What is Contra Dance? you ask? Click on this link and find out! Authored by Santa Barbara contra-enthusiast, Gary Shapiro.
Country Dance and Song Society is an umbrella organization promoting North American and English folk dance. They sponsor the famous Pinewoods Dance Camps, and also run a webstore sporting all sorts of dancerphernalia including books and recordings.
SeattleDance is a website maintained by Matt Fisher containing valuable info about a variety of folk dance events around the Puget Sound area.
Northwest Folklife Festival …an amazing event which happens every year at Seattle Center over Memorial Day weekend. There are literally thousands of musical groups of all shapes, sizes and styles, and participatory dancing all weekend, great food, and much revelry. Not to be missed! The only drawback is that it occurs during Bellingham’s Ski-to-Sea weekend.
The Dance Database is an incredibly comprehensive searchable data base of nationwide dances, bands, callers, and the occasional set of dance figures maintained by Ithaca NY caller, Ted Crane. Use this site to plan your next cross-country dance tour.
Community Dance Project is the brainchild of Vancouvarian, Marian Rose. Marian does a heck of a job bringing country dance to schools throughout British Columbia (and the rest of North America as well!) You can also preview her two book/CD sets containing some great dance music and really fun dance instructions suitable for kids of all ages!
The Contra Dance Designer is Greg Hopkins’ way-cool computer-simulation game where you can design your own contra dance. It won’t run on every browser.
Shared Weight is a community resource for traditional dance, music, and song.
Related traditional music sites
Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. 2010 will mark its 34th year. Held during the week surrounding July 4th, the festival features intensive workshops in a wide variety of North American traditional music styles, evening concerts (open to the general public on the weekend), lots of dancing, jamming, and camp-raderie. The ultimate sleep-deprivation experiment!
So you’ve heard about Old Time Music, and maybe read bit about it, but still want to hear how it was done 70 years ago? Check out Old Time Music from 78s. This is a thoroughly amazing site which contains Real Audio samples from a whopping 683 of the most important recordings of Old Time Music from the 20s and 30s.
Email-based discussion groups
SeattleContra is an email discussion list relating to contra dance happenings around the Puget Sound area. To sign up, check out their website and archives by clicking the link. The list can be viewed either through their website or by signing up for email delivery.