New Dancers Welcome!
All dances taught. No partner necessary.
Contra dancing is an old New England tradition.
Smoke-free, alcohol-free, family friendly environment.
Wesley Methodist Church, 114 Main Street, Worcester
Please wear soft-soled shoes to protect the floor.
Beginners' Lessons at 7:30 PM.
Dancing 8:00 - 11:00 PM.
General Admission $8 per person
$6 for students with ID
Family Admission $18
Children 12 & under FREE
The Worcester Contra Dance usually takes place on the second Saturday of every month from September through June. There are exceptions for holidays and other events, so remember to check the schedule! For the full schedule and directions in PDF format (good for printing and hanging on the refrigerator) click here.
Cold and snow could not keep dancers away from the Worcester contra dance, held last night at the Wesley Methodist church. Seven dozen pairs of feet pounded the dance floor, keeping our hearts warm and our faces smiling. Marguerite Durant braved the long, dark road from the Pioneer Valley to call for us, while the music of Anadama totally rocked the hall, with Emily Troll on accordion, Amelia Mason on fiddle, and Bethany Waickman on guitar. How so much music can come from so few people is a constant wonder of contra.
The hall was decorated with paper hearts in celebration of this week's Valentine's Day — but the great thing about contra is that you can dance with other people's Valentines, too. We hope everyone had fun dancing with friends new and old!
Our first contra dance of 2014 has come and gone, and boy, was everyone ready to get moving again! Unseasonably warm weather and rains had melted the remains of a recent nor'easter, and with school back in session, students were eager to break out of their previously snowbound dorms and homes and hit the dance floor.
The evening began with our annual potluck, and what a cornucopia of treats were present. From Swedish meatballs to vegan stew, Irish soda bread and pumpkin brownies, pineapple and grapes and carrots, there was enough to serve everyone twice over.
Before long, it was time for the main attraction. Tim van Egmond made us earn those calories as he called to the music of Berlin Country Orchestra. There were enough dancers to break into three lines! There's obviously an appetite for family-friendly social dancing in Central Massachusetts, and with nearby dances in Northboro, Berlin, and Gardner, there are plenty of opportunities to keep dancing throughout the winter. Please sign up for our mailing list or join us on Facebook to receive invitations to future dances — our next one is on February 8 to the music of Anadama and the calling of Marguerite Durant!
Our second dance of the season was a rousing success! A huge turnout, including college students new to the area looking for something to do, made for a fun an energetic October contra dance.
For many, the on-stage talent was the draw. Quena Crain from Brattleboro was calling, keeping everyone moving and taking breaks only to waltz. You'll find her calling next on October 19 at the Peterborough Fall Ball.
Our thanks to everyone who came out on a cool April night to enjoy some fine contra dancing in Worcester! The turnout, the music, and the dances were all fantastic, thanks in no small part to talent that consisted of Quena Crain calling for the Free Raisins, with Mari Black filling in for Audrey Knuth. What a masterful and motley crew!
A roving photographer snapped these shots of everyone having a grand time. Feel free to tag yourself in the Facebook album!
Thanks to everyone who made our latest dance a success! With calling by Rachel Shapiro and music by Cedar Stanistreet, Max Newman, and Julie Metcalf of Agnostic Fiddle Insurgency, Worcester's October contra dance was great fun for all those who attended, with several first-timers joining our ranks. Perhaps because nearby WPI was on their fall break, the crowd wasn't quite as big as usual, but everyone who showed up had a good time, with many staying until the end and helping to clean up — many hands make for light work!
Just when I thought the Worcester dance couldn't get any more AWESOME! Andrew Grover and Max Newman totally rocked the house — it was hard to believe that sound came from just two people! Dave Eisenstadter gave us a perfect mix of dances. And the halftime participatory demo of Worcester-style tango from Krista Baker and Sarah Brooks was just one more indicator that this is THE place to be for dynamic and creative dancing. Thanks to everyone for such an excellent evening!
Are my feet ever going to be sore tomorrow — and it was totally worth it! Caribou and Reed totally rocked the house, I don't think I've ever whooped so much at a contra before. And so far this year we've had 100 dancers at every Worcester dance: the energy was tremendous, and I'm only sorry I have to wait a month till the next one.