Contra Dance / Contradance
Collections of Essays
Contra Dance, Beyond the Basics |
Dance People |
Bob McQuillen |
Composing Dances & Choreography |
Calling and Surviving the Evening
Caller Workshop Notes |
Calling - Other Topics
Learning and Playing the Music |
Composing the Music
Musical Experiences |
Music Reviews |
A Mix of Musical Matters
Tales of the Dance |
The Dance Experience
Close Relatives (Irish Set, English, Scottish, Squares, Ceili, etc.) |
With the number of essays approaching the 300 mark, I thought it best to establish a new page and make an attempt to put them in categories.
- The North Bay Country Dance Society furnishes four chapters of Erik Hoffman's book Contradictions. Change of URL (October 19, 2010)
- The North Bay Country Dance Society furnishes an essay called "On Connection and Twirling," by Erik Hoffman. Change of URL (October 19, 2010)
- Greg McKenzie explains Five Common Myths About Beginning Contra Dancers
- In To Clap or Not to Clap, Henry Morgenstein provides some thoughts about clapping on Petronella turns.
- Henry Morgenstein provides his notes on the Style Workshop at Eastbourne IFDF in 2003 which features ideas and comments on stylistic points of specific dances.
- Secrets of Contra Dancing? Dean Allemang reveals all.
- Not just about contra dancing, Colin Hume's Dance Technique Notes cover subject ranging from courtesy to the swing to giving and receiving feedback.
- The Country Dance New York group presents Guide to Dance Etiquette For the Perplexed.
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers have a guide for Contra Dance Etiquette (pdf file). Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers speak to experienced dancers with Tips for Experienced Dancers. Change of title and URL (October 19, 2010)
- Jonathan Sivier provides Tips For Experienced Dancers Dancing With Beginners.
- Clark Baker tries Explaining Traditional Squares and Contras to MWSD folk.
- Diane Silver writes about the Conversation of Dance and the communication and relationship between dancers whether for ten minutes or a longer period of time. (pdf file) Change in URL December 4, 2008)
- Laurie Fisher discusses sleaze dancing, especially the Asheville Sleaze Swing, in To Sleaze or Not to Sleaze. (Word document) Change in URL (October 20, 2010)
- Orlo Hoadley's article about Handholds - Why and How has a western square dance orientation, but has some important points for contra dancers, too.
- Caller Bob Golder has a short article on Dancing the Woman's Role
- What's a Balance? Dudley Laufman explains.
- Barbara Ruth writes about beginner's workshops and what happens when David Kaynor's Workshop Comes to New Haven.
- Dave Goldman comments about Everything About Dancing That Nobody Talks About including defense, avoidance, rejection and dance romance. Change of URL (July 27, 2013)
- Janet Ashford includes Five Steps to Great Contradancing from Bob Henshaw's "Q: How is contradancing different from football? . . . A: It's how the game is played on her site.
- How many swing positions are there? James Williams and Dana Nau come up with a list. Backup link.
- Paul Tyler makes an attempt to define What Is a Good Contra Dancer. A slightly different version is available. Change of URL (March 4, 2012)
- Heiner Fischle writes about Contra Dance Terminology and how it differs from terms in square dancing.
- Heiner Fischle writes about The Styles of Contra Dancing including traditional, modern, western and Contralab and Old English.
- Jacqui Morgenstein has some thoughts about What is a Contra Dance for the English magazine "Set & Turn Single".
- Some "Do's" and "Don't's" of asking and accepting invitations as partners are outlined in Larry Jennings' The Proprieties of the Partner Game.
- Larry Jennings has Your Introduction to Contra Dancing as a syllabus for a half hour pre-dance session.
- The Harvest Moon Folk Society has some advice on What Do I Wear to a Contra Dance. Change of title and URL (October 19, 2010)
- Courtesy at contra dancers is important for newcomers and for experienced dancers. Bruce Hamilton explains why and has some advice on giving and receiving help in Teaching Courtesy (pdf file). Change of URL (October 19, 2010)
- Figuring out the waltz? Colin Hume provides some clues in Waltz Steps.
- Going to England to contra dance whether calling or dancing? Check out Colin Hume's Advice to Americans in England.
- If you would like some orientation about social and country dance in England, try Colin Hume's description of the dance scene, past and present.
- Victor Eijkhout has a wide variety about information and links about dancing (not just contra). One group of pages composes the Lead and Follow FAQ. Not everything is relevant to contradancing, but it is a useful reference.
- Greg Rohde has a long article about contradancing called Hands Four in which he discusses some basic ideas about contradancing, what to expect at your first dance, and the reasons why people contra dance.
- While not everything included in the article is relevant for contra dancing, Joyce Crouch's Seven Habits of Highly Effective English Country Dancing can be helpful.
- Bill Pope has some Contra Dance Thoughts and Tips.
- Aahz has some advice for trying to teach folk dances, including contras. Change of URL (March 22, 2008)
- Colin Hume has some thoughts on Contra Dance Technique, especially on the contrasts between styles in the United Kingdom and the United States.
- John Turner writes about efforts to prevent the further decline of folk dancing in England in Further Dance Matters and the importance of dance etiquette in retaining dancers.
- John Turner continues to write about Dance Etiquette and its practical application, Part 1 and Dance Etiquette and its practical application, Part 2.
- The Miami Valley Folk Dancers have a list of dance etiquette tips compiled by Leslie Hyll along with a list of other sites for dance etiquette information.
- While your mileage may vary depending on the type of dance and the geographic location, those who want some advice on Finding Dance Partners at a dance, may find this article by Steve Harris helpful.
- Don't know that dance step? Well, after reading the Charlotte Dance Gypsies guide, you'll Know That Dance Step. (pdf file)
- Blain Nelson and others detail the Ten Stupid Things Beginners Do to Mess Up Their Contradance Experience. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Some background to the names of dance steps is presented by Rebecca Jones in Terms of the Dance.
- The Cincinnati Contra Dancers provide some information about Contra Customs.
- The Foothill Country Dancers present Ten Reasons Not to Book Ahead. (pdf file) Change of URL (November 29, 2008)
- People dance in a variety of outfits from tuxedos to running shorts, but the Santa Cruz Dance has some answers to those who ask the question But What Should I Wear to the Dance?. New entry (January 10, 2008)
- Richard Powers presents some ideas about social dancing in Going Out Dancing - Some Suggestions. New entry (May 10, 2008)
- In Ultimate Partnering, Richard Powers writes about leading and following and why those terms might not today's dancers. New entry (May 10, 2008)
- The Waltz, etc. dance series in Seattle, Washington has some pointers in Partner dancing as creative collaboration that can be helpful for contra dancers. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Laura Riva in Dance Place has a 2016 essay about “Liquid Lead Dancing”: A Conversation on Fluid Lead/Follow Gender Roles about the rigidity and possible flexibility of roles assigned to people in social dancing. There was a TEDx Talk by Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox on this topic. New entry (February 27, 2017)
- The Contra Syncretist wrote about roles in dancing in Contra Shenanigans, Part I: Thoughts on Dancing the “Other” Role and you can also read Contra Shenanigans, Part II: Thoughts on Chaos/Shenanigans/Wild/Fill-in-term-of-choice-here Sets!. New entry (February 27, 2017)
- C. Cyril (Chip) Hendrickson composed a pamphlet in 1983 entitled To Twirl (a Lady) or Not to Twirl to provide some guidance on that question. New entry (March 14, 2017)
- JoLaine Jones-Pokorney wrote about the what to do and what not to do when Dancing with Newbies in this 2012 essay. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- Jeff Kaufman provides some advice about Choosing Contra Dance Shoes in this entry from 2014. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- Nicholas Adams wrote this entry in May 2016 about Giving Weight. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- Miriam Joy provides some advice in 10 Tips for Contra Dancing With Kids from 2017. New entry (March 30, 2017)
- Laura Riva has some tips about How to Learn ‘Connection’ (For those who don’t ‘Get It’ right away) as part of becoming a better "soft-skills dancer">. New entry (April 3, 2017)
- Jukka Välimaa writes about some of the reasons dancers can go about Enjoying Dances with Beginners. New entry (April 4, 2017)
- Caller Ron T. Blechner discusses how dancers can use Lead and Follow as Styles, Not Roles, in Contra Dance. New entry (April 4, 2017)
- Oxford University's Experimental Psychology and Anthropology Departments have determined Dancing in time with others raises pain threshold, researchers report. New entry (April 4, 2017)
- While taken from the blues dance experience, Susan Lokay's essay Lead or Follow? Why not Both? is relevant to contra dancing, too. New entry (August 5, 2017)
- While appearing in a Latin Dance web site, Rachel Cassandra's essay about What It Means When They Say No has important points for contra dancers. New entry (August 5, 2017)
- Danielle Boudreau wrote three blog entries about gender and contra dancing in 2015: Gender Trouble and Contra Dance, An Introduction, Gender Trouble in the Dance Itself, and Opportunities for Intergroup Contact. New entry (October 13, 2017)
- So you want to organize a dance camp? Henry Morgenstein writes about The Trials and Tribulations of Dance Camp Organizers for those who already have, those who might, and for those that find out about some of the events that happen behind the scenes.
