Contra Dance Links for
the Great Lakes region
of the United States
Sites and Pages
West Virginia |
Bands and Musicians |
This page is devoted to listing contra dances in the Great Lakes
region of the United States along with bands, musicians, callers, and
organizations that are based in the region. URLs and e-mail addresses
are listed when available. New entries, additional information, and
changes in information are always welcome. Links to other pages in
the www.contradancelinks.com web site are listed at the bottom of the page.
New links are simply new to me, not
necessarily new to the World Wide Web. Change
in URL means that a link has changed its WWW address or
In addition to the many of the sites which have links to nearby
dances, the following provide expansive lists of dances in this
- The Chicago Barn Dance Company holds and helps sponsor a variety of dances in and around Chicago. They also include listings for area dances.
- The University of Chicago Folklore Society sponsors a Folk Festival in early February each year which includes a small amount of contra dancing.
- The University of Chicago
Folk Arts Community sponsors dances once a month along with a dance weekend in April. Change of URL (October 5, 2014)
- Mark Gaines provides a Chicago Traditional American Folk Dance web site which includes information about a variety of dances including contras.
- There is a new contra dance series in Logan Square in Chicago for all types of queer and non-queer people of different backgrounds and ethnicities together to have fun and to interact with each other with live music. New entry (February 27, 2013)
- The Plank Road Folk Music Society holds periodic dance parties in Downers Grove along with the other events which they sponsor.
- The Elsah Community Folk Dance is held on the 3rd Saturday of most months at Farley's Music Hall with a variety of callers and musicians.
Change of URL (September 9, 2012)
- In Geneva, the Fox Valley Folklore Society sponsors the Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival in late August and/or early
September which includes a barn dance.
- Diane Ippel supplies information about the old-time dances in Morris which are held, generally, on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
Change of URL (July 22, 2014)
- The Illowa Community Folk Dance Series occurs in Rock Island, generally but not always on the 1st Friday of the month from September to June. Everything from contras to British Historical Dances from 1651-1830 to a Welsh/Cornish Barn Dance is part of the schedule.
- The Urbana
Country Dancers host dances on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month. In addition, they hold an annual Jan Jam in
early-mid January. The site is maintained by Jonathan Sivier.
- Lynn Garren maintains the web page for the folks at the Fermilab Folk Club in Warrenville, outside Chicago, who hold dances on second (September to June) and third Sundays (November to April).
- One of the activities at the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering in Battle Ground, held in late June, is a contra dance.
Change of URL (July 22, 2014)
- The Bloomington
Old-Time Music and Dance Group dances each Wednesday and also on
the 5th Saturdays of the months that have them. In addition to their regular dance schedule, they sponsor Sugar Hill in Bloomington, a dance weekend in mid-late August and they hold an annual informal dance weekend in April in Bloomington called Mad Robin Romp. Updated Sugar Hill URL (July 22, 2014)
- The Fort Wayne Traditional Music and Dance Society sponsors contra dances on third Saturdays, from September to May, along with music jams on 4th Sundays. Change of URL (April 17, 2012)
- The Goshen Community Contra Dancing happens on the 1st Saturday of the month.
- The Indianapolis Traditional Music and Dance Group holds dances on Tuesdays with an occasional dance on Saturday. In addition, they hold the Gypsy Moon Ball in late October. Doug Becker provides the information. Change of URL (November 19, 2012)
- The South Bend Contra Dancers meet on the 2nd Saturday of every other month at various locations. New entry (August 21, 2013)
- The Valparaiso Oldtime Dance Society holds contra dances on the 3rd Saturday of each month in northwest Indiana. Change in URL (September 15, 2013)
- The Contraire Dance Association dances in Berea every fourth Saturday and most 3rd Fridays with open-mic calling and a pick-up band. Change in URL (November 25, 2012)
- Berea College sponsors an annual Christmas Country Dance School in late December in Berea featuring classes in instruction for a number of styles of dance. Change in URL (September 15, 2012)
- The Capital City Country Dancers in Frankfort hold dances on Fridays from September to early December and from February to May. Change in name, dates, and URL (July 22, 2014)
- Based on their schedule, the Lexington Traditional Dance Association generally holds contras on the first Saturday and second and third or fourth Fridays, each month. In early June they hold a "Dance Trance" weekend. Cary Ravitz provides the information.
- In late January, Lexington and Berea host the Swing Shift contra/swing weekend.
- Dwayne Johnson at provides information about the dances sponsored
by the Louisville Country Dancers, which are held on Monday nights, third Saturdays and 1st Fridays. They also host the Potato Run weekend in May. Change of URL (September 20, 2013)
- The Lloyd Shaw Foundation hosts Cumberland Camp in Nancy near Lake Cumberland in late July which includes contras and a wide variety of other dances. Marnen Laibow-Koser maintains the LSF web site.
- Dances are held in Somerset on the 5th Saturday of those months with 5th Saturdays. Updated dates and URL (July 27, 2013)
- The Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance provides listings for a number of Michigan dances including contras.
- The Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance holds contra dances on 1st Saturdays and 4th Saturdays along with a wide range of other activities including the Ann Arbor Dawn Dance Weekend in late February.
- The Contra Central dance series occurs in Detroit on 2nd Fridays (not an AACTMAD event, but that's the best place to get information). New entry (October 15, 2011)
- The Michigan Dance Heritage Spring Weekend (Trillium Twirl) is held near Dowling in mid-April. Bob Stein provides the information.
- The Grand River Folk Arts Society hosts contra dances in Grand Rapids on the 1st Friday of the months from October to May and the 4th Friday of the month except for May and December. Change in URL (August 21, 2012) Added information about the 1st Friday dance and dates for both (March 29, 2012)
- The Allegan Woods Folk Arts Cooperative hosts dances in Holland on the 3rd Friday of each month at the Park Township Community Hall.
- There's a series of dances in Howell, Michigan on various Wednesday nights at the Opera House with Glen Morningstar, Jr. and members of the Ruffwater Stringband. New entry (October 15, 2011)
- Country Dancing in Kalamazoo sponsors great American and English traditional dancing to live music. Contra and square dances are held on various Saturdays throughout the year, "Dance Just for Fun" on 1st Sundays, and occasional events on other days of the week. Robert Messer handles the web duties.
