Past Contra Dances

The number of dancers, musicians and callers since the dances started in 2008.

3 December 2016 - Folkworks played for this final dance of the year for thirty dancers. Roger - flute, whistle, viol, Becky - harpm Tess - fiddle and mandolin, Heather - accordion and Andrew - percussion. Geoff on sound. Bill and Rob called.

5 November 2016 (Guy Fawkes) - Folkworks provided a display of musical fireworks for thirty dancers. Roger Buckton - director, flute, whistle, viol, Claire Weyland - violin from Wanaka, Becky Livingstone - harp from Wellington, Tess White - violin and mandolin, Francis Yapp - cello, Jonathan Le Cocq - guitar and mandolin, Heather Gladstone - accordion and Andrew Bell - percussion. Jono on sound. Bill was able to call a few dances he learned in Hawaii. Rob called Good Friday. A few videos (keep your eye out for some fireworks)

1 October 2016 - A big thanks to Clare and Rob did all the calling while Liz and Bill were in Hawaii. Also to Kathryn and Helen who did all the work setting up the hall. Thanks to everyone else who chipped in. We have a great contra community. Liz and Bill danced (and Bill called) in Hawaii.

3 September 2016 - Just over thirty dancers all experienced. Fantastic music by Strawberry Town Hooligans: Emily, fiddle; Paul, guitar; Margo and Richard, mandolins; Geoff, bass and sound; George, lagerphone. Clare and Rob called all the dances in preparation for them running the October dance. Bill and Liz finally had a chance to have a whole night of dancing.

6 August 2016 - Thirty two dancers on one of Christchurch's coldest nights plus one cat who just watched. Scotch Measure under the leadership of Alan Burns reformed specially for us. Alan and Clare(keyboards), Jill and George (fiddles); Margo and Richard (mandolin), Helen (drums), George (lagerphone). Geoff was soundman. Clare made her calling debut. Rob did most of the rest of the calling with Bill doing a few. Cat watches United We Dance called by Rob.

2 July 2016 - Thirty dancers and another fine open band lead by Margo: Merle, accordion, Claire, whistle, Clare, keyboard, Richard and Margo, mandolins, Paul, guitar George spoons, Jono, sound and snares.

4 June 2016 - Many dancers and musicians were away on this Queen's birthday weekend. An enthusiastic group of 17 danced to a selection of recorded music. It gave us a chance to dance to a wide variety of tunes played by some top contra dance bands: Perpetual e-Motion, Elixir, Notorious, Wild Asparagus, Portland Collection, KGB and English Contra Dance Band. Bill called. We got through quite a few dances - well done everyone! (Had to keep warm on the cold winter's night).

7 May 2016 - Our second dance in the new venue with 50 dancers and a large open band: Margo (leader and mandolin), Emily (fiddle), Geoff (bass), George (percussion), Jono (bass and drums), Paul (guitar), Richard (mandolin), Sonya (fiddle), Tony (guitar), Xander(fiddle). Geoff on sound as well. Bill called most with Rob assisting. Here are some videos.

2 April 2016 - Over 100 dancers at a special combined international folk and contra dance at our old Addington venue. This was part of Folk Dance New Zealand's national dance workshop hosted by Farandol Folkdancers. Australian guest Gary Dawson taught some simple Hungarian dances to the music of fiddle, hurdy gurdy and gardon (Hungarian folk cello) played by Robert and Louise. Fiona called Circassian circle and we did an Israeli dance too. Bill called contras to music played by Heather and Roger. Jono was sound man for the evening. We had a celebration supper half way as it was FDNZ 21st birthday with FDNZ president Fiona Murdoch saying a few words.

5 March 2016 - Our first dance in the new venue with 30 dancers and a large open band: Margo, Geoff, George, Heather, Jill, Paul and Roger. Geoff on sound as well.

12-14 February 2016 - Waipara Contra Weekend dances were held just north of CHCH. Friday 75 dancers, Saturday 83 dancers and Sunday morning 67. The tour contra callers: Vicki, Jim and Robyn. Plus NZ callers Bill, Rob, Lenny and Aussie caller Coral. The musicians: Glenn, Mark, Arlene, Rob, Jim, Mary, Dick, Betsy, Thomas, Vicki, Michael, Steve. NZ musicians Sonya and Peter, Elena from Auckland, Mike from Wellington, Paul, Margo, Jill, Alan, Helen, George from CHCH. There were lots of happy dancers. Here is a Scottish bracket played for Waves Tossed in Dublin Bay listen

Saturday 5 December 2015 - 32 dancers. Open band led by Margo (mandolin) with Heather and Jill (accordions), Paul(guitar), Zack whistles and drums, Geoff bass, George largephone and Jono sound and snares. Bill and Rob called.

