Our next dance is
Friday, Sept. 12, at the
Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver WA


Contra in The Couve!

2nd Friday Contra Dance in Vancouver, WA

Next Dance
Dance Schedule
About Contra in the Couve!
Get Flyer
Contact us
Join our mailing list
How can I help?
Visit us on facebook
Contra Dance Training Videos
What is contra dancing?
What does contra dance music sound like?
   (played by Hands4)
See a video of contra dancing in Portland

Video from our October 2012 dance

Wow! Our flash mob contra dance demo during the Vancouver Peace & Justice Fair on Sept. 7 was a success! A big "Thank you!" to all of the dancers who showed up to help make it happen, to caller Noah Grunzweig, to the musicians in Talisman, and to the Peace and Justice Fair organizers. Rob Hoffman produced this great video of the event. Thanks, Rob!

September 2013 Flash Mob Contra

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!

Contra dancing is an American social dance tradition dating back to the colonial period. It is 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, so if you've ever done square dance, contra will seem familiar to you. To learn more about contra dancing, check out Gary Shapiro's informative page. To see a YouTube video of contra dancing, click here.

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:

Celador, with
Laurel Thomas calling

Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:30 - 11:00 pm

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

Download the Flyer


    Celador: David and Gretchen

Laurel Thomas

    Laurel Thomas

On Friday, September 12, we will welcome Celador (Asheville, NC) to our stage for the first time. Laurel Thomas (Portland) will be returning to call for the dance.

Celador is a duo, consisting of Gretchen Caverly (fiddle) and David Hayes (guitar), but they generate a big, full, high-energy sound, thanks to some electronic magic and some looping. Celador has been well-received wherever they have played. In fact they were one of six bands invited to play at the 2014 Catapult National Contradance Showcase in Atlanta.

Laurel Thomas has called in Portland, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Vancouver, and Tacoma. Dancers appreciate her clear teaching, her articulate prompting and her choice of fun dances with good flow. “My goal is to get new dancers up to speed quickly, then call dances that, while accessible (and maybe just a tad challenging!) for beginners, are satisfying and fun for the more experienced folks in the crowd.”

Friday, September 12
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
Apr. 11, 2014 Sue Baker (Hood River) Riffraff (Olympia)
May 9, 2014 Amy Carroll (Seattle) The Euphemists (Portland)
June 13, 2014 Jean Gorrindo (San Luis Obispo, CA) The Crabapples (Monterey, CA)
July 11, 2014 Jay Finkelstein (Olympia) The Quarks (Portland/Seattle)
Aug. 8, 2014 William Watson Lori Prime & Carl Thor
Sep. 12, 2014 Laurel Thomas Celador (Asheville, NC)
Oct. 10, 2014 Lindsey Dono (Tacoma) The Hat Band
Nov. 14, 2014 Christa Torrens (Montana/California) Red Crow (Seattle)
Dec. 12, 2014 David Kaynor (Montague, MA) Lisa Ornstein & Carl Thor

Always the 2nd Friday.

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Contact us

We are committed to the enjoyment and safety of all in our dance community. 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.

new   If you'd like to be on the list to receive e-mail reminders of Vancouver contra dances, please sign up here:

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   Visit 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

View Larger Map

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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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