- Ten Pound Fiddle provides a variety of activities, including contra dances in the Lansing area on first Saturdays. The pages are sponsored by the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse in East Lansing, Michigan, and are maintained by Warren
- Also in the Lansing area is the Looking Glass Music And Arts Association which among its activities sponsors monthly contra and square dances on the 3rd Saturday of the month and hosts the Looking Glass Festival in mid-October. The combined efforts of Bonnie Wheeler, Hanno Meingast, and Julie Levy-Weston make the page possible.
- The Michigan Dance Heritage Fall Dance Weekend in mid-late September at Camp Cavell, on the shore of Lake Huron, near Lexington. The Weekend includes contras, squares, English country, couple dances, jamming, singing, baking and time to relax with friends!
- The Folk Music Society of Midland sponsors a dance including contras, squares, and circle dances on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month from September to mid-May. In addition, they sponsor the Midland Folk Music Festival in late August. Updated information (March 7, 2010)
- The Blissfest Country Dance series is held at the Rustic Ballroom between Petoskey and Walloon Lake on the 1st Saturday of the month. Change of URL (September 14, 2013)
- The Wheatland Music Organization sponsors contra dances, among their other activities, on the 3rd or 4th Saturday of the month, in Remus. In addition, they sponsor the Wheatland Festival in early September and a Traditional Arts Festival in late May.
- The Paint Creek Folklore Society gets together to share folk and traditional music during monthly meetings that include a workshop, a song swap and jam sessions in and around Rochester Hills.
They hold an occasional contra dance.
- The mission of the Bayside Travellers Country Dance Society is to promote traditional music and dance. Contra and Square dances are held in various locations, on 2nd Saturdays, in and around Traverse City. Don Basch maintains the site.
- The Oakland County Traditional Dance Society hosts dances in Troy on the 4th Saturday of most months. Change in location (July 9, 2011)
- The Tamarack Dance Association holds Community Contra and Barn Dances on the 3rd Saturday of the month in Duluth.
- The Home on the Range (Iron Range) Dance Association sponsors dances and special events in Ely and other communities
in northeastern Minnesota such as circle dances, New England contra dances, Irish dances, waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and two steps.
- Check the Fergus Falls Culture Pulse site for information about various barn dances there.
- The Lanesboro barn dance is held periodically throughout the year.
- The Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis hosts New England-style Contra on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturdays of each month. Challenge Contras are featured on the first Thursday of each month.
- According to the Tapestry Folk Dance Center, there are dances on 1st Saturdays in St. Paul.
- Brian Haskell also mentions the 1st Saturday dances along with a variety of folk music and dance events in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Change of URL (January 2, 2010)
- Harold Cheyney provides information about the dance in Athens which occur
generally, but not always, on the 2nd Saturday of the month. In addition, the Ohio University Traditional Dance Club meets on Tuesdays. Change in URL (April 13, 2013)
- Headquartered in Broadview Heights, the Northeast Ohio Folk & Traditional Music & Dance Society covers events and listings for the area.
- John Brockman supplies information about the Cincinnati ContraDancers which sponsor contra dances every Monday night and the 2nd (generally) Saturday of the month. In addition, they sponsor an annual Pigtown Fling in March in Covington, Kentucky.
- Bob McKimm covers the contra dance scene around Cleveland including schedules, news, special events, and web links.
- Harold Cheyney provides information about the Big Scioty dances in Columbus. They are mostly on the first and third Saturdays, except for the occasional Friday.
In addition, they have:
- Also in Columbus is the All
Soles contra dance series on a Friday of each month, September through May. All Soles switches to 4th Saturdays for a summer dance series in June, July and August.
- Dancers from the Cleveland/Akron area are sponsor a River Rendezvous Dance Weekend in mid-July in Coshocton. Carol Kuegeler
provides the information.
- The Dayton Contra Dance Parties happen in Kettering on the 1st Saturday of the month from October to May. New entry (September 25, 2013)
- The Dandelion Romp in Oberlin is held in late April.
- And the Oberlin Contra Dance Club holds dances during the school year.
- The Northwest Ohio Traditional Music and Dance (NOTMAD) in Toledo holds contra dances on 2nd Saturdays (usually). Cathy Whitaker maintains the site.
- Balance and Swing in Wooster holds dances on the 1st Saturday of the month from October to May and has information about other dances in the area. Susan English hosts the site.
- There is a new series of dances in Yellow Springs at the Bryan Center. New entry (September 25, 2013)
- Whitewater Whirl, a weekend with a combination of dance and outdoor events, occurs each year in early May near Beckley.
- The Kanawha Valley Friends of Old Time Music and Dance host the
annual Fall Fling in late-mid September in Beckwith. Steve Ballman handles the page design.
- The Vandalia Gathering occurs in Charleston in late May each year and includes a little bit of contradancing.
- Also in Charleston is a series of dances on the 3rd Friday of the month sponsored by the Kanawha Valley Friends of Old Time Music and Dance. Steve Ballman handles the page design.
- The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins sponsors a variety of classes and workshops each year. Change in URL (January 21, 2012)
- The Almost Heaven Committee sponsors the Almost Heaven Dance Weekend in late May and the FootFall Dance Weekend in September each year at the Timber Ridge Camp in High View. Jim Hoyt maintains the site.
- The Morgantown
Friends of Old-Time Music hosts a mix of old time squares, contras, circle dances and waltzes on a variety Saturdays. Mary Swim supports the site. There is an alternate site.
- The Contradancers Delight Holiday takes places in late December each year in Morgantown.
- The Lloyd Shaw Foundation sponsors Terpsichore's Holiday in late December and early January in Roanoke.
- Elaine Keagle provides information on
behalf of Shepherdstown Music and Dance, which sponsors the dances on the 1st Saturday of each month with some dances on 5th Saturdays.
- There are dances now at Beloit College in Beloit on various dates. New entry (April 17, 2013)
- The Folklore Center in Dodgeville hosts dances on the 1st Saturday of the month.