Saturday 7 November 2015 - 51 dancers. Roger Buckton's Folkworks played. They had an interesting lineup: Roger flute, recorder and treble viol; Tess, fiddle and mandolin; Jonathan guitar and mandolin; Heather accordion; Rebecca harp; George percussion. Jono on sound. Bill and Rob called.

Saturday 3 October 2015 - 45 dancers. Strawberry Town Hooligans: Margo, Emily, Paul, Jono and George played. Jono on sound. Bill and Rob called. This was advertised as an independent event of the Christchurch Body Festival. We had about 8 people come from this.

Saturday 5 Septermber 2015 - 37 dancers. Duo Jonathan Le Cocq (guitar) and Tess White (fiddle, mandolin) played Irish tunes. Rob and Bill called.

Saturday 1 August 2015 - 43 Dancers. Nice to have Scotch Measure playing for us again. Geoff Anders did a great job of mixing this large group: Leader Alan Burns (keyboard), Clare Simpson (keyboard), Jill Goddard and George Lambert (fiddles), Rosalie Taylor and Jill Voss (accordions), Margo Migirdichyan (mandolin), Helen Pugh (drums) and George Stewart (whistling, bones). Rob and Bill called. We all enjoyed coming back cozy to a cloverleaf in Dog Branch Reel by Bob Dalsemer. More videos

Saturday 4 July 2015 - Rob's solo calling debut.

Saturday 6 June 2015 - 32 Dancers. Excellent music by Strawberry Town Hooligans: Margo mandolin, Emily fiddle, Paul guitar, Geoff bass, George largerphone, Jono percussion and sound. Rob and Bill called. Have a look at these dances Five Leaf Clover. Friday Night Fever and Good Friday.

Saturday 2 May 2015 - 74 Dancers. Excellent music by Folkworks lead by Roger Buckton: Roger flute, Heather accordion, Jonathan guitar, Tess fiddle and Francis cello. We started the evening with spiraling to the Egerland Polka followed by Marmaduke Mixer. The first contra was done to Thomas Hardy polkas.

Saturday 4 April 2015 - 30 Dancers on this Easter Weekend danced to a selection of recorded music. It gave us a chance to dance to a wide variety of tunes played by some top contra dance bands: Perpetual e-Motion, Elixir, Notorious, Wild Asparagus, Portland Collection and KGB. Rob and Bill shared the calling. We got through some quite challenging material - well done everyone! It was great that Liz was up to dancing again, and thanks to all who helped with supper and clean up.

Saturday 7 March 2015 - 56 Dancers. Open band with music organized by Margo (mandoline) with Emily (fiddle), Paul, Oscar, Tony (guitars), Geoff (bass), George (spoons, lagerphone) and Jono (percussion and sound). Rob and Bill shared the calling with guest call by Dave Bateman. Welcomed 4 visitors from USA: Dave, Barbara, Brian and Cynthia. Special thanks to all the helpers. We ended with the circle waltz done to Emily's orginal tune: listen

Saturday 7 February 2015 - 40 Dancers. Good (but warm temperature wise) start to the year. Margo organized the music and used some rousing Klezmer tunes. Band consisted of Margo (mandoline), Heather (accordion), Oscar (guitar) and George (spoons, lagerphone). Rob and Bill shared the calling. Welcomed visitors Dave Bateman and Barbara William from USA. Thanks to all the helpers. Our first dance Five Leaf Clover used Freylechs from Warsaw. We danced Jefferson Revisited to "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein" and "Vus du vilst, dus vill ich oich". Rob called a new one for him, A Wee Flutter. We did two dances to recored music so the band members could dance.

Saturday 6 December 2014 - 40 Dancers. Melbourne Shenanagan's Maggie (fiddle) and Gary (guitar) lead locals: Margo (mandoline); Paul (bouzouki, ukulele); Geoff (bass); George (spoons, lagerphone); Jono (snare). Jono on sound. Bill, Rob, Gary and Maggie called.