- Okay, how about running a dance weekend? In Organizing Dance Weekends, Henry Morgenstein includes some of the issues which organizers deal with in trying to put one together.
- At the 1997 edition of NEFFA, Larry Jennings led a discussion about The Story of One Successful Series, using the NEFFA Thursday night series in Cambridge as an example.
- Michael Young has a short piece on lighting at contra dances called Bright Lights, Big City, Zesty Contras.
- Nancy Mamlin writes about Dancing From a Former Organizer's Perspective and how it looks once you have changed your perspective.
- Jenny Beer and Joanna Reiner led a discussion at NEFFA in 2002 concerning Dancing on College Campuses including how to start a group and what you might expect.
- Chris Kermiet describes Building a Dance Community. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Secrets of a Successful Series contains notes from a NEFFA workshop in 1997 and is penned by Larry Jennings.
- Greg Rohde explains how to start Spontaneous Waltzing [and Contra Dancing] in Public Places a new activity sponsored by the dancers in Childgrove.
- While each dance series does it differently, Gordy Euler of the Portland Country Dance Community, writes in the January-February 2006 and March-April 2006 issues of Footnotes about the mechanics (booking a hall, caller, musicians, sound engineer, etc.) (pdf file).
- Jenny Beer and Joanna Reiner describe some of the challenges and provide some guidance about Dancing on College Campuses. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Cathie Whitesides describes Let's Dance Weekend, which was held in 1996 which was specifically devoted to callers, musicians, dance organizers, and dancers, with the goal of enabling people to organize or facilitate their own community dances. New entry (May 4, 2008)
- Notes from a discussion amongst callers and dance organizers at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield on a variety of issues that occur on a typical dance floor. (pdf file) New entry (June 7, 2008)
- The Corvallis Folklore Society has produced Contra Dance information for callers and bands including help on contacts, halls, a typical evening, typical moves and dances, etc. Change of URL (August 12, 2017)
- Bob Stein writes, in 1997, about What is this thing called "Community"?". New entry (March 4, 2012)
- Will Loving writes about "Putting on "Techno" contras dances - my experience over the last 2 years". New entry (April 4, 2013)
- Will Loving has curated a collection of posters from various dances that include advice for dancers about . New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Folk Nations conducted a survey in 2016 with more than 400 women responding with the intent of identifying responses of female dancers to behavioral issues at contra dances. New entry (February 27, 2017)
- The Bay Area Country Dance Society included information about Camper Info: A Fragrance-Safe Environment as part of its 2016 edition of its English Week. The explanation and advice could be used by other dance camps and regular dance series. New entry (March 30, 2017)
- The Country Dance and Song Society organized two conferences for dance organizers, "Puttin' on the Dance" and "Puttin' on the Dance 2". The materials for each conference have been archived by the CDSS: "Puttin' on the Dance" Archive and "Puttin' on the Dance 2" Archive. New entry (April 6, 2017)
- Dmitri Arbacauskas posted a blog entry entitled A post for men about creepy men covering an unfortunately common place problem at contra dances and what men can do about it. New entry (July 30, 2017)
- The Country Dance and Song Society participated in a panel at the National Square Dance Convention in Springfield, MA in 2015 to discuss the various challenges confronting folk dance groups and organizations. New entry (August 5, 2017)
- Amongst the resources for organizers that the CDSS has put together is this article about Crafting a Vision. Think about why you are organizing this dance, whether it be a one-shot or a dance series. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- In 2015, Andrew Coate documented a Facebook discussion he started about how to provide guidelines for a Challenging Contra Dance Series. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- The North Bay Country Dance Society furnishes an interview with Erik Hoffman.
- The members of the band, Round the House remember fellow band member Mike Smith who passed away in 2006. Slight change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Bob Barrett writes an Appreciation of Jim Robb, a leading member of the Friday Folk group in St. Albans, England who passed away in 2006. He traveled widely in Britain and American to attend dances and festivals.
- Lisa Sieverts lists the Iron Dancers of the Dawn Dance weekends in Brattleboro.
- The members of the band, Mando Mafia, remember Kelly Perdue, their bandmate, who passed away in 2005.
- The Harvest Moon Folk Society remembers Leon Chapman who owned the dance hall, the River Falls Lodge. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Dan Pearl writes about the funeral of caller Ted Sannella which was held on November 22, 1995.
- Susan Michaels writes some words about Gene Hubert on his passing in 2006. (pdf file)
- FolkWorks provides some information about musician Nancy MacMillan on her passing in 2006. (pdf file)
- Tony Parkes writes In Praise of Herbie Gaudreau who he credits with introducing the couple-facing-couple formation with "Becket Reel" along with many dance compositions.
- An interview with caller and dancer Jonathan Sivier published by the News Bureau of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- You can hear Bob McQuillen talk about contra dance on a program from New Hampshire Public Radio.
- Clark Baker supplies Ralph Sweet's talk at a meeting of the New England Council of Callers Association which includes his history of playing music and calling and covers a wide range of other topics. Fascinating.
- Phantom Ranch presents a biographical page on Ralph Page, noted caller.
- Phantom Ranch has a biographical page on Don Armstrong, noted caller.
- Phantom Ranch provides a biographical page on Graham Hempel, caller and international folk dancer.
- Phantom Ranch has a biographical page on Rickey Holden, caller.
- Phantom Ranch has a biographical page on Chris Kermiet, caller from Colorado.
- Phantom Ranch has a biographical page on Jack McKay, caller.
- Phantom Ranch has a biographical page on Lloyd Shaw, noted square dance caller.
- A biographical piece on Dudley Laufman appeared in Fiddler Magazine in 2002.
- Carol Fey writes about Sandra Wong, a Colorado fiddle player in the September/October 2005 issue of Attic Windows, the newsletter of CFOOTMAD. This is a .pdf file.
- Dot Kent interviews Mark Gunther of the Chicago Barn Dance Company in the Old-Time Herald.
- Caller and dance organizer Larry Jennings was honored with the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award in 2004 and the CDSS provides some of his background. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- The Childgrove Country Dancers have excerpts from an interview Drew Beisswenger and Liz Amos did with fiddler Bob Holt on December 21, 1999.
- An obituary for Ozark fiddler Bob Holt, who passed away in 2004, is posted on the Childgrove Country Dancers site.
