Contra Dance / Contradance
Resources, Dance Compositions, Indices, and the like
Dance Compositions | Dance Music
Photographs and videos
Definitions and Explanations |
Essays and Articles (genre publications)
Newspaper and magazine (non-genre)
articles | Blogs
National Organizations and Listings |
Mailing Lists, List Servers, and E-mail
groups | Lists of Links
This page is devoted to listing resources about contra dances
ranging from dance compositions to e-mail groups, to essays to
miscellaneous sites. 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
- Greg Hopkins has produced a graphical contra dance
designer. Warning: it only works with Internet Explorer. Way cool
- The Contra/Country Dance
Markup Language Project is intended to be a method of describing
a contra dance (or other, similarly structured, folk dances) in a
form that can be read and written by both
humans and machines.
- CallersCorner is a new site, aimed primarily towards callers. It includes links of interest for callers: Choreographers, The Ralph Page Legacy Weekend, Michael Dycks index, various sites (among which you will find Contradancelinks!) and a great collection of terms. It is in Danish, but Google may help translating!
- Cary Ravitz presents Notes on Composing Contras by Al Olson, based on handwritten notes from 1988. New entry (June 14, 2009)
- Michael Dyck is working to index every contra
dance ever published. You can find information on over 6000
dances at his site.
- Hugh Stewart has compiled descriptions of over 140 contra
dances by various authors plus links to lists of other dance
- Russell Owen and Michael Richardson maintain the database known
Country Dances On Line which contains over 290 dances by diverse
- David's Dance Caller's Home Page is a web site is a forum for
contra and square dance callers to share dances they have adapted or
created. It includes dances by Keith
Nicholson and David
- CONNtra Dances
provides information about contras created by Connecticut Callers.
Wagle's site includes a page of dances by numerous authors.
- An American Ballroom Companion presents a collection of over two hundred social dance manuals, written between (c.1490) and 1929, at the Library of Congress.
- The University of New Hampshire Library has an index to dances printed in Ralph Page's Northern Junket as part of its digitized collection of the newsletter.
- While not contras, Bill Martin's A Look at Southern Squares has plenty of information about this close relative to contra dances.
- Jonathan Sivier, researching the manuscripts of the New Harmony Community in Indiana and Pennsylvania, writes about the dances contained in a volume called "Community Dances, 1826" which includes quadrilles or cotillions and longways set dances. Slight change of URL (September 27, 2010)
Archer includes descriptions of three of his dance
- Melanie Axel-Lute has about three dozen dances, labeled as appetizers, main courses, and specialties, on her site.
Baker includes one of his compositions on his site.
Bloom supplies information about some of his dances.
Boerschig calls from Cincinnati, Ohio and lists the
elements of five of his dances on this page.
- Ed Bugel has included twelve of his dance sequences on his web site. Slight change of URL (September 27, 2010)
Calhoun presents six of her dances.
- Tom Calwell and Myra Hirschberg have eighteen dance compositions, both composed solo and as a duo on their site.
- Seattle area caller Alan
Cheetham lists nine of his dances.
- Contra dances by Thomas W. Christopher, from Chicago, includes 5 dances. Change of URL (April 5, 2010)
Colestock includes nineteen of his compositions on his web
- Among his list of links, Eric
Conrad includes information on five dances that he wrote.
- Ted Crane provides the specifics for more than six dozen of his dances.
Dalsemer's Dance Compositions spotlights about 30
dances, including contras and squares, by this North Carolina dancer.
- The folks from Dancing
for Busy People list ten dances by various authors, known and
- Washington D. C. based caller Sargon de Jesus has six of his compositions on his site. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Sue Dupré lists five of her dances with more to come. Change of URL (April 5, 2010)
- Erik Erhardt lists one of his dances.
Ellis has information about more than a dozen of his dances.
Fischle has written several dances and a number of
essays about contra dancing.
- Bob Frederking's aka "Dr. Bob's" Random Contra
Generator is back in business.
- Alex Funk provides a dozen of his compositions.
- Grant Goodyear has fifteen dance compositions on his site. Slight change of URL (April 5, 2010)
Goss includes more than a dozen of his works at his site.
- Colorado caller Wendy Graham lists four of her dance compositions on her page. New entry (June 21, 2009)
- A Barn Dance Repertoire from Thomas
Green, a dancer from England is a basic list of simple
dances for barn dances, also known as English-style ceilidhs. He set
it up partly for other beginning callers, partly as a useful repository for himself. Not quite contras, but a close relative, and therefore useful for interested parties. Another list that he provides sorts the dances
by type of dance (Longways (English, American), Squares, Big
- Charley Harvey has included more than a dozen of his dance compositions on his web site. New entry (February 26, 2012)
- Among the pages at their site, the Contradancers of Hawaii have a list of dance compositions and include MIDI and "abc" files for each dance. In addition, they provide a list of links for other composition sites.
- Erik Hoffman has posted at least six of the dances he has composed. Some of them appear as part of the excerpts of the books he has written.
- Colin Hume has instructions for a wide variety of his dances from contras to 5-couple to circles to squares.
- Five of Keith Hunt's dances are shown on the Syracuse web site.
- Peter Jorgensen, one of the founders of the Syracuse contra dance, has two of his dances on the Syracuse site.
- Syracuse caller Amy Kahn has two of her dance compositions listed on the Syracuse Country Dancers web site.
- Contra Dances by Marilee Standifer Karamanski highlights eighteen dances by the Wisconsin composer.
- Jeff Kaufman has nine of his dances listed on his site along with links to dances composed by others.
- David Kaynor is not sure whether the seven dances listed on his web site qualify as compositions, but check them out anyway.
- David Kirchner has a list of about a dozen different dances that he has composed.
- Gary Knox has information about eight of his dances, some of them contras, on his web site.
- Tom Lehmann, of the SF Bay area, lists about 30 of his dances. Change of URL (April 5, 2010)
Mandelberg has the details on about 20 dances that he has written.
Missavage includes several of her dance compositions on her
- Rick Mohr, a caller and musician in Philadelphia, includes the steps for more than four dozen of his dances on his page.
- On her Dance-a-Runi site, Jo
Mortland includes five of her contra dances and square dances. Change of URL (April 11, 2010)
- As part of her web site Linda S. Mrosko includes 16 of her dance compositions.
- John Nance of the Charlotte Dance Gypsies includes more than forty of his dance compositions on this page.
- Bob Nicholson has nine of his dances listed on the Syracuse Country Dancers web site.
Olson's Dance Compositions focuses on about 50 of the
Maine dancer's creations.
- Carol Ormand is a caller in Wisconsin and includes some dance compositions on her page. Change of URL (September 27, 2010)
- While William
Palmer's Pocket Playford is a listing of the English
country dances, that style and contra are close relatives and folks
studying dance compositions and/or interested in English country
dancing will find this to be a fruitful site. Richard Morgan
maintains the site for The Round in England.
- David Smuckler has a list of dances influenced by the classic, Petronella.
- Joseph Pimental includes four of his dance compositions on his web site.
- Bill Pope has 12 of his dances, including one that needs a name, at his site.
- Along with his work on web pages, Cary Ravitz is a caller and dance composer. He includes about 100 dance compositions at his site.
- Caller and musician Paul Rosen lists seven of his dances on his web site.
- Seven of Merri Rudd's dances are available.
Schuh supplies information about three of his dances.
- While it is an English Country Dance Archive, Brian Scowcroft's dances may be relevant for some contra dances. Change in URL (April 1, 2009)
- Jonathan Sivier includes information about 9 of his dance compositions.
- David Smuckler provides information about more than 70 of his dances.
Smukler has seven of his dances on the web.
- Jonathan Southard presents fourteen dances he has written. New entry (June 7, 2009)
Spero provides information about some of his dances and
the collection of dances composed by callers from Southern
California, "(southern) California Twirls".
Sprott's Contra Dance Machine is a program that writes
random contra dances. It is under development, and so many of the
dances will not work. You may be able to fix them by making suitable
- Melissa Taggart's blog includes five of her compositions. Change of URL (April 12, 2010)
Tepfer has information for about five dozen of his
dances on his page.
Theyken lists nine of his dances.
- UK caller John Turner lists his American contras on his web site.
- William Watson lists nine of his dances.
- Portland, Oregon caller Erik
Weberg includes 12 of his dances on his web site.
