Contra dance is a traditional social dance style with figures similar to square dancing but taking place in longways sets. Dancing occurs with live music from the Scots-Irish, French Canadian, and Appalachian folk traditions – though often given a modern twist. A caller leads the participants through the steps for each dance. It’s an inclusive, grassroots, and lively activity, open to all ages and a lot fun! Contra dance communities can be found in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and in many other places across Canada and the US. Drumlin Contra Dances take place at St James Church Hall in Fergus every fourth Friday each month, from September thru May. They are looking to entice more people to join them, so that their group can become truly sustainable. Kris Rosar from Drumlin Contra Dances joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about contra dancing and their group. For more information visit drumlincontradances.ca. Check out other links for Contra Dancing at contradancelinks.com, the Country Dance and Song Society at cdss.org and The Dance Gypsy. Music: The Old Sod Band “Julia Delaney, Tam Lin and The Banshee” from “Grass Roots” (2001, Self) and Les Frères Brunet “Queue De Lapin” from “Magie” (1994, Self).
About the author
Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee.