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What is Contra Dancing??
What is Contra Dancing #1?

What is Contra Dancing # 2?

Contra Dance Info

Where can you contra dance in central Virginia?  Check out my favorite below - the Dayton Contra Dance.

Where can you find a contra dance in North America?

What is a dance gypsy?  Resources to locate a(many) dance(s) in your neighborhood or for all of your travel destinations!

Where can you go Contra Dancing in the Shenandoah Valley?

There are contra dances all around Virginia and the closest one to me is the Dayton Contra DanceThe dance happens on the second Saturday of each month in Dayton, VA.  It is organized by a local group of musicians who volunteer their time to have a caller and band and a sound system set up and ready to go for the 100 or so dancers who come out each month.  The upcoming 2009/2010 schedule includes some great bands and callers as listed below.




Shawn Brenneman

Toss the Possum - The Zisette family from Blacksburg. Robbie on fiddle, Janse on flute, Chas on bass and Laura on keyboards.


Paul Rosen

Driver Parks Knicely from Harrisonburg, VA - Steve Parks mandolin with Bob Driver on guitar and Neil Kniecely on bass


Tom Hinds

Brushy Run - this is an all donation evening with all proceeds going towards the purchase of a new sound system equipment.


Perry Shafran

Floorplay - Rya Martin (piano), Paul Rosen (mandolin, fiddle, accordion), Aaron Lamb (drums)


Valerie Helbert

Rhythm Road Joe Dockery (percussion), Jim Harrington (accordion), Buddy Thomas (guitar), Kevin Walsh (bass)


Bill Wellington

Highlander String Band - Jim Gaskins on fiddle, Phyllis Gaskins on Appalachian dulcimer, Allen Kennedy on mandolin, Suzanne Kennedy on upright bass and Gene Bowlen playing clawhammer banjo and octave mandolin.


DeLaura Padovan

Jim Morrison and Steve Hickman


Jack Mitchell

Perpetual E-Motion Maine duo, Ed Howe and John Cote. "Captivating and passionate, that's how we like to serve up our dance tunes. Come lose yourself in the surreal sounds of electric fiddle, swirling didgeridoo, driving guitar and foot percussion."



Two Gun Terry & friends

We will shut down for the summer months - you can find us at the fiddler's conventions most any weekend. 

Help us to care for our floor; please wear soft-soled shoes. No heels unless they are dance shoes! We don't want you hurt! Thanks!

The dance begins with a beginners workshop from 7:15-8:00 PM.  The dance runs from 8:00-11:00 PM.  The dances will shut down for the summer and restart on Saturday 13-September-2009 at the Dayton Learning Center.  The Learning Center is located in the middle of Dayton at 290 Mill St.  -  Map Directions

Driving Directions from Interstate 81

  • Take Exit #240 Bridgewater/Mt. Crawford from I-81 and go West

  • Continue on this road to the intersection with Rt. 42 in Bridgewater

  • Turn right on Rt. 42 (MAIN STREET) and travel North to the town of Dayton

  • Turn Left on MASON ST

  • Turn Right on SUMMIT ST and go up the hill

  • Turn Right on MILL ST  and the Dayton Learning Center is an old school on your left.  Parking is at the rear of the building.


There are lots of definitions of what is contra dancing.  I know that its fun!!, you get lots of exercise and during the dances you'll get to dance with everbody else who is on the floor, not just your parner.  The caller will explain each dance and walk the dancers through the forms before the music starts so that even inexperienced dancers can quickly join in on the fun.

Check out the following sites for more information.