Saturday 1 November 2014 - 47 Dancers. Excellent music by Scotch Measure: Alan and Clare (Keyboards); Jill (fiddle); Rosalie (accordion); Margo (mandoline); Helen (drums); George (spoons). Doug on sound - a great effort for such a large band. Bill and Rob called.

Saturday 4 October 2014 - 57 Dancers. A Mega Open band with Bernard Wells (mandoline, flute and fiddle) from Wellington Chili Jam and Heather (accordion), Claire (fiddle), Margo (mandolin), Paul (guitar), Geoff (bass), George (percussion), Jonathan (guitar), Ann (fiddle), Mike (guitar) and Sue (fiddle). The callers were Bill, Rob and Bernadette from Dunedin contra. Thank you to the Dunedin dancers for their special visit, and our dancers Patricia, Annette, Helen, Gary, Jane and Sue who looked after them. We had a few new folk who came via the Body Festival events. Video playlists.

Saturday 20 September 2014 - Bill introduced NELSON to contra dance! 35 dancers attended a Post Election Hoedow. A number of musicians there and others are keen to organise some regular dancing. We had good support from the local Scottish dancers. An evening of great great fun!

Saturday 6 September 2014 - 45 Dancers. Some new exciting tunes by Strawberry Town Hooligans: Emily, Paul, Geoff and George with help from Heather. Paul ran the introductory workshop, called 3 dances, Rob called 2, Michael 1 and I did 4. Video playlists.

Saturday 2 August 2014 - 64 Dancers. A big welcome to the Japanese students from Papanui HS and their visitors. Also nice to see quite a few UC students. An open band led by fiddler Aleks Taranov from Princeton, New Jersey with Emily, Jill (fiddles), Margo (mandolin), Paul (guitar), Geoff (bass), George (percussion) and Bill (banjo) lifted the floor with their solid tunes and variations. Geoff and Doug set up and mixed the sound. Callers Bill, Paul and Rob. The Secret Lives of Ukuleles (Emily, Carl, Helen, Lance and Paul) performed two songs at half time. It was Rob's debut, and he did a fantastic job calling Easy Petronella. The new callers Paul, Michael and Rob are giving variety to our dances, and giving me a chance to dance with Liz and also play a bit of music again. Video playlists.

Saturday 5 July 2014 - 28 Dancers. Fantastic music by Scotch Measure: Clare, Alan (Keyboards); Natalie, Jill, George (fiddles); Rosalie (accordion); Margo (mandoline); Helen (drums); George (spoons). Jon on sound - a great effort for such a large band. Bill, Paul and Michael called. A very low turnout which is a shame because the band deserves more. Video summary.

Saturday 7 June 2014 - 84 Dancers. Music by Strawberry Town Hooligans: Margo, Emily, Paul, and George with help from Heather with mixing and playing some. Paul ran the introductory workshop, called the mid break Waves of Tory and finished off the evening. A great turnout.

Saturday 3 May 2014 - 65 Dancers. Music by Scottish duo Ronan Martin and Sandy Brechin. Jon on sound. Gary King a caller from Melbourne taught us a couple of dances. We danced a double contra (4 face 4) written by Bill: Lyttelton.

Saturday 5 April 2014 - 51 Dancers. Music by Heather, Margo, Bridget, Paul, Oscar, Geoff and George with Jon mixing and Doug assisting. We did a variety of dances. See if you can find yourself here. Kath took some great photos and some are used in this video.

Saturday 1 March 2014 - 69 Dancers. Music by Heather, Margo, Emily, Paul, Geoff and George with Mikki mixing. Michael called a few dances. Bill used some of the new dances he learned from the tour. A very enjoyable evening. The tour remarked how strong our contra community is. A big welcome to the new dancers who came.

Saturday 8 February 2014 - We had Ron and Cathy's tour visit for a great start to the year. Thirty of them and lots of our dancers totaled 97. Music by tour musicians: Avant Gardeners - Laura Light (fiddle) and George Paul (keyboard/accordion), Cathy Arps (fiddle), Arlen Bass (bass), Patricia Klaers (dulcimer), Maureen Knight (UK) (keyboard) together with our local talent Heather (accordion), Paul (Guitar) and George (Lagerphone). Jon on sound. I started everyone off with a mixer and called Waves of Tory in the break. The tour callers Keith Cornett-Eustis, Terry Stefan and Henry Ferguson called a fine selection of dances.

Saturday 7 December 2013 - 58 dancers. Music by Strawberry Town Hooligans: Alice (Fiddle), Margo (Mandolin), Paul (Guitar), George (Lagerphone). Jon on sound. Paul called a few dances. Roy donated another opal prize which Ivonne won. It's been a successful year with more bands getting involved, and two new callers coming along. A big thank you to Liz and all the regular helpers.

Saturday 2 November 2013 - 70 dancers. Music by Scotch Measure: Denise, Rosalie (Accordions); George, Natalie, Jill (Fiddles); Helen (Percussion); Clare (Piano); George (Lagerphone), guest Geoff (Lagerphone), George on sound. Vica helped with the workshop giving pointers on swinging. Roy, the opal man from Riccarton market, for donated a prize to a lucky band member, Natalie won a lovely opal ring.

Saturday 5 October 2013 - Over 100 dancers. Heather, Claire, Emily, Paul, George and Margo made some energetic music for us. Thank you Roy, the opal man from Riccarton market, for donating a prize for the luckiest dancer (Terry). Thank you Veronica for the organic free range eggs. Thank you to the Christchurch Body Festival of Dance for advertising this dance as an independent event. Some new people came because of this.

Saturday 7 September 2013 - 63 dancers. Roger, Paul, Jon and George provided the music. Michael, Paul called a few dances. Special good wishes to Roger on his coming shoulder op.

Saturday 3 August 2013 - 60 dancers! Nice tunes by Heather, George, Alice and Paul with Jon on sound. We tried a successful experiment: Our experienced dancers did Salute to Larry Jennings a more challanging dance and then took new folk as partners, and everyone did the same dance again. A very enjoyable evening was had by all. An extract from the dances. Here are full videos of The Nice Combination, East Litchfield Volunteers and Waves Tossed in Dublin Bay.

Saturday 6 July 2013 - Again 85 dancers! Lots of new musicians this time: Heather and George joined by Emily and Alice on fiddles, Paul on bouzouki, Oscar on guitar. Jon on sound. Paul called 2 dances. Two keen dancers, Nicole and Felicity came up from Queenstown and helped set up the kitchen. An extract from the dances.

Saturday 8 June 2013 - It was lovely welcome home dancer for Liz and me. 84.5 dancers! I tried a few new dances, and Kathryn, Michael and Paul each called one. The loyal team of Roger, Claire, Heather and George played superbly. Jon did a great job as soundman to make us all sound good.

Saturday 4 May 2013 - Kathryn, Michael and Paul called all the dances, and Roger's group FRAJHILE played with sound by Jon. Liz and I were in the US attending NEFFA and other contra dances, and got I this report:

The contra dance last night was a great success. The music was absolutely magic, could have just listened to it all night. The callers all did a great job. Everyone was very helpful, the young people helped set up the supper as it arrived & several people helped put it together at the end & everyone pitched in to clean up. Katherine had to push everyone out the door at 11pm, I think they would have stayed all night! There were a little over 60 paying participants.

Nice to know we are dispensable. The contra community is expanding.

Saturday 6 April 2013 - 50 dancers with music by Roger, Heather and George. Four callers! Paul, Michael and Kathryn each called one dance.

Saturday 2 March 2013 - A great turn out of 75 dancers with music by Roger, Heather and George. Four callers! Paul, Michael and Kathryn each called one dance. Watch video clips from the dance. They did a great job and are preparing to run the dance in May when Liz and I will be at NEFFA in the USA.

Saturday 2 February 2013 - First dance of the year. A fantastic turnout of over 100 dancers. Heather, Claire, Alice and George provided superb music. Alice has moved here from Wellington and was looking for an outlet for her musical talent, we hope she continues to play for the dances. We had a few dances called by our up and coming callers, Paul and Michael. They did a good job. Check out Flirtation Reel .

Friday 4 January 2013 in Rotorua - The evenings relaxation on 2013 Annual NZ Morris Tour in Rotorua was a contra dance. A great band made up of the musicians on tour. As well as 'normal' contra dances (done to morris tunes), we did a contra version of Black Joke.