- Clint Sprott presents information about the Squirrel Moon Dance Weekend held in Dodgeville in mid-September. Change in URL (July 4, 2012)
- The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee holds periodic Stringalong Gatherings at the Edwards Conference Center in East Troy.
- There is a new dance series on 4th Saturdays at the La Farge Community Center. New entry (February 26, 2014)
- Clint Sprott provides information about contra dances in Madison on Tuesday nights plus a variety of dances during the weekends.
- The Last
Gaspé including John Kraniak, Paul Biere, Kevin Clark, Amy
McFarland, and Maria Terres, play on 2nd Saturdays in
- There are dances at the Falcon Bowl in Milwaukee on various Friday nights. Change in URL (January 10, 2013)
- The Prairie Hill Contra Dance sponsors dances on the 1st Saturday of the month in Pewaukee.
- The River Falls Community Arts Base in River Falls is a co-sponsor of a series of barn dances on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
- The Door County Folk Festival in Sister Bay is held in early-mid July and features contradancing among its wide range of dance and music
- The Good Apple in Stockholm sponsors a series of barn dances on the 1st Saturday of each month
during the summer.
- The Door County Folk Alliance sponsors dances in Sturgeon Bay on a variety of dates along with holding other music and song events.
- The Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance has
information about a number of bands and musicians in
- The 3rdSunday String Band is a group of dynamic Chicago musicians dedicated to the preservation and performance of Traditional American Music.
- Aisling is a Columbus, Ohio Irish traditional music band playing all of the dance music of Ireland: jigs, reels, polkas, hornpipes, slipjigs, marches, and set dances. MySpace page.
- The Appalachian Celtic Consort plays traditional Irish and Scottish music mostly, but also a little old-time and some original compositions with a mix of the local flavor and is based in Charleston, West Virginia.
- Askin' for Trouble plays for dances, parties and weddings in the mid Michigan area. Music style is mostly old time with a bit of Irish thrown in. This 7 piece band brings as many as four fiddles, guitar, bass, and either banjo, flute, or mandolin depending on the tune. Music samples from a recent dance are at http://www.glasmacher.us/aft/. Contact Jsuppnick@hotmail.com via e-mail. New entry (October 18, 2014)
- Aunt Lu & the Oakland County Allstars come from White Lake, Michigan and includes Judi Morningstar amongst the members. New entry (January 21, 2010)
- The Band O'Goshen is of the Indiana Goshen. (e-mail only)
- The Doctor of Stuntology, Sam Bartlett who plays with a number of contra musicians and other types, has a site featuring his works. He is based in Indiana. MySpace page.
- Mandolin player Michael Mayerfeld Bell is a former member of bands such as The Fiddleheads and the Barn Owl Band has composed tunes recorded by the latter, Fool's Gold and Wild Asparagus. He is based in Wisconsin.
- The Berea Castoffs, composed of Alice White, Al White, Atossa Kramer, David Witherspoon and occasionally Elise Melrood play on most 4th Saturdays each month at the Berea, Kentucky dance.
- Mary Bertke played with the the Columbus, Ohio band Aisling.
- The The repertoire of the Big Bluestem String Band is an eclectic mix of fiddle tunes, old-time string band music, bluegrass and historic tunes, with an occasional sprinkling of swing and the blues. The band is based in Illinois.
- Black River Ironworks plays at dances in Ohio and neighboring areas. (e-mail only)
- While Michigan's Blue Water Ramblers mostly sing extraordinary folk music, they occasionally do play at a contra dance.
- Born Old is Doug Van Gundy and Paul Gartner. They have been playing together since 1997, and have learned or stolen from the best traditional musicians in the state of West Virginia. They play traditional old-time music from West Virginia with occasional forays into early country music from the 78 rpm era.
- Bob Bovee and Gail Heil play everything from square dance tunes to authentic cowboy songs to yodels & tin pan alley favorites and are based in Minnesota.
- The Boys of the Hock' play instrumental interpretations of Irish traditional music weaving together lively jigs and reels, stately hornpipes, and haunting airs to bring the sounds of Ireland to the hills of Appalachia and to their home base in Ohio.
- Stuart Brand plays fiddle for the Columbus, Ohio based band, Aisling.
- The BriarPickers come from Madison, Wisconsin and feature Brian Ray and Paul Kienitz. They meld traditional Appalachian style folk melodies with a classical string ensemble approach. New entry (September 29, 2012)
- Brittany Bay is an acoustic quartet from Cincinnati, Ohio which draws upon music from New England, the British Isles, and French Canada and takes a new approach to the traditional folk dance music.
- The Brook String Farm Band plays on a regular basis at the dances in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
- Matt Brown plays sprightly square dance tunes, haunting banjo pieces, and sings a variety of songs from the blues to ballads. He is based in Chicago, Illinois. Change of location (May 25, 2014)
- Members of the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin based Bubble and Squeak play for dances there along with weddings, private parties and receptions.
- Buzzstep is a Kentucky-based contra dance band including Cary Ravitz on fiddle, Richard King on piano, and Steve Bennett on drums.
- The Celery City Sodbusters are based in Kalamazoo, Michigan and play at dances in the area. (e-mail only)
- Celtic Myst, featuring Steve Hedges, Mark Moschell and Will Watt played at the Indianapolis, Indiana
dance on October 20, 2009.
- Ceol Cridhe are three musicians based in Frankfort, Kentucky, begins a concert. Jack Twombly, Bob Cox, and Bryn Bowen Cox share a love and passion for the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, as well as the lesser-known Celtic cultures of Brittany and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. (e-mail only)
- Changeling is the Celtic music duo of guitarist/singer Karl Clark Colón and fiddler Deborah Clark Colón.
- Chicory is a dance band based in Illinois. Not fancy. A couple of fiddles, a guitar, a bass, but it puts energy into the dancers' feet and makes them never want to stop.
