About Us

Country Dancers of Rochester (CDR) sponsors traditional New England Contra Dances and English Country Dances. We dance in community twice weekly to live music.  All dances are taught by the caller, and you don’t have to bring a partner.

Our dances are participatory, open to all, with live music, smoke-free and alcohol free. Newcomers are always welcome. Dances are taught and prompted, with more teaching at the beginning of the evening. No partner or special dress needed — dress comfortably and wear soft-soled, low-heeled shoes.

Contra Dances

When: Every Thursday, 7:30 – 10:30 PM
Where: Covenant United Methodist Church (MAP) (directions)
Admission: $9 ($8 members and students, $2 ages 17 & under)

English Country Dances

When: Every Sunday (except 5th Sundays), 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Where: First Baptist Church of Rochester (MAP) (directions)
Admission: $9 ($8 members and students, ages 17 & under free)

Our Dance Forms

English Country Dance and Contra Dance share a common heritage.  There are many similarities between the two styles, as well as significant stylistic differences.  Each style has its ardent adherents; many like both.  We suggest you try both, and see what you like best!

Typically, couples line up in long lines, initially with the men on one side and the women on the other.  Often, every other couple trade places.  The caller spends a short time walking the dancers through a sequence of moves for this particular dance before the band begins to play.  The moves are structured so that after each time through the tune, the dancers have progressed to new neighbors, and the figures repeat until you’ve had a chance to dance with most of the hall.

Stylistically, English Country Dance tends to be elegant and to entertain a variety of musical forms.  Contra dance tends to have more energy, perhaps more like a trip at the amusement park.

There can be a lot more to say, but we think the best way to find out is to come to a dance.  Or, watch for an upcoming demonstration of English Country Dancing by our Meryton Assembly Dancers.

If you want more description, here’s some useful information for beginners:

What IS Contra dancing, anyway?

What IS English dancing, anyway?

CDR delights in presenting a warm, happy, comfortable, family­ friendly environment where ​friends can gather to enjoy traditional participatory country dancing. We want YOU to feel safe and comfortable here and​ to look forward to dancing with us again. Please read the CDR Social Contract.


CDR is a member of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), a national organization dedicated to traditional dance and song. Find out more about the club on the About CDR page.

CDR officers and committee chairs are listed on the Contact CDR page.