• Fri - Oct 20 — Jacksonville: Contra
  • Fri - Oct 20 — Melbourne: Contra
  • Fri - Oct 20 — Sarasota: Contra
  • Sat - Oct 21 — Gainesville: Contra
  • Mon - Oct 23 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 24 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 24 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 24 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Oct 24 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Oct 25 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Oct 25 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • Fri - Oct 27 — Tallahassee: Contra
  • Fri - Oct 27 — Orange Park: English Country
  • Sat - Oct 28 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  • Sat - Oct 28 — McIntosh: Contra
  • Sun - Oct 29 — Coconut Grove: Contra
  • Sun - Oct 29 — Coral Gables: Contra
  • Mon - Oct 30 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 31 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 31 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Oct 31 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Oct 31 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Nov 1 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Nov 1 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • Fri - Nov 3 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  • Fri - Nov 3 — Orange Park: English Country
  • Sat - Nov 4 — Cocoa Beach: Contra
  • Sat - Nov 4 — Boca Raton: Contra
  • Sun - Nov 5 — Gainesville: Contra
  • Mon - Nov 6 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 7 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 7 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 7 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Nov 7 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Nov 8 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Nov 8 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • Fri - Nov 10 — Tallahassee: Contra
  • Fri - Nov 10 — Melrose:
  • Fri - Nov 10 — Orange Park: English Country
  • Sat - Nov 11 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  • Sat - Nov 11 —Davie: Contra - spended
  • Sun - Nov 12 — DeLand: English Country
  • Mon - Nov 13 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 14 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 14 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 14 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Nov 14 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Nov 15 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Nov 15 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • Fri - Nov 17 — Jacksonville: Contra
  • Fri - Nov 17 — Melbourne: Contra
  • Fri - Nov 17 — Sarasota: Contra
  • Sat - Nov 18 — Gainesville: Contra
  • Sun - Nov 19 — Boca Raton: Contra
  • Mon - Nov 20 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 21 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 21 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 21 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Nov 21 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Nov 22 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Nov 22 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • Fri - Nov 24 — Tallahassee: Contra
  • Fri - Nov 24 — Orange Park: English Country
  • Sat - Nov 25 — Pinellas Park: Contra
  • Sat - Nov 25 —Davie: Contra
  • Mon - Nov 27 — Gainesville: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 28 — Melbourne: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 28 — Venice Area: English Country
  • Tue - Nov 28 — Lake Worth: Irish Céilí
  • Tue - Nov 28 — Fort Walton: Contra
  • Wed - Nov 29 — Gainesville: Irish
  • Wed - Nov 29 — Tampa: Scandinavian
  • 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.

    All You Need to Know About Relationships can be Learned in a Dance Class.


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