- Chiff & Fipple, a whistle/tinwhistle/pennywhistle web site has an interview with flute and whistle player Sarah Bauhan. New entry (April 17, 2008)
- Theresa Ludwuck writes about Dudley and Jacqueline Laufrman, dance musicians in New Hampshire. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- John Hart chronicles the work of Memphis, Tennessee woodturner and dance caller and organizer, Joan Gilmer Kelly, who passed away on May 17, 2011. In addition, the Mid-South Woodturners produced The Book of Joan (pdf document).
- Karin Morra Magno is gathering information including audio, video, photos, and other field recordings of Greg Hooven, a fiddle player from Virginia, who played with the New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters, and passed away in 2005. New entry (June 2, 2012)
- WETA had a 2004 story about Stan Fowler and his work at Glen Echo. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Northwest Folklife writes about Warren Argo,longtime Northwest Folklife board member and friend of Folklife, who passed away in 2010.
- The Seattle Times published an obituary of Phil Williams, co-founder of the Northwest Folklife Festival. New entry (March 14, 2017)
- The Native Society profiles contra dance photographer and musician Doug Plummer. New entry (April 6, 2017)
- WBUR talks with Warren Doyle about The Challenges And Rewards Of Hiking The Appalachian Trail in this interview from 2015. New entry (April 8, 2017)
- The Brattleboro Reformer carried a story by Dominic Poli on April 6 entitled Katz spread love of photography wherever he went and published his obituary on April 4. The Commons of Windham County, New Hampshire also ran a story on Roger Katz and there was a York Peppermint Pattie Toast to the Life of Roger H. Katz at the Guiding Star Grange on April 6. (photo by Kiqe Bosch).
- Dance organizer and caller Bill Martin passed away earlier this month. December Carson wrote an obituary for Bill Martin, a caller and dance organizer in Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting has an interview with Bill from 2003. The Old Time Herald republished an article about Bill from the Oregon Music News.
- Elizabeth Ann Sather, one of the founders of Great Meadow Music, passed away in 2012.
- Ernie Spence, a long-time, well-known dancer in the metropolitan Boston contra dance community, passed away on March 30, 2011. David Millstone writes about a special dance evening in his honor, Ernie Spence's Favorites. The University of New Hampshire has a collection of his papers.
- Musician J. D. Robinson passed away in the summer of 2015. Cory Marie Podielski wrote about his association with the John C. Campbell Folk School. David Kaynor wrote about him in a post in the Dance Musicians Week at the Campbell School with many others providing comments. There's an mp3 of his music. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Elissa Ely wrote about Angela Taylor as part of WBUR's Remembrance Project in an essay entitled Arlington Dance Teacher, Who Danced With 'Wonderful Grace' in June 2017. New entry (June 23, 2017)
- The Bangor Daily News profiles fiddler Ruth Grierson in At 89, Maine's 'ancient fiddler' proves it's never too late to try something new. New entry (June 24, 2017)
- Karin McQuade, fiddle player and singer in Good Foot and Tea and Whiskey is profiled in this 2017 piece. New entry (June 24, 2017)
- West Virginia caller David Mould discussed his life in this 2015 Charleston Gazette-Mail article. New entry (July 30, 2017)
- As part of its centennial celebration, the Country Dance and Song Society published a number of essays about Local Heroes, people who quietly *make things happen* for everyone else. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- The Washingtonian magazine spends two days with Bob Boilen, host for NPR's All Songs Considered, who sometimes plays with the Glen Echo Band on Friday nights. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- Sometime contra dance musician and a bit better known for her work in the Carolina Chocolate Drops and her solo work, Rhiannon Giddens, is profiled in this 2015 piece and is also profiled by the New York Times in this 2015 piece: A Solo Spotlight for a Powerful Voice New entry (August 12, 2017) plus New York Times (October 11, 2017)
- Playing By Heart - These fiddlers focus on traditional music focuses on various fiddlers in Maine at various stages of their musical lives, but all playing traditional music. New entry (September 18, 2017)
- The New York Saratogian has five questions for Doug Haller board member of the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs. New entry (September 23, 2017)
- Bob Elliott, one of the organizers of the dance series in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, twice ran the Boston Marathon while pushing a canoe. New entry (September 24, 2017)
- George Oberst, one of the founders of the Contra Dance Association in Berea, Kentucky, was remembered in a memorial ceremony and monument in October 2017. New entry (October 23, 2017)
- Caller Vickie Morrison is profiled by the Tallahassee Democrat in this 2014 article. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Flatpicking Guitar Magazine spotlighted guitarist Max Newman in its July/August 2014 issue. (pdf format) New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Caller and musician Walter Lenk has information and links about Glenn F. Pease who called dances in New Hampshire from just after World War II to the early 1970s. New entry (October 27, 2017)
Contra dance musician and tune composer Bob McQuillen passed away on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. There is a Facebook group, Remembering Mac for those who wish to contribute or read stories about him.
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 there was be a variety of events honoring Mac. The "service" will be at ConVal High School in Peterborough, NH at 2pm, followed by a reception at the Monadnock Country Club on High St in Peterborough from 4pm-8pm, followed by the Contra Dance at the Peterborough Town Hall at 7pm dedicated to Mac. At the reception and dance there were lots of opportunities for playing and dancing and sharing of stories.
On Saturday, August 1, the Bob McQuillen Festival of Music and Dance was held to raise money for a scholarship fund in honor of “Mr. Mac,” as he was known by his students at ConVal.
Other stories of note:
- Henry Morgenstein tries to determine Where Do Contras Come From in this essay.
- From Down Under and 1995, Peter Ellis writes about Australian Social Dance, its roots and early influences, the music and the types of dances.
- Jacqueline Laufman writes about New England dances back in the mid-20th century.
- Dudley Laufman writes about The Perils of Prosperity: Why Some Dances Are Having Low Attendance in this article from 2000.
- Tony Parkes writes about when folk dancers shouted Absolutely No Contras!" and how that compares with the present day.
- Dudley Laufman writes about The Bahn Dance and what it was like and what it might be like today.
- Tony Parkes provides a History of the New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) from 1944 to 1994.
- Dudley Laufman gives a history of Petronella, the dance from which the twirl originated.
- In So, Why Are They Called Chestnuts? David Millstone tries to answer that question.
- Heiner Fischle has written a short History of Contra Dance.
- Heiner Fischle presents an excerpt from Henry Ford's Today and Tomorrow concerning Henry Ford's opinions about music and dancing.
- Emily Flounton writes about the History of Monroe Hall one of the dance venues of the North Bay Country Dance Society. (pdf file)
- In a complementary essay, David Millstone urges us to Bring Back Money Musk!. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- John Bunyan wrote Everyone Dances, From the Angels on Down and Rebecca Jones has some history behind dancing in America.
- Dancing in the Cuyahoga Valley has a long history and Rebecca Jones has some details in Dance in the Valley.
- Burt Feintuch's Fiddle Music, Dance, and Community in New Hampshire was originally written in March, 1999 for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Program Book. This is a .pdf file.
- The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, amongst articles on the traditional arts of New Hampshire, has an article about the Music & Dance Traditions in New Hampshire and in particular the music and dances associated with old-time dancing.
- The Along the River web site has a bit of history of contra dancing in the Connecticut River valley.
- Dudley Laufman asks if there are any differences among Contra (Contre) Dance? Square Dance? Folk Dance? Barn Dance? Country Dance? and provides some history on the subject.
- In addition, Alan provides the thoughts of Gene Murrow on How Heys and Gypsies got into modern contradancing
- Don Ward and John Brant hypothesize that Square Dancing is the Great Grandchild of Contra Dancing.
