Contra Dance

2020 Schedule

All Dances begin at 7:30pm. Free instruction starts at 7pm. Beginners are welcome and a partner is not needed.

Not a dancer? Contra dancing has been known to make dancers out of the most steadfast chair sitters!

Cost is $7/ages 14 and up.

May 30

CANCELLED Due to Covid-19

Music by Blue Eyed Girl. Caller: Bob Dalsemer

July 25

CANCELLED Due to Covid-19

Music by Nic Coker & Friends. Caller: Charlotte Crittenden

September 12

CANCELLED Due to Covid-19

Music by Boom Chuck. Caller: AnneMarie Walter

What is Contra Dance?

Contra dance is a type of folk dance where parallel lines of dancers begin the dance by standing opposite or ‘contra to’ another line.  Sometimes referred to as Appalachian folk dance or New England folk dance, it has roots in 17th century English, Scottish and French dancing & has been influenced by African dancing as well. 

A caller leads the dancers through a series of moves and the sequence repeats itself. There’s no real footwork; it’s more like walking to music.  While most dancers want to learn the progression of moves, the focus is not on perfection but to have fun.  Lots of smiles, laughter & friendly encounters are all part of this dance experience. 

The music is usually live with and includes a fiddle and other stringed instruments such as guitar, mandolin, banjo or bass.  A keyboard, drums and brass instruments may also be a part of the mix.  The lively, infectious rhythms draw you in & even people who say that can’t dance find themselves moving to the contra flow. 

While the lines of dancers are formed by couples, it is not necessary to arrive at the dance event with a partner because it’s customary for dancers to find different partners for each dance.  Contra dancing appeals to all ages & is family friendly. 

Our Mission

The purpose of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center is to promote the teaching and preservation of the cultural and artistic heritage of the Southern Appalachians and Cherokee people to serve as a community resource and gathering place.

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