Saturday 1 December 2012 - We had over 85 dancing. A great finish for the year. We had two debuts: Paul called for the first time. Ben played in the band with Heather and George. Here are three dances that Ben's played for: Jefferson Revisited, Katushka Mixer and a Christmas version of Anderson Ferry Reel.

Saturday 3 November 2012 - We had fourty two dancers. Our son Colin and his wife Laura are visiting us and came to the dance. Roger, Claire, Heather and George provided lively music for the evening - Here Comes the Muffin Man and A Wee Flutter.

Saturday 6 October 2012 - We had fifty nine dancers. George provide some extra rhythm to the recorded music, as our regular musicians were down with the lurgie. A number of our young dancers asked me to help them learn to call dances. Look forward to some new callers in the near future.

Saturday 1 September 2012 - First day of Spring! We had the largest crowd ever at a regular dance - 68 dancing and a small but quality band: Claire, Roger and George. In keeping with the season we did First Bloom a double contra.

Saturday 4 August 2012 - We had fourty dancing with a burst of energy from the Waipara crowd.

Saturday 7 July 2012 - We had twenty one dancing. Roger, Steve, David, George, and Clare provided great music. The new dance "Walking Down the Street" went really well.

Saturday 30 June 2012 - Bill called for the first Auckland Contra Dance. Hopefully this is the beginning of regular contra dancing there. All the best to them!

Saturday 2 June 2012 - We had thirty two dancing and still more new people. Lots of new tunes by Geoff, Roger, Steve, George, and Clare. A special visit by Nicole a keen contra dancers from Providence Rhode Island (currently living in Queenstown). Thank you everyone.

Saturday 5 May 2012 - We had fourty dancing with lots of new folk who had been to the contra dance at the folk festival last month. Exciting music by Claire, David, Evelyn, Geoff, George, Heather, Roger and Steve. Thank you everyone.

Saturday 7 April 2012 - Contra dancing was part of the Canterbury Folk Festival. Bill ran two workshops in the morning, and the later part of the evening dance was all contras. Thank you very much for the support of the 15 Addington regulars who came out to Waipara to help in the evening, and to David, Jonathan, Geoff and George who joined in with the festival band.

Saturday 3 March 2012 - Fourty two people came, lots of new folk. Great music by Roger, Heather, David, Justin and George.

Hokitika Weekend 17-19 February was a great success. Another in two years time!

Sunday 5 February 2012 - John and Hilary Turner from the UK, stayed with us and gave a very enjoyable and informative Playford English country dance workshop. A special thanks to Roger's Baroque Orchestra for period music on authentic instruments. This group consisted of Roger Buckton (flute) with Aart Brusse (viola da gamba), Joanna Fielding (violin with baroque bow), Jonathan Le Cocq (baroque guitar), Donald Moorhead (harpsicord), George Stewart (percussion) and Claire Weyland (violin). The harpsicord is not a portable instrument and roadies were required. These fine musicians came early to practice so Liz, John, Hilary and I were able to eat our evening meal to the acompaniment of Baroque melodies. John and Hilary taught us these dances: Indian Queen, Handel with Care, The Nightcap, Lady William's Delight and The Young Widow.

Saturday 4 February 2012 - Thank you everyone for the great turn out to welcome Ron and Cathy's contra tour. We had an top class band made up of some of our regulars and musicians from the tour: Evelyn Lloyd (ukulele), George Stewart (percussion, whistles), David Baxendell (guitar), David Wright (fiddle, mandoline), Cathy Arps (fiddle), Glenn Lee (accordion), Robin Gurule (keyboard), Claire Weyland (violin), Heather Gladstone (accordion) and Susan Jones (concertina). With them we had over 90 people. I got things rolling with a mixer and easy dance: Easy Progressive Contra and Here Comes the Muffin Man, and let the guest callers, Bob O'Brien and Alice Milmoe take over. Bob called: Swing Number Five, Dip and Dive, Golden Slippers and his own dance The Whirligig. Alice called: The Stockman's Bride, Flirtation Reel and Citronella Morning. As a reward for our young energetic dancers Wave of Tory to finish. Note Polly and Linda from the tour were asked into the special 7 couple set.

