Most Wednesdays - 7:30-10:30
Beginners Lesson at 7pm - bring your friends!
Newcomers and beginners ALWAYS welcome! 
Intro lesson at 7pm at every dance
FREE ADMISSION for new dancers who attend Intro Lesson!
Masonic Lodge 99 Main Street - Amherst, MA
 (near the Black Sheep Deli and the Police Station)
Admission: $10, Students: $8, High School: $6
Please bring water and clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the wood floor. 
This is a Fragrance-Free and Substance-Free event. Please refrain from wearing highly scented products. Dances are smoke, drug and alcohol free. 

Dance Schedule 

January 21, 2015
Music: TECHNO Contra with PHASE X
Calling: Mary Wesley
Chris Jacoby – guitar, mandolin, accordion, electronica; Ross Harriss – alto/soprano sax, guitar, electronica Contras with a Techno beat under black light. Mary Wesley will be calling contra dances to the music of Phase X which weaves together familiar contra tunes with pop/alternative music. Check out the videos of Phase X and techno contras at and at  Black light and laser “club” lighting will kick in after the first dance. Wear white or other black light reactive clothes to stand out! Neon highlighters are great for temporary UV reactive tattoos.

Friday, Jan 23   8–11pm 
 Challenging Contras 
Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA

January 23, 2015
Music: Great Bear Trio
Calling: Nils Fredland

This dance is open to anyone but will be geared toward experienced dancers so it’s probably not the best night to introduce someone to contra (there will not be a beginner lesson). 

"Experienced" means:

 You know how to do a roll away, California twirl, pass through to a wave, contra corners, and the basic moves without being taught
 You know where to be at the start of each dance phrase and how to recover from a lapse
 You assist your partner and neighbor to the next move
 You execute flourishes safely and on time without disturbing others

The Greenfield Challenging Contras 4th Friday series is managed by Will Loving. For further information see the series Facebook page.

January 28, 2015
Music: The Gaslight Tinkers
Calling: Nils Fredland

A spoonful of afro-pop, a pinch of jam band, a teaspoon of funk, two cups New England fiddle tunes, mix it up and you got another Valley creation. Veteran mandolin, guitar, banjo player and singer songwriter Peter Siegel has joined forces with the Alchemystics’ founder and bass player Garrett Sawyer to shake things up in the valley. Joined by percussionists, local fiddler Zoe Darrow and the wonderful Nils Fredland calling, this will be another great night of dancing in Amherst.

February 4, 2015
Music: Andrew & Noah Van Norstrand
Calling: Rachel McCandliss (Atlanta, GA)

You know Noah & Andrew as 2/3 of Great Bear Trio and 2/6 of Giant Robot Dance. As a duo they are just a exciting to dance to! Don’t miss it! Rachel McCandliss, touring caller (and med school student) from Atlanta joins us for the first time!

February 11, 2015 at Hampshire College Red Barn
Music: Buddy System - TECHNO DANCE
Calling: Nils Fredland & Michael Karcher (Seattle, WA)

Sponsored by the Hampshire College Contra Dance Collective. Hampshire students free, suggested donation for all others $5-10.

February 13-15, 2015 - Saratoga Springs, NY

Go for a day or the weekend and join 6,000 other people doing lots of contra and every kind of dance you can think of.

February 18, 2015
Music: The Free Raisins
Calling: Luke Donforth

The popular, Boston-based Free Raisins return to Amherst for another evening of energetic New England dance music. With:
Audrey Knuth — Fiddle
Amy Englesberg — Piano
Jeff Kaufman — Mandolin, Octave Fiddle

February 25, 2015
Music: Larry Unger & Audrey Knuth
Calling: Michael Karcher (Seattle, WA)

A great musical duo tonight, Audrey Knuth of the Free Raisins on fiddle and Larry Unger of Notorious, take the stage with special guest caller Michael Karcher from Seattle.

March 4, 2015
Calling: Nils Fredland

The amazing Elixir returns to Amherst for an unforgettable evening. Elixir blends driving fiddle and guitar with the rich texture and rhythmic excitement of a full horn section, deftly weaving brassy riffs and daring solos in and out of traditional Irish, French Canadian and New England tunes. Elixir trombonist and caller extraordinaire Nils Fredland calls for you.

March 18, 2015
Music: The Irregulars
Calling: Steve Zakon-Anderson

A young new New England band, the Irregulars includes: McKinley James on cello; Oliver Scanlon on fiddle, feet and mandolin; and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on accordion and keyboard. Our wonderful Steve Zakon-Anderson calls for you.

March 25, 2015
Music: Ruby’s Garden
Calling: Quena Crain

Ruby’s Garden is a new trio of some our favorite New England musicians:
Mark Roberts - flute, penny whistle, banjo, bouzouki; Julie Metcalf - fiddle; Andrea Cooper - banjo, flute whistle. Touring nationally they bring “double” fun with Andrea and Mark playing two flutes, twin penny whistles and double banjos to the stage.

April 1, 2015
Music: Cedar Stanistreet, Corey Walters and Roger Kahle
Calling: Ron Blechner

Another great trio of Western New England talent with our own Ron Blechner calling.

April 15, 2015
Music: Audrey Knuth, Everest Witman, Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin
Calling: Steve Zakon-Anderson

NOVA fans take note: Audrey Knuth of the Free Raisins sits in Kathleen Fownes on fiddle for what will be a very hot dance.

April 22, 2015
Music: Nor’easter
Calling: Nils Fredland

“toe-tappin', foot-stompin', shoe-shufflin', heel-clickin', booty-shakin' ”
the fabulous Nor’easter returns to Downtown Amherst. Nor’easter has the distinction of playing the first ever Burning Man contradance in addition to wowing dancers all over the country. Nor’easter features Julie Vallimont on keyboards, Cedar Stanistreet on fiddle and Max Newman on guitar and mandolin. Come hear one of the finest bands in the Northeast with calling by the equally fine Nils Fredland calling. Nils teaches a great beginning workshop so bring your friends at 7 for a great intro to contra dancing.

April 24-26, 2015 - Mansfield, MA
New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) Weekend
NEFFA Website

April 29, 2015
Music: Pete’s Posse
Calling: Adina Gordon

Pete’s Posse is composed of multi-instrumentalist and troubadour Pete Sutherland (fiddle, piano, banjo and vocals), Oliver Scanlon (fiddle, mandolin, dobro, foot percussion and vocals) and Tristan Henderson (guitars, mandolin, jaw harp, bodhran, foot percussion and vocals).

Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over hi-powered guitar and pounding footwork with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jawharp and rocking keyboards adding their voices to the mix. Old songs and tunes, lyrical and driving, along side brand new ones. That’s the multi-generational heart and mind of “Pete’s Posse”, at work and at play. And, we’re very pleased to have Adina Gordon joining us again to call.

April 29, 2015
Music: Swallowtail
Calling: George Marshall & Tim VanEgmond

An evening with a group that has been making sublime dance music together for over 30 years: David Cantieni - winds, Ron Grosslein - fiddle, Timm Triplett - keyboards, Tim Van Egmond - hammer dulcimer and calling, George Marshall - concertina, bodhran and calling. A night not to be missed.

Click here to download a PDF of the current Amherst flyer

Dances organized by Amherst Area Contradances, a group of local dance enthusiasts. For information, contact Will Loving

This dance series is funded in part by the New Leaders, Good Leaders Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society

All Dances
No Partner
Bring Clean,
Download the
current Flyer