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 7:00 PM.
Dancing 7:30 – 10:30 PM.
General Admission $8 per person
$6 for students with ID
Family Admission $18
Children 12 & under FREE
Newcomers receive a coupon to come back for 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.
It may have been a long weekend, but dancers who came to Worcester this weekend were in for a treat! After an absence of several years, the Contra Banditos returned to our dance hall, with their six musicians accompanied by the calling of Don Veino. Don's calling gave us the history of each dance, with the dancers once being allowed to choose the difficulty of the next dance. It was a fun and participatory evening.
This month also marked the first time dancers began using our coupons. New this season, first-time visitors to our dance venue receive a coupon to come back for free! We began issuing these invitations in September and were happy to see dancers return in October.
Could we have asked for a more rocking spring? Our May contra featured three musicians making their Worcester debut: Jim Fownes, Julia Plumb, and Ness Smith-Savedoff, aka the Rock Ness Monster. This particular configuration had never played together before, but you'd never know it from the amazing music they put out! Their music was all the livelier with the sound system provided by Dereck Kalish, a familiar caller on the Boston dance scene who was also making his Worcester debut.
The snow has melted, the dance floor was swept clean, and the dancers were out in force! Caller Don Heinold, who made his Worcester debut a year ago this month, was reunited with The French Connection for a wonderful evening of dances. Don's dances were welcoming to newcomers while slowly ramping up the difficulty — and fun! By the end of the night, we were all better dancers for the joy we'd shared.
After the unfortunate cancellation of our Valentine's Day dance due to this winter's relentless snow, we were thrilled to be back on the dance floor. The music of Cardinal Direction (formerly known as Firefly) was complemented by the calling of David Kaynor, rousing everyone from their seasonal doldrums with some fantastic music and dances. We briefly put our feet on pause at 9:26 PM to celebrate a once-in-a-century Pi Day, followed by an intermission that featured key lime π.
Our thanks to the Berlin Country Orchestra and Tim Van Egmond for such a wonderful start to 2015! Their music and calling introduced scores of newcomers and veterans alike to the joy of contra dancing. It was especially fun to discover that we had too many dancers for one set and watched them break off to form a second set mid-dance!
We continued our annual tradition of a potluck dinner before the dance, with plenty of friendly faces and fantastic food. Lasagna, stew, salad, fruit, bread, and more ensured that every appetite and diet was accommodated.
Hot on the heels of Halloween was a trick from the Worcester contra dance: our November dance was held the first Saturday! We swapped from our usual second Saturday slot for this month only due to the availability of the hall. Our thanks to the Berlin County Orchestra who traded dates with us; anyone looking for their usual second Saturday dance fix are encouraged to visit the Berlin contra dance.
Also special about our November dance was the Worcester debut of the Cicadas, featuring Bill Shevin (guitar), Ed Dale (bass), Rachel Panitch (fiddle), Jennifer Cooke (flute), and Tim St. Jean (mandolin). Their sound was full of and strong danceable rhythm. Joining them was David Kaynor as both caller and fiddler; together, the performers made for a great evening.
Please enjoy the below photos from our dance. There's no dance in December, so we'll see you in January for our annual potluck!
Thank you to all who came to the closing dance of Worcester's season! Just as they did in 2011, Einstein's Little Homunculus sent us off in grand fashion. (More contra bands need drums!) Dan Pearl's calling was flawless as always, accommodating newcomers and veterans alike in line dances, circle mixers, and no squares whatsoever.