- Mark T.
Widmer's pages include 8 of his dances.
Wonite calls from northern Virginia and includes about a
dozen dances on her page.
- Eric Zorn lists several of his contras along with squares and circle mixers.
- John Chambers has a collection of abc
site). From Chris Walshaw's
site: ""abc" is a language designed to notate tunes in an ascii
format. It was designed primarily for folk and traditional tunes of
Western European origin (such as Irish, English and Scottish) which
can be written on one stave in standard classical notation. However,
it is extendible to many other types of music. Since its introduction
at the end of 1991 it has become very popular and there now exist
several PC and UNIX based tools which can read abc notation and
either process it into staff notation or play it through the speakers
of a computer." Chamber's collection includes notations for a
number of pieces used for contra dances.
- Lisa Sieverts has posted several reviews
of contra music CDs.
- The Contradancers of Hawaii include a page of Sources of traditional music on the Web at their site.
- For some words of advice to musicians playing music at dances,
try these notes by Eric
- Matt McConeghy has produced a page of Rhode Island and
southeastern Mass contra music and other varieties of traditional
- Along the River is an
exciting collection of reels, jigs, waltzes, and other dance tunes
written in the last twenty-five years by musicians of the Connecticut
River Valley of western Massachusetts and southern Vermont and is
edited by Susan F. Conger. A companion CD was released at the end of
- Great Meadow Music
has a catalog of contra dance music, specializing in New England
Contra Music, on CDs.
- Contracopia is where
you can find contra dance music, CD's, and tapes from all over the
country. Some music is available for listening on Real Audio or MP2
formats. They are based in Vermont.
- The Rambles Celtic music
site includes information and reviews of Celtic music, which, as you
might expect, adjoins the overall contra dance music culture.
- Ryan Thomson reviews music
CDs that may or may not be limited to music to dance to. Change of URL (June 17, 2010)
- The Slowplayers has information about a number of Slow Play Seisiúns
across the country plus files to help you learn the tunes.
- Green Man Review
covers the roots and branches of folk and traditional music including
works by various contra dance bands and musicians.
- CONNtra CONNection has a page of 91 tunes by Connecticut
musicans from a book called The Connecticut Sound.
- The BBC has a Virtual Session web site with help from a number of prominent players from the UK whom you can play along with.
Anderson keeps track of the tunes that he has composed at various
- Jon Weinberg, of Wild Card, has several workshop
handouts that are helpful for dulcimer players playing contra dance music and waltzes.
- The University of Aberdeen has a site devoted to the work of James Scott (J. Scott or
J. S.) Skinner, aka the "Strathspey King" whose tunes are used at
- Michael Mendelson has sheet music for about
three dozen tunes which he has written.
- Paul Giblitz has posted information on 160 of his tunes for download as PDF, Midi and ABC files.
- Lesley Nelson has created a site about Turlough O'Carolan,
an Irish composer for the harp in the 17th and 18th centuries whose
compositions are played at contra dances.
- Eric Anderson has a page containing examples of medleys
and what works OR doesn't work with what.
- Eric Anderson includes notes on Cathie Whitesides' 2000 Workshop on
Northern Fiddle Tunes for contra dancing.
- Jane Keefer continues to update her Folk Music - An Index to
Recorded Resources which is a valuable resource for tracking down
tune titles, bands, and recordings, especially for contra dance
musicians looking for information about tunes from the old-time music
- Alan Ng's exhaustive Irish
Traditional Music Tune Index can help you track down recordings
and tune information for the Irish part of the contra dance music
- The Session takes a more
wiki approach to a Celtic tune database with listings of recordings
and tunes and plenty of discussion from its members.
- Archives of the list serve fiddle-l
are available and searchable (if you are a member). Of course, the
list serve covers a wide range of topics, but contra dancing comes up
every once and a while.
Anderson provides information about at least 40 of his tunes.
- Pam Weeks rotates the sheet music for about three dozen of her tunes.
- Rick Mohr includes some of his musical compositions on his web site.
- David DiGiuseppe has sheet music for 14 of this tune compositions. Change of URL (April 4, 2009)
- Ethan Hazzard-Watkins lists some of his tunes along with information about his tune book on his web site.