- The Cincinnati Open Band is a volunteer group who plays for the Monday night contra dances in Wyoming, OH, about once every two months. New entry (January 21, 2011)
- The Circle of Friends
Dance Band is the resident band for the Home on the Range
Community Dance Association and has performed widely throughout
northern Minnesota since 1996. Circle of Friends plays traditional
American and Irish music for contra dances, house dances, weddings,
concerts, and other special occasions.
- The Clearfork Valley String Band is an Ohio based band with members spanning three generations. The band performs traditional fiddle-based music with a purity that transcends trends and gimmicks.
- The Coffee Zombies play for contra dances in Indianapolis and nearby areas and states fusing old-time, Celtic, French-Canadian, and original tunes with a hard-driving rhythmic base. New entry (January 31, 2011)
- The Common Taters have a bunch of fun playing and singing traditional old-time stringband music for dances, festivals, weddings, and other events in the Chicago area. MySpace page. Added MySpace page (January 2, 2010)
- The Ohio edition of the band Contraband includes Mark Barsamian (fiddle), Mark Delozier (piano) and Michael Sisson (bass). The band is available to play at contra dances in the area. (e-mail only) New entry (December 8, 2011)
- Hailing from West Virginia, the Contrarians are
comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions: Celtic, New
England, swing, and of course, old-time (Appalachian). They also
write original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses
of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and
never lose interest in the music. MySpace page.
- Contratopia, featuring
John Goodin on the mandolin, Eric Sessions on the fiddle, Patrice
Pakiz on keyboard, oboe, and percussion, and Pat O'Loughlin on
concertina and banjo, is based in Minnesota.
- The Corndrinkers
include Tom Duffee (banjo), Barbara Kuhns (fiddle), Linda Scutt
(fiddle), Doug Smith (guitar), and Al Turnbull (bass), are based in
the Springfield-Troy area of southwestern Ohio and have played for
more than 25 years. Change of URL (January 21, 2011)
- The Cosmic Otters are the Chicago based duo of Jonathan Whitall on fiddle and Meg Dedolph on guitar playing Celtic music for contra dancing.
- Dark of the
Moon, a women's band based in Madison, Wisconsin, plays traditional
music from the the British Isles, America, Scandinavia, and other
countries for dancing and listening. They specialize in music for
contradancing, such as jigs and reels, and also play waltzes, polkas,
schottisches, folk songs, and other traditional music. Mary Mullen
and Bonnie Gruber provide the information.
- Bob & Lynn Dixon hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota and play as a duo and in bands such as Danebodium. Band blog. Added band blog (January 21, 2011)
- Duck for the
Oyster specializes in traditional music for dancing, from 18th
and 19th century America as well as a variety of dances from around
the world and play a regular dance series in northwestern Wisconsin
featuring squares, contras, reels, quadrilles, international, circle
and round dances.
- Rachel Eddy plays fiddle, clawhammer banjo and mandolin with fellow old-time and Irish music musicians and is a member of the Morgantown Rounders in West Virginia.
- The band, Ennis Clare, based in Indianapolis, is a high-energy trditional Irish band featuring audience rousing traditional songs and high driving, foot stomping Irish tunes. New entry (January 21, 2011)
- Erwynne's Mash is the
Erwin family ceilidh band from Oberlin, Ohio. (e-mail only)
- The Ethnic
Connection performs Jewish Klezmer music, as well as Balkan Folk
Dance music and is based in Michigan.
- The Fall Creek Delta Boys continue to play on a periodic basis at
- The Fiddle Fire aka Panning Family Band specializes in traditional, foot stomping fiddle music, as well as gospel bluegrass for events ranging from dances to corporate parties and is based in Michigan. Change of URL (April 17, 2011)
- Five-Oh! is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and plays at dances in the area. (e-mail only)
Fingers is a student run musical ensemble at Macalester College
in St. Paul, MN, performing traditional folk music from the
Scottish-Irish tradition and its descendants in America (old-time,
contradance, bluegrass, etc.), with occasional forays into other
forms of traditional folk music.
- Four Mile Portage is Brandy Forsman, Tom Maloney and friends and plays at dances in Duluth, Minnesota area. MySpace page.
- The Full Moon Country Dance Orchestra (pdf file) continues to play at dances in Indiana and Ohio. You can contact Warren Waldron (e-mail) about the band.
- Jamie Gans is based in Indiana and has played with a variety of groups there, in Minnesota and Canada. New entry (January 21, 2011)
- Dan Gellert is based in Dayton, Ohio, sings and plays banjo, guitar, and fiddle at various events including contra dances. MySpace page.
- Rayna Gellert plays fiddle with a variety of musicians and as a member of Uncle Earl. She is based in Lexington, Kentucky. MySpace page.
- The Golden Griffon
Stringtet is an acoustic, instrumental, square dance & contra
dance band from southeast Michigan whose repertoire includes
traditional music such as jigs, reels, waltzes and airs from Irish,
French-Canadian, New England and Southern/Old Time sources, as well
as contemporary dance tunes written in the traditional style and a
few contemporary pop melodies that they have corrupted into contra
- The Goldmine Pickers have been brewing a fresh blend of acoustic music for audiences in the U.S. and Europe since 2003 and play, occasionally, at a contra dance. The band is based in Indiana. MySpace page.
- The Great Mad Hoax plays an eclectic mix of jazz, gypsy, gospel soul, blues, country, funky old-time, to bluegrass breakdowns in Columbus, Ohio. New entry (January 31, 2011)
- Based in Minnesota, Greenwood Tree plays lively
and lyrical renditions of traditional music from Ireland, Scotland,
England, Canada, and Appalachia. Stu Janis maintains the information.
- Guys Can Talk include
Dan Newton on accordion, Eric Mohring on fiddle, and Larry Siegel on
piano and are based in Minnesota and New Hampshire. (e-mail only)
- Hawks & Owls is an
old-time string band based in Michigan.
- From Michigan, Heartsease (e-mail only)
(aka David West & Donna Baird, Chicken Shuckers, etc.).
