Ottawa Contra Dance

2019-2020 Schedule

The 2019-2020 line-up is filled, once again, with WONDERFUL bands and TALENTED callers from Ontario, Quebec and the United States, as well as our local favourites. Come on out for some really fun dancing - you will not be disappointed! In addition to our evening dances we also offer a variety of additional dance events, all listed below.

Here's the 2019-2020 Season Schedule Flyer. Post it on your fridge! ;-)

Here's our season's Afternoon Dance Events Poster.

DATE
BAND
CALLER
Nov 274th Wed
7pm
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Dec 71st Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance + a pot-luck + a Zesty English dance!
Turning Stile [Vermont]

An active Montpelier Vermont dance and concert band, since 2008, The Turning Stile brings driving traditional dance tunes and modern compositions to contra, Scottish, English and square dancers. Aaron Marcus (piano, concertina, feet) and Joanne Garton (fiddle) communicate rhythm, stories, feelings and fun through a repertoire including and influenced by Scottish, Irish, Appalachian and Swedish tunes.

Learn more about Aaron at store.cdbaby.com/Artist/AaronMarcus.

And more about Joanne at www.joannegarton.com.

Sarah VanNorstrand [New York]

Sarah VanNorstrand is a wonderful 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!

PLUS: 330-5pm a special Family Dance for children and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by The Turning Stile with calling by the wonderful Sarah VanNorstrand. Come out and have lots of family fun!

The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances (upstairs) 630-730pm before the evening Contra dance. Come enjoy some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Dec 213rd 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 Christmas 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 savory 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 41st Sat
730pm Contra Ball!
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a wonderful local band featuring Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin. Duncan and James are also in the Old Sod Band. Along with Paul, this is their very SWEET spin off project! The last three years these talented musicians completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back!

This is our New Year's Contra Ball!! Dress up in your finery (e.g. such as gowns, tails, ...) to celebrate the new year! We'll dance mostly contras but also a few other styles to make it a real party. We'll have a BALL! And snacks will be provided at the break too!

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 website.

Jan 183rd Sat
730pm With 630pm Com- munity dance + a 530pm pot-luck!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Greg Brown, Richard Forest, Emily Addison & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

Let's celebrate Robbie Burns - Wear PLAID!

Before the community dance there is a pot-luck dinner at 530pm. Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with dancing friends. :-)

Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Peter has been honing his callers craft in the last few years and now delights us! He's enthusiastic about really interesting choreography. We are sure to enjoy this evening of Peter calling for us (though we might miss him dancing with us!)

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Emily Addison. This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances that are less demanding than evening contras. People of every age and ability welcome, especially familes with school-aged ones! Includes an open band that anyone can join. Think big barn dance party!

Feb 11st Sat
730pm With 330pm Challeng- ing contra dance + a pot-luck + a Zesty English dance!
Cloud Ten [Massachusetts & Vermont]

From hot Irish fiddle tunes to driving old-time cello, from crisp trumpet fanfares to cheerful piano backup Cloud Ten sweeps dancers up into an ever-changing but always compelling sound.

Check out Cloud Ten on their website.

PLUS: 330-530pm a Challenging Contra Dance. Warm up your legs and stretch your brain with an afternoon session full of advanced dances. And for a little added bonus, there will be a few tips on recovery points and how to support each other during these tricky dances. This session will both challenge your abilities and be VERY fun! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

Luke Donforth [Vermont]

Luke is a wonderful caller who we are lucky to have return after being a big hit with us on multiple visits! 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 :-)

The afternoon dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 530pm. Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with your dancing friends. :-)

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances (upstairs) 630-730pm before the evening Contra dance. Come enjoy some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Feb 153rd 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!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

June Harman [Ottawa]

June is a fantastic caller originally from Vancouver. Experienced in leading many forms of dance, June is incredibly effective at teaching dancers through clarity and her fun, lighthearted approach. We are lucky to have her living and calling in Ottawa!

http://juneharman.com/

Feb 264th Wed
7pm
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Mar 71st Sat
730pm With 330pm advanced dance + dinner out + it's a youth dance!
Max Newman & Audrey Knuth [Mass+]

Having lived in many corners of the US (Alaska, California, Mass +++) and toured even further (throughout N America and in Europe) with multiple top notch contra dance bands, we are thrilled to have Max and Audrey here in Ottawa as a duo. They are both powerhouse players so be ready for a rockin' great time!

