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 

May 6, 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.

May 20, 2015
Music: Audrey Knuth, Dave Cory & Mike Sokolovsky
Calling: Marguerite Durant

One of the most exciting - and ubiquitous - New England fiddlers, Audrey Knuth, returns to the Downtown Amherst stage with Dave Cory (banjo) and Mike Sokolovsky (guitar) and local favorite Marguerite Durant calling.

Friday, May 22   8–11pm 
 Challenging Contras 
Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA

May 22, 2015
Music: JEMS with special guest Peter Siegel
Calling: Adina Gordon

JEMS is: Jamie Oshima, Ed Howe, Matt Kenney, Stuart Kenney, with special guest Peter Siegel. JEMS played our first Challenging dance in December and rocked the house. [ Facebook Video ]

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.

May 27, 2015
Music: NOVA
Calling: Nils Fredland

NOVA exploded onto the scene last year and has been thrilling dancers ever since. They’ll be making only a few appearances with us this year due to busy schedules, so don’t miss them. NOVA is Kathleen Fownes on fiddle; Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on keyboard, accordion and foot percussion; Everest Witman on guitar. The amazing Nils Fredland teaches the Intro workshop and calls (and perhaps joins in on trombone if we’re lucky). 

June 3, 2015
Music: The Figments
Calling: Steve Zakon-Anderson

The Figments features Elixir members Anna Patton (clarinet), Ethan Hazzard-Watkins (fiddle) and Owen Morrison (guitar, foot percussion). The Figments incorporate an eclectic mix of styles into their inspired performances of music for dancing or listening. Whether grooving on an Old-time, Irish or French Canadian fiddle tune, trading daring improvisations on a gypsy jazz or swing number, or exploring the nuances of a graceful waltz or elegant English country dance tune, this trio of versatile musicians makes dynamic, spontaneous and electrifying music.

June 17, 2015
Music: Gallimaufry
Calling: Michael Hamilton

We are incredibly excited to have Oberlin-based Gallimaufry play for us at the Downtown Amherst dance. Their New England tour two years ago electrified dancers with their energy, fabulous music and unusual vocals. Don’t miss this rare performance.

June 24, 2015
Music: The Free Raisins
Calling: Susan Petrick (from Mountain View, CA)

The Boston-based Free Raisins are one of our favorite bands and we’re delighted to have them back to play for us, with:
Audrey Knuth — Fiddle
Amy Englesberg — Piano
Jeff Kaufman — Mandolin, Octave Fiddle

California-based Susan Petrick is one of the finest callers in contra dance today, come see why...

July 1, 2015
Music: ‘Techno’ contra with Buddy System
Calling: Dave Eisenstadter

Buddy System is Noah VanNorstrand of Great Bear Trio on fiddle and guitar and Julie Vallimont on keyboard, accordion, synths, effects and jaws harp. They are guaranteed to set your feet a-dancin’ with their musically rich blend of live fiddle and keyboard infused with infectious beats, loops, samples. Dramatic lighting with black lights and lasers (but no strobes). Bring your favorite glow-in-the-dark clothing, face paint, etc!

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, Click HERE 

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