- Chip Hedler writes about the past, present and future of contra dancing in Where Contra Dancing's Been---and Where It Might Go.
- Becky Nankivell has written An Outline of the History of American Contra Dance.
- Phil Jamison makes the case for old-time square dancing in Community Dances in the Eighties: Dare To Be Square! published in the Old-Time Herald in 1988-89.
- Robert Reed responded to Phil Jamison's 1988 article in the Bay Area Country Dance in 1989. Change of URL (March 3, 2012)
- Phil Jamison updated his 1988 piece in 2004 in the Old-Time Herald with Old-Time Square Dancing in the 21st Century: Dare to be Square!. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Hilarie Burhans responds to Phil Jamison's 2004 article.
- Connie Rockman has compiled a history of the contra dance series in Greenwich, Connecticut.
- Lawrence White writes about The Heroes of Dance Flurry '06 when storms and power outages threatened the annual festival in Saratoga Springs, New York. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Many dance groups hold a homecoming dance. Caller and dance organizer Mac McKeever writes about the effort by the Childgrove Country Dancers in Homecoming Dance. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Tara Stetz writes about the roots of various forms of square dancing in Dancing with Deep Roots. (pdf file) New entry (March 5, 2008)
- Chris Bueker provides A Short History of the Harvest Moon Folk Society. Change of URL (November 29, 2008)
- Pat Walke provides a history of the Mooney Hollow All-Night Barn Dance which was held in eastern Iowa for a number of years. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- Bob Brooks conveys the history of the Aurelia S. Harwood Memorial Lodge where contra dance, Scandinavian and Scottish dance weekends have been held for a number of years. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Michael McKernan describes A look at late-night dancing in the Brattleboro, Vermont in his essay from 1995. New entry (March 4, 2012)
- Walter Lenk has produced materials with a number of authors relating to Barn Dances in Bradford, New Hampshire especially in the 1950s. They include what a dance evening was like, the venues including the Bradford Arena, dance organizer Frank Fortune, one of the bands, The Myron Colby Orchestra, a newspaper article from November 30, 1952, information about recordings done in 1952, a recording of one of the dances in 1955, recollections from some of the dancers, information about a dance reunion in 2007, and another reunion in 2009, and how this information was compiled.New entry (February 19, 2017)
- The Square Dance History is a place to document the development of this form of American social dance. New entry (February 26, 2017)
- A History of Summit Thursday Dance covers the beginnings of the what is now the Thursday dance series in Philadephia. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- A little bit of history about the dances at the Outing Club in Tamworth, New Hampshire. New entry (March 30, 2017)
- Doug Heacock provides a History of Swingin' Terns Dances in this 2013 article. New entry (October 15, 2017)
- The National Park Service published a Historic Structure Report for Glen Echo Park, the site of the weekly Friday and Sunday night dances organized by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. The 1986 report includes a history of the structures, the site, and its uses. New entry (October 25, 2017)
Canadian caller Martha Edwards writes her work on proofing a particular dance in More on the Double Grand Square. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- For help in Composing Dances, try Colin Hume's article on the subject.
- Tom Lehmann writes about starting places for Choreography: Different Techniques. Change of URL and title (October 24, 2010)
- In this transcription of a dance workshop from 1977 (mildly edited 20 years later), Jack Perron provides some ideas on Contra Dance Choreography. Change of URL (March 4, 2012)
- Cary Ravitz has generated a series of Notes on Choreography for Duple Minor Improper Contra Dances. Change of URL (November 29, 2008)
- Penn Fix reviews Contra Dance Choreography by Mary McNab Dart, published in 1995.
- Jenny Beer has some observations about the Changes in (contra) dancing and choreography.
- Tom Lehmann writes about Glossary dances which says are simple arrangements of the basic figures of contra dancing. Change of URL (October 24, 2010)
- Moving beyond Glossary Dances, Tom Lehmann writes, composers can create dances without new features that exploit repetition with variation and can be quite distinctive and memorable. Change of URL (October 24, 2010)
- Becket Formation, a type of contra starting with a slightly different orientation amongst circles of four.
- What are Proper and Improper Contras and why dance to both? Henry Morgenstein has some answers.
- In A Controversial Contra Dance, Henry Morgenstein writes about "Stoolie's Jig" which includes a move that generates some debate.
- Hugh Stewart has some notes about the move 'sliding' a move from English Country Dancing that was found, lost and found again.
- Analysis of a Bad Contra is Henry Morgenstein's point by point review of a specific dance.
- Nan Evans and Fred Nussbaum et al. present some thoughts about Working and Communicating with the Band. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Caller Jim Saxe tries to list some Words and Confusion in Teaching and Calling.
- Learning the calling trade? Here are some of Henry Morgenstein's thoughts about how to Prepare to Call an Evening Dance.
- Henry Morgenstein riffs on Mary Dart's Contra Dance Choreography in Great Callers - How They Prepare.
- Letter to Another Caller is Henry Morgenstein's analysis, to another caller, of his experience in calling an evening of dances.
- Center-set syndrome and other topics are covered in Larry Jennings' Set Management.
- David Cottle suggests ways in Improving Problem Dancers.
- Callers Gene Hubert and Dot Kent write some Notes on the Three Minute Rule for callers and walk-throughs.
- Caller Erna-Lynne Bogue has some advice on Matching Dances to Tunes.
- Practice...and practice...and practice includes Henry Morgenstein's thoughts on practicing for calling and the benefits (and some detriments) that follow.
- In the The Barn Dance, Valerie Cooley writes that you never know what mix of newcomers and experienced dancers will show up for a contra dance and what the results will be. (pdf file)
- As part of the Lavender Country and Folk Dancers site, Chris Ricciotti has supplied Welcome to Gender-Free Dancing which is a manual on how to call for participatory social couples dancing without regard to gender roles. It also covers the history of gender free dancing.
- Larry Jennings writes his own notes about the tribute night, A Salute to Larry Jennings in 1997 which featured various callers calling dances composed by Larry and was part of the Thursday night dance series at the VFW in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Larry Jennings provides some notes on two discussions as NEFFA in 1998: Callers' Problems, "Identifying Opportunities" and Callers' Problems, "Ploys That Work".
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers have created a Callers Evaluation and Promotion Process for their dances in Atlanta. (pdf file).
- David Kaynor has some Some Thoughts about Long Walk-Throughs to Teaching Experienced Folks to Dance.
- Colin Hume has a series of notes for dance callers, either beginner or experienced, covering a wide range of topics.
- At his Dance Rhapsody site, Seth Tepfer includes a series of .pdf files on calling, including Added more essays (May 10, 2008):
- Cary Ravitz has generated Notes on Calling Contra Dances.
- The Santa Barbara Country Dance Society has included Suzanne Duffy and Jeff Spero's On Respectful Communication with Stage Talent in a .pdf file on its site as part of the Spring 2006 issue of the Dance Star. Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Tom Lehmann discusses what are the distinctive characteristics in Choreographing a First Dance. Change of URL (October 24, 2010)
- In Master Teacher, Henry Morgenstein writes about how to bring inexperienced dancers to a level at which they can dance a dance that experienced dancers will enjoy.
- David Kaynor directs an eye on people's Assumptions Relative to New and Old Contras.
- Anthony Stone writes about calling English Country Dances at The Round in Cambridge, England, but the notes are valuable for callers calling contra dances, especially beginning callers.
- Jonathan Sivier provides some Resources for Callers including advice on programs and teaching tips.
- David Kaynor writes about Teaching Experienced Folks to Dance.
- From a newsgroup discussion, Thomas Green compiled these Suggestions for callers who are calling a dance that you haven't dance yourself.
- Are you going to be calling a dance? Use Hugh Stewart's A Caller's Check List to see if you have the answers you need before you call.
