What we're about

Contra dancing is a community that loves to come together for traditional dance, in a family friendly environment. Evenings free of some of the vices that seem intertwined with club based dancing.

Meet new people, enjoy getting your exercise, dance to great live music – all in the contra dance capital of New Hampshire! If you like to dance, you will love Contra dancing, the most social type of dancing you can find. It is not necessary to come with a partner – everyone can and does ask everyone to dance. A free beginner’s lesson precedes most dances, and all dances are taught.

What you can expect at a New Hampshire Contra Dance:

• Friendly people of all ages and persuasions – young and old, married, couples, single, alone or with friends

• An alcohol, drug and tobacco free evening of wholesome fun.

• LGBT friendly

• Live music from various traditions - Celtic, American, Scottish and Quebecois fiddle traditions, Irish to Old Time to contemporary

• Special theme dances such as techno, community band and more

• Delicious snacks at the break - Usually potluck, bring snacks to share

• New dancers are always welcome.

• Affordable, social, healthy fun!

Some links to check out Contra dancing on You Tube:

An introductory video:

Welcome to Contra Dancing ! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuPbte5knOY&feature=youtu.be)

New Hampshire contra dances:

Nelson Town Hall (https://youtu.be/kC0VnbyNStA)

Peterborough Fall Ball 2012 (https://youtu.be/gzoh70Ah30s)

Dover Contra Dance (https://youtu.be/qBV3HIJ5eI8)

More dancing:

Contra Dance with Perpetual e-Motion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KevQxr-saFw&feature=youtu.be)

Fiddling Frog (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4s3qQApbnk)

Upcoming events (4+)

The Mystic Contra Dance "The Pie Dance", Sat 05/28/2022

Needs a location


MYSTIC CONTRA DANCE "The Pie Dance", Sat. 05/28/2022
● TIME: Dance 7:30-11:00pm
● WHERE: Groton Senior Center's Community meeting/banquet hall @ 102 Newtown Road, Groton, CT 06340.
● "When was the last time I’d seen people dance? When was the last time I’d danced myself? It occurred to me that dancing could be an ideal spring reset activity." - Melissa Kirsch - New York Times "The Morning" (excerpt). Come enjoy an ideal spring reset activity! Dancing to live music! You are going to have a wicked good time!
Contra dancing is informal, with easily-learned dance steps taught by a caller. You do not need to bring a partner with you, as it is customary to switch partners after each dance.
CALLER: Jim Gregory! Jim has been a performing dancer/choreographer with several groups totaling about 33 years experience. Counted among them are Sedenka (the International dance performers), Mountain Laurel Cloggers, Reel Nutmeg as founder and director, Crackerbarrel Revue, and the Elm City Vintage Dancers. These experiences were recounted in Jim's column "Your Contra Corner," which ran[masked] in Folknotes. In 2003 Jim was featured as the dancer/actor with members of the New Haven Symphony.
MUSIC: Fifer's Delight! Their repertoire of contradance music is born in New England, détours via Quebec and ricochets off fife-and-drum just for special effect. What makes the tune 'pop' is furious precision, not crazy speed. Eclectic, traditional tunes with plenty of punch; good bass, midrange and treble to keep the toes tapping. We always vary the intensity, lead musician and key signature to keep the sound fresh on the jigs and reels, from the singing squares to the last waltz. Fifer's Delight has seasoned musicians who integrate well with an energetic caller to make the event come alive.
- Vaccination cards will be required OR a Covid Free Test within 48 hours for admission and all participants must give names and contact information, so we can notify attendees if someone who was at the dance later informs us that they've tested positive.
- Masks are encouraged.
ADMISSION: $10 adults, $7 students, $25 families., & Donations gratefully accepted! Delicious pies at the break for $3/slice help support the band.
CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR: Clothing is casual, layers are best for this invigorating exercise. Please wear non-street shoes that move easily on the floor (rubber soled sneaker are discouraged).
PARKING: Plenty of parking in the large parking area next to the building!
WEBSITE: Mystic Contra Dance (webs.com)
● LOCATION: Google Maps:

Northboro Contra Dance (MA), Sat. 06/04/2022

Needs a location


TIME: Dance 7:00-10:30pm
● WHERE: First Parish Northboro's social hall, 40 Church St, Northborough, MA 01532
● Come at 7 pm, sign in, mingle; Welcoming/beginners session 7:15 pm; Live Music & Dancing 7:30 - 10:30 pm!
● Hands touching, smiles reflecting, eyes connecting and dancing!
Come and enjoy this ideal spring activity! Live music and dancing! You are going to have a wicked good time!
Contra dancing is informal, with easily-learned dance steps taught by a caller. You do not need to bring a partner with you, as it is customary to switch partners after each dance.
CALLER: Don Vieno, Don calls for all levels, from festivals and major dance series to community dances (which typically focus on being supportive of new dancers and include dancers of all ages and abilities). His programs for dances normally include good compositions which are often different from typical mainstream programs - such that experienced dancers find something new/different and new dancers get a wonderful first experience.
MUSIC: Kingfisher. Kingfisher is a Boston-based contra dance band, consisting of Cecilia Vacanti (fiddle) and Jeff Kaufman (piano, mandolin, drums, synths).
COVID: Vaccination Certificates are required (2 shots or 1 of J&J). Boosters are encouraged. Masks are required.
ADMISSION: $10 pp, $5 students.
PARKING: Parking is behind the church adjacent or next to Pleasant Street and there is an overflow parking area just across Howard Street where Pleasant Street starts..
DRESS: Dress is casual and please bring shoes that move easily on the wood floor. Best to wear layers of comfortable clothing!
● WEBSITE: Northboro Contra | (click above for link to home)
● OTHER: This is a smoke and alcohol free event.
● LOCATION: Google Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/First+Parish+Northboro+Unitarian+Universalist/@42.3220529,-71.6475482,18z

BIDA Contra Dance (MA), Sun. 06/05/2022

Needs a location


BIDA CONTRA DANCE (MA), Sun. 06/05/2022
TIME: Dance 7:30-10:30pm
WHERE: Cambridge Masonic Temple, 1950 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02140
● All our dances are gender-free (Larks / Robins calling).
CALLER: Sue Rosen
MUSIC: Eric Boodman, Jonah Sidman, and Bruce Rosen
Come join us once again for a delightful night of contra dancing, Sunday June 5th, at 1950 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA.
● CALLER: Sue Rosen
● LIVE MUSIC: Eric Boodman, Jonah Sidman, and Bruce Rosen
● INTRODUCTORY: Please feel free to join us at 7:00 for a beginner's lesson if you're fresh to contra dancing! Or y'know, if you'd like a refresher, or to help other folks remember after a 2 year hiatus, or settle back in to the dance hall vibe gradually 🙂
BIDA needs new volunteers! many of our pre-covid regular volunteers are no longer able to help out. If you are interested in being more involved with making BIDA the dance we all love, please reach out to us.
● COVID: Ok, here's the ✨Pandemic Special ✨ details.
We'll be requiring:

  • Full vaccination, including a booster if you're eligible for one. We'll check cards at the door, so bring your card or a picture of it.
  • Well-fitting high filtration masks. masks. We will offer complimentary masks if you don't have one. more info here https://blog.bidadance.org/2022/05/requiring-high-filtration-masks.html?m=1
  • Email addresses, so we can notify attendees if someone who was at the dance later informs us that they've tested positive.

We will ventilate to the extent possible, but the Cambridge Masonic Hall is not a place where we'll be able to get as much air turnover as we would like.
for more details: https://blog.bidadance.org/.../getting-back-to-dancing.html

● ADMISSION: $5-15 sliding scale, as you're able. Bring someone new to Contra to the intro session and you both get passes for free admission to a future dance! Share the love.
Public Transportation: (recommended): We are across the street from the Porter Square Red Line stop.
Parking: Free street parking (meters and residential are open to all on Sundays). The big parking lot has been known to tow.
See you there!
WEBSITE: https://www.bidadance.org/
GOOGLE MAPS: https://www.google.com/maps/place/1950+Massachusetts+Ave,+Cambridge,+MA+02140

Worcester Contra Dance (MA), Sat. 06/11/2022

Needs a location


TIME: 7:00 - 10:30 pm
WHERE: Wesley United Methodist Church's gymnasium,
114 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
● Come on down and join us in Central Massachusetts it's not far for live dancing! We have another fun-filled evening of live music and dance as we move joyously to live music! No experience is necessary. All dances are taught.
> Masks are to be worn at all times by everyone inside the gymnasium (i.e the dance hall).
> Each attendee must provide their name, email address, and cell phone number for contact-tracing purposes.
> The gymnasium where the dance is being held is quite large for the expected number of attendees. Regardless, the facility has been furnished with air purifiers along with several box fans equipped with MERV 13 filters . These are used during the dance to freshen and circulate air.to maintain adequate ventilation. The facility also has several ceiling fans which assist in that process.
ADMISSION: The admission fee is $8 to $10 for adults, $6 to $8 for students, and $20 per family.
WEBSITE: https://www.worcesterdance.org/
PARKING: Parking is in behind the church accessible via State Street and turn left in behind the Wesley United Methodist Church (see photo below).
DRESS: Dress is casual and please bring clean non street shoes in order to prevent damaging the floor and that move easily on the floor. Wear comfortable clothing in layers!
LOCATION: Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/place/114+Main+St,+Worcester,+MA+01608/@42.26941,-71.8031027,17

Past events (1,349)

Photos (2,040)