- Superb fiddling, tight harmonies, high energy and a direct link with tradition infuse the Hogwire Stringband which is based in Bloomington, Indiana. New entry (January 31, 2011)
- The Hoosier Recruits are based in Valparaiso, Indiana. (e-mail only)
- While the Hot Club of Derbytown is best known for recreating the hot sounds of vintage jazz produced in Paris in the 1930s and 40s produced by the Quintet of the Hot Club Of France, it also plays at a contra dance on occasion.
- Ohio's Hotpoint String
Band has the recipe for a wall of rhythm, and it is one of the most in-demand contradance bands in the country. MySpace page.
- Adam Hurt plays elegantly innovative clawhammer banjo on old-time music tunes in Minnesota. MySpace page.
- Hu$hmoney is a new northeast Ohio contradance band spawned from the ashes of the dance band institution, Strings & Things. With their feet rooted in tradition, Hu$hmoney explores these traditions while to creating a driving, surprising, and varied takes on old time standards, ethnic melodies, and original tunes.
- The Java
Junkies have played old-time music for dances in the Lansing,
Michigan area since 1998 and include Doug Berch on banjo, Hanno
Meingast on fiddle, Larry Johnson on guitar, and Steve Szilagyi on
- Jim's Red Pants plays traditional and original folk music, including waltzes, jigs and reels for concerts and dances in Ohio.
- Lakefront Property is
a band from the Lansing, Michigan area. (e-mail only)
- The Last
Gaspé including John Kraniak, Paul Biere, Kevin Clark, Amy
McFarland, and Maria Terres, play on 2nd Saturdays in
- Tom Norulak maintains a site about Magic
Forest, based in Ohio, which performs an eclectic mix of
traditional folk songs, modern material, clever originals and vocal
gems mined from the parlour tradition of the 19th century.
- Lisa and Heather Malyuk play at contra dances in Ohio and at other events in the area. MySpace page.
- McInnis' Kitchen which plays music in the spirit of a down-home kitchen party, occasionally plays at a contra dance in the Duluth, Minnesota area.
- Minnesota's Mill City Serenaders repertoire encompasses not only square and contra dance music but also minstrel tunes and songs, fiddle rags, waltzes, polkas, schottisches, and the occasional parlor ballad.
- The Mink Run Consort are
based in Frankfort, Kentucky. (e-mail only)
- The Morgantown Rounders are an Old-Time string band of eclectic proportions. They are traditionalists pushing the envelope of tradition, infusing high-energy square dance exhilaration into a mix of vintage songs in West Virginia. http://www.myspace.com/morgantownrounders. Added MySpace page (January 2, 2010)
Morningstar, a contra musician, hails from White Lake, Michigan.
- Mud In Yer Eye has played dances in the Cleveland area since 1978 and is the oldest continuously operating contra dance band in the Cleveland area.
- New Bad Habits with Dave Landreth, Chirps Smith, Tim Foss, Andrew Gribble and Dot Kent, play old-time, the music that combines the traditions of immigrants bringing their music to America for more than two centuries; music intended to accompany ethnic as well as uniquely American dances. The members hail from Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.
- The New Deal String Band plays at the 1st Saturday dances in the Welshfield, Ohio area.
- From Ann Arbor, Michigan, Nutshell. (e-mail only)
- The repertoire of the Olde
Michigan Ruffwater Stringband includes traditional jigs, reels
and hornpipes of the British Isles, breakdowns from Southern
Appalachia, and old polkas, waltzes and schottisches from 19th
century Europe and America. They are based in Michigan.
- The Picks & Sticks
Stringband are a gumbo mixture of acoustical folk, swing,
traditional, light pop, western, country, jazz, bluegrass, oldies,
and ethnic tunes that captivates audiences of all genres based in
- Pig's Eye Landing is
a Saint Paul, Minnesota based contra, square and swing dance band.
They play an eclectic (and sometimes epiplectic) blend of Irish,
old-timey, and the occasional rock and roll tune. Erik Peterson
maintains the site.
- The Plum Creek String Band plays Appalachian Jamaican groove music: West Virginia meets West Jamaica and goes out dancing. They are based in Ohio.
- The Queen City String Band, in its various incarnations has been playing hard-driving old-time music since around 1982 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Named for the Raisin River, the Raisin Pickers are from
Michigan and "...Their music flows effortlessly from swing to ballad,
from hometown cookouts to outer space..."
- Rattletrap Stringband, from Athens County, Ohio, features Matthew McElroy (fiddle), Tim Peacock (banjo), Frank McDermott (guitar) and Thom Herbie (bass).
- The Red State Ramblers are based in Lexington, Kentucky. They have been playing around Kentucky for several year and promote Kentucky music and its traditions.
- The Reel World
String Band is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky and features
Bev Futrell, Karen Jones, Sue Massek, Elise Melrood, and Sharon Ruble.
- ReelBop is a powerhouse quartet of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass which takes on the string-pickers challenge of speed and finesse in a variety of musical styles. The band is based in Ohio.
- The Rhythm Rats is a
Cincinnati based old time band. MySpace page.
- The Root Cellar String Band plays at dances in the Bowling Green, Ohio area. (e-mail only)
- Chicago, Illinois banjo player Steve Rosen writes about his
trips, t-shirts, music, and bands on his page.
- The Ann Arbor, Michigan based Scalar Scalawags have been described as "a touch of classical meets traditional, Celtic, Eastern European, rock, and pub." They play at dances in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
- The Scarlet
Runner String Band, now featuring Mike Ross, Dave Langdon, Larry
Johnson, and Brian Hefferen started playing in Lansing, Michigan more
than twenty years ago and continue to play at dances in the area. New entry (December 5, 2011)
- Schrodinger's Cats is a recently formed contra dance band based in Lexington, Kentucky, bringing together musician with years of experience playing for contra dancers.
- The Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance provides information about the members of the Sharon Hollow String Band which is from Michigan. Change of URL (January 3, 2010)
- Lynn "Chirps" Smith has been playing the fiddle for more than thirty years and is well-known as an interpreter of fiddle tunes collected from fiddlers throughout Southern and central Illinois.
