Northern Berkshire Contra Dance

posted by songsailor


7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Friday, September 20
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Friday, October 18
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Friday, November 15


First Congregational Church, 906 Main Street, Williamstown, MA
We are inside a beautiful old New England style white church. The floor is of sprung wood that is currently cammoflauged by a thin layer of linoleum tile. There is a good sized functional stage at one end and opening windows along all of one side. Williams College surrounds the church. There is a grassy common right next door. Easy parking is down the side road between the grassy common & church either on that road or in the parking lot behind the church. Several restaurants can be found within walking distance along with a sandwich and coffee shop.


Contra Dancing is a form of American folk dance done with live traditional music and a caller who teaches and guides the dance moves. The music is usually in the form of jigs, reels and hornpipes from the Scots-Irish tradition on both sides of the Atlantic. Sometimes these tunes are jazzed up a bit with some swing or a more southern jambalaya style. The fiddle is often the lead instrument. Dancers form a set of two parallel lines which run the length of the hall. Each dance consists of a sequence of moves similar to those in square dance that ends with couples having progressed one position up or down the set. Having a partner arrive with you at the dance is not necessary. Many people come to a contra dance alone. Dancers are encouraged to dance with many different partners throughout the evening. If there is an excess of one gender, it is customary for women to dance men's roles and vice versa to form couples and extend the set.

A relaxed, family-like atmosphere is found at a contra dance where the emphasis is on dancing and community. Dancers form a community of active friendly people who are open and welcoming to all new-comers. Many people come to contra dances to experience dancing with live traditional music.

Along with professional live musicians, there is a caller to lead dancers through the dances. The caller is always an inspiration to dancers adding his or her own character to each dance. Callers have the responsibility of holding the dance moves together by first teaching them and then reminding the dancers throughout the dance of which step comes next.

Please Bring:

-soft soled clean shoes for dancing
to protect/respect both your feet & the floor
-pot-luck goodies for the dance break like cookies
-a water bottle so that we do not need to waste disposable cups
Join us for a pot-luck before the dance beginning at 6:30PM.  Bring a dinner dish to share with all & your own table setting/silverware.


$10.00 This is a non-profit event. Admission funds the live music & caller along with a donation to the church for use of space.