Contra Dance is New England-style folk dance, similar to Square Dancing. It is partner dancing in a set, is "called" by someone who teaches the dances and then prompts to live music.
IT IS SO MUCH FUN!
BACDS is the Bay Area Country Dance Society, and their website will show you when and where there are dances, and who is calling or playing for those dances, in the greater Bay Area, basically from Palo Alto to San Francisco. The site includes information for Contras, English Country Dance and Morris Dancing.
Hayward Contra Dance is just for the Hayward area, but these organizers are trying to get a Walnut Creek dance off the ground, so contact them for more information.
NBCDS is the North Bay Contry Dance Society, and their site provides similar information as the BACDS site, but for the area that extends from San Rafael to Ukiah.
I was on KPFA on Sunday, April 10, 2011. Hear the show: 20110410-Sun1500.mp3 I was a guest on Ray Edlund's Pig in a Pen for two hours; the first hour is all about Contra Dance and Contra Dance music and the second hour is about my CD.
Here's an example of a pretty typical dance; this one takes place in Vermont (not me calling--just a really good video that allows you to see the repetition of the figures):
Do you want to host a dance? Book me to call a Contra Dance for you; I'll find the right band, and make recommendations on sound and location needs. If you are considering a dance for your special event, please talk to me first, because I have valuable experience about how to make your dance a success; if I'm unavailable I have other callers to recommend.
Here's a video of a fundraiser I called for Heifer International on April 9 (Debra Tayleur on keyboard, Judy Linsenberg on recorder, and Anne Goess on fiddle): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FQ5QF2O_oE