- There's a start to a list of contra dance
music on CDs.
- Robert Cox hosts a biweekly radio show and podcast called Contracast featuring contra dance music.
Robinson's Tunebook is a collection of traditional tunes, and new
tunes in traditional styles. Scots tunes, Irish tunes, Scandinavian,
French, Balkan and more. Site has problems (April 4, 2009)
- Hetzler's Fake
Book has MIDI files and/or sheet music for approximately 312
fiddle site includes a list of sites that include fiddle music
with abc files, sound files, notation files, and lyrics.
- Mickey Koth has developed an excellent web bibliography of tune collections on the Internet. I'll be eliminating any duplicates from my list sometime in the near future. Change of URL (June 1, 2009)
- The Contradancers of Hawaii Web site have about 32 Tunes in abc format.
- Spuds, the house band for the Thursday night contra series in the
Philadelphia area, provides plenty of help in learning tunes
commonly played at contra dances.
- Dave Marshall has information about the Irish fiddle tunes
played at his local session at Irish Heather.
- The New Mexico edition of Roaring Jelly has sheet
music for many of the tunes that they play, in abc and pdf.
- Good Parking, a UK Band, has a list of tunes that
the band plays in pdf and abc format.
- The Albuquerque Megaband has mp3 snippets of
many of the tunes they play plus a tune list
from 2000. Alternate link for mp3s. (Tune list is a .pdf file)
- The Lancaster Traditional Society's contra dance has built a Sheet Music Archive for traditional contra dance tunes.
- Paul Fackler's tune collection specializes in transcriptions of more than 200 Cape Breton tunes.
- The Slowplayers have compiled music sheets for more than 100 tunes (mostly Celtic) in various formats.
- The Folk Guitar site has listings of Chords for a wide range of folk songs including instrumental tunes.
- The Wandering Whistler has a large archive of music from various sources. Change of URL (September 27, 2010)
- The Dallas Area Contra Bands web site has music for about 36 tunes.
- The Grand River Folk Arts Society has some information about tunes (with chords) played at local jams.
- The British Columbia Kitchen Party has some mp3's and notation for tunes plays at its sessions.
- Graham McDonald of Australia has posted a collection of Australian dance music including set tunes, mazurkas, polkas, schottiches, varsonvianas and waltzes.
- Eric Foxley has a database of about 1200 folk melodies, mostly British & American. They mostly come from the repertoire over the years of Fred Folks Ceilidh Band, and are intended as music for dancing.
- Andrew Kuntz's The Fiddler's Companion along with extensive notes about thousands of tunes, has tune information in abc format for many of them.
- The Rum and Onions Band has sheet music in .tif and .gif formats for tunes which the band has played at various R & O concerts. However, you have to be/have been a Rum & Onions member to use the site. Change of URL and access (April 4, 2009)
- Peter Yarensky has included a variety of tunes here from many sources including the Wednesday night jam session in Durham, New Hampshire and by the Lamprey River Band with any degree of frequency. He has included background information as well.
- While not specific to contra dance music, Fiddle Fork is an on-line fiddle community.
- The Nashville Old-Time String Band Association has tune packages which includes notation, chords, lyrics (when available), and mp3 and midi files.
- Martin Jenkins has a list of sites with printable music some of which may be of interest to contra dance musicians.
- Folk Fiddle in Florida has chords for tunes played at the Orlando Wednesday night jam. (Word document)
- David Kaynor has .gif files for tunes which he has composed. He also has abc and pdf files of a number of other tunes.
- Larry Unger includes abd and pdf files for 10 of this tunes on his site.
- The Cincinnati Open Band has files for the tunes that they play or are working on.
- The Big Round Band of Cambridge, England has a variety of tunes in a variety of formats including notations for bass players.
- The folks at The Portland Collection have an extensive list of web sites of the composers who have tunes in their tune books.
