Sunday, August 20th
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
$10 a person
Children 12 and under - Free

4:00 - 4:30 pm: First-time and beginner lessons
4:30 - 6:30 pm: Community contra for all levels
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.: Contra for experienced dancers

Contra dancing is fun!  Contra dances are attended by young and old, couples and single people, and anyone interested in getting out, moving, listening to live music, and enjoying fellowship with others in the community.  Beginners are welcome, and all dances are taught.  Contra dances incorporate some of the same figures as square dancing, but couples dance in long lines instead of a square formation.  It is also easier to learn when paired to live music.  Comfortable shoes and clothing are suggested. 

Contra dancing originated in western Europe and was prominent in Queen Elizabeth’s court.  It has evolved over the years and has been embraced from the time of our country’s founding, through the civil war era, the industrial revolution, the turbulent ‘60s, and right up to the current day when contra dancing thrives on most college campuses.  It has changed with the times, and today you may find a mix of old-time, bluegrass, swing, and even rock music at a contra dance.

Experienced caller, Roberta Call Kogut, and award-winning fiddler, Bob Kogut, will lead this community Contra Dance.  This amazing couple has been advancing Contra Dancing for decades now, teaching throughout the Southeast.  Bob Kogut and Kogut Violins are Blue Ridge Heritage Area Award winners and featured in the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.

This event is in partnership with the Hickory Music Factory String Band, led by Liam Bailey. The Band has a repertoire of Appalachian, Scots-Irish, and Scandinavian fiddle tunes. Instrumentation will include, but will not be limited to, fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and acoustic bass. 

Liam Bailey graduated from Berklee College of Music with a BA in Film Scoring and got his start writing for PBS, HBO, and ESPN. After that, he toured with country artists Rodney Atkins and Brett Eldredge and has performed for audiences at The Grand Ol Opry, Radio City Music Hall, and Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Join us at this beautiful family-friendly event with live music and dancing!

Common Questions:

  1. Is Contra Dancing similar to Square Dancing?
    Yes, they share many of the same figures.  However, square dancing is done in a square formation of four couples.  Contra dancing is done in long lines of couples, as many as can fit. 

  2. What if I have never danced before? 
    Each dance is taught by the caller before it is danced and then repeated while the dance is happening. This style of dancing has a lot of repeated moves so that it is easy to get the hang of. Beginner and experienced dancers will dance together. 

  3. How should I dress?
    Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended.

  4. What if I don’t have a partner?
    That’s alright. Dancers are encouraged to dance with many different partners.