Your Invitation to Contra Dancing

Photo: J. Peidle
in Greater Boston

What is "contra dancing"?

It is an evening of fun featuring dancing in "sets" of about a dozen couples. You interact with your partner, and everyone else in the set too, as you dance with easy walking steps to energetic, live music. A caller first explains the movements and then prompts you during the dance (as in square dancing). An evening might also feature square dances and couple dances (waltzes and polkas, for instance).

What happens during a dance?

You, the other dancers, the musicians, and the caller aim for an evening of low-pressure, yet often energetic camaraderie. Come alone or with others; we ask new partners for each of the dozen or so dances during the evening.

How do I join in the fun?

You will be part of a living tradition passed on by the experienced dancers helping the newcomers. It's best to join in the very first dance of the evening with an experienced partner (if possible). Getting started by letting other dancers guide you is much more effective than watching!

What do I need to participate?

Energy and Enthusiasm! Wear comfortable clothes -- usually a sport shirt and slacks for men, a skirt and blouse for women. To protect the wooden floor, many dances ask dancers to bring a separate pair of clean, soft-soled shoes. Admission is usually less than the price of a movie ticket.

When and where are the dances?

Listings for the two weekly series are listed below, as are phone contacts for other series. Unless you are sure you have current information, it is wise to call to confirm, especially if it is summer, if a blizzard affects driving or parking, or if a holiday may cause rescheduling or cancellation.

Monday
Year 'round
7:30-10:30
Concord Scout House
74 Walden St.
Concord, Mass.

Parking - On street; in bank lot across Walden St.; in lot behind stores on Walden St.; in post office lot. (Don't use church parking lot or unmetered spaces on Walden St.)

Public Transportation - Commuter rail to Concord; 10 minute walk from station.

The Sponsors - Monday Contras Dance Committee

For More Information 781-272-0396 (Cal) or http://MondayContras.com


Thursday
Year 'round
7:30-10:30
Concord Scout House
74 Walden St.
Concord, Mass.

Parking - On street; in bank lot across Walden St.; in lot behind stores on Walden St.; in post office lot. (Don't use church parking lot or unmetered spaces on Walden St.)

Public Transportation - Commuter rail to Concord; 10 minute walk from station.

The Sponsor - The Thursday Night Dance Committee of NEFFA (the New England Folk Festival Association)

For More Information - 781-272-0396 (Cal), 508-229-2854 (Dan), or ThursdayContras.com


Dances may change schedules near holidays or cancel for bad weather. Confirm information before traveling!

Other Dances in Eastern Massachusetts * Always call ahead! * Dances start at 8pm unless otherwise indicated

1st SatBerlin (Oct-May) 978-838-2104
1st/3rd SunCambridge Masonic Hall (Porter Square)$5-$10 (sliding scale)
4th SatCambridge Cambridge Friends School 617-547-7781, 978-369-1232
many Tues Cambridge MIT Student Center 617-354-0864 (free for M.I.T. students)
2nd FriCarlisle (Oct-June) 978-369-1232

The next 2 dances are at the Concord Scout House (see Monday map, above). Click here for upcoming events.
1st FriConcord (Oct-May) 978-779-6077 For experienced dancers
4th SatChatham 508-945-4827
some SunConcord (Sept-Nov, Jan-June) 857-499-8907
 
2nd SatCotuit 508-563-6750
some SatJamaica Plain 617-522-2216 (7:30 instruction; Gender-free)
3rd FriLexington (Sept-June) 781-235-0713, 781-862-0002 (7:30 instruction)
1st SatMedway (Sept-June) 508-740-8508 (7:30)
3rd SatNorthboro (Sept-June) 508-393-5490
2nd/4th FriRehoboth 508-252-6375; 508-669-5656
3rd SatSandwich (East) 508-888-4968
4th SatWestford(Sept.-April, exc. Dec.) 978-692-6333
2nd SunWestford(Oct.-Mar.) 978-692-6333; Family Dance: 3PM-5PM
1st SatWoods Hole 508-548-6229; 508-548-6661
2nd SatWorcester (Sept-Jun) 508-886-6541
For more information on dances, call the Folk Arts Center's FOLK-FONE (24 hours) at 781-662-7476 (Boston area events) or CDSS at 413-203-5467 (nationwide). You may also want to check out the Contra Dance Index in the NEFFA LinkFest!

New England Folk Festival Association
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