Google Map Upcoming Dances Description of Dances

Join us for our next contra dance on…

April 15, 2017

Presented by the Athens Folk Music & Dance Society with live music and calling

Orientation session from 7:45 – 8:00 PM: introduction, basic moves, helpful hints for enjoyable dancing– for new & experienced dancers.  Dance: 8:00 – 11:00 PM

Band: Cattywampus

Caller: Robbin Marcus

Memorial Park Administrative Building- 293 Gran Ellen Dr., Athens, GA.
Admission for dance: 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

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Upcoming Dances in 2017 – Third Saturday of the Month

Jan 21          Band:  Peavine Creek                Caller:  Deanna Palumbo

Feb 18          Band: String Theory               Caller: Scott Russell

March 18     Band: Emerald Isle             Caller: Charlotte Crittenden

April 15        Band: Cattywampus          Caller: Robbin Marcus

May 20         Band:         Caller:

June 17        Band:                          Caller: Beside the Point

July 15        Band:            Caller: Contraplicity

Aug 19        Band:  Reelplay                Caller: Charlotte Crittenden

Sept 16        Band: Aleraisers           Caller:

Oct 21        Band:                                   Caller:

Nov 18        Band: Whistlin’ Rufus              Caller: Doug Singleton

Dec 16       Band:     Caller:



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.




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


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