Special Notices

From February 5-28, the Allemande Joy contra tour from the USA will be traveling around NZ.

Contra Dance Opawa School
First Saturday of each month     find us on facebook
Next dance 3 March 2018

Dance 7:15 to 9:15 pm
Live Music with Bush Telegraph
No Experience Needed!
No Partners Needed!
All Dances Taught!
Easy and Lots of Fun!
An Alcohol Free Community Oriented Event.
Bring your own water bottle.
Bickies available during dance.
Entry $10 for adults who can afford it, $5 others

Here is a flyer.

For more information please contact Bill.
To get email notices sign up here.

Every Thursday - Dances at our house

An outlet for those who have caught the contra bug.
A means to support up and coming musicians.
Details here.

Contra Dances So Far in 2018

16 February - The Allemande Joy Contra Tour came with their fantastic band, callers and dancers. We had over 70 dancing! The tour's transport bus was late in pcking them up, so we started with recorded music and tried to get in touch by cell phone to offer and convoy to pick them all up. Bill called few more dances with recorded music while sound men Jono and Nathan got the band hooked up. Bill finally got the chance to call to the band for a few, then Allemenade Joy callers Donna, Mike, Ed, Tina and Chis took over. Half way thru Nor'west Arch Morros put on an energetic demoe for us. More dancing till just after 10. Quick tea, coffee and supper and farewells as AJ had to be on the road by 10:30. A quick Waves of Tory for the young ones left. Musicians: Arlene, Aubrey, Betsy, Glen, Rob, Robin, Tom, Donna, Nora, Jono and George. A big thanks to Julie and all of Allemande Joy for our biennial contra boost!

Contra Dance in New Zealand

Besides Christchurch, there are regular dances in Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland and Nelson. Contra dancing began in Dunedin in 1996, the dances in the other citys began after meeting Ron and Cathy Arp's touring contra groups from the USA which started in 2002. Bill and Liz traveled with them in February 2008. Six dances in 10 days! Bill learned a lot and was keen to share the new dances with you.

A Short Description of Contra dancing (some videos here)

Check out the Chattahoochee Country Dancers web page for a detailed description and some instructional videos links.

The video The Contra Dance by Doug Plummer shows the joy and excitement you will experience at this type of dance.

The following is extracted from a web article: "What is Contra Dance?" by Gary Shapiro.

A caller, usually working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced alike through a variety of dances.

A dancer and his or her partner dance a series of figures, or moves, with each other and with another couple for a short time. They then repeat the same figures with another couple, and so on. The figures are similar to those in a barn dance. The figures are combined in different ways for each different dance.

The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller leads the dances while they are being done to music, so dancers are able to perform each movement to the music. Once the dancers appear to have mastered a particular dance, the caller may stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.