Contra in The Couve!

2nd Friday Contra Dance
Vancouver, WA


Our next dance is Friday, November 11th

Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver WA

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Contra Dance Training Videos

What is contra dancing?

Our 4th Anniversary dance, December, 2014.
Music by Lisa Ornstein and Carl Thor; David Kaynor calls - and plays!
Video by Frank Poliat.

More videos:

Flash Mob Contra at the Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair, Esther Short Park, September, 2013.
Music by Talisman; Noah Grunzweig calls.
Video by Rob Hoffman.

About Contra in the Couve!

We contra dance in Vancouver (WA) on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. This fine, roomy dance hall has a great wood floor and an easy-to-find location, with plenty of parking, just a few blocks from I-5, Exit 4. We welcome new and experienced dancers alike, and we invite you to come and dance with us!

What the heck is contra dancing? Contra dancing is an American social dance tradition dating back to the colonial period. It's fun, interactive, easy to learn, great exercise, and has nothing to do with Nicarauga. Some say that if you can walk, you can contra dance, because there is no fancy footwork involved. Contra dance is not country line dancing, nor is it square dancing. But contra is square's Yankee cousin and, like square dancing, it is prompted by a caller. So if you've ever done square dance, contra will seem familiar to you — but no fancy outfit is required! To learn more about contra dancing, check out Gary Shapiro's informative page.

No experience needed. All dances are taught. Come alone or with a partner.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Always live music!

Please wear soft-soled shoes, free of grit from outside. Shoes with leather or suede soles, or dance sneakers make for easier turning.
The dance floor and your feet will be happier. Thanks!

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Next up:

The Wisenheimers, with
Jay Finkelstein calling

Friday, November 11, 2016, 7:30 - 11:00 pm

at the Hazel Dell Grange,
7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver WA

Download the Flyer

The Wisenheimers

   The Wisenheimers: Alan and Dave

Jay Finkelstein

    Jay Finkelstein

On Friday, November 11, we are pleased to welcome the return of Portland band, The Wisenheimers, as well as caller Jay Finkelstein from Olympia.

Born into the world of popular entertainment, Alan Snyder (fiddle) and Dave Goldman (piano) joined the Wisenheimer Family Polka Band at the ages of seven and nine, respectively. The band toured worldwide through the '50s and '60s, and their radio variety hour was a weekly high point in households across America. Until, of course, their unfortunate 1967 appearance on the Lawrence Welk Show. After lying low for 40 years, Alan and Dave quietly reunited as a contra dance band, hoping that nobody would notice.

Jay Finkelstein has been a mainstay of the Seattle/Olympia contra dance community for many years, both as a caller and as a member of bands including the Young Geezers, Riffraff, Cobbler and the Contra Quartet. He is great with new and experienced dancers alike, and he will guide our feet with his usual gentle and confident instruction and calling.

Friday, November 11
Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave.
Lesson at 7:30pm, dance 8:00 - 11:00 pm
Admission: $7 / $5 for 65 or over, and under 12

Special note for Portland contra dancers:
We are only 10 miles from downtown Portland and we have some of the best bands and callers in the region at our dances. Many of your friends have already discovered how easy it is to get here and how much fun we are having!

Friday traffic got you down? Try waiting until 7:30 or 8:00 to head north.
Or come with a friend before 6pm, use the carpool lane through N. Portland, and have dinner in “the Couve.”

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Contra in The Couve! Schedule

Date Caller Music
July 8, 2016 Tarka Ayres (Portland) Contra Swings (Coos Bay, OR)
Aug. 12, 2016 Woody Lane (Roseburg, OR) Riffraff (Olympia)
Sep. 9, 2016 Lindsey Dono (Tacoma) Ms. Behavin' (Bellingham)
Oct. 14, 2016 Marlin Prowell (Bellingham) Hands4 (Portland/Vancouver)
Nov. 11, 2016 Jay Finkelstein (Olympia) The Wisenheimers (Portland)
Dec. 9, 2016 David Kaynor (Montague, MA) The Euphemists (Portland)
Jan. 13, 2017 Amy Carroll (Seattle) Switching Protocols (Berkeley, CA)
Feb. 10, 2017 TBA TBA
Mar. 10, 2017
Cascade Promenade
Frannie Marr (southern California) TBA
Apr. 14, 2017 TBA Countercurrent (Seattle/Bellingham)

Always the 2nd Friday.

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Contact us

We are committed to the enjoyment and safety of all in our dance community. Click here to view our Safe Dancing Policy. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. You can talk to an organizer at the dance, write a comment in our guest book at the dance, or contact us by email to info 'at' contra-van-wa 'dot' org. If you email, please include your phone number if you would like to speak with a dance organizer.

Join our mailing list to receive e-mail reminders of Vancouver contra dances. Please sign up here:

Bands and callers, if you are interested in playing or calling for a future Vancouver contra dance, please send an e-mail to booking 'at' contra-van-wa 'dot' org with information about your band or your calling.

Please send feedback on our web site to webmaster 'at' contra-van-wa 'dot' org.

facebook logo   Like us on Facebook.

How can I help?

Putting on a contra dance really is a group effort, and there are many ways you can get involved to help keep this dance series going strong. Here are a few of the valuable and important contributions you might make:

To volunteer or to learn more about how you can help, please email info 'at' contra-van-wa 'dot' org.

And here's something you can do right now! Just download the Flyer for our next dance, print two or three copies, and post them at your workplace, church, school, favorite cafe, or neighborhood bulletin board. Or, better yet, give one to a friend and invite him or her to come to the next dance.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this dance series!

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Directions to Hazel Dell Grange

Hazel Dell Grange

Map to Hazel Dell Grange

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Videos: Contra Dance Training for Beginning Dancers

The Chattahoochee Country Dancers in Atlanta, GA, have produced a great series of contra dance instructional videos. If you are new to contra dancing, these short videos offer an opportunity for you to review some of the basics, away from the dance floor. Then you can have even more fun the next time you come to a dance. The YouTube versions are listed below. CCD also has a very informative page for new dancers at their web site.

  1. Introduction - Watch this first
  2. Two Dancers
  3. Four Dancers or Hands Four
  4. A Contra Line & Progression
  5. Come Dance With Us
  6. A Called Dance #1
  7. A Called Dance #2
  8. Tips for New Dancers
  9. Contra Video Credits
  10. Welcome New Dancers -- Susan Davis
  11. Welcome New Dancers -- Rob Harper

CCD also offers a higher resolution DVD version of these videos.



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