Ottawa Contra Dance

2015-2016 Schedule

The 2015-2016 line-up is filled with TERIFFIC bands and callers from Quebec and the United States as well our local favourites. Come on out for some fabulous dancing - you will not be disappointed!!! In addition to our dances every 1st and 3rd Saturday, we offer a number of special afternoon events. These vary from 'Mostly Waltz' dances to workshop dances.

We also organize community talent dances on the 4th Tuesday of most months. These feature awesome local talent in a more intimate setting. It's a great way for some of our experience callers/musicians to try new stuff and for new folks to try calling/playing. Come check out this great initiative!

Our events start at:
-Tuesday community talent dances: 730pm, with no intro lesson.
-Saturday afternoon workshops: usually 330pm, although it can shift depending on the event. Look at the specific times under each date below.
-Saturday pot-lucks and/or dinners at restaurants (after a workshop): 530pm.
-Saturday night dances: 8pm, with free intro lesson at 730pm.

If you are interested in learning how to call or want to dance as new callers practice, contact Catherine at dance@ottawacontra.ca. Our callers group gets together once a month to practice - dancers as well as complete beginner callers are welcome!

DOWNLOAD and PRINT the 2015-2016 season flyer from here.

DOWNLOAD and PRINT our publicity poster from here.

Date
Band
Caller
Sep 193rd Sat
730pm
AGM @ 4pm & pot-luck and jam @ 530pm
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Our first contra dance of the season - come celebrate the start of our 26th season! The Old Sod Band, who lay down a most beautiful groove, are playing. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

Join us a 4pm for our AGM. Come hear what the committee has been doing all year to keep our dance community vibrant! We keep the meeting short and interesting!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

There will be a pot-luck & music jam at 530pm. Bring something yummy to share, your own plate & cutlery AND and an instrument to play in the jam (if that's your thing)! Come share a meal, enjoy conversation (find out what your dance buddies have been doing all summer) and listen to the music.

Please come to the pot-luck & jam even if the AGM is not your thing. :-)

Sept 224th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Oct 31st Sat
730pm With 3pm Mostly Waltz lesson then dance & a dinner out too! + Youth dance!
Maivish - Adam Broome & Jaige Trudel [Quebec]

As Maivish, Adam & Jaige have a super powerful sound that has a northern feel with a lovely groove. They will rock you out! :)

Click here to see Maivish in action.

maivish.com

Special afternoon Mostly Waltz Dance. Beginner lesson @ 3pm, dance 330-530. This is in addition to evening contra dance. We'll also have a dinner out, at 530pm, before the evening dance.

Adina Gordon [Vermont]

Adina travels the continent calling as her full time job and it shows... she is a superb caller! Choosing gorgeous dances and delivering them beautifully, you'll definitely have fun on the dance floor!.

Click here to watch watch a dance called by Adina.

adinagordon.com

And, to encourage lots of young dancers to come enjoy Contra, Youth under 30 get in FREE to the evening dance! Tell your friends!

Oct 173rd Sat
730pm
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a new local band made up of Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin, who are members of the Old Sod band. This is their very SWEET spin off project! Last year these talented musicians completely delighted us for the first time, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

Oct 274th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Oct 30
to
Nov 1Woo Hoo! Dance Weekend!
Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

Our very own Halloween Dance Weekend with two excellent bands: Nor'easter and Tidal Wave!!


Don't forget to wear a costume on Saturday night!

Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

And we have two first class callers: Will Mentor and David Smukler!!

Important: This is a pre-registration only dance (i.e. can not purchase tickets at the door on Saturday night). Sign up early as this has sold out in past years!

All information, including how to register, can be found at: http://www.ottawacontra.ca/heyFever/.

Nov 71st Sat
No Dance!

No dance Nov 7th since our dance weekend was the week before this.

No Dance!
Nov 213rd Sat
730pm With 330pm afternoon Family dance!
Godknowswhat! [Wakefield]

Godknowswhat! plays traditional music in non-traditional ways. Klezmer frailachs, French-Canadian, Irish, Cajun, New Orleans marches, Cabaret-era swing, and Honky-Tonk all surface in this band's diverse repertoire. You never know what might happen!

Watch Godknowswhat! here.