After the afternoon dance we'll all head out for dinner at local restaurants. Yum!

And, to encourage lots of young dancers to come enjoy Contra, Youth under 30 get in FREE to this evening dance! Tell your friends! This dance will use gender free terms Larks & Ravens in the calling. :-)

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.

PLUS: 330-530pm a special afternoon Playing with Roles and Positions dance! Come out for an afternoon full of contra dances while we play with roles and positions on the dance floor. We'll have Will masterfully lead us through some experiments and learning all while we enjoy some fabulous dancing to Max Newman & Audrey Knuth! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

Mar 213rd Sat
730pm With 630pm Com- munity dance + a 530pm pot-luck!
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a wonderful local band featuring Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin. Duncan and James are in the Old Sod Band. Along with Paul, this is their very SWEET spin off project! The last three years these talented musicians completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back!

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Emily Addison. This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances that are less demanding than evening contras. People of every age and ability welcome, especially familes with school-aged ones! Includes an open band that anyone can join. Think big barn dance party!

Ken Panton [Ottawa]

Contra dancing's infectious and irrepressible combination of music and movement has afflicted Ken since the 90s. And he loves to pass the bug along to the unsuspecting with humour and a contagious selection of dances.

Before the community dance there is a pot-luck dinner at 530pm. Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with dancing friends. :-)

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

Mar 254th Wed
7pm
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Apr 41st Sat
730pm With 330pm Inter- mediate waltz + a pot-luck
JWalk [Penn/New Jersey/Maryland]

With Jakob Raitzyk on fiddle, mandolin, and feet, and Jared Kirkpatrick on piano, fiddle, percussion, and feet, JWalk blends traditional New England fiddle music with modern genres to create an intricate, layered sound. We are also exited to have Galen Kirkpatrick joining us on fiddle.

Watch JWalk playing at this dance.

PLUS: 330-530pm a special afternoon Intermediate Walz dance! Gaye will teach a few ways to play with intermediate waltz moves while connecting to your partner and to the music. She focuses on the importance of clear, timely leads and aware, in-the-moment following. In between teaching you'll get lots of fantastic waltzing time with JWalk! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

Gaye Fifer [Pennsylvania]

Gaye Fifer hasn't stopped dancing since she found contras in 1979! Gaye is an accomplished caller from Pittsburgh, PA. Gaye understands the subtleties of making contra dances particularly satisfying for dancers. Her instructions are clear and concise. An easy smile and delightful sense of humor are part of Gaye's relaxed, pleasant style. Gaye calls contra dances throughout North America. She is also an enthusiastic advocate and instructor of contra-style waltz, which we'll get to enjoy from her in our afternoon session.

More on Gaye here.

The afternoon dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 530pm. Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with your dancing friends. :-)

Apr 183rd Sat
730pm With a 630pm Zesty Englisg dance!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Greg Brown, Richard Forest, Emily Addison & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

This dance will use gender free terms Larks & Ravens in the calling. :-)

Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Peter has been honing his craft for the last few years right here in Ottawa and is enthusiastic about really interesting choreography. A guaranteed fun night!


We will have a Zesty English Country Dances (upstairs) 630-730pm before the evening Contra dance. Come enjoy some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Apr 224th Wed
7pm
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

May 21st Sat
730pm With 330pm Challeng- ing dance + dinner out
Stomp Rocket [Maine]

Stomp Rocket is a trio of three perennial dance-circuit favorites featuring Dave Langford, Bethany Waickman and Glen Loper. Dave, the fiddler extraordinaire and guitarist, is also known as a member of the Latter Day Lizards. Mandolinist and tenor banjo player Glen picks also with Frigate, Steampacket, Riptide, among other bands. Bethany is the rhythm section of the dance trio Anadama, but her clean, driving guitar has also backed many other wonderful performers. This trio has played for many other contra dances and are certain to delight us!

