Dance Forms

Dance Forms

Contra dance

is an energetic American folk dance form in which the dancers pair up and then form lines with these partners. The figures are called, easy to learn and ensure that you have danced with nearly everyone in your line during one set of tunes. Generally, the dancers switch partners after every dance to further “mix things up.” Come alone, with friends, or with a special someone. If you like the music and like to dance, you’ll have fun.

Traditional contra dance music comes from either the Scots/Irish tradition of jigs, reels, and hornpipes, or from the American tradition of ‘Old-time music.’ Most contra dance venues feature live bands. Some bands even write their own music and break from tradition.

To get a flavor of the music and dance, check out this link; and so see how the steps break down, check out this video. Click here to find a contra dance venue near you.

English Country Dance (ECD)

is an elegant dance style developed in the 17th century. ECD remains popular to this day. It has been featured in period movies especially those based on Jane Austin novels. Check this link to get an appreciation of the music (live), the dance form, and the variety of dress styles worn by the dancers.

Click here to find an ECD dance venue near you.

Ritual Dance

is performed in the Bay Area by teams of dancers who rehearse together on a regular basis. Most performances are done outside as seen here. For a smashing if irregular Morris performance check this out.

More information on the Bay Area’s Morris teams can be found here.