Chrissy Fowler [Maine]

Chrissy Fowler is AAAAMMMAAAAZZINGG!!! Coming all the way from Belfast Maine to call for us, she is one of the most talented contra community builders around.

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon, with musicians Greg Brown & James Stephens and caller Chrissy Fowler. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info here.

Nov 244th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Dec 51st Sat
730pm With 330pm workshop & a 530pm pot-luck & jam too!!
Andrew & Noah VanNorstrand [New York])

Andrew and Noah are two fantastic musicians who are universally loved by all Contra dancers! Their skill as dance musicians is amazing. You won't want to sit out a single dance!

Andrew & Noah play in numerous bands (Great Bear Trio, Andrew and Noah Band, Giant Robot Dance). This time we'll have them as a duo. VERY creative, fun, and intense, these fellas are one of our season's highlights!

You can check them out, as a contra duo, here, as well as here to watch them in the Great Bear Groove.

andrewandnoah.com

Special "Unlocking the Secrets of Timing" Workshop 330-530pm + pot-luck dinner & jam session (at 530pm) + evening contra dance.

For the pot-luck, bring food to share, your own plate & cutlery AND an instrument to jam with!

Sarah VanNorstrand [New York]

Sarah VanNorstrand is a wonderful young caller from the Syracuse NY area. She's a very talented caller who will charm you with her smooth style. Come check her out doing what she loves! You are in for a treat!

"Unlocking the Secrets of Timing" workshop description: No matter how impressive your flourishes, or how many spins you can fit in a petronella, without an accurate and ingrained sense of timing, you'll be missing out on some of the joys of contra dancing. Timing is a conduit connecting the band with the dancers and it's what brings a hall full of diverse people together in synchronization. So come ready to think about 4, 8 and 16 beat phrases and discover how working on your sense of timing can transform and enlighten your dance experience

The workshop is targeted towards intermediate to experienced dancers (intermediate means you have been to half a dozen, or more, dances). Beginners should come to our intro lessons at 730pm.

Dec 193rd Sat
730pm Our Christmas dance!
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

This is our seasonal dance with pot-luck snacks, carols, and other fun at the break! Bring a sweet or savoury snack to share. Wear red and green! Ho ho ho!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

Jan 21st Sat
8pm New Year's Contra Ball!
Laura Risk & Nicholas Williams

Many Ottawa dancers know Nicholas Williams as one of the three musicians that make up the fabulous band Crowfoot! Nicholas will be playing with Laura Risk, a super-talented fiddle player originally from California, now living in Montreal.

Click here to listen to Laura play. Click here and here and here to watch Nicholas play with Crowfoot.

Martha Cooper [Peterborough]

Now living in Peterborough, Martha carries on the tradition calling excellent contras and squares that she learned from her father. Martha calls with a lovely confident & graceful style, and we are lucky to have her call for us!

This is our New Year's Contra Ball!! Dress up in your finery (e.g. a costume, gown, tails, mask, ...), to celebrate the new year. We'll dance mostly contras but also a few other styles to make it a real party. We'll all have a BALL!

Note: Ball from 8pm to 11pm, no introductory lesson.

Jan 163rd Sat
730pm
Godknowswhat! [Wakefield]

Godknowswhat! plays traditional music in non-traditional ways. Klezmer frailachs, French-Canadian, Irish, Cajun, New Orleans marches, Cabaret-era swing, and Honky-Tonk all surface in this band's diverse repertoire. You never know what might happen!

Watch Godknowswhat! here.

June Harman [Ottawa]

Now living in Ottawa, June is an artist, is passionate about dancing and is a caller too! Come out and hear what she has in store for us!

http://juneharman.com/

Jan 234th Sat
2-5pm
Stolen Goods plus modern music [Ottawa]

This is a special 4th Saturday afternoon dance featuring half contras and the other half modern-western square dances! This will be a fun way to enjoy the two styles!

Stolen Goods is our Ottawa Contra Community Band, founded in September 2012. They pride themselves on 'contraband'... borrowing from other bands to create great community groove. You'll love their playful & fun sound!

www.ottawacontra.ca/communityband

Modern Western Squares will be called to modern music.