Listen to them perform in this lovely dance.

After the afternoon dance we'll all head out for dinner at local restaurants. Yum!

Lisa Greenleaf [Massachusetts]

Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the continent and beyond to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs and zesty, flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers' workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.

PLUS: 330-530pm a special afternoon Challenging Dance of Many Formations! Expect an awesome afternoon of dancing with friends, to fantastic music, in formations that are rarely seen during a typical evening contra dance. All dances geared for those looking for challenge and fun! Expect big smiles and super rockin' music!! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers not suitable for beginners).

May 163rd Sat
730pm With 630pm Com- munity dance + a 530pm pot-luck!
Becky Tracy + Keith Murphy [Vermont]

Cornerstones of the New England contra dance scene for over 25 years, Keith and Becky have played defining roles in some of the most influential dance bands - Wild Asparagus, Nightingale, Popcorn Behavior, Big Bandemonium. They bring a range of moods and styles to their music that delivers a unique dance experience.

Before the community dance there is a pot-luck dinner at 530pm. Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with dancing friends. :-)

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.

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Emily Addison. This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances that are less demanding than evening contras. People of every age and ability welcome, especially familes with school-aged ones! Includes an open band that anyone can join. Think big barn dance party!

May 274th Wed
7pm Volunteer apprecia- tion party!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

This final 4th Wednesday dance of the season is FREE for volunteers (i.e. anyone who has helped at some time during our dance season). It's the Volunteer Appreciation Party! Non-volunteers are welcome to attend too for $5.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Jun 61st Sat
730pm With a Balfolk and Breton dance at 330pm + dinner out at 530pm
Triton [Vermont/Quebec]

Triton is comprised of veteran performers Jeremiah McLane, Tim Cummings, and Alex Kehler. Hailing from Vermont and Quebec, they offer music rooted in the traditional dance repertoire of France. The three are masters of the piano accordion, bellows-blown bagpipes, fiddle and nykelharpa. Together they create a beguiling and orchestral blend which utterly subverts the common stereotypes of their Old World instruments.


PLUS: 330-530pm a special afternoon Balfolk and Breton dances! Come take a trip to France with Mary Wesley and Triton! Balfolk dancing is popular social dancing from Western Europe, a recent revival of traditional, mostly French, folk dances. These include Breton dances from the northwestern, historically celtic region of France known as Brittany. Balfolk and Breton dances range in form from partnered dances (waltz, schottish, mazurka), circle and ...

Mary Wesley [Vermont]

Mary Wesley is a fantastic young caller from Vermont. She has taken a lovely leadership role in contra dance organizations in New England states, and has fantastic calling skills. Under her hat already include working dance weekends such as our own Hey Fever!, Ooh La La, the Flurry, and the Youth Dance Weekend! We are lucky to have her back!

Click here to see Mary calling.

www.marywesley.com

(con't) ... longways sets (chappelloise and bourees) and "la danse en chaine," chain dances combining a variety of steps and arm movements (hanter dro, andro, and many more)! These dances and the tunes that go with them are beautiful and mesmerizing. Venez dansez!! All dances are accessible to beginners and will be enthusiastically taught.

After the afternoon dance we'll all head out for dinner at local restaurants. Yum!

Jun 203rd Sat
730pm Zesty English at 630pm! Dessert pot-luck at the break. Mmm!
Stolen Goods - our community band! [Ottawa]

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

More info on the community band here.

Since this is our last dance of the season we'll have a dessert pot-luck at the break! Bring a goody to share. :-)

OTTAWA CALLERS COLLECTIVE

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



We will have a Zesty English Country Dances (upstairs) 630-730pm before the evening Contra dance. Come enjoy some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

PAST
DATE
PAST
BAND
PAST
CALLER
Sept 71st Sat
730pm With 330pm After- noon dance + dinner out!
Spintuition [Vermont/Maine]

Our first contra dance of the new season. And it's our 30th season!