- Dance teacher Richard Powers has some teaching tips for leaders and instructors that are relevant for contra dance callers.
- William Watson supplies some ideas to help you decide Should You Call Dances?
- William Watson has some advice for Calling Your First Contra Dance.
- Here are some examples of Calling Cards as presented by William Watson.
- Walk-thru blow up on you or you need an easy, reliable contra dance right now? Try these Back Pocket Dances compiled by William Watson.
- Susan Songer, one of the co-authors of the The Portland Collection (1 and 2) writes about what she had to do to get authorizations to include tunes in the Collections in Tracking Copyrights and Composers. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- How do you plan a program? Colin Hume writes about this in Program Planning--A Look at One of the Caller's Jobs (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- What are the tasks for The Perfect Caller during a dance session. Keith Connes has some ideas. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Your dance is so successful that the hall has become crowded. How do you keep dancers safe and continue to make the dance enjoyable? Brad Foster has some tips in Crowded Dance Halls. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 20, 2010)
- Laura Brown and Stan Fowler provide some hints as to how to start off an evening of dance instruction in Dance from Scratch. (pdf file) Change of URL (November 27, 2010)
- Every dance series is different, but Will Loving has produced notes for the Challenging Contras on 4th Fridays in Greenfield, Massachusetts that provides ideas for callers and dance organizers in other venues to think about. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Cory Marie Podielski talks with Charlotte Crittenden on Dance Calling including dances and classes at the Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. New entry (October 25, 2017)
- Luke Donforth provided Vermont Public Radio a lesson in How to Call a Contra Dance as part of VPR's Summer School series in 2014. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- The Childgrove Country Dancers in St. Louis has a collection of resources for callers. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers has information for bands and callers who seek to play and call at their dances in the Atlanta area. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Love-Hate Calling is Henry Morgenstein's essay about his opposing thoughts on the subject of being a caller.
- I Hate Calling. Or Do I?--Two Thoughts by Henry Morgenstein and Jo Mortland is a different version of the essay mentioned above. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Dudley Laufman explains Why I Don't Teach Chorus Jig at Public Dances in this 1997 article.
- Hilary Johnson describes The Perfect Caller covering all types of callers.
- William M. Loving has produced the Callers Companion Database which allows callers to enter information about dance compositions including where and when they have been called. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- Jeremy Child covers the subject of On Gender Free Dancing as a caller. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- In December 2013, the CDSS received almost 500 responses from callers to a survey on a variety of matters. There is a blog entry about with the highlights and those interested can download the complete results from the survey. New entry (March 30, 2017)
- Starting a new dance series in Philadelphia, Bryan Suchenski wrote about Why I started calling "Lead" and "Follow" for contras. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- Caller Ron T. Blechner put together this Genderfree Contra Dance Term FAQ to pose some questions and answers and possibly start some conversations. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- While writing about the on-going discussions about renaming the town of Amherst in Massachusetts, Dave Eisenstadter includes the conversations in the contra dance community about using the terms gypsy and ladies and gents (or equivalents) as part of the calling of dances. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Deborah Clark Colón of the band, Changeling, provides some advice about Learning Fiddle Tunes Straight From the CD.
- Kiran Wagle lists some of his Favorite Tunes along with recordings on which they can be found.
- David Kirchner, Brian Rost, Cari Fuchs, Jon Weinberg and Carol Compton team up to give advice on Choosing Tunes for Medleys.
- Eric Anderson presents his notes from the Bear Hug Contra Dance Piano Workshop from 2003.
- Phil and Vivian Williams write about several aspects of Contra and Square Dance Playing for musicians.
- Vivian and Phil Williams provide some advice for Fiddling for Old Time Contra, Square, and Couple Dances.
- Mickey Koth has edited a "dialog" from the Fiddle-L mailing list on What makes a good contra dance band? Change of URL (June 1, 2009)
- Mickey Koth, from work done by the band The Last Gaspé, provides information on Playing Together with Style Change of URL (June 1, 2009)
- Mickey Koth has edited a "dialog" from the Fiddle-L mailing list and the rec.folk-dancing newsgroup about Choosing Tunes for Contra Dance Medleys Change of URL (June 1, 2009)
- FolkMads lists 10 Commandments of Jamming.
- Vivian Williams goes over Jam Session Etiquette.
- John Kilpatrick wrote Medley Mania on the question of whether it was better to stay with one tune for one dance and the reasons why.
- Dudley Laufman has written about Ingredients of Fiddle Tunes on the elements of fiddle music that are not part of the music. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Mark Simos writes about The Subtle Energetics of Accompaniment covering some of his thoughts on the subject.
- Mark Simos writes about Traditional Fiddle Music and the structure in Irish tunes.
- Eric Anderson has written up some Materials on playing contra dance piano.
- WoodPussy & WhistlePig help you if you are a musician who Accidentally Books a Square Dance, Here's What You Do with a basic guide of tunes to play, working with the caller, making it through the evening and stage decorum.
- How to Play Mud Music Before You Can Play Mud Music is a really detailed guide to how to play along with the band (Mud in Your Eye, a Cleveland, Ohio open band) as you're coming up to speed. (pdf file) New entry (May 10, 2008)
- Steve Hudak explains How To Start playing Mud music (music played by the open band from Cleveland, Mud in Yer Eye), and playing at speed during a performance can feel overwhelming. (pdf file) New entry (May 10, 2008)
- Mickey Koth has compiled a number of links that comprise Contra Dance Music: A Working Musician's Guide. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- Fiddler Sarah Comer discusses Learning To Learn By Ear and that it requires a dedication to listening to make it work. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- A Guide for Mud Players is useful for would-be and existing members of the band, Mud in Yer Eye, to keep things flowing smoothly. (pdf file) New entry (June 21, 2009)
- Chris Smith has a number of essays concerning learning and playing the music including Building Tune Sets. New entry (April 29, 2011)
- In 2015, Max Newman, Jill Allen and Susie Lorand compiled a list of Dance Musicians Resources for the CDSS. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers has information for bands and callers who seek to play and call at their dances in the Atlanta area. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- The Tallahassee Community Friends of Old-Time Dance has some suggested criteria for bands playing a contra dance. (pdf format) New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Peter Barnes has some Gig Tales and Quotes from his experiences as a musician.
- Several of the members of the band Childsplay write about their experiences with Childsplay.
- Mark Simos writes About Me and Old-time Music as to how he was exposed to it, learned it and learned from it.
- Mark Simos provides some of his Thoughts on New Old Time Music, pre "O Brother".
- Donna Hébert writes Why I Play Franco-American Fiddle Music which includes some background about her musical heritage. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Donna Hébert shares her experience with The Joy of Music - playing in the Great Groove Band which plays at the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, New York.
- Donna Hébert writes about My Life and Times in Contradance Music.
- While it is a work in progress, David Kaynor discusses Unplugged: The All-Comers' Band at The Montague Center Dance.
- Ryan Thomson writes about various musical topics, and experiences in playing music. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- In In Finding the Groove Pamela Goddard discussed musicians and bands crossing
musical boundaries, experimenting, improvising and fusing musical traditions. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Jessica writes about her experiences in playing piano for contra dances in Alaska. New entry (April 20, 2008)
- Melissa Kacalanos writes about one of her bands, Jiggermeister, playing at a gig in Binghamton in 2006 where the music turned into a Psychedelic Contra Dance. New entry (May 14, 2008)
- At the Rehoboth, MA dance on September 30, 2011, Rehoboth dancer Eric Shaw performed a waltz that he had written to honor both Cliff and Linda Gordon and the Rehoboth dances at Goff Hall. A video of the performance has been posted on YouTube. It features Eric singing "Devotion Waltz," accompanied by the band members of Arigana Highway. You can also see Rehoboth dancers in the foreground of the video. In addition, the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) has included the musical score of "Devotion Waltz" in its Winter 2012 issue and has posted an MP3 of Eric performing the waltz.