- The music book seller, Mel Bay has a wide selection of mp3s on its site. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Brendan Taaffe more than of his 20 tunes and songs. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Freds Folks Ceilidh Band has a connection to the Nottingham Folk Music Database which contains a wide variety of reels, jigs, hornpipes, waltzes and slip jigs (plus bunches of miscellaneous tunes. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- The Last Minute String Band has Dance Medley or Chord Charts for your personal use and educational purposes. These are public and for band members. They are to be used for "educational purposes." New entry (June 17, 2009)
- Princeton's Mixed Age Dance Band has sheet music in several different forms along with some MIDI files. New entry (June 21, 2009)
- The band, Contranella, has a tunebook of pieces composed by members of the band. New entry (June 21, 2009)
- Violinsheetmusic.org provides a pdf file of Ryan's Mammoth Collection, a well-known collection of fiddle music. New entry (January 17, 2010)
- Charles Roth has a page of dance
icons that he used in creating the Ann Arbor (AACTMAD) site. Problems with site (September 27, 2010)
- Noriko Takahashi in Japan has produced a fantastic page of animated square dance steps. Since many the steps are used in contradancing, this page can be quite helpful in learning some of the
- If you are looking for musical Instruments, accessories,
recordings, books, and videos relevant to contradancing, Elderly Instruments is a good
place to start.
- Looking for recipes? Try Ted Crane's newsletter Folk Stuff for the
occasional treat. For a list of cookie recipes used at the Rehoboth,
MA dances, visit Contra
- The University of New Hampshire hosts the Library of Traditional Music
& Dance as part of their special collections including papers of
a number of individuals involved in contradance.
- Folk Roots a/k/a Froots
is a U.K. magazine covering roots, folk and world music. Given their
extensive listings, there is enough crossover to include them.
- The Lloyd Shaw Dance
Archives, located in the Library of the University of Denver in
Denver, Colorado, consist of books, periodicals, sound and picture
recordings, callers' notes, dance camp syllabi, cue sheets, and
special collections relating to square, round, contra, and other
specialized forms of dance.
- Dance Books Ltd. is an
international centre for books, CDs, DVDs & videos and sheet music on
all forms of dance.
- Many of June Harman's
paintings are illustrations of folk dance, including contra dance.
- The Old-Time Herald
is a regular publication that celebrates the love of old-time music
-- grassroots or home-grown music and dance.
- If you ever need a contra dance bumper
sticker, Instant Attitudes may be of interest.
- The Folk Times supplies
information about a wide range of folk music (from baroque and
Renaissance to country and bluegrass) and dance in New York, Vermont,
and western Massachusetts.
- Andrea Setzer has several short Quicktime/mpg movies of
contradancing (from the VFW Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Check out the text of A Man Without a
Country for a mention of contra dancing (about the middle of the
- For another literature quote that mentions contra dancing, check
this section of Little Women.
- The Dance-A-Runi
store includes contra dance T-shirts showing some of the various
moves in a contra dance as different runes.
- In the United Kingdom, the Cotswold Music
Supply has a decent amount of dance compositions and music for
sale. Possible problem with site (April 4, 2009)
Hollow features a contra dance T-shirt in its catalog.
- Richard Albanese has produced several waltz videotapes. This is
not the ballroom waltz, but the type of waltzing done at contra
- For those who might end up at the business end of the sound board
at a contra dance, the best starting point is Bob Mills' All Mixed Up which can be purchased at the Country Dance and Song Society. There is a supplement to the book and Andy Wilson has a few notes on sound reinforcement
and Wes Maluk contributes his thoughts on sound. In addition to all that, Bob Mills has written about On-board mics. And there is a mailing list, the Contra Dance
- David Cottle outlines ten myths regarding sound systems in PA Mythology along with a few rules of thumb.
- Australian Heritage Dance has information about Australian Bush, Colonial and Traditional Dances.
- National Public Radio's "All Songs Considered" has included music from two contra dance CDs, "The Portland Collection Vol. 1" and the "The Portland Collection Vol. 2".
- New Hampshire Public Radio featured an interview with noted musician and composer Bob McQuillen in this broadcast from February 2004.
- WERU in Maine features the Belfast Flying Shoes dance series in a radio broadcast in 2007 (look for the link at the bottom of the page).
- Caller George Marshall is interviewed at the 2009 Canberra National Folk Festival about contra dancing - what it is, where it is going today - with interviewer Malcolm Fielding, of Hobart. New entry (August 16, 2009)
- Peter Bull, Walter Daves and Doug Singleton are interviewed on WPPR about all things contra with an emphasis on the Sautee, Dahlonega and Atlanta dances.
