What we're about

This is a group for people who enjoy or want to try contra dancing.

Do you like people? Do you like smiling, laughing and interacting with friendly folks out for a good time? Getting some healthy exercise while having fun? Contra dancing might be for you.

Contra dancing is a fun, easy-to-learn style of social dance accompanied by a live band. Knowing how to dance is not necessary because a caller prompts the moves and guides the dancers. A workshop is given prior to the start to learn basic terminology and some of the dance moves.

Many of the dance moves are identical to those in square dancing. People who learned some square dancing in elementary school—even a few decades ago—often pick up the basics of contra dancing quickly. And even if you’ve never danced before, contra is one of the easiest kinds of dancing to learn.

Much of the music is drawn from Appalachian, Celtic, and old-timey traditions, with pop, jazz, Eastern European and electric for good measure. From lively and playful to smooth and elegant, the music always has a great beat enhanced by the collective energy of joyful dancers.

Many couples and singles attend the dances, and it's customary to dance with a variety of partners throughout an evening. Typically at a dance there are 40 to 80 people of varied experience levels, ages and backgrounds.

Swingin' Tern hosts contra dancing the first and third Saturdays of every month. Beginners are encouraged to come and try it out--experience not needed--and a beginners’ workshop precedes the dance. Come alone, with a partner or with friends.

In the contra community, Swingin’ Tern is known both as a beginner-friendly dance group and the host of special dances that draw dancers from several states.

LOCATION: The First Presbyterian Church Parish House, 14 Hanover Road, East Hanover, NJ
First and third Saturday every month. WORKSHOP: 7:00-7:30 PM DANCE: 7:30– 10:30 PM
COST: $12 adult, $5 student (certain special dances may be higher)
More information is at http://swingintern.org
A dance video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfr6liZo-cQ

Upcoming events (5+)

Contra dance with Donna Hunt & Brooklyn Swing Ensemble

First Presbyterian Church Parish House

Beginners' workshop starts at 7:00 PM. The dance begins at 7:30 PM. Tonight's dance is sponsored by Katie and Richard, so admission is free. Donna Hunt will call contra dances to live music by Brooklyn Swing Ensemble. Singles, couples, and families with all ages are warmly welcomed at our dances. With about 50 people attending on average, come prepared to make some new friends. Contra dancing is aerobic, so wear comfortable, cool clothing. For more info, see swingintern.org. (Note new start time beginning this week.)

Contra dance with Rich Goss and Lake Effect

First Presbyterian Church Parish House

Beginners' workshop starts at 7:00 PM. The dance begins at 7:30 PM. Admission: $12 adults/$5 students. Rich Goss will call contra dances to live music by Lake Effect. Singles, couples, and families with all ages are warmly welcomed at our dances. With 50 people attending on average, come prepared to make some new friends. Contra dancing is aerobic, so wear comfortable, cool clothing. For more info, see swingintern.org

Contra dance with Diane Hartzell and Dance Therapy

First Presbyterian Church Parish House

Beginners' workshop starts at 7:00 PM. The dance begins at 7:30 PM. Admission: $12 adults/$5 students. Diane Hartzell will call contra dances to live music by Dance Therapy. Singles, couples, and families with all ages are warmly welcomed at our dances. With 50 people attending on average, come prepared to make some new friends. Contra dancing is aerobic, so wear comfortable, cool clothing. For more info, see swingintern.org

Contra dance with Don Flaherty and Sanity Clause

First Presbyterian Church Parish House

Beginners' workshop starts at 7:00 PM. The dance begins at 7:30 PM. Admission: $12 adults/$5 students. Don Flaherty will call contra dances to live music by Sanity Clause. Singles, couples, and families with all ages are warmly welcomed at our dances. With 50 people attending on average, come prepared to make some new friends. Contra dancing is aerobic, so wear comfortable, cool clothing. For more info, see swingintern.org

Past events (102)

Contra dance with Desiree Halcomb & Jaybird

First Presbyterian Church Parish House

Photos (12)

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