Newcomers

Welcome to Contra Dancing!  We hope you will find our dances are fun, friendly and inclusive.

Contra dance evolved from English Country dances and has been enjoyed continuously since the time of the English colonies in America as a true community dance.  We dance to live music in the form of lively jigs and reels from the Celtic and bluegrass traditions.  Many people love Contra dancing because it is lighthearted and social. Dancers are encouraged to change partners for each dance. Traditional contra dance is a precursor of square dancing, but is unrelated to modern country and western line dancing.

All dances are taught and prompted by a caller. No experience is necessary, but it is helpful to attend our free lessons preceding all of our dances. Show up a half hour before the regularly scheduled dance to join in the lesson.

Here are some tips to make sure you enjoy your Contra dance experience:

  • Wear comfortable clothing. Remember that Contra dancing can be energetic.  No matter what the temperature is outside, you will soon heat up and will want to remain cool. You will have much more fun dancing if you dress for comfort.
  • Dancing can be vigorous so choose shoes in which you can feel secure on your feet. Choose a shoe with soft, smooth soles – rubber soled shoes are comfortable, but thick rubber soles may stick to the floor during turns and twirls causing potential damage to knees and ankles. Leave the high heels at home as well as any hard soled shoes that may cause damage to the dance floor.
  • Please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne or other scented hygiene products. When we heat up on the dance floor, fragrances are more rapidly dispersed and can become overpowering. Some people are chemically sensitive and can become ill with fragrances. Scent-free dancing is appreciated!
  • Bring a water bottle. We provide cups for water, but by remembering your own container you help us to be green.
  • We strive to make our dances comfortable, safe and welcoming to everyone. If your experience was contrary to this, please let the dance manager know, or put a comment in the suggestion box.  We want to know how to make our dances enjoyable for everyone.