Thanksgiving Festival Time!

We’re so excited – it’s time to kick up our heels and dance off the great food we had for Thanksgiving Day. Get directions to the dance at Salem UCC. Pay for weekend tickets with PayPal. Full festival info on the festival page. See you at the dance!

And when you’re done dancing, tell us what you think.

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We dance mostly New England style contras and other traditional styles every Thursday at Covenant United Methodist Church (MAP). We offer an easy and friendly pre-dance lesson every week around 7:15 for newcomers, and the dance starts at 7:30.


Thursday, December 3, 2015 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Sarah VanNorstrand
Band:  Andrew VanNorstrand and Friends

An amazing group of performers on stage tonight!  Sarah is nationally known for her choice of fun dances, her clear instructions and calling, her encouraging cheerfulness, and her happy demeanor.  We are always delighted to have her call dances for us.  Andrew brings his energy, enthusiasm, and wide experience as a dance musician to provide foot-tapping, whole-body grinning, can’t-wait-to-get-on-the-dance-floor music.  He has phenomenal musical friends, some of whom will be joining him on stage tonight.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Sharon Perry
Band:  Eric Rounds, Mark Henry and Bobbie Henrie

Eric Rounds has been playing the fiddle in our area for many years.  He is well-grounded in traditional tunes and has long experience playing for dances.  His buddies are also fine musicians and when the three of them get together on stage, amazing things happen.  Calling tonight will be one of our own regional favorites, Sharon Perry.  Did you know that Sharon has been calling to rave reviews all over the region?  We’re glad she lives close enough to call for us on a regular basis.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Chuck Abell
Band:  Arugula

Chuck Abell, one of our local callers, will be teaching us some great dances. He composed a few himself, and they are great!  Arugula is Sylvia Sorensen on flute, Mike Hoeschele on fiddle, Mark Henry on keyboard, with Fred Filbrich on string bass.  We won’t be dancing next week on Christmas Eve so be sure to come on out tonight to get some dancing in.  Wonderful live music to move our dancing feet.

Thursday, December 24, 2015 - Contra Dance

NO DANCE – Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 31, 2015 - New Years Eve Contra Dance

Join with family & friends to ring in the New Year. We’ll be dancing at the Summerville Presbyterian Church, 4845 St. Paul Blvd. Rochester, NY 14617 from 8:30PM until we count down to midnight and drink a toast to 2016.

Caller:   Rochester Caller’s Collective
Band:  Tim Ball, Laurie Hart, Jane Knoeck

What better way to see in the new year than dancing with your friends!  We’ll have mostly contra dances with a sprinkling of couples dances.  Local callers will share their very best dances.  And the music!  Wow!  Three of the best musicians in the region will combine their energy and musicianship to bring us exquisite music.  Tim is a full-time musician from Ithaca and plays with creativity, drive, and verve.  Laurie, also a full-time musician, has literally written the book on Quebecois as well as Scandinavian dance music.  And Jane rocks the room with her piano and accordion playing and a smile that lights up the room.  

Bring a fancy appetizer or your leftover Christmas cookies to share. CDR will provide the (nonalcoholic) bubbly for the toast.  Fancy attire admired but not required.

Admission $12 regular $10 members $5 non-dancers & children under 12.

Location:  Summerville Presbyterian Church, 4845 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester.

Thursday, January 7, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Margaret Mathews
Band:  Esteemed Clams

You haven’t forgotten your New Year’s Resolutions already, have you?  Surely one of the resolutions was to dance more often.  Come on out for some great old-time music led by Kathy Vandemortel on fiddle, Stephen Bland on banjo, and Fred Filbrich on bass.  Margaret has a long-standing fondness for old-time music and is the perfect match for tonight’s band

Thursday, January 14, 2016 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Chuck Abell
Band:  Continental Drift

Chuck Abell is a driving force in the local Contra scene. Come dance to his expert calling!
Continental Drift is Eileen Nicholson on fiddle, Eric Anderson on keyboard and Tom Santarsiero on mandolin and more!  Eileen, a native of Syracuse, has been traveling the country and beyond playing music with enthusiasm and high spirits.  Eric’s piano playing is rhythmically rockin’.  And Tom is engaging and innovative on the mandolin.  A great combination!  

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English Country dances are held every Sunday (except 5th Sundays) at First Baptist Church (MAP). Pre-dance intro to English dancing session offered at 6:10 pm for newcomers.



Sunday, December 6, 2015 - English Dance

Caller:  Richard Sauvain
Band:  Arugula

A caller with much experience, and fine music by Mike Hoeschele (violin), Silvia Sorensen (flute), Mark Henry (piano), and Fred Filbrich (bass).  All long time participants in the local ECD scene.  THIS DANCE WILL BE AT COVENANT UNITED, 6:30 – 9:30 pm as usual,  not at First Baptist.

Sunday, December 13, 2015 - English Dance

Caller:  Carmen Giunta
Band:  Molly Jaynes & Jane Knoeck

This should be a good night, what with Carmen’s thoughtful choice of material, Molly’s stirring violin, and Jane’s ever so skillful way with chords and rhythm!

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - English Dance

Caller:  Dan Seppeler
Band:  Serendipity

Dan, Barb & Laurie are regulars at our English dances.  They collaborate well, which makes for a smooth evening of dancing.  And it’s Cookie Night!

Sunday, December 27, 2015 - Turning of the Year Ball

Callers:  David Smukler & Richard Sauvain
Band:  Serendipity

An elegant evening  of English country dancing to welcome in the New Year. This dance is in a beautiful period setting: the Jonathan Child House at 35 S. Washington St. ,  7 t0 10 pm. Admission $30 ($15 students/ low income). Pre-registration required; more details here.

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