Let’s Dance Again!

November 25th
Community Contra Dance

7pm – 10pm

The Community Contra Dance Series hosted by Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) continues on Saturday, November 25th at the Wolfeboro Town Hall’s “Great Hall”.  Dances run from 7:00 to 10:00pm, with the first half hour dedicated to a brief overview of the basic steps of New England contra dance, and neither experience nor a partner is required. Dances are a fun and energizing night out for all ages and abilities, even if you simply prefer to cheer the dancers on from the sidelines and enjoy the live music.

Many first-time dancers are planning to return for another evening of great music and fun.  Don Stratton will be calling the dance.  Don is a dance caller who brings a welcoming and relaxed style to the mic.  From Bristol, Vermont, he calls primarily in Vermont and surrounding states.  His repertoire includes modern New England contras as well as southern squares and big circle dances.  Through it all he strives to lead interesting dances that will bring smiles to experienced dancers and novices alike.   Don also plays fiddle for the contra dance band Red Dog Riley.   When he is not calling or playing for dances, he teaches biology at the University of Vermont.

Tom Moreau and David Moore will be providing live music to accompany Don’s calls.  Tom is a contra dance fiddler from Candia, NH.   He plays a wide variety of styles including Old Time, Quebecois and Eastern European tunes.  He also enjoys playing for couples dances. He fiddles for the contra dance duo Gypsy Minor.  He primarily plays in New Hampshire and often performs at NEFFA and the DownEast Contra Dance Festival. Tom is also an avid contra dancer and works as a software engineer.

David Moore is a piano accordionist based in Lee, NH. He primarily plays with the gypsy jazz and contra dance band Through the Culvert. David Moore has been playing music since he was 8 years old.

Dance admission fees are as follows:  $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for 6yr-18yr olds, and 5yr and under free.  Anyone experiencing financial hardship or large families are welcome to pay as able.  In an effort to protect the newly refinished wood floor in the Great Hall participants are encouraged to bring an extra pair of shoes for dancing that do not have a black sole.  If you are unable to bring extra shoes there will be a brush at the door for you to remove dirt and snow before entering.

G.A.L.A. is also looking to fill a few volunteer shifts for the dances this year if you are interested.  Attendees and community members are also encouraged to bring a snack to share for the snack table for it turns out that dancing can build an appetite!  If you do bring a snack, G.A.L.A. asks you to consider healthy options with little or no processed sugar, such as nuts, crackers and cheese, fruit, or chips and salsa for example.

For more information about this event or to sign up to volunteer visit their website at www.galacommunity.org, call the office at 603-539-6460, or email josh@galacommunity.org





The name “Contra Dance” refers to partnered folk dance styles, where couples dance in two facing lines. Contra dance is a hybrid of English country dances and French court dances. At the end of the 17th century, French dancers began to incorporate the English country dances with steps from their own court dances and in turn called these dances contra-dance, or contredanse. Many of the moves called out during the dance originate from the French terminology.

The contra dance was very popular throughout America from the 1700’s well into the 1800’s, but with the arrival of the square dance, waltz, swing, and other forms of dance it’s popularity was mostly confined to rural areas. It is interesting to note that before the contra dance’s revival it was not known to be called a night of “Contra Dancing.” Rather it had other names such as: Barn Dance, Kitchen Junket, Old Timers Ball, and The Dance. These dances were held in church halls, grange halls, town halls, barns, and even places like kitchens and living rooms. There was a time in New England when contra dances were so popular that one band might be booked 6 nights in a single week!


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