Spintuition is a New England band that blends creativity and tradition into tight harmony and joyous rhythms. Silas Hamilton (Guitar, Piano, Fiddle, Feet), Willy Clemetson (Fiddle, Feet), and Samuel Foucher (Accordion, Piano) have crafted a compelling mixture of spicy new tunes and glorious old favorites in the styles of trad-Irish, French-Canadian, and Old Time.

Through inspiration and drive, Spintuition has cultivated a vibrant and vital contra sound that will set your feet aflame and have you dancing with energy!

After the afternoon dance we'll all head out for dinner at local restaurants. Yum!

Alex Deis-Lauby [New York]

Alexandra is a national contra dance caller who calls weekends and festivals all over the North America. She tours, calling many local dances for both contra and English Country Dance. Her clear teaching, smooth voice, and fun dance selection delight dancers from coast to coast. Alex is excellent with all levels of dancers whether they just walked in the door or have been dancing since before she was born. She has dances for all the folks!

Visit her on Facebook.

PLUS: 3:30-5:30pm a special afternoon Flourishes Contra Workshop/Dance. Choose from flourishes for swings, petronellas, courtesy turns, heys, moves that swap and more. We focus on flow, communication, both verbal and non-verbal, safety and consent. Come prepared to see what these flourishes are like from both sides! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

Sep 213rd Sat
730pm Pot-luck 5pm, AGM 6pm
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

The Old Sod Band, a local contra band, lay down a most beautiful groove to delight us. We are lucky to have them!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

We'll start the evening with a pot-luck dinner at 5pm and then join us for our Ottawa Contra AGM at 6pm.

Ken Panton [Ottawa]

Contra dancing's infectious and irrepressible combination of music and movement has afflicted Ken since the 90s. And he loves to pass the bug along to the unsuspecting with humour and a contagious selection of dances.

Oct 51st Sat
730pm With a Zesty English dance at 630pm!
Golden [New England]







Golden is hot contra dance band from New England featuring Everest Witman (of Nova) guitar, mandolin, and whistles; Jesse Ball (of Polaris and Calluna) on accordion and piano (& guitar too, in pic); this edition of the band also features Elizabeth Davidson-Blythe on fiddle. Their blend of traditional tunes, original pieces, foot-tappin' grooves, and brilliant energy is sure to delight.

Adina Gordon [Vermont]

Adina travels the continent calling and her skill shows! She's superb! Choosing gorgeous dances and delivering them beautifully, you'll definitely have fun on the dance floor!.

Her website adinagordon.com.

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances (upstairs) 630-730pm before the evening Contra dance. Come enjoy some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Oct 193rd Sat
730pm Youth dance!
Maivish [Quebec]

This is a fantastic Quebec band that dancers will love and we are delighted to have return. Maivish (musicians Jaige Trudel & Adam Broome) draws inspiration from traditional sources, reinterpreting the old and contributing to the new with their hypnotic and scintillating melodies and grooves.

Watch Maivish in this video.

Their website maivish.com.

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.

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

Oct 234th Wed
7pm
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun! Beginners most welcome and a great dance to learn at.

LOCATION

These 4th Wednesday of the month dances are held at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St West (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Nov 1
to
Nov 3Woo Hoo! Our dance weekend!
Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

Our very own Ottawa Contra Dance Weekend with two excellent bands: The Gaslight Tinkers and Julie Metcalf & Benjamin Foss!


This is a terrific dance weekend with lots and lots of dancing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! There are a mix of dance events and even a dress up/costume dance on Saturday evening to celebrate Halloween! It's a blast not to be missed!

Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

And we have two first class callers: Will Mentor and Angela DeCarlis!!


Important: This is a pre-registration only dance (i.e. CANNOT purchase tickets at the door on Saturday night). Sign up early as this will sell out!


All information, including registration and the weekend's schedule, can be found on our Hey Fever! page.

Nov 163rd Sat
730pm
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring our locals Greg Brown, Richard Forest, Emily Addison & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

June Harman [Ottawa]

June is a fantastic caller originally from Vancouver. Experienced in leading many forms of dance, June is incredibly effective at teaching dancers through clarity and her fun, lighthearted approach. We are lucky to have her living and calling in Ottawa!

http://juneharman.com/





In case you're curious, past years dance schedules are available: