Contra Dances

Asheville has a rich contra dance scene.  Within an 80 minute drive there are contra dances at 6 locations with dancing available about 160 days per year!  And over one hundred are available within minutes of Asheville!

Contra dancing is a community dance.  You dance with a partner, but dance partners change after each dance so one can come alone and find a partner!  Learning it is easy- a 30 minute lesson gets you started.   No fancy foot work- just walking!  You and a partner dance with other pairs of dancers, moving in time to the music, and magically find yourselves dancing with the next neighbor pair to do it again and again. It’s a concert where you don’t have to sit still, and it often feels like you are dancing with everyone in the room.  It is a safe, inclusive, and fun environment that results in a sore jaw from so much smiling!

Contra dancing draws from the style of dancing you have seen in the films Pride and Prejudice and Glory, has similarities to square dancing, often incorporates some swing dance moves, is danced to high energy live fiddle music, and has a bit of counter-culture feel to it.  Dancers range in age from 5 to 85, and often there are 200 of them on the dance floor!

Where can you find contra dancing? The oldest Asheville contra dance is sponsored by us, and is held every Thursday on the Warren Wilson campus about 9 miles from Asheville.  There is a dance in downtown Asheville almost every Monday evening at the Center for Art and Spirit at St George’s in Malvern Hills just off Patton Avenue, sponsored by another group.

Regular contra dances are held nearby in Jonesborough, TN and River Falls, SC.  Carpools to these dances make great opportunities to meet friends!

A special contra dance weekend, Splash Dance, is sponsored by the OFB.  It gives budding callers and musicians an opportunity to hone their skills while being mentored by some of Asheville’s great musicians and callers.

Links to local and regional contra dances above.

Here are some quotes from folks who are contra dancers, thinking back to their first experience with contra dancing.

  • “I can do that! They are just walking!”
  • “Contra Dance…was love at first dance.”
  • Smiles and holding hands, twirling to the music, dancing up and down a line of friendly folks!
  • “Even a wallflower with two left feet (like me) can do it!
  • “Me, dancing? Me, dancing!!!!!”
  • “I smiled so much my cheeks hurt.”
  • I’d never danced, period. I went to hear the band! I parked myself against the wall to watch, and quickly got dragged onto the floor.  The rest is history!”

Feb
4
Sat
Contra Dance at River Falls: Tune Drivers and Stephanie Marie
Feb 4 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls: Tune Drivers and Stephanie Marie

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: Tune Drivers
Caller: Stephanie Marie
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: February 4, 2023

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Feb
18
Sat
Contra Dance at River Falls: Playing with Fyre and Charlotte Crittenden
Feb 18 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls: Playing with Fyre and Charlotte Crittenden

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: Playing with Fyre
Caller: Charlotte Crittenden
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: February 18, 2023

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Mar
4
Sat
Contra Dance at River Falls: ContraForce and River Rainbowface
Mar 4 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls: ContraForce and River Rainbowface

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: ContraForce
Caller: River Rainbowface
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: March 4, 2023

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Mar
11
Sat
Special Contra Dance @ RFL: Hot Coffee Breakdown and Darlene Underwood
Mar 11 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Special Contra Dance @ RFL: Hot Coffee Breakdown and Darlene Underwood

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: Hot Coffee Breakdown
Caller: Darlene Underwood
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: March 11, 2023

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Mar
17
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls: Redbud Ramblers and Warren Doyle
Mar 17 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls: Redbud Ramblers and Warren Doyle

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: Redbud Ramblers
Caller: Warren Doyle
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Mar
31
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Mar 31 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Apr
14
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Apr 14 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Apr
28
Fri
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls
Apr 28 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

DJ: TacoShel
Caller: Deanna Palumbo
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

May
5
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
May 5 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

May
19
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
May 19 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Jun
2
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Jun 2 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Jun
16
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Jun 16 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Jun
30
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Jun 30 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Jul
14
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Jul 14 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Jul
28
Fri
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls
Jul 28 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

DJ: TacoShel
Caller: Deanna Palumbo
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Aug
4
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Aug 4 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Aug
18
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Aug 18 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Sep
1
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Sep 1 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band:
Caller:
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Sep
15
Fri
Contra Dance at River Falls
Sep 15 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

Band: TBA
Caller: TBA
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door

Sep
29
Fri
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls
Sep 29 @ 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Techno Contra Dance at River Falls

Please join us for this week’s dance!

Who?

DJ: TacoShel
Caller: Deanna Palumbo
YOU! (and as many of your friends and family as possible!)

When: DATE

Beginner’s Lesson at 7:30 PM
Dance from 8 – 11 PM

Where: River Falls Lodge, 1 River Falls Lodge Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Why? Because there is no better fun than Contra dance! (But we are definitely biased.)
How (much): $10 cash at the door