What is Contra Dancing?
Contra dances originate from the English country dances brought by the original colonists. Each dance is explained by the caller with a walk-through. The caller continues to prompt as the music starts and may drop out if the dancers are comfortable after a couple of times through. An evening of purely contra dancing also includes a teaching session prior to the dance to explain the basics.
The music has its roots in Irish, Scottish, English, and American music.
What is a barn dance?
Barn dances include a variety of traditional folk dancing styles, such as Scottish, Welsh, English, and American. The barn dance programs I call contain traditional American contra dances, Welsh dances, waltzes, and easy squares. This is similar to an English Ceilidh, except that the dances are "walked" rather than "stepped" (i.e. you don't have to remember footwork!). These dances are great for large groups of beginners or "non" dancers. Oh, and don't let the name fool you - a barn dance doesn't have to be in a barn! Any room will do!
Why a contra or barn dance for your event?
When calling dances, I watch something amazing. Old and young, experienced and inexperienced, good and "bad" dancers all come together and HAVE FUN! No matter what the venue or the occasion, a contra or barn dance is the embodiment of community!