Live music is what
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
Do I need a partner?
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
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
Energy and a smile! Wear comfortable clothes (layers are good-you can get
very warm) and soft-soled shoes.