Great Meadow Music Logo


About Contra Dance

CONTRA DANCING ACROSS AMERICA Two young dancers from Nelson, New Hampshire decided to travel around the country and dance, visiting Contra dances from coast to coast. They wrote up what they experienced and you can find it at They visited some 50 dances and their story is a regular "Travels with Charley" What fun!

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST DANCE Contra dancing is easy to learn. It's so easy to learn that you don't take lessons. Just show up at a dance and by the end of the first night you'll have learned all the dance moves and you will be able to enjoy the next dance even more. People are friendly and welcoming to beginners. The age range is from kids to folks that have been around for a while. Both singles and doubles come to contra dances and women as well as men ask people to dance. It is usual that you change partners after every dance. You will meet people in a relaxed, pleasant, smoke and alcohol free atmosphere. The patterns of the dance can be a tad confusing at first but remember everyone had a first time and that other dancers will help you. Listen to the caller and the music and go with the flow of the dance. Some people find they get dizzy at first. Looking directly at the person you are dancing with eliminates this sensation. For many, the music is what keeps them coming back as it is exciting and lively. People come to dance, hear the music, socialize and have a good time.

WHEN TO APPEAR? Most dances start at 8:00 PM. Check the dance listing in our DANCE INFO section for the start of the dance near you. The first time you should appear on time as the caller integrates new dancers into the dance by teaching the calls. New calls are introduced throughout the first half of the dance .

WHAT TO WEAR? Wear smooth soled shoes and comfortable light weight clothing. Some halls require non-street shoes so make sure the soles of shoes aren't bringing grit onto the dance floor. Most people bring a bottle of drinking water. Contra dancing is joyous so it's important that you bring a smile.

  Check out the following sites for more information .

What is Contra Dance

The Tao of Contra

Full Swing
contains a 24 page booklet on how to call and contra dance.

Charlie Seelig's Website
contains a listing of 700 Contra Music CDs.

Return to Home Page