Ottawa Contra Dance

Our Family Dance Series

Kids and your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends ... come out and enjoy family dances four times this season!

What is a family dance you ask??? It's a community dance specifically geared towards kids and the adults that they bring. It's about parents/adults dancing with kids in a fun, lively, and guided atmosphere! There is always fantastic LIVE celtic/quebecois music and all the dances are taught by a caller.

Family dances are for ALL ages! The dances are geared towards ages 3 and up although younger ones can definitely join in and wee wee ones can participate in backpacks or slings. :)

Do we need any experience? NO WAY! While folks who have danced before will have a blast, parents and kids with no dance experience can easily do these dances and have a great time too! Remember, you're supported by the caller, the dances are easy to follow, and they are focused on fun! This is a great way to get your body moving to fantastic rhythms and feel connections in ways we don't always get in our daily lives.

Pot-lucks! We have a pot-luck dinner at 5:30pm after each family dance. Bring a dish to share and plates and cultlery. These have proved to be fun and popular so we are holding them after every Family Dance now. :-)

Tips for coming out???

  1. Bring indoor shoes
  2. Adults, be ready to dance with the kids you bring, AND...
  3. Everyone, be ready for a great time!

How does this differ from our contra dances??? Contra dances fall under the larger category of traditional dance along with the family dances with the music also being jigs and reels. However, in a contra dance, you dance with one partner for 8-10 minutes. Every 30 seconds or so of that dance, you repeat a set of moves that the caller has taught you, each time with a new set of neighbours. Usually, kids start dancing contra around ages 8 or so but we've seen kids catch on as young as 5 or 6. Kids are welcome at our contra dances (free under 16) as long as there's some supervision by parents.


Dates: 4 dances this season! They are:

  • Nov 17/2018
  • Jan 19/2019
  • Mar 16/2019

Time: 3:30-5:00pm
Cost:$20 for a family (max 2 adults) OR $10 for everyone 16 yrs and above, $5 for 3-15 yrs old, free 0-2 yrs old. These prices include HST.
Pot-luck: 5:30pm after each dance. Bring a dish to share and your plates and cutlery. Location: In Westboro at the Churchill Recreation Centre - 345 Richmond Road, Ottawa. Enter through the main door on the side of the building.
Parking: There's a parking lot - come get a free parking pass from the front desk. If full, there is street parking just north of the hall.
Bus: #2 stops RIGHT outside the dance hall.

In the press & media:

1. Download a copy of the 2016-2017 Family Dance Poster HERE!

2. Check out an article about our family dances in the April 11, 2013 edition of The Kitchissippi Times-NewsWest HERE!

3. Check out a youtube video below of our second family dance ever... fall 2012!