- Fiddler Jamie Laval has a short TEDx talk entitled How a Fiddle Tune Can Change the World about how one simple fiddle tune can inspire and engage an entire community. New entry (March 31, 2017)
- Smithsonian Magazine tours the bluegrass and country tunes in hilly southern Virginia in A Musical Tour Along the Crooked Road. New entry (April 4, 2017)
- Matt McClain has a photo essay of the people and venues related to old-time and bluegrass music entitled Strumming along Virginia’s Crooked Road. New entry (July 23, 2017)
- In 2015, Sherry Lowe wrote about Dance Musicians' Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School in her essay We Still Play Things at Dance Musicians’ Week. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- Rebecca Jones, in her "Contra Conversations" discusses The Sort of History of the Dulcimer.
- Rebecca Jones, as part of her "Contra Conversations" talks about fiddles and violins in Fiddling Around.
- Rebecca Jones, in one of her "Contra Conversations" writes about the history of tune names in Name That Tune.
- Joyce Cauthen, Susan Davis, and Scott Russell ask about The Squeal Index: Can Old-Time Bands Make It on the Contra-Dance Scene?
- Karen Missavage includes an article by Jim McKinney about a computer program for transcribing music on her site.
- Stan provides a progress report on the work to make MIDI contra dance music. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- A 1996 on-line discussion in rec.music.country.old-time covers the topic of whether Contra Bands Are Old-Time?
- Rebecca King writes about a CD produced by the Bay Area (San Francisco) Country Dance Society in Yes, You Too Can Produce a Compilation CD--Swinging on the Gate. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Susan Songer, one of the co-authors of the The Portland Collection (1 and 2) writes about what she had to do to get authorizations to include tunes in the Collections in Tracking Copyrights and Composers. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- In a related article, Pat MacPherson answers the question of Do We Have To?--Copyright Basics with a guide to obtaining permissions to use various works. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Pay the Piper asks the question, So you want to play a musical instrument? with notes about each instrument, pros and cons, expenses, etc. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Emily Phillips received a grant to transcribe Billy Matthews 500 Fiddle Tunes: Old-Time Archive. New entry (June 24, 2017)
- NPR reports that Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online in this 2012 story. Lomax recorded music, including old-time tunes, for more than sixty years. New entry (October 13, 2017)
- Where the Hills and Hollows Are Alive With Music is New York Times article from 2014 which explores the areas bordering North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and old-time music, string-band music, bluegrass music (along with dancing). New entry (October 25, 2017)
- Jini Reddy's Dancing from the heart discovers how even novice dancers have no excuse not to get their bodies moving. New entry (October 25, 2017)
- As part of NPR's Deceptive Cadence series of essays about classical music, Anastasia Tsioulcas wrote about that 3/4 music in A Rhythm That Has Waltzed Away With Hearts in this 2014 piece. New entry (October 27, 2017)
A Pomona/Claremont College student writes about Contradance: Outside the Claremont Bubble on going to dances outside of the college campus. New entry (February 24, 2017)
Caller Stephanie Marie has a story called She Found about what a young woman found when she ventured outside of her closet. New entry (February 24, 2017)
A first-time dancer at the Fiddle and Bow dance series sends a note about how well people treated her at the dance. New entry (February 25, 2017)
Seth Tepfer posted in 2015 about his work in choreographing the contra dances that appeared in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. New entry (March 30, 2017)
Lorrie Wilkes writes that Contra Dancing Has Come to Armenia in this 2015 blog entry. New entry (August 5, 2017)
Rochester, New York caller and music Chuck Abell describes his time at the American Music and Dance Week at Pinewoods in 2014. New entry (August 12, 2017)
Susan Cerulean writes about shore birds and contra dancers after a visit to the Florida Snow Ball in 2015 in Yearning to Join the Dance. New entry (October 12, 2017)
Sarah Gowan wrote this preface to the Tuneadelphia tune book concerning the music and dancing at the Glenside dance series back in 2008. New entry (October 15, 2017)
Thomas S. Hodgson produced this photo essay of an evening of dancing in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in the summer of 2014. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- How about contra dancing during a parade? John Gintell writes of his experience in Contra Dancing at Boston Pride March in 2002. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Andy Shore tells the story of Contra Dancing, from a Modern Western Square Dancer and his visit to the LCFD Spring Weekend/Camp in 2005. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- In A Lovely Dance Community is about one wonderful aspect of the dance community that happened to Henry Morgenstein.
- Henry Morgenstein says he is a member of the Mad Dancers, but meets someone else who is more so.
- In The Two Connies, Henry Morgenstein finds that being included in a directory of dancers leads to wonderful experiences.
- Gender Free Dancing includes Henry Morgenstein's experience at the Jamaica Plain (Boston) English Country Dance in 2002.
- Interested in the Chippenham Folk Festival in England? Henry Morgenstein acts as tour guide.
- While the Sidmouth Folk Festival has gone through several incarnations, Henry Morgenstein has gives some details of what this event is like.
- Australian Jeanette Mill asks if New England USA - is this the most thriving folk scene in the world? based on her experiences in New England.
- Paul Tyler and Gene Hubert write about a Square Dance Party at Breaking Up Thanksgiving, a dance weekend near Chicago.
- Chrissy Fowler has written several articles about the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend which is held in Durham, New Hampshire each year. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Dance-a-Runi includes a number of dancers' first impressions of the contra world.
- Henry Morgenstein, in Dance Gypsy provides some thoughts about his experiences as a dance gypsy.
- Dance Across the USA includes Henry Morgenstein's experiences with traveling from dance to dance and meeting up with old and new dance friends.
- Ryan Thomson reviews dance and music camps and festivals on a reguar basis. Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Jonathan Watterson writes about the Marathon Medley dance that occurred near Greenville, South Carolina in 2005. Change in URL (March 22, 2008)
- Dave Marcus provides his notes about the 2005 event in Marathon Contra Medley Makes History at River Falls. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Karen Missavage includes an article about an upcoming Thanksgiving weekend dance in 1997 on her web site and an article that was printed after the dance.
- In the March-April 2003 issue of FolkWorks, Valerie Cooley tells the story of the Sturtevant Dance Weekend in 2000 and how forest service volunteer Peter Bergonzi was brought into contra dancing. (pdf file).
- Neda, one of the students participating in the US Trek back in 2000, wrote about visiting a contra dance in her essay, The Country's First Dance Craze.
- Rob Kellerman writes about a Twelfth Night Contra Dance held in Hallowell, Maine in January 2008. New entry (April 17, 2008)
- Peter Yarkensky discusses the Bradford, New Hampshire Square Dance Reunion Dance, October 20, 2007 including some of the history and the musicians and callers who have been there during the decades. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- In Local Community Contra & Square Dances, Peter Yarensky writes about the dances throughout New Hampshire which have kept the dance scene alive over the years. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- Really Rose provides photos and words for the 2008 edition of the annual Bellingham, Washington ferry dance. New entry (April 29, 2011)
- Ms. Grrrl includes photos and story about a Contra Dance Wedding Reception in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2009. New entry (April 29, 2011)
- Wade writes about his encounter with a contra dance in Bangor, Maine in 2009. New entry (April 29, 2011)
- In the collection of short essays, Brasstown 1991?, Henry Morgenstein writes about a variety of topics from waltzing to the calling of David Kaynor.
- Caller John Meechan presents his Vision about contradancing in the UK written in 2002.
- In Deciding to Choose Happiness, Henry Morgenstein discusses how this topic relates to dancing.
- In his Brasstown 1996 Radio Talks, Henry Morgenstein writes about some of the people who attended this camp and their stories.
- Ah, Dancing in Gym Class. Henry Morgenstein writes about why this may be a good idea.
- Dean Allemang writes about gender-free contra dancing as a New Direction for Contra Dancing.
- Dean Allemang comments on Dancing and Sex and the charge that some dancers get from dancing with others.
- Do exceptions to the rules prove the rules (perhaps relating to dancing)? Henry Morgenstein explains why this might be so in Married Men.
- Henry Morgenstein has some thoughts on Gender Balance at dance camps and other events.
- Henry Morgenstein writes about The Pleasure of Getting It Wrong at a dance and being able to laugh about it.
- Starting off with the line from Passover, "What makes this night different from all other nights?", Henry Morgenstein writes about Why Contras Are "Different".
- Changing Partners: England & America includes Henry Morgenstein's thoughts about how dancers switch and do not switch partners in each country.
- For those Americans visiting England, Henry Morgenstein provides some guidance in Contras & Ceilidhs in England.
- And for British citizens coming to the United States, Henry Morgenstein has some advice about Dancing in America for Brits.
- For advice for folks from the UK dancing contras in the US, check Henry Morgenstein's Explaining Contras to Brits.
- Brits & Contras has some of Henry Morgenstein's ideas about how British dancers view contras.
- JoAnne Rawls explains Why I Love Contra Dancing in response to a thread on the rec.folk-dancing news group. Change of URL (October 25, 2010)
- In the short essay, Fear of Looking Foolish, Henry Morgenstein discusses how fear may help encourage people to do something well, including dancing well.
- How You See a Situation, including a possible time to dance, writes Henry Morgenstein, may tell much about ourselves.
- Cynthia Van Ness has some thoughts about taking advantage of the home town dances along with those special dance weekends and festivals in Best of Both? Some of Each?.
- Susan Kevra writes about the culture and practices of the Greenfield, Massachusetts dance (1995 edition) in Letter to the Greenfield Contra Dancers
- David Millstone writes about the possible dangers of emphasizing Complex Dances in contra dancing. Change of URL (March 4, 2012)
- In this 1995 essay, Chris Kermiet has Some Thoughts on Experienced Dances. (pdf file) Change of URL (October 21, 2010)
- Cynthia Van Ness writes about Contra Dancing and the Consumer Mentality in this 1999 posting and David Kirchner has some additional thoughts as A Political Scientist Replies: Contra Dancing and the Consumer Mentality. Changes in URLs (March 4, 2012)
- Rebecca Jones presents some reasons as to Why We Dance!
- Laurel Horton writes about Material expressions of communality among dance groups, a scholarly article that includes contra dance groups in its examples. Change of URL (October 24, 2010)
- Jane Heinze-Fry writes about Contra Dance Community of the Commonwealth and the elements of the dance and the dance community that she enjoys.
- Why I Love Contras is Henry Morgenstein's brief essay on the subject.
- Henry Morgenstein writes about one aspect of contra dancing in Attention Without Intention.
- Henry Morgenstein, in Couples Dancing, writes about some of the aspects which prevent him from liking it more.
- In Contra Metaphors, Henry Morgenstein has some brief thoughts about not thinking about dancing while dancing.
- Contras Reflect Society contains some of Henry Morgenstein's ideas about how changes in dancing reflect changes in society.
- Henry Morgenstein discusses Dancing as a Woman and what he learns from his experiences.
- Seeing Yourself includes Henry Morgenstein's views on seeing yourself through your own eyes and through others while dancing.
- Caroline Fahrney writes about "[missing] the chance to be part of shaping the traditions and culture in a particular dance community in her essay "There's no place like home...". Updated URL (October 15, 2011)
- Karen Berquist writes about Contra Culture and how it can be different than anything else that someone has encountered before.
- Bruce Abedon writes about the Tao of Contra Dancing.
- Sheridan Hill writes about Stokin' the Contra Fires an essay about some of the feelings that people experience when contra dancing.
- Donna Hébert writes about Ecstasy at the Contradance on the communications and feelings that flow between and amongst dancers and musicians at a contra dance. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- The Dance-A-Runi site includes short notes about people's first experiences with contradancing. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Bill Pope has Three Tales of Rare Mishaps at contra dances.
- JoAnne Rawls asks What's So Great About Contra Dancing and finds a fair number of things. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- In an academic article from the journal "Western Folklore", Paul Jordan-Smith explores About that swing: "Sleaze" dancing and community norms at River Falls Lodge. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Laurel Horton and Paul Jordan-Smith comment on a collection of essays about Communities of practice: Traditional music and dance from the journal, Western Folklore. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Rebecca Sachs writes about Embodiment and Community in folk dancing in this article from Western Folklore. Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Richard Treitel writes about the four elements (fire, air, water, earth) and dancers in What's Your Element.
- Dean Allemang discusses his first experiences with Gender-Role Free Contra Dancing.
- The Northeast Music, Art and
Dance aka NOMAD is held in Connecticut each fall and Barbara Ruth believes that it and other like events have become more important and writes why in NOMAD: Now More Than Ever--A Personal Reflection. (pdf file) Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Dancer Marcia Michael learns to employ the philosophy of finding beauty in that which is not perfect in Contra Wabi-Sabi. (pdf file) Change of URL (November 8, 2010)
- Bennett Konesni writes about the Brattleboro Dawn Dance, the band Nightingale, why contra dancing has become so popular in America and how the lessons learned in this case might apply to rescuing other aspects of traditional culture. This is the English version of the introduction to the article. The entire article was published in the Italian language Slowfood magazine. You can read the original article in Italian (Italian version is a pdf file).
- New Hamphsire caller and musician Peter Yarensky tells the Story of How and Why I Started Calling Dances.
- Warren Argo his decades of experience with contra dancing in the Pacific Northwest in So What Is It About This Contra Dancing Anyway?. (pdf file) New entry (January 10, 2008)
- Robin Shapiro discusses Intersubjectivity and Contradance looking at the dance from her view as a therapist. New entry (April 17, 2008)
- Rhinoceraptor has some thoughts about last waltz on New Year's Eve gave her a different perspective about the new year. New entry (April 17, 2008)
- Naturalist has some thoughts about the good points of contra dancing after going to one in Colorado in 2006. New entry (April 20, 2008)
- Hannah discusses some of the things she does not like about contra dancing from this blog entry in 2007. New entry (April 20, 2008)
- Michael Schneider writes about Rethinking Square Dancing based on his experiences in the Pittsburgh area in the 1980s. New entry (May 10, 2008)
- Jeff Kaufman examines the Models of Contra Dance comparing how various dances venues, series and events differ and are similar (plenty of good discussion in the comments). New entry (May 15, 2011)
- Mägi May writes Why Contra Makes Me Feel So Good: A Post on the Vestibular Sense and Me in this blog post from 2011. New entry (February 19, 2017)
- Laura RivaDear Beginner: This is why they told you ‘No’ and that a ‘No’ is rarely about you. It’s almost always about the person who said ‘No’. New entry (February 24, 2017)
- NPR has a 2016 report about The Health Benefits Of Dancing Go Beyond Exercise And Stress Reducer New entry (February 24, 2017)
- The Philadelphia area Weavers Way Coop explains What Your Co-op Neighbors Love About Contra Dancing New entry (February 24, 2017)
- Emily Baxley explains What Dance Has Taught Me in this 2016 essay. New entry (February 25, 2017)
- Rachel Jordan has written a research paper called Ideological Differences Within the Contra Dance Community: A Case Study which focuses primarily on the ideological climate of the Warren Wilson (OFB) dance community and seeks to find correlations between various identifying factors and their effects—positive, negative, or neutral— on general sentiment. New entry (February 25, 2017)
- A young dancer in Salt Lake City provides a brief description of what contra dancing is like. New entry (February 25, 2017)
- In Gender and Agency within a Social Dance Community, Shaina Kapeluck explores the ways in which gender roles are shifting within the extended contradance community in Asheville and around New England. New entry (March 14, 2017)
- Jason G. Goldman writes Why Dancing Leads to Bonding in this article in Scientific American from 2016. New entry (March 19, 2017)
- Rebecca Beris discusses 5 Things That Will Happen To Your Brain When You Dance. New entry (March 30, 2017)
- Lisa Marie Lunt writes about Connecting and Letting Go and the Yin/Yang of Contra in this post from 2015. New entry (March 31, 2017)
- Hearth Member and Matthew Reese write about Why We Dance in this April 2016 post for Miranda's Hearth. New entry (April 1, 2017)
- Bronwyn Tarr discusses why Science says dancing with friends is good for your health in this 2015 article. New entry (April 3, 2017)
- Walk, Stretch or Dance? Dancing May Be Best for the Brain from Gretchen Reynolds in the New York Times in March 2017 about a new study that compared the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggests that there may be something unique about learning a social dance. New entry (April 8, 2017)
- Dancing with a little do si do may help fend off aging in the brain, Colorado State University researcher finds in that square dance training incorporates exercise, social interaction and learning that keeps the brain’s wiring in good shape. New entry (April 9, 2017)
- Ruthie Byers writes about the first gender-free evening at the Wednesday night dance series in Berkeley, California in 2014 with the conclusion that Gender Free Dancing is for Everyone. New entry (July 22, 2017)
- Andy West discovers the features of choreographed social dancing in Dancing the social steps. New entry (July 30, 2017)
- Jeremy Carter-Gordon, dance scholar, teacher, and performer of traditional English and American folk music and dance asks and tries to answer the question Why Do We Dance?. New entry (August 5, 2017)
- The editorial page of The Guardian wrote In Praise of...Country Dancing in January 2009. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- Laura Riva explains What It Means to be a Social Dancer. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- While contra dancing has been related to matrices in mathematics, Carolyn Vaneseltine looks at Contra Dance, Modern Squares, and Game Design. New entry (August 12, 2017)
- Sarah Rubin discussed how The Power of Touch — and Contra Dancing can help answer the question of how sustained physical communication be reintroduced into the lexicon of relating to others so that it can be an available and integrated form of communication across the lifespan? New entry (August 12, 2017)
- While at the 2015 edition of the Dance Flurry, Rachel B. Jamieson wrote Dance=Play about how one gives us an opportunity to do the other. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- More about dance performances than social dancing, but still having something to say about the latter, Ambidancetrous points out that With Great Choreography Comes Great Responsibility on gender roles and dance roles. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- Stacy J. Stanley writes about how her husband decided to contra dance in Dance Lessons: Part 1, Conquering Fear. New entry (September 23, 2017)
- In Dance Lessons: Part 2, Partners, Stacy J. Stanley discusses how different partners not only teach you about dancing but about yourself. New entry (September 23, 2017)
- Jon Lee Cope discovers Contra Addiction by visiting the contra dance series in Louisville, Kentucky. New entry (October 25, 2017)
- Tyler Johnson's essay Fear of Dancing how he feared dancing and how that fear was transformed into a homecoming. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Scott Edwards reports in Strength in movement that researchers see potential role for dance in treating neurodegenerative disorders in this 2016 story. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- Bob Archer writes about English / American dancing - a comparison discussing English Country and contras in the United States and the general dance scene in England along with a section about ceilidhs.
- In Countries Divided by a Common Language, Henry Morgenstein explains that a Ceili is not a Ceili and English Country Dancing is not English Country Dancing, depending on which country you are dancing.
- In the essay Contra Dancers & Squares, Henry Morgenstein has some ideas about why some contra dancers dislike squares and how changes in the calling and composition of squares may change this attitude.
- Bill Ackerman provides A Guide to Learning Western Square Dancing for Traditional Dancers.
- A close relative to contra dancing is Bush Dancing in Australia. Find out all about it at Alastair Wilson's Bush Dance Site. Change of URL (March 4, 2012)
- Art Harvey writes about how How Contras Fit Into Square Dances although the emphasis is how contras fit into Modern Western Square Dance programs.
- Alan Winston writes about English Country Dance and Its American Cousin: History and Comparison.
- ECD [English Country Dancing] & Contras, a Comparison is Henry Morgenstein's analysis of the differences and similarities between these two types of dances.
- Henry Morgenstein has some thoughts about why contra dancers might like Irish Set Dancing.
- Scottish Country Dancing may be the most difficult dancing a contra dancer may encounter but Henry Morgenstein has some reasons why contra dancers should try this form out.
- Mark Stibich discovers that My Parents Were Undercover Square Dancers. Change of URL (March 3, 2012)
- Julie Mangin writes concerning The State Folk Dance Conspiracy: Fabricating a National Folk Dance.
- Chip Hendrickson discusses the rise and decline of club squares and how this might relate to other types of dancing in Keeping Those Traditional Roots. Change of URL (March 4, 2012)
- Clark Baker provides an excerpt from Ralph Sweet's article: Western Style Square Dancing is in trouble which while describing events from the mid-1960's, has some important points for all social dance groups.
- Seventy-thirty provides information and links in All About Tango for that dance form. [Thanks to Michelle for the suggestion] New entry (December 19, 2014)
- MJJ Market Umbrellas, for some reason, has information and links to Outdoor or Indoor Entertainment: Square Dancing [Thanks to Chloe for the suggestion] New entry (May 27, 2015)
- Sarah [Gowan] and Bill [Quern]'s Hambo Helper, a "cheat sheet" of guidance for those who wish to learn the hambo. New entry (March 29, 2017)
- Sol Lederman starts a discussion about how to better integrate the Contra and Square Dance (MWSD) communities. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- Aaron Blum of the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers in Minnesota discusses On Square Dancing in the Popular Consciousness of Many Americans including the influence of Henry Ford and Benjamin Lovett. New entry (August 13, 2017)
- Camille Brown writes that the Google Waltz Lab teaches Stanford students to think on their feet which is a result from a partnership between Google and Powers, a Stanford Dance Division lecturer, the lab is much more than just a dance class. Building on the non-competitive activity of social ballroom dancing, the students learn not just to dance, but also to think about problem-solving in a new light. New entry (September 10, 2017)
- Shuly Cawood discusses three types of contra dancers and how she has moved amongst these categories in The Type of Dancer I've Become. New entry (October 15, 2017)
- Ivars Peterson writes about Bernie Scanlon's fascination with Contradancing and Matrices in a MathLand article. And, there is a response from Ted Crane in a column a few months later. And Larry Copes brings in Representations of contra dance moves and he has more articles about the mathematics of contra dancing including Counting Contra Dances. Dr. James V. Blowers writes about Mattresses, Contra Dancing and Quilts. And Ivar Peterson returns to the conversation with his Contra Dances, Matrices, and Groups. Changes in URLs for Larry Copes articles (November 15, 2010)
- In https://www.cdss.org/community/blog/math-music-and-contra-dance/Math, Music and Contra Dance, Lena Erickson writes about how contra dance uses permutations and algebra in its patterns of dance. New entry (October 25, 2017)
- KQED has a report from 2014 about howAbstract Math Concepts Spring to Life at UC Square Dancing Club. New entry (October 27, 2017)
- The Atlantic published an article in 2016 about Learning Empathy Through Dance. New entry (February 26, 2017)
- Photographer Doug Plummer provides some basic tips in the 2014 article How to Photograph a Contra Dance. New entry (October 25, 2017)
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Last updated on October 27, 2017