Special Notices
NO monthly dance in May
From June onwards we will move to the Opawa School Hall

Kathryn found the new hall available from June onwards. This hall is a bit smaller and suits the smaller turnout we have been getting. Folkworks has offered to be our resident band. So we have fantastic live music guaranteed.
We will also change the format of the dances: we will dance from 7:30 to 8:20, have a 15 minute break, then dance from 8:35 till 9:30.

Contra Dance Opawa School
First Saturday of each month     find us on facebook
Next dance 3 June 2017

Dance 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Live Music!
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.
Entry $10 for adults who can afford it, $5 others

Here is a flyer.

For more information please contact Bill Baritompa.
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 2017

1 April - 22 Dancers with some regulars coming back. Small turnout but good dancing with music provided by Jonathan - guitar, Tess - fiddle and mandolin, Jono on snares and sound, George spoons. Bill called.

4 March - Folkworks started the year for us with thirty dancers coming. Roger - flute, whistle, viol, Jonathan - guitar, Tess - fiddle and mandolin. Jono on sound. Bill and Rob called. It was encouraging to have a large number of new dancers. However very disappointing that experienced dancers are not coming.

Contra Dance in New Zealand

Besides Christchurch, there are regular dances in Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland and Nelson. The inspiration for all these came orginally from Ron and Cathy Arp's touring contra groups from the USA. 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.