Look for "Community Life in NE Georgia" with a date of April 22, 2011. New entry (May 1, 2011)
- Reverend Chris Buice talks about Whirling Dervishes at the Contra Dance (Word document) in this sermon from August 15, 2010. An audio version is also available. New entry (May 1, 2011)
- In this episode of Real People, Real Stories on WFDD, the program examines how clear directions and toe tappin' music help one man overcome a life-long fear. New entry (May 9, 2011)
- WMUR-TV broadcast a story of contradancing in New Hampshire. New entry (May 9, 2011)
- Here's the link to the 2010 radio story on National Public Radio about contra dancing.
- Judith Laura's 2003 poem called 'Contradance".
- David Quinn's 2013 poem called "A Contra Dance Rhyming Story". New entry (January 12, 2013)
- The Dance Ambassadors site provides information, resources and encouragement to help traditional dance organizers, callers, musicians and dancers to share the joy.
- Brian Schott has started a push-pin map (via Google) of dance locations to which dance organizers and others can add information. New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Datehookup.com provides some information on the History of Modern Ballroom Dance which is not quite the same as the waltzes, etc. that are done at contra dances, but the information is helpful nevertheless. New entry (October 11, 2009)
- Orin Nisenson created a poster to encourage dancing responsibly which the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield has available for sale. New entry (October 12, 2009)
- That Which Is Good sells dance related clothing inspired by contra dances held in Rindge, New Hampshire. New entry (December 7, 2009)
- A study was done in 2010 concerning contra dancing and neurochemicals. New entry (April 19, 2011)
- DanceFlix rents out instructional DVDs for dancing, including waltzing. New entry (July 16, 2011)
- Contredanse, a novel by Kenneth Cohen, includes contra dance events as part of the novel's background. New entry (November 28, 2011)
- Several people and organizations have compiled quotes about dance:
- And there are the newsgroups:
- Probably the fullest explanation, certainly the one that has the
most links to it among all the contra dance pages in the world, is
Gary Shapiro's What Is Contra
Contra Dance Primer by Les Francey and Farrell Boyce of the
Hamilton Country Dancers [Ontario, Canada] provides answers to some
basic contra dance questions.
- The Folk Project of New Jersey includes George V. Otto's Contra Dancing
- Hugh Stewart has a brief description of What
is Contra Dance at the Cambridge, England web site.
- Jonathan Sivier's Introduction to Contra Dance is an adaptation of the New England Folk Festival Association's essay.
- David Smukler and Mike Miller, from the Syracuse [New York]
Country Dancers, include What
is contradancing? at the Syracuse site.
- Terms You Need to Know
(& Understand) For English Country Dancing from the Country
Dancers of New York [City} site provides descriptions of various
moves in English Country Dancing. They many not be exactly the same
as in contradancing, but still may provide some help.
of English Country Dance from the book by the same name by Hugh
Stewart, includes plenty of information on contra dance moves
including the California Twirl.
- Rob Lindauer What's Contra
Dance? provides an answer to the question.
- John Gustin supplies instructions on how to
dance the Hambo, the Schottische, and the Polka, all of which are
sometimes danced during an evening of contradancing.
- Jim Battisson supplies A Glossary of
Dance Terms, written for International folk dancers in Australia,
many of which are used in contradancing.
- Chip Hedler includes information on contra dance terms, basic
figures, history, and manners in his It LOOKS like they're having fun, (but what the heck are they doing?) site.
- Steven Nagy of the Hamilton (Ontario) Country Dancers has written
An Introduction to Contradancing.
- Sharon has a page of text, music, and photographs about her experience
in learning to contra dance. The text provides a good
introduction to what it is all about.
- The Old-time Music &
Dance Network has a variety of articles and lists of links on
various elements of old-time music, contra dancing and related forms.
- Marcia McKenzie explains the various forms of Traditional Community
Dance. Slight change of URL (April 4, 2009)
- The BBC tries
to explain the basics of contra dance in a short article.
- Larry Jennings presents Almost All You Need to Know
to Enjoy a New England Style Dance.
- Jonathan Sivier lists The
Top Ten (plus) Things That Make a Good (Contra) Dancer.
- Bob Peterson provides some guidance for first-timers, with Contra
- The Two Dog Waltz dance series lists some of the basic Contra Dance
Steps and Moves pdf file Change of URL (June 9, 2007)
- The Miami Valley Folk Dancers include a discussion from
rec.folk-dancing about Why is it
Called Contra Dance? from 1996.
- Heiner Fischle has written an Introduction to Contra Dancing.
- The Old-time Music and Dance Network has provides Old-Time Dance Introduction.
- Sarah Fulton of the Friday night dance at Glen Echo, presents What is "Contra Dancing".
- The Princeton Country Dancers provide Helpful Hints and Etiquette for Contra Dancers.
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers have their own version of What is Contra Dancing?. Change of URL (May 9, 2011)
- The Old Farmers' Ball has Welcome to the Old Farmer's Ball - Dance Guidelines for beginners and experienced dancers. (pdf file)
- The Harvest Moon Folk Society takes a try at What Is Contra Dance? along with a variety of other questions. Change of URL (April 4, 2009)
- The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers list, with photographs, some Common Dance Figures.
- The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers provide some guidance with Tips for Beginners.
- The Round Hill Country Dances in Greenwich, Connecticut have 10 Tips for Newcomers.
- The Harvest Moon Folk Society presents Dance Tips for Newcomers. Change of URL (April 4, 2009)
- The Cincinnati Contra Dancers have a list of Contra Terms.
- The Thursday Night contra series in Glenside, Pennsylvania has a brochure welcoming new dancers and providing some basic information about contra dance. (pdf file)
- Yael Schy has Twelve Tips for Contra Dancers which are helpful for the beginner and experienced dancer. Change of URL (May 24, 2009)
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers in Atlanta, Georgia have produced a series of videos that explain contra dancing. You can also purchase them on a DVD. Change of URL (May 9, 2011)
- Becoming a Great Dancer - How to become a great dancer in five easy steps is advice presented by the Dance Ambassadors. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- Ridge Kennedy, in his An Open Letter to a New Dancer, writes with a view toward those who have just started dancing. New entry (June 1, 2009)
- The Triangle Country Dancers have produced a Contra Dance Etiquette flyer. New entry (June 17, 2009)
- The Chattahoochee Country Dancers have produced a video called Why We Contra Dance which might explain to your non-contra dancing friends and family (and maybe even to fellow contra dancers) why we enjoy this activity so much. New entry (August 13, 2011)
One-shot entries in blogs are not included here (try Essays or Newspaper and magazine (non-genre) articles). I have included blogs by bands, musicians, callers, and dancers who keep their blog up to date (at least one entry in the last year) and have included a fair amount of entries about various aspects of contra dancing. I have no expectation that this list is definitive, but I'll keep adding entries as I find them.
- Aisling, band
- Apple Crisp, band (no entries since 2007)
- California, Santa Barbara Country Dance Society (last entry in 2009)
- Childgrove Dance Callers (and others)
- Liza Constable, musician
- Contraconnection, Oregon dance news
- Contratopia, band
- Dave and Lisa, contra dancing across America Problems with site (April 4, 2009)
- Doug Plummer, famed for his many photographs of contra dancing across the country Problems with site (March 4, 2012)
- Fiddlehedz, diary of a contradance fiddler
- Folkmads, New Mexico dancers' road trips (last entry in 2008)
- Ohio, Cincinnati (dance scene) (last entry in 2008)
- Merri Rudd, caller
- Peter Yarensky, musician and dance organizer
- William J. Watson maintains a listing
of contra dance books and other sources of information. (look near the bottom of the page) Change of URL (October 1, 2010)
- According to the site "Dancing for
Busy People" by Calvin and Judy Campbell has "...become the
standard reference for leaders working in the Community Dance Program
and people who lead beginner dance parties..." The book is described
in detail on the page.
- Among his pages, Kiran Wagle has information about a variety
of books about dances and dancing.
- The Hands Four Books
and Recordings site lists books and other materials by or
recommended by Tony and Beth Parkes.
- The Internet Archive has information and text from a wide variety of early
dance manuals including books that covered early contra dances.
- Cynthia Van Ness has created Contra Dance: A
- Erik Hoffman has excerpts from his books, Contra
Calling for Weddings, Parties, and One-Night Stands, and The Contrarian
on his web site along with ordering information.
- Heiner Fischle has written A Guide to Contra Dance in German and in English.
- David Smukler has collected is Cracking Chestnuts columns along with additional pieces from David Millstone, appropriate tunes for all the dances, and an appendix of twenty more chestnuts in a book available from CDSS.
- The Country Dance and Song Society
(CDSS) is an association of people and groups with a common
interest in English and Anglo-American folk dance, music and song. Its members are recreational dancers, musicians, singers, teachers, callers, dance historians and people just having fun. The activities of its
affiliated groups include dances, concerts, song gatherings,
festivals and residential camps.
- Lavender Country and Folk
Dancers is a community site for gender role free contra dancing.
- The Library of Congress, in their Folklife Sourcebook, has a list of
state, local, and regionally oriented societies as they have
historically played a major role in support of folklife studies,
cultural conservation, and the perpetuation and presentation of
traditional culture--particularly music, dance, and storytelling
genres. New entry (June 17, 2009)
- Contralab was founded by
a group of concerned contra dance leaders from both the folkdance and
western square dance movements.
- An organization created to increase public awareness of the vital
artistic and cultural importance of folk music and dance Folk Alliance is headquarted in
- While primarily for square dance callers, the American Callers Association
has some areas that overlap with matters and issues for contra dance
- The Old
Time Music and Dance website has links to a number of bands that
play music at contra dance and groups that hold them.
- The Down Home Dancing web site includes sections for the listing of events, a group forum, information about callers and bands, links to photographs, video and music and a plan on how to promote contra dancing and build up the site.
- There are now three SharedWeight.net mailings lists for those involved in making contra and traditional square dances occur. The first is for callers, the second musicians and the third is for dance organizers. Added information on musician and organizer lists (June 7, 2009)
(contra dance organizers, bands, and callers) (very low activity)
- California, Berkeley (afternoon dance) (dormant)
- California, Los
- California, Los
Angeles (Dance Cooperative) (very light)
North Bay (active)
- California, San
Luis Obispo (light activity)
- California, Santa
- Colorado, Fort Collins (active)
- Connecticut (covers most, but not all dances) (active)
- Florida, Cocoa
- Florida, South (active) New entry (October 2, 2010)
- Florida, Tallahassee (dormant)
Atlanta (extremely active)
Atlanta (callers) (dormant)
Moscow (announcements) (active)
Chicago (very active)
and nearby states (very active)
- Maine (southern
& DECDFA) (dormant)
- Maryland, Glen
Echo (Friday nights) (active)
- Massachusetts, Boston area (discussions, not announcements) (active)
- Massachusetts, Boston area (announcements from Peterborough, NH to Providence, RI) (very active)
Cambridge (Thursday night dances) (active)
- Massachusetts, Cape Cod (very active)
- Massachusetts, Concord (1st Friday and 2nd Saturday plus others) (active)
- Massachusetts, Greenfield and Montague (along with other Pioneer Valley dances) (extremely active)
Dearborn (save Lovett Hall) (low activity)
- Mid-Atlantic states (active)
- Nebraska, Lincoln (active)
- New Hampshire (active)
- New York
(central part) (low activity)
Carolina (triangle area) (active)
- North Carolina,
Asheville (Old Farmer's Ball) (active)
Carolina, Asheville (Old Farmer's Ball, Friends of) (low activity)
Carolina, Boone County (dormant)
Carolina, Winston-Salem and Greensboro (very active)
- Ontario, Toronto (low activity) New entry (June 7, 2009)
- Oregon, Portland (active)
Harrisburg (Board of Directors) (very active)
Harrisburg (general announcements) (active)
- Pennsylvania, Pittsburg (active) New entry (October 2, 2010)
Carolina, Greenville (active)
- Texas, San Antonio
- Virginia, Richmond (active)
Roanoke Valley/Blue Ridge (light activity)
Seattle (discussions) (extremely active)
Seattle (writing) (light activity)
south Puget Sound area (dormant)
- Wisconsin, Madison (very active)
The following are other lists of links, some from contradance sites,
others from general dance sites, and even more from various all-topic
Several libraries have lists of links for dancing:
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 June 17, 2012