Google Map Upcoming Dances Description of Dances

Next Dance:  Saturday November 21

Time and Location: 8:00 to 11:00PM,  Memorial Park administration building…directions shown below

Orientation session from 7:30 – 8:00 PM: introduction, basic moves, helpful hints for enjoyable dancing– for new & experienced dancers
Dance: 8:00 – 11:00 PM

Band: Purple House Amblers

Caller: Robbin Marcus

Admission: Adults 18 & over -$8.00;  ages 11-17- $4.00;

UNDER 11:  no charge and no dancing permitted


No partner needed;   All dances are taught;   Clean, soft-soled, comfortable shoes are recommended

Google Map to Memorial Park

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Upcoming Dances in 2015 – Third Saturday of the Month

Jan 17          Band:  Joe Willey & the Aleraisers                 Caller:  Stuart Whipple

Feb 21          Band: String Theory                                         Caller: Janet Shepherd

March 21     Band: Cross Town Traffic                               Caller: Walter Daves

April 18        Band: String Theory                                        Caller: George Snyder

May 16         Band:  ReelPlay                                Caller: Deanna Palumbo

June 20        Band: Whistlin’ Rufus                          Caller: Doug Singleton

July 18        Band:  Evan Kinney & friends          Caller: Rachel McCandliss

Aug 15        Band: Free Association                 Caller: Stuart Whipple

Sept 19        Band: Mike Robinson & friends            Caller: Charlotte Crittenden

Oct 17        Band: Briar Vista Social Club                                  Caller: Deanna Palumbo

Nov 21        Band: Purple House Amblers                     Caller: Robbin Marcus

Dec 19       Band: Contra Force                                    Caller: TBD



Description of Dances

Our contra dances are participatory social dances. We always have live acoustic music, with most bands from the Athens or Atlanta areas, and a dance caller. The music is usually either old-time Appalachian string band music or Celtic jigs and reels. The main instruments are fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass; occasionally we’ll also have piano, mandolin, autoharp, or harmonica.   The way the dances work is that the caller decides on a set of dances to call for the evening. The types of dances that we do include contra dances, square dances, circle mixers, and progressive circle dances. Most of the dances in an evening are contras and squares; usually only one or two circle dances are included.  The moves used in all of these dance types overlap considerably. Moves such as do-si-do, swing, stars, circles, allemandes, and promenades are done in most of the dances. As a result, once new dancers learn a few moves, they can dance most of the dances done that evening. The formation (contra lines, squares of 4 couples, or circle of couples), how many dancers are in each set, and whether you keep the same partner for the entire dance, are the main features that distinguish contra, square, and circle dance types.  Each dance is taught in a walk-through before the music starts. Then the caller cues the musicians and the dance begins. The caller prompts the moves until the dancers get the pattern, and sometimes drops out till the end. The caller decides how long the dance will continue (usually about 10-12 minutes), and tells the band when he wants 1 or 2 more times through the music. Then the dancers stop when the music ends.  At the half-way break, and at the end of the dance, we have a waltz. We usually conduct a short 20-30 minute orientation session from 7:30 – 8 PM before the dance to give new dancers an introduction to what we’ll be doing, and to have them walk through the basic set of moves that we’ll be using for the dances that evening. The dance usually runs from 8 – 11:00PM. Our dances usually have a mix of ages and folks come from all parts of town. The main reason we dance is that we enjoy dancing. When I call, I always tell the newcomers that the most important thing to do in an evening of dance with our group is to relax and have fun. Newcomers are always welcome, so if you like to dance, I suspect you’d have a good time at one of our dances.

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