Florida Dance Schedule

  1. Wed - Jun 21 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  2. Fri - Jun 23 — Orange Park: English Country
  3. Fri - Jun 23 — Tallahassee: Contra
  4. Sat - Jun 24 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  5. Sat - Jun 24 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  6. Sat - Jun 24 — McIntosh: Contra
  7. Sun - Jun 25 — Coconut Grove: Contra
  8. Mon - Jun 26 — Gainesville: English Country
  9. Tue - Jun 27 — Melbourne: English Country
  10. Tue - Jun 27 — Venice Area: English Country
  11. Tue - Jun 27 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  12. Tue - Jun 27 — Fort Walton: Contra
  13. Wed - Jun 28 — Gainesville: Irish
  14. Wed - Jun 28 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  15. Fri - Jun 30 — Orange Park: English Country
  16. Sat - Jul 1 — Cocoa Beach: Contra
  17. Sat - Jul 1 — Boca Raton: Contra
  18. Sun - Jul 2 — Gainesville: Contra
  19. Mon - Jul 3 — Gainesville: English Country
  20. Tue - Jul 4 — Melbourne: English Country
  21. Tue - Jul 4 — Venice Area: English Country
  22. Tue - Jul 4 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  23. Tue - Jul 4 — Fort Walton: Contra
  24. Wed - Jul 5 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  25. Fri - Jul 7 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  26. Fri - Jul 7 — Melrose:
  27. Fri - Jul 7 — Orange Park: English Country
  28. Sat - Jul 8 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  29. Sat - Jul 8 —Davie: Contra - summer vacation
  30. Sun - Jul 9 — DeLand: English Country - suspended
  31. Mon - Jul 10 — Gainesville: English Country
  32. Tue - Jul 11 — Melbourne: English Country
  33. Tue - Jul 11 — Venice Area: English Country
  34. Tue - Jul 11 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  35. Tue - Jul 11 — Fort Walton: Contra
  36. Wed - Jul 12 — Gainesville: Irish
  37. Wed - Jul 12 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  38. Fri - Jul 14 — Orange Park: English Country
  39. Fri - Jul 14 — Melrose: Contra
  40. Fri - Jul 14 — Tallahassee: Contra
  41. Sat - Jul 15 — Gainesville: Contra
  42. Sun - Jul 16 — Boca Raton: Contra
  43. Mon - Jul 17 — Gainesville: English Country
  44. Tue - Jul 18 — Melbourne: English Country
  45. Tue - Jul 18 — Venice Area: English Country
  46. Tue - Jul 18 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  47. Tue - Jul 18 — Fort Walton: Contra
  48. Wed - Jul 19 — Gainesville: Irish
  49. Wed - Jul 19 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  50. Fri - Jul 21 — Melbourne: Contra - canceled for summer
  51. Fri - Jul 21 — Jacksonville: Contra
  52. Fri - Jul 21 — Sarasota: Contra
  53. Sat - Jul 22 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  54. Sun - Jul 23 — Coconut Grove: Contra
  55. Sun - Jul 23 — Coral Gables: Contra
  56. Mon - Jul 24 — Gainesville: English Country
  57. Tue - Jul 25 — Melbourne: English Country
  58. Tue - Jul 25 — Venice Area: English Country
  59. Tue - Jul 25 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  60. Tue - Jul 25 — Fort Walton: Contra
  61. Wed - Jul 26 — Gainesville: Irish
  62. Wed - Jul 26 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  63. Fri - Jul 28 — Orange Park: English Country
  64. Fri - Jul 28 — Tallahassee: Contra
  65. Sat - Jul 29 — McIntosh: Contra
  66. Sun - Jul 30 — Gainesville: Advanced Contra
  67. Mon - Jul 31 — Gainesville: English Country
  68. Sun - Aug 27 — Coral Gables: Contra
  69. Sat - Aug 26 — McIntosh: Contra
  70. Fri - Sep 15 — Melbourne: Contra
  71. Sun - Sep 24 — Coconut Grove: Contra

Contra Dance History

Contra Line

History of Contra Dancing


Various opinions


Tucson Friends of Traditional Music
A Guide To Contra Dance
Alan Winston

My comments


English Country dancing of the 16th-17th century became popular in France late in the 17th where it was known as contredans or contre danse. By the beginning of the 18th century these dances were common in the respective American colonies of England and France. By the mid-18th in the major cities, English dances merged with French court dances (minuet, pavanne) to become Colonial American dances. The rural south and north were not much influenced by this and developed their own dance forms derived loosely from English Country Dance. In northern New England contra dancing was common in the late 1700s. French terminology was used very little in English Country dancing. Colonial American used French terminology derived from court dances (allemande, rigadoon, cotillion). Contra Dance uses different French terminology.

Term French Translation
contra contre opposing
allemand à la main by the hand
dosido dos à dos back to back
balance balance swing or rock
promenade promenade walk
box the gnat baisse le nez ?? dip the head
chain echange ?? exchange

To me, the predominance use of French terminology implies that contra dancing was developed by English and French colonists living in the same community or in neighboring ones. This was frequently the case in northern New England from 1700 to the present day. Not only was there mixing across the almost non existent border, but following the loss of Canada to the English, large numbers of French left Canada. The major waves were in 1713 following the loss of Acadia and the rest of maritime Canada and the loss of Quebec in in 1763. While many emigrated to Louisiana, many settled in the New England colonies. Currently about 25% of northern New England is identified as having French ancestry. In some cities 60% have French family names.
"Box the gnat" and "Ladies chain" are speculative but appear consistent with French usage. "Baisse le nez" literally means lower the nose but "nez" is used frequently in French where face or head would be used in English.

Please do not use perfume or other heavy fragrances before dancing. Living Fragrance Free contains tips for avoiding objectional fragrances.

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