Most Wednesdays (exc 2nd), 7:30-10:30
Beginners Lesson at 7pm - bring your friends!

Beginners welcome: Intro lesson at 7pm at every dance.

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. Also please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes and other highly scented products. All dances smoke, drug and alcohol free.

Dance Schedule

July 9, 2014

Music: Stuart Kenney & Friends

Calling: Frannie Marr (from CA)

Stuart Kenney leads a group of your favorite local musicians, and you know that wherever Stuart plays the music is very fine indeed. And we’re delighted to have California caller Frannie Marr joining us for a lively summer’s eve.

July 16, 2014

Music: The Free Raisins

Calling: Dave Eisenstadter

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

July 23 - FREE Irish Step Dance workshop - 6-7pm

with Rebecca McGowan

Irish step dancing was long the domain of dance masters who traveled and taught their repertoire to students in each town they visited. Their steps are danced low to the ground and feature rhythms that match the music beautifully. Learn some steps in this style!

All backgrounds welcome, bring a pair of flat hard-soled shoes. Donations appreciated. Music provided by Ted Soulos.

Rebecca McGowan began Irish step dancing as a child in Boston and has since developed a love of the musicality of older-style steps and sean-nós dance. Her dancing is also informed by the joyful traditions of American, Irish, and English social dance. She currently performs with the New Century American Irish-Arts Company and teaches sean-nós dance in Washington, DC.

July 23, 2014

Music: Nova

Calling: Nils Fredland

Fiddler Kathleen Fownes leads this group of very talented, young, local musicians, including Everest Whitman and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin. The ever popular Nils Fredland will teach, call and play trombone.

July 30, 2014

Music: Dragonfly

Calling: Quena Crain

Terrific music from more of the valley’s up and coming talent: Everest Witman, Emma Snope, Matthew Kenney and Kyra Bleicher!

August 6, 2014

Music: Techno Contra with “Buddy System”

Calling: George Marshall

“Buddy System” features Julie Vallimont of Firecloud and Nor’easter and Noah VanNorstrand of Great Bear Trio and Giant Robot Dance. Together with caller George Marshall, this new techno duo will provide another amazing techno contra evening.

August 13, 2014

Music: Atlantic Crossing

Calling: Ron Blechner

Stay tuned for details.

August 20, 2014


August 27, 2014

Music: Nova

Calling: Marguerite Durant

Fiddler Kathleen Fownes leads this group of very talented, young, local musicians, including Everest Whitman and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin. And, we’re very pleased to have Marguerite Durant return to our stage to call.

September 3, 2014

Music: Velocipede

Calling: Rebecca Lay

Stay tuned for details.

September 17, 2014

Music: The Fabulous Stringrays!

Calling: Steve Zakon-Anderson

Stay tuned for details.

4th Anniversary Celebration

September 24, 2014

Music: Perpetual e-Motion

Calling: Lisa Greenleaf

Come help us celebrate the beginning of our fifth year at the Downtown Amherst Contra Dance! Maine-based Ed Howe (electric fiddle) and John Cote (guitar, digeridoo and foot percussion) bring together superb musicianship and stack of custom-built electronics to create some of the most infectious dancing music you’ve ever heard. John and Ed easily flow from traditional, unadorned fiddle and guitar tunes to their own unique mix of looped and live layers. You won’t believe that two guys can make that much sound and it’s guaranteed to keep you moving all evening. The master caller Lisa Greenleaf joins us for our grand celebration.

October 1, 2014

Music: The Gig Hunters

Calling: Melanie Axel-Lute

Stay tuned for details.

October 15, 2014

Music: Red Shift (Eric McDonald & Brendan Carey-Block)

Calling: Nils Fredland

Stay tuned for details.

October 22, 2014

Music: Techno Contra with Julie Vallimont

Calling: Will Mentor

Stay tuned for details.

October 29, 2014

Music: Perpetual e-Motion

Calling: Dave Eisenstadter

Stay tuned for details.

November 5, 2014

Music: The Moving Violations

Calling: Linda Leslie

Driving double fiddle harmonies, strong rhythm, affectionate abandon and occasional silliness prevails. Original compositions as well as Celtic, Eastern European, Swedish, Klezmer, and Classical are all fair game for The Moving Violations: Van Kaynor - fiddle, Ron Grosslein - fiddle, mandoliin; Chuck Corman - bass, guitar, percussion; Eric Eid-Reiner - piano!

November 19, 2014

Music: Stuart Kenney & Friends

Calling: Steve Zakon-Anderson

Stay tuned for details.

December 3, 2014

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.

December 17, 2014

Music: Bartieni Street

Calling: TBA

Stay tuned for details.

January 7, 2015

Music: TBA

Calling: TBA

Stay tuned for details.

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