Catherine Burns (contras) & Wendy VanderMeulen (MW Squares) [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns calling contras with Stolen Goods playing. Wendy VanderMeulen calling squares with modern music.


Time: 2 to 5 PM.

Location: Our regular contra dance hall - the Churchill Seniors Centre.

Cost: $10 (Note: this event is not included in the contra season pass)

Jan 264th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Feb 61st Sat
730pm Afternoon family dance + evening youth dance!
Pete's Posse [Vermont]

Pete's Posse is composed of Pete Sutherland (fiddle, piano, banjo and vocals), Oliver Scanlon (fiddle, mandolin, dobro, foot percussion and vocals) and Tristan Henderson (guitars, mandolin, jaw harp, bodhran, foot percussion and vocals).

Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over hi-powered guitar and pounding footwork with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jawharp and rocking keyboards adding their voices to the mix. Old songs and tunes, lyrical and driving, along side brand new ones. That's the multi-generational heart and mind of Pete's Posse, at work and at play.

They've toured throughout the US, were a smash hit at the Flurry last year and now they will return to Ottawa so we get to have them all to ourselves!! :-)

Watch Pete's Posse here.

petespossevt.com/

David Smukler [New York]

A true expert at calling, David has written much on contra dancing including its historical roots of dancing. Don't let that fool you - he's up on modern dances and delivers them with that added bit of detail that makes them special!

David Smukler

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon with music by Pete's Posse and caller David Smukler. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info here.

This is a youth dance! Youth under 30 get in FREE to the evening dance! Tell your friends!

Feb 203rd Sat
730pm
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

Adina Gordon [Vermont]

Adina travels the continent calling as her full time job and it shows... she is a superb caller! Choosing gorgeous dances and delivering them beautifully, you'll definitely have fun on the dance floor!.

Click here to watch watch a dance called by Adina.

adinagordon.com

Feb 234th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Mar 51st Sat
730pm With 330pm workshop & a 530pm pot-luck + jam too!
O'Schraves [Northern Ontario]

The O'Schraves have played for dances in the Algoma Ontario region for the last 8 years, as well as touring the US. After you've danced to their superb tune-playing and rock-solid groove, you'll rave about The O'Schraves!

Click here to see the O'Schraves performing. You can find them on Facebook here .

http://algomatrad.ca/the-o-schraves/

Special "Dancing Both Roles" Workshop 330-530pm + pot-luck dinner & jam session (at 530pm) + evening contra dance.

The workshop is targeted towards intermediate to experienced dancers (intermediate means you have been to half a dozen, or more, dances). Beginners should come to our intro lessons at 730pm.

For the pot-luck, bring food to share, your own plate & cutlery AND an instrument to jam with!

Will Mentor [Vermont]

Will is travelling from Vermont to call for us! Travelling throughout North America and calling to hundreds in one room at events such as the Dance Flurry, Will is in high demand for both his contras and squares.

Watch Will's calling in action here.

"Dancing Both Roles" workshop description: This workshop is the perfect opportunity to have fun, laugh and stretch yourself in new ways. Will will provide instruction on how to dance figures from both gender roles and finesse your moves. Try dancing the opposite gender role if you've never had the opportunity or spruce up your skills if you already have some experience. Become a stronger dancer by gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanics of contra dancing and there's lots to learn about various figures to make them more satisfying. If you're not interested in dancing the opposite gender role regularly, this is still a fantastic workshop to attend!

Mar 193rd Sat
730pm With 330pm afternoon Family dance!
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown and Paul Hawtin and calling by Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info here.

Ken Panton [Ottawa]

Ken is one of our regular Tuesday night dance callers. This past summer he was away at dance callers camp. Ken's got a great sense of humour and a keen eye for interesting dances! Come hear what he's learned at camp and has to share with us!



Don't forget to wear green for St Patty's day!

Mar 224th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Apr 21st Sat
730pm Workshop & dinner out!
Nova [Vermont]

Nova is young, up-and-coming, contra dance band from Vermont comprised of Kathleen Fownes (Fiddle), Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin (Accordion/Piano), and Everest Witman (Guitar). You can watch them here and find them on Facebook here. Come see what all the buzz is about!

Special "Dancing with Style" Workshop 330-530pm + dinner out + evening contra dance!