Friday 3 February 2012 - Ron and Cathy's contra tour arrived and came to our house for dinner and a dance. Some of the dancers and musicians who helped with the Lyttelton fundraisers came too. There were 40 of us and we danced in shifts to some great music. I called special dances I'd written for them, and they enjoyed them very much. The llamas enjoyed watching everyone dance. I borrowed my son's fish eye video camera to record the evening, unfortunately I pushed the wrong button and got this :-(

Saturday 7 January 2012 - Twenty people came to our house for a contra potluck picnic. The weather was great, no aftershocks, and the llamas enjoyed the visitors. Liz's brother and sister-in-law got a chance to see what we enjoy doing, and joined in the dancing. Roger and George formed a great duo to play for a few of the dances. As well as eating and talking we did these dances: Jefferson Heritage, Here Comes the Muffin Man, Chorus Jig, The Nice Combination and Heartbeat Contra.

Saturday 3 December 2011 - About 32 dancing. Geoff, David, Roger, Claire, Heather and George played. A nice dance to finish off the year. We did a variety of dances that people liked over this last year: Hey Fever, Simple Pleasures, The Devil's Backbone and a few new ones: Jefferson Heritage and Here Comes the Muffin Man. Thank you everyone for your support - musicians, dancers and helpers.

Saturday 5 November 2011 - About 40 dancing. Claire played lead backed up by David, Geoff, George and Justin. With lots of experienced dancers helping the new dancers we got thru some challenging dances. We had no fireworks for Guy Fawkes but Jefferson Heritage had us all popping.

Saturday 1 October 2011 - About 50 dancing. Our young dancers contribute so much energy to the dances. Congratulations to Gary on his contra calling debut. David, Geoff, George, Heather and Jonathan provided some exciting tunes for us, their bouncy jigs were great for Good Friday where everyone did a great job with the Rory O'More slides. We also danced and sang the round for Christchurch.

September, October and November 2011 - Together with Folkworks we ran 3 special contra dances as a fundraiser for Lyttelton.

Saturday 10 September 2011 - 64 dancers. Great music by Claire, Heather and George. Quite a few young early birds showed up at 6:45, so we did a quick "Up and down the hill but still chased." Ten dances during the evening. A great version of Easy Petronella and by special request Superfast Waves of Tory where 7 couples had to complete the dance that usually has 5 couples. A spider on the ceiling had this view.

Sunday 28 August 2011 in Kyoto. We had a great time with David and Yukie's group Contrakyoto. Most of our family came too. I called a few dances ( Cabot School mixer, Easy Petronella and Jefferson Revisited ) and we got a chance to dance to David's calling and great music from Bosco and Heja.

Saturday 6 August 2011 - 32 dancers. We did 11 dances some with a 'hey' theme. Geoff, Roger, Jonathan, Tom, Lorraine, George made up a very enthusiastic band.

Saturday 2 July 2011 - 61 dancers including 30 young dancers from the Loburn area. We did 13 dances. Heather, George, Justin and David drove us along with their fine music. Four video clips of the night are on my youtube page.

Tuesday 28 June 2011 - 32 Loburn Teens came for the second dose of contra! - Liz, Bev and Gail and six parents helped me. A great night, and they are ready for Saturday and will help with Heartbeat Contra.

Tuesday 21 June 2011 - Loburn Teens - Bill and Bev ran a special dance for the teens who showed up at the last monthly dance. They are keen to learn and are picking it up quickly.

Saturday 4 June 2011 - Queen's birthday weekend. Didn't expect a big crowd, but were surprised when 33 new dancers showed up. About 60 dancing! Roger, Jonathan and George provided a tight trio. We had special guests: Roger and his friends played their viols for some authentic period music for a Pavan and Bransle. Nataliya Oryshchuk and Phil Anderson taught us the steps.

Saturday 7 May 2011 - We had 36 dancers, and Contrafaction: Heather, Roger, Claire, Francis, Geoff, Justin and George provided a great sound. We had four young dancers from Waipara who requested Waves of Tory, the band played some 48 bar tunes.

23 April 2011 - The two Contra Dance workshops at the Easter Canterbury Folk Festival were well attendend by some very enthusiastic people. It was a great festival with some fantastic musicians!

Saturday 2 April 2011 - Post quake return to dancing, nice to see so many. We had 25 dancers, and