- Soltré is an Irish musical trio from the Indiana (Middlebury)/Chicago area. With fiddle, flute, guitar, and vocals, they present a unique, innovative variety of traditional and contemporary Irish music. Change of URL (January 3, 2010)
- The Squeaky Reels is a contra dance band based in Lexington, Kentucky which includes Cary Ravitz on fiddle, Brett Mason on piano, Eve Podet on Mandolin, and Shannon Arnold on bass guitar.
- Patty Stevenson and Craig
Siemsen play for an occasional contra dance in Wisconsin along
with their other gigs.
- Stewed Mulligan
blends the old backwoods sound of West Virginia with clever Country
Rock to create music that could have been birthed in a basement by
the illegitimate sons of The Band.
- The Stoop Singers play old-time southern fiddle tunes and perform at contra dances in addition to weddings, parties, and anywhere else where people want music. They host an old-time jam at The Turk's Head in Eau Claire, Wisconsin every other Wednesday from 3-5. New entry (August 14, 2010)
- Strings and Things disbanded in 2007, but played at the dance series in Peninsula, Ohio and included Tina Bergmann, David Rice, Bryan Thomas and Heather Malyuk.
- The Stump Juice Trading Co., based in Athens, Ohio and plays acoustic folk and roots music.
Contraband plays primarily Irish and old-time contradance music,
more in the New England style rather than the southern old-time
style. They are noted for their interesting arrangements and
pulse-pushing, dance-enhancing sound. They are based in West Virginia.
- Tanglemere, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a group of players with a diverse background and a love for Celtic and traditional music. This group takes traditional songs and tunes, pairs them with modern energy, creating a toe tapping, frolicking good time.
is an old-time trio with banjo, guitars, and fiddle featuring David
Algeo Smith, Steve Noel on 5-string banjo and Jim Marks on tenor and
6-string guitars and is based in Illinois.
- Emily Ann Thompson plays Celtic fiddle a number of venues for concerts and dances. She is based in Indiana. New entry (January 21, 2011)
- The Tickwood Stringband is an old-time string band based in Ottertail County, Minnesota which has been playing music for dances and concerts around the region for over four years.
- The Tie Hackers are a 5-piece string band from Goshen, Elkhart and Plymouth, Indiana who started playing together in 2009 and played together before that in the Goshen Old Time Jam group. (e-mail only) New entry (December 13, 2010)
- The Timbre
Wolves, based in Columbus, Ohio, are a five-member acoustic band
playing "old-time", celtic, a little bluegrass, and a spot of jazz.
- The Top Drawer
String Band featuring Brian Bishop (fiddle), Laura Stein (piano),
and Joel Mabusis (guitar, banjo, fiddle), is based in Michigan.
- Traveler's Dream plays traditional Celtic, French-Canadian, and early American music and is based in Lafayette, Indiana.
- Matt Turino is from Urbana, Illinois and plays fiddle in bands such as The Mean Lids, The Cornstalkers and Big Bluestem. New entry (April 9, 2011)
- From Ohio, the Turkeys in The Straw
feature Barry Chern, Marian Funk, Jeanne Budde, Mike Allen, Bruce
Dadisman, and Andrea Ardito. Harold Cheyney provides the information.
- The Tuscan String Band features Elizabeth Lamberti on fiddle,
Jim Becker on fiddle, banjo and guitar and Jessica Ziegler on fiddle and banjo and plays at dances in Illinois.
- Twas Brillig and the Mazel-Toves has a plethora of instruments to paint a complex musical picture, the group is well versed in contra dance, international dance, and klezmer dance music. The band is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Site has problems (January 3, 2010)
- Twechar, an
Ohio-based band is Gary Lee Nelson who sings
ballads and aires in the Celtic tradition and are also known for
their "waltzing through breakfast" set for dancers who rise early at
various dance weekends.
- The members of Up River play at dances in Greentown, Ohio and at events at other venues.
- Doug Van Gundy, from Elkins, West Virginia, plays old-time music on the fiddle for concerts and dances.
- The Volo
Bogtrotters hail from the Chicago, Illinois area.
- Whistlin' Rufus is old time string band from Louisville, KY featuring fiddle, banjo, mandolin, doghouse bass, and guitar and includes Clint Craven, Angela Cook, John Dwyer, and Caleb Olin. New entry (April 9, 2011)
- Andi Wolfe plays hammered dulcimer and other instruments for the Columbus, Ohio band Aisling.
- Stephen Wolfe plays flute and other instruments for the Columbus, Ohio band Aisling.
- Bob McKimm has a page on callers
- The Ann Arbor
Council for Traditional Music and Dance has information about a
number of callers in Michigan.
- Tom Allen calls contras
and squares in the Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan area, along with
Toledo, Ohio. (e-mail only)
- Kathy Anderson
(e-mail only) is back in Ohio and is a regular caller there and
elsewhere. You can obtain more information about her on the Bay Area
page. Change in e-mail (December 7, 2011)
- Tom Anderson calls at dances in Illinois. (e-mail only)
- Karen Andrews calls in the Goshen, Indiana area. (e-mail only)
- Reuven AnafShalom lives in Ann Arbor, and calls in Southeast Michigan and surrounding states. (e-mail only) Change in location (March 2, 2013)
- Peter Baker has called in Michigan and others states and in Denmark and Austria. He leads dances in schools, churches and other public gatherings.
- Paul Balliet, caller from Ohio, has published a number of his dances. New entry (March 12, 2014)
- Steve Bennett is a caller from Lexington, Kentucky who has called since 1995 in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
- Chris Bischoff is
a caller from Taylorsville, Kentucky who also is a storyteller, banjo picker and lawn mower repairman.
Boerschig calls from Cincinnati, Ohio and lists the elements of
five of his dances on this page.
- Erna-Lynne Bogue calls in
Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Jim Brooks is a
caller in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. (e-mail only)
- Frank Buschelmann lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and calls there and in other venues in the Midwest. More information is available at the Cincinnati callers page. New entry (August 28, 2011)
- Mike Clark started calling in 1990 in Kalamazoo and has since then branched out to other dance series in southern Michigan and Indiana.
- Phil Coleman calls in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. (e-mail only)
Collins is a caller of traditional American square and contra dances and an instructor of ethnic folk dance in the Chicago, Illinois area.
