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 first-time contra dancers!
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 

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.

Special Event: Friday, Dec 12   8–11pm 
 Challenging Contras 
Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA

December 12, 2014
Music: The JEMS
Calling: Lisa Greenleaf
It's been many years since we've had a "Challenging Contras" evening at the Guiding Star Grange and this is the first of an occasional series, hopefully happening every 3-4 months. Master caller Lisa Greenleaf will be calling for us and we're very excited to a new band, "The JEMS", featuring a stunning group of musicians you know well: 

Jamie Oshima (fiddle)
Ed Howe (fiddle)
Matt Kenney (percussion)
Stuart Kenney (bass & banjo)

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

Watch for flyers and additional updates, and if you want to look really far ahead, the next scheduled Challenging Contras dance is Sat, May 16.

December 17, 2014
Music: Bartieni Street
Calling: Quena Crain
Come join us Downtown for a fun evening of dance with calling from another of our nationally touring local favorite, Quena Crain, and fabulous music from Cedar Stanistreet (fiddle) of Nor’easter, David Cantieni (winds) of Wild Asparagus, and Peter Barnes (keyboard and guitar). Last time this group played ended in a standing ovation.

January 1, 2015 (Thursday)
Music: Nova
Calling: George Marshall
Start the year off right...with a contra dance. Nova has exploded on to the contra music scene like...well, a Nova. Fiddler Kathleen Fownes leads this group of very hot, young musicians, including Everest Whitman on guitar and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on keyboard, accordion and feet. And, we’re thrilled to have internationally known (and local favorite) caller George Marshall joining us!

January 7, 2015
Music: The Moving Violations
Calling: Ron Blechner
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, mandolin; Peter Barnes - keyboard!

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.

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