troops introduced their dances during the Revolutionary War. In the 19th century, couple dances like the waltz replaced community dancing among urban sophisticates, but country dancing continued in rural areas of New England, Appalachia, and along the frontiers. Several revivals in the 20th century have helped modern Americans rediscover the joys of sharing community in music and movement.

Do I need a partner?

No. Everyone is welcome: singles, couples, young and old. In fact, we encourage everyone to change partners between dances to meet new people and make new friends.

Do I have to know how to dance? Click here for Tips for New Dancers

No again! If you enjoy music and are enthusiastic, you can be a contra dancer. New dancers are asked to come at 7pm for a brief "everything you need to know" lesson. It is really easy . . . and you'll have fun meeting new people while you learn the basics.

What do I need to participate?

Energy and a smile! Wear comfortable clothes (layers are good-you can get very warm) and soft-soled shoes.




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