Conrad calls at dances across Ohio.
- Caller Jan Coray is based in Holland, Michigan.
- Roger Diggle is a caller
from Madison, Wisconsin who can call a dance and accompany himself by
whistling. He also plays guitar. (e-mail only)
- Bob Duffy called at the Indianapolis, Indiana
dance on December 1, 2009.
- Barry Dupen is a
contra dance composer and caller from Columbia City, Indiana (near
Fort Wayne). (e-mail only) Change of e-mail (June 5, 2012)
Dunnam calls throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. She
specializes in historic re-enactments and special event dances, with a
focus on getting beginners up and having fun.
- Michigan caller Susan
English fell in love with international folk dance in the 1960s and taught her first dance class on a rooftop in China in 1980. Discovering contras and competitive swing dance in Washington, DC, Susan has called monthly contra dances since 1990 and now calls on a regular basis at the Wooster, OH dance.
- David Ernst calls
at dances in Indiana. (e-mail only)
- John Freeman is a Michigan
caller who calls contra and square dances, family dances, school
dances, and Civil War balls. He also leads caller workshops and music
and dance workshops for teachers and students. (e-mail only)
- Ken Gall lives in Indianapolis and has called throughout the Midwest and is extending his range to the Northwest United States. New entry (February 27, 2011)
- Beth Gray and Dennis Kempthorne
call at the Greentown, Ohio dance on the second Saturday of the month. (e-mail only) New entry (March 12, 2014)
- Margaret Glenn has called dances in the Cleveland and New York areas for the alst 20 years.
- Steve Gold calls from
the Detroit, Michigan area. (e-mail only)
- Judy Goldsmith is
a caller from Kentucky along with being an avid bicyclist and Morris dancer.
- Michael Hamilton stepped off the dance floor and behind the microphone at his local dance in Peninsula, Ohio in 2008. He began dancing in college and, under the mentorship of Carol Kopp, is a mainstay caller in the northeast Ohio dance communities. He calls for local dances throughout Ohio and further afield (including PA, NY, KY, WI, IL, and GA), and has called for several dance weekends. New entry (March 12, 2014)
- Keith Harding
calls from Lexington, Kentucky. (e-mail only)
- Jerry Hickman is based
in Midland, Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Along with calling, Pat Hoekje is one of the organizers for the Bayside Travellers Country Dance Society in Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Bob Howell calls in the Ohio
area. He is also one of the co-authors of Dancing for Busy People.
(e-mail only for Bob, the book has a website)
- Sue Hulsether calls contras, squares, family dances, and school events Minnesota and Wisconsin along with being an Artist in Residence for schools with traditional American dance and music.
- Carol Jacobs has been
calling in the Ann Arbor area since 2002, and has been an avid contra
dancer since 1980. She also calls Family dances and English country
dances. (e-mail only)
- Frank Jenkins is a
caller from Berea, Kentucky. (e-mail only)
- Besides his nifty contra pages including a clickable map, Dwayne Johnson is a caller
in Kentucky and has called for more than 20 years.
Standifer Karamanski calls in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Dot Kent of Grayslake, Illinois, called at the Chicago, Illinois dance on February 6, 2010 and calls at other dances in the region.
- Richard King calls from
Lexington, Kentucky (e-mail only).
- David Kirchner is a caller who lives near St. Paul, Minnesota and has been calling contra dances and square dances since about 1992.
- Cassie Knight, from
Madison, Wisconsin, is known for calling contras and Scandinavian
dances. (e-mail only)
- Van Knowles is a
caller from Lexington, Kentucky (e-mail only).
- Carol Kopp calls at a number of the North East Ohio
Community dances and is into he third decade of calling dances.
- Over the past 15 years John Legge has enthusiastically embraced several dance styles, including contra, English country, international, Scandinavian, modern Western squares, two-step, and country-western line dance in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Julie Levy-Weston lives in Lansing, Michigan, started contra dancing in 1992, and started calling in 1997. She favors dances that flow and tries to teach carefully and concisely.
- Tamara Lowenthal has been performing and teaching various styles of American and Celtic step dance for over 20 years and is based in Bloomington, Indiana. Added URL (April 9, 2011)
- Drake Meadow is a caller and dance organizer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Greg Meisner is a cantra dance caller and Morris dancer from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. (e-mail only)
- Reid Miller calls contra, square, circle, wedding, and school program dances around Madison, WI, and mostly through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado. He also composes dances; plays tenor banjo, mandolin and ukulele; and tells stories in schools, libraries, fairs, festivals, theaters, and the like. New entry (January 1, 2014)
- Henry Morgenstein
calls, writes essays about contra dancing, and organizes contra dance
trips and camps in the United States and England. In the United
States, he is based in Michigan.
- Michigan caller Glen Morningstar calls dances for beginning to advanced dancers in a range of settings from school artist-in-residence to Saturday Night Contra & Square Dances to wedding receptions to scout camps to traditional dance camps across the USA, Europe & Scandinavia.
- Lindsay Morris (e-mail
only) calls in the Lexington, Kentucky area.
- Susan Moffet is a
caller in Kentucky. (e-mail only)
- Dugan Murphy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and calls contra dances, mostly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. New entry (October 3, 2011)
- Danika Murray began
calling in the spring of 2001 and in these past few years she has
traveled to call dances throughout Michigan (including Clawson, Ann
Arbor, Traverse City), to Indiana, Illinois and even Barcelona,
Spain. (e-mail only)
- Carol Ormand is a caller in Wisconsin, and has been calling dances since the spring of 1990, and has called at dances, weekends, and festivals all over the United States (and once in Denmark!). She includes some dance compositions on her page.
- Lisa Ornstein is
a caller from Chicago. She organizes dances, hosts the Celebration
Dance Weekend in Indianapolis and a dance jam series in Chicago.
- Roween Panning calls in Michigan. (e-mail only) Change of e-mail address (April 17, 2011)
- Steve Pike, from Madison, Wisconsin, called at the Madison, Wisconsin dance on February 13, 2010.
