Central Coast Country Dance Society

What is Contra Dancing?

Contra dance is a little like square dance. Like square dance, we have a caller who prompts us through the dance. Like square dance, we dance some with our partner, then some with our neighboring dancers. In contrast with square dance, we always have a live band; we dance with 50 or more neighboring dancers since we dance in a line instead of a square (but it's not what you may think of as line dancing); no special clothing is required. The tradition is to change partners at the end of every dance. You may bring a partner (or other friends), but you'll have lots of people to dance with even if you don't.
Gary Shapiro maintains a website that explains what contra dancing is (and is not) in great detail. Click here to go there.

Contra Dance Videos

The Chattahoochee Country Dancers (Atlanta) have produced a series of videos that explain contra dancing. The YouTube versions, for quicker viewing, are listed below.

  1. Introduction
  2. Two Dancers
  3. Four Dancers
  4. A Contra Line
  5. Come Dance With Us
  6. Contra Origins and The CCD
  7. A Called Dance #1
  8. The Basics
  9. Contra Video Credits

They also offer a higher quality DVD version of these videos for purchase.

You can find many other contra dance videos on YouTube by doing a search on "contra dance". A few examples are listed below.