Providence Community Contra Dance
(formerly known as the 'Greater Providence Contra Dance')
((formerly known as the 'College Hill Contra Dance'))
(((formerly known as the 'Brown Dance')))
((((formerly known as the 'Contra Dance at Brown'))))
(((((formerly known as the 'Providence Contra')))))

The Greater Providence Contra Dance is the spirited continuation of the rich contra tradition that has been kept alive in Providence for over twenty years.

Contra dancing traces its roots back to English and French country dances from the 1700's. These dances made their way across the Atlantic and became a cornerstone of colonial New England life. During the twentieth century the number of communities actively engaged in this form of dancing plummeted. This grand New England tradition (also known as barn dancing, country dancing, or simply dancing by the old timers) almost disappeared from the dance map. The renewed interest in folk music in the 60's and 70's led to a resurgence of contra dancing and its popularity has continued to spread and evolve ever since. Contra dances can be found in almost every state and new emerging styles even include techno contras.

When you come to The Greater Providence Contra Dance you will dance to live music that is a direct descendant of the traditional repertoire of Yankee tunes (known as "chestnuts") often heavily suplemented with Southern and Celtic tunes. Modern contra dancing culture tends to achieve an equisite balance of the old and the new. Steps are called aloud during the dance by a live caller. At it's peak of popularity (in the 1800s), the steps of traditional contra dances were so well known that there would have been very little use for callers. The growing complexity of the dances and contra dance's brief flirtation with extinction has lead to the use of callers at all modern contra dances.

Come one, come all. No partner needed, beginners welcome. This is a beginner-friendly advanced dance. Our community includes people of all ages and dance experience. The dance is just blocks away from either Thayer Street, Elmgrove Avenue, or Wayland Square which all have restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops to take in before or after the dance.

It is through the generous efforts of Our Main Man Andy that this dance continues in its current form.
To email him directly about callers and musicians or the dance: Emailing Camilla
To check out the Providence Contra's Facebook group: Facebook Group for the Providence Contra

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