- Edna Poore is a caller
in Lansing, Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Bill Pope calls
in Ohio and nearby states and shares with the beginning dancers his enthusiasm for contra, and programs dance evenings that balance more forgiving dances with some of the more challenging ones.
- Kate Power has been a contra dance caller in Columbus, Ohio since 2003 and is available for everything from dances to family reunions.
- Barbara Ramlow calls in
the Lexington, Kentucky area. (e-mail only)
- Cary Ravitz is a caller from Lexington, Kentucky who along with writing the essays Notes on Calling Contra Dances and Notes on Choreography for Duple Minor Improper Contra Dances keeps an extensive links about contra dancing.
- Mark Richardson is a
caller from Bloomington, Indiana. (e-mail only)
- Ruth Riegel-Lamborghini called at the Urbana, Illinois dance on February 26, 2010.
- Charles Roth calls in
Michigan and has an unusual two-sided set of dance cards.
- Dave Seboit calls in Michigan and Indiana and is based in Ann Arbor. (e-mail only)
Sivier is a caller from the Urbana, Illinois area who has been involved in traditional dance since 1987 and have been leading dances since 1992. Change of URL (January 26, 2013)
- Along with a fair amount of web page work for dances in Michigan,
Bob Stein also calls
- From Carbondale, Illinois, Joe Surdyk calls in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri on a
regular basis. (e-mail only)
- Kath Tallichet is
based in Louisville, Kentucky and calls there and in Illinois. (e-mail only)
- John Teskey calls at the Indianapolis, Indiana
dance on December 22, 2009.
- Don Theyken has been calling dances here in Ann Arbor since the early eighties and is now calling contra dances on the second Saturday of the month at the Webster Church Community Building near Dexter MI.
- Martha Tyner is based in Stanford, Illinois and calls at the Hudson, Illinois square dances.
Underwood is a caller from Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Tom van Deusen calls at dance camps, community dances, weddings, private parties, and other events for adults or children in and around Michigan.
- Martha Vander Kolk is a dance caller from Ypsilanti, Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Sandy Vielmo calls from
Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Ed Vincent is from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area and has been calling contras since 2005 and calls out-of-state, too. His phone number is 734 -730-6919. (e-mail only) New entry (September 28, 2013)
- Alan Vlach has been
dancing since 2000 and began calling in 2002 in Michigan. (e-mail
- Bob Walser is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and calls contras and squares and along with playing squeezebox, guitar, banjo and piano for contras and squares. New entry (November 28, 2011)
- Robin Warner calls in
Michigan. (e-mail only)
- Paul Watkins, from
Chicago, Illinois, calls in Chicago and the Fermilab Folk Club just
outside of Chicago on a regular basis. (e-mail only for contact)
- Marlin Whitaker from Ann Arbor, Michigan calls at dances in the Great Lakes states. (e-mail only)
- While the list of his dances is gone, you can still e-mail Eric Zorn.
- The Chicago Barn Dance
Company is a not-for-profit association of people with a common
interest in New England Contra dance, traditional square dance and
American old-time music.
- The University of Chicago
Folklore Society sponsors a Folk Festival in
early February each year which includes a small amount of contra
- The Fox Valley Folklore
Society sponsors more than 100 folklife events every year in
Chicago's western suburbs, including concerts, sing arounds, old-time
community barn dances, storytelling gatherings, open mikes, and
Illinois' largest folk festival. Their listings include a large
calendar of events.
- The Augusta Heritage
Center of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia is
dedicated to making traditional music, crafts, dancing and folklore
available to visitors and residents alike.
- The Northwest Ohio Traditional Music and Dance (NOTMAD) does more than hold contra
- The Ann Arbor Council for
Traditional Music and Dance (AACTMAD) is a non-profit
organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of folk
music and dance. They sponsor "traditional" music and dance events in
the greater Ann Arbor, Michigan area, including contra-dances,
English Country dances, and small-scale folk music concerts.
- The Ten Pound Fiddle
is proud to present concerts, dances and community events in the folk
tradition in the Lansing, Michigan area. The pages are sponsored by
the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse in East Lansing, Michigan, and are
maintained by Warren Armstrong.
- The Northeast Ohio Folk & Traditional Music & Dance Society has a site called Folknet which has
information about folk and traditional music, dance and related arts
throughout Northeast Ohio. Folknet is a not-for-profit educational organization that exists to nurture the development and expansion of a vibrant folk and traditional arts community of performers, organizations and advocates.
- The Tapestry
Folkdance Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota provides opportunities
to participate in the joys of dance and music from around the world.
Brian Haskell created the template for the page and Lydia McAnerney
- Folk Music Society of Midland, Michigan is
comprised of folk artists dedicated to promoting traditional music,
dance, and folklore and hosts a variety of events throughout the
year. John and Sharon Skaryd maintain the page.
- The Grand River Folk Arts
Society provides the Grand Rapids area with the best in
contemporary Folk Music & Dance.
This page is part of the Contrdancelinks.com web site. For more information about contra dancing, visit these other site pages:
Sites and Pages
Contra Dance Links Home Page
Rehoboth, MA | New
England | Mid-Atlantic
South Atlantic |
South Central | Great Lakes | Great Plains
Rocky Mountains | Pacific | Canada | Rest
of the World
Resources | All Bands and Musicians | All Callers | What's New
Festivals, Weekends, Camps, etc.
Waltzes and Scandinavian Dances |
Traditional and Old-Time Square Dances
Community Bands and Open Bands |
Open Caller Opportunities
Contra Dance Cookies
District of Columbia |
New Hampshire |
New Mexico* |
New York |
North Carolina |
North Dakota |
Rhode Island |
South Dakota** |
West Virginia |
*The Colorado link will bring you to Dancing on the Web. The Maine link will bring you to the Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts. The New Mexico link will bring you to the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society. The Utah link will bring you to Utah Contradance Information. These fine organizations and individuals already have complete listings for these states and there is no reason for me to duplicate their efforts.
**As far as I know, there are no regular dances or events in Mississippi, South Dakota or Wyoming, but I have created pages if something changes in the future.
Produced by Charlie Seelig
Last updated on October 18, 2014