The workshop is targeted towards intermediate to experienced dancers (intermediate means you have been to half a dozen, or more, dances). Beginners should come to our intro lessons at 730pm.

David Millstone [New Hampshire]

David is a pure joy to dance to. he is one of the most talented callers there is, period! A warm, welcoming personality, he can make magic happen on the floor. You must come out tonight!

davidmillstonedance.com

Click here to see David calling.

"Dancing with Style" workshop description: We've all noticed them - some dancers move so confidently, joyfully, smoothly - and we remember our time with them. In this session, we'll work on becoming that dancer. Instead of focusing on choreography, we'll concentrate on how we move and how we connect with others to build a sense of community. Attention to small details can dramatically improve our dancing and will delight both partners and neighbours.

Apr 163rd Sat
730pm
330pm Family dance AND a family pot-luck and jam session @ 530pm
Nicholas Williams, Alex Kehler, and James Stephens [Quebec]

Nicholas (pictured), Alex and James are returning to delight us once again! These guys are each fabulous musicians having played in various bands. The play an impresive array of instruments, including piano, flute, accordino, fiddle, bouzouki, nyckelharpa, guitar, banjo, mandolin, viola, and more! Be there as this is going to be fantastic music!

PLUS... special Family Dance led by Catherine with music by Nicholas Williams and Alex Kehler. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info here.

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

There is a pot-luck at 530pm. Bring something yummy to share and your own plate and cutlery! And bring an instrument to play in the jam!

Apr 264th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

May 71st Sat
730pm
ReVeillons [Quebec]

Reveillons! brings music made in Quebec! It's traditional, but with a crude energy. You'll find omnipresent percussion to make your heart beat, an impetuous violin, a rhythmic guitar all with a nuance and voice that tell of the hazardous path of everyday life, with the audacity and the authenticity of the traditional music background they are acknowledge for!

Tonight is an invitation to the soul of Quebec music and dance traditions. La joie de vivre of Quebec right in our own dance hall! Welcome! Bienvenue!

You can find Youtube videos of Reveillons! here.

http://www.reveillons.qc.ca/

Luke Donforth [Vermont]

Luke is a wonderful caller who we are lucky to have return after being a big hit with us last year! He brings a warm and inviting playfulness to the stage. He is based in Burlington, VT.

Catch Luke in action here (& hear that playfulness at 1:43 in :-)

May 142nd Sat
730pm With 3pm Mostly Waltz lesson then dance & a dinner out too!
Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy [Vermont]

Becky and Keith are fixtures on the New England contra scene. They are dynamic performers of traditional music from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Tracy's fiddling, along with Keith's guitar playing and foot percussion, pulses through tasteful arrangements of dance tunes. Their playing is seamless, the result of years of playing together and touring across the U.S., Canada and in Europe.

blackislemusic.com/

This is a rare SECOND Saturday of the month dance! There is no dance on May 21st.

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

Special afternoon Mostly Waltz Dance. Beginner lesson @ 3pm, dance 330-530. This is in addition to evening contra dance. We'll also have a dinner out, at 530pm, before the evening dance.

May 213rd Sat
No Dance!
No Dance!

There is no dance on this third Saturday of the month! The hall was unavailable.

No Dance!
May 244th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

This final 4th Tuesday dance of the year is for volunteers only (i.e., folks who have helped at some time during our dance season). And note - it's free as it's the Volunteer Appreciation Party!
HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Jun 41st Sat
730pm
Stolen Goods - our community band! [Ottawa]

Stolen Goods is our Ottawa Contra Community Band, founded in September 2012. They pride themselves on 'contraband'... borrowing from other bands to create great community groove. You'll love their playful & fun sound!

www.ottawacontra.ca/communityband/default.htm

June Harman [Ottawa]

Now living in Ottawa, June is an artist, is passionate about dancing and is a caller too! Come out and hear what she has in store for us!

http://juneharman.com/

Jun 183rd Sat
730pm Dessert pot-luck at the break! Mmmm!
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.



OTTAWA CALLERS COLLECTIVE

Come celebrate the dance season with some of our Ottawa Callers Collective hosted by Catherine Burns!

Dessert pot-luck at the break! Bring a sweet or savoury goody to share. :-)