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 $8–12
$6–8 for students with ID
Family Admission $18–20
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! Here is the full schedule and directions in PDF format (good for printing and hanging on the refrigerator).
At the Worcester contra dance, April showers held off long enough for us to enjoy einstein's little homunculus, a regular fixture at our June dance but coming to us early this season. The five-part band kept everyone moving with their lively music and variety of instruments.
Our calling was provided by Portland, Maine's own Dugan Murphy, completing a three-day contra-calling tour that took him to Concord and Greenfield. His final stop saw him introducing many newcomers to the pastime of contra, while veterans enjoyed the combined kinetic calling and music.
Einstein's Little Homunculus!
Down the hall and back!
Jeremy and Geoffrey discuss how to split the evening's take.
Dela offers a private beginner's lesson.
The front and back of the dance hall!
Stealing snacks at halftime.
Long lines, forward and back!
A backstage pass to elh!
Calling by Dugan Murphy!
We still have two dances left in the season, so please join us on May 12 for the music of Julie Metcalf & Mark David Buckles, with Dereck Kalish calling!
Thank you to everyone who joined the Worcester contra dance this season! It was such a joy to share the music and calling of our bands and callers with so many wonderful dancers, both new and veteran. And what a wonderful way to end the season with einstein's little homunculus and Don Veino!
Stealth shot of caller Don Veino.
LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU
Grand music from elh.
An eclectic band.
Merch! Only $10 per CD.
Committee members extraordinaire. (ALL committee members are extraordinary!)
einstein's little homunculus!
Blow, baby, blow.
Sit back and relax, enjoy the show!
LIVE FROM WORCESTER
Rockin' & rollin'!
Here comes Peter!
There are many ways to swing!
Go, Jenny, go!
So happy together.
Our next dance is September 9 — but you don't need to wait until then to get your dance fix! Nearby Rutland will be picking up our slack with two Saturday dances on June 17 and July 15, 8–11 PM. That first dance is less than a week away and features the calling of Tod Whittemore from Connecticut. Joining him will be Julie Metcalf and friends, whose music is sure to delight us all.
The dance will be held at the Finnish Heritage Society on Finn Park Road in Rutland. Admission is $10 per adult and $5 per student.
The penultimate dance of Worcester's contra dance season was a happy and lively one, thanks to the calling of Dereck Kalish and the music of Chimney Swift. Dereck is a regular caller in Worcester, pairing his powerful sound system with talented and enthusiastic calling that accommodates all skill levels. Chimney Swift, a relatively new band from Boston, made their Worcester debut, bringing a rarely seen accordion and some fine vocal accompaniment to our musical scene. Despite some hiccups with the facilities, everyone had a wonderful time.
Long wavy lines!
Contra brings people together.
I can't remember if we've ever had an accordion at the Worcester contra dance!
Chimney Swift, making their Worcester debut.
Dereck Kalish and Chimney Swift — a perfect pair!
The most popular breaktime activity.
Appearances to the contrary, Dereck is always in the moment.
Thank you to everyone who came to our second dance of the season! We barely got in some wonderful dancing in before Hurricane Matthew opened the skies.
Making the trek from Portland, Maine, was Dugan Murphy, a renowned caller who made his Worcester debut. His thoughtful, encouraging beginners' lesson and energetic, diverse calling accommodated a variety of skill levels, making everyone feel welcome.
Musician Jim Fownes last played the Worcester dance in May 2015, but he returned this month in a different configuration alongside his daughter, Kathleen. Together, they form Light Reaction, whose music totally rocked our hall.
Our thanks to everyone who has been generous with our new sliding scale admission fees! Instead of raising the prices, we've counted on your goodwill to allow us to afford such wonderful talent to perform at our dances. Thank you for being such charitable dancers.
On that note: We're always looking for volunteers to help us open and close the hall for each dance! Please email us if you can donate an hour of your time in exchange for free admission.
Kathleen and Jim Fownes of Light Reaction.
This trio was meant to perform together.
Caller Dugan Murphy. You will never meet another caller who sells his own shirts.
The view from up top.
You're out now, but you'll be back in soon!
Welcome, Jess, to your first Worcester contra dance!
Thank you to all who came to our June dance! Although attendance was light, those who showed up had a wonderful time.
Our hall was filled with the music of Smoke & Mirrors, a group new to Worcester that came recommended by our friends in Northboro. Their tunes were complemented by the calling of Angela DeCarlis, a veteran of BIDA and Concord who raised the bar for Worcester's dancers with her diverse dance selection. Like Smoke & Mirrors, Angela was new to Worcester, and we welcomed the opportunity to host new talent at our venue. We expect we haven't seen or heard the last of these talented artists, band and caller alike.
The details of our 2016–2017 season are imminent, so sign up for our mailing list or Facebook group to get the details as soon as they're announced. In the meantime, have a great summer, and we'll see you on September 10!
After last February's dance was cancelled due to snow, Worcester's dancers were eager and excited to hit the dance floor this February 13. We invited last year's talent to tempt fate again, and the dangerously cold weather couldn't keep them away. Myra MacLeod and her Worcester Folk Orchestra filled the hall with their melodious music, while Bill Fischer led dancers beginner and veteran alike through diverse contra calls in lines, circles, and sets. An above-average turnout left us a bit short on snacks at the halftime — but everyone was there to dance, not eat, with most dancers (dressed in red for Valentine's Day) staying until the evening's end.
Even when dancing, Michael always keeps an eye on the time.
Bill and Andrea go in for a swing.
A little suspicious, Andrea?
A custom addition to a traditional shirt.
Over and under!
The waltz begins.
Ring around the waltzers.
Here we come a-waltzing…
And the band played on.
The Worcester Folk Orchestra!
So many musicians!!
Carolyn and Wayne promenade.
A fantastic orchestra.
So much joy in one room.
Thank you to everyone who helped us restore this wonderful Valentine's Day tradition!