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, October 19, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Evan DeSmitt and Maxine McDonald
Band:  Crooked Sixpence

A pair of callers share the mic this evening; support and encourage our local young callers!  Evan’s deep resonant voice and Maxine’s attention to matching the dance to the music are just some of the reasons you want to come to the dance tonight!   The music will be outstanding with the dynamic trio Crooked Sixpence:  Kathy Selby on fiddle, Gordon Bonnet on flute, and John Wobus on piano.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Bob Nicholson and Sharon Perry
Band:  Over and Under

Bob Nicholson will be sharing the mic tonight with Sharon Perry, returning to the stage after an extended absence. Join us as we welcome her back. The band will be Over and Under, a local band that has been part of the contra community for decades. If we’re lucky, we can sing as we waltz to “Dancing with Bears”

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Mary Collins
Band:  Wildroot String Band

Mary Collins is an avid dancer and a long-time organizer of contra dances in Buffalo.  Dancing is a huge part of her life and she is becoming a fine caller.  Music tonight is by Wildroot String Band:  great old-time music with Tom Owens on fiddle, Dan Palmer on banjo,  Dave Frenzel on guitar and Margaret Mathews on bass.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Margaret Mathews
Band:  Blue Dance

This is always a fun dance!  Blue Dance is an impressive collection of musicians–both instrumentalists and singers–led by Chuck Abell.  Margaret works closely with them to call just the right dances with just the right amount of prompting.  Fun!  Fun!  Fun! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Chuck Abell
Band:  Eileen Kalfass and Jane Knoeck

Eileen and Jane are two of the finest musicians in our area and they play their music well beyond our region.  Eileen is a full-time fiddler and Jane plays piano and accordion.  Their repertoire is vast and always delightful.  Chuck is both musician and caller and has been playing and calling up and down the east coast.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - Contra Dance


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Prepare for the big dance weekend tomorrow night and Saturday.  Details here.


Friday, November 24, 2017 - Thanksgiving Dance Weekend!

Join us for our 34th annual Thanksgiving Dance Weekend!  Our festival is one of the region’s favorite contra dance events:  we feature nationally known bands and callers, a fine selection of workshops, and fantastic evening dances.  This year’s headliners are Great Bear Band, Peregrine Road, and callers Susan Kevra and Sarah VanNorstrand! There’s much, much more!  Check out the details here and we’ll see you on the dance floor!


Location:  Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner Street

  • Friday night (Nov. 24):  Waltz workshop starts at 6:30 pm.  Contra dance with Great Bear and Susan Kevra,  7:30 – 11:00 pm
  • Saturday (Nov. 25) workshops start at 10:00 am
  • Saturday night contra dance: 7:30 – 11:00 pm  (Peregrine Road & Susan Kevra then Great Bear and Sarah VanNorstrand)
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - Contra Dance

Caller:   Sarah VanNorstrand
Band:  Eloise & Co

What could be better than dancing to live music?  Come on out and join us.

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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. The dance starts at 6:30.



Sunday, October 22, 2017 - English Dance

Caller: Richard Sauvain
Band:  Molly Jaynes Wilson, Mark Dumont, Chris DeGolyer

Enjoy Molly’s champion violin playing with a classic combination with flute and piano for those lovely English dance tunes.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Masquerade Ball

Caller:  Dan Blim
Band:  Jane Knoeck, Mark Dumont & Roberta Truscello

Our popular Saturday night Halloween-themed dress up dance!   Decorations, costumes, great refreshments, and an easy, relaxed program of spooky dances. Dan is a new-to-Rochester caller (as well as a superb dancer) with over a decade of experience, most recently as a staff caller at the CDSS dance week at Camp Cavell this past summer. This is a fund raiser for our English dance group – admission is $25 ($15 students / low income), payable at the door.  Held at our usual dance location, First Baptist, 6:30 – 9:30 PM.

Sunday, November 5, 2017 - English Dance

Caller:  David Smukler
Band:  Eileen Kalfass & Jane Knoeck

Music to die for, and clear and helpful calling. This will be a good one!

Sunday, November 12, 2017 - English Dance

Caller:  Dan Seppeler
Band:  Serendipity

Barb Seppeler and Laurie Williams are one of our most solid and popular music-making duos.  Dan’s habit of bringing us new and interesting dances keeps us on our toes!

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - English Dance

Caller:  Carmen Giunta
Band:  Alyssa Rodriguez, Austin Wahl, Jane Knoeck

Our Syracuse caller has excellent taste in dances, and on the music side we will see what happens when we mix a versatile Kanack School faculty violinist and a young, very talented Eastman School guitarist with Rochester’s most experienced dance pianist.  And we’re also trying our a new break food theme:  Ethnic Desserts!

Sunday, November 26, 2017 - English Dance

Caller:  Sarah VanNorstrand
Band:  Old World Charm School

A very special afternoon dance (2 – 5 PM) with exciting performers featured at CDR’s Thanksgiving Dance Weekend.  Susan Kevra (clarinet), Karen Axelrod (piano & accordion), and Rachel Bell (accordion) are equally at home playing contra dances, English country dances, & French dances.  Their music strikes a delectable balance between energizing and idyllic. Best of all, these three simply love to play together, and that sense of joy and good humor is evident in every performance.  Sarah VanNorstrand, one of Western NY’s own who now calls all over the US, has a clear and engaging teaching style. Her love of dance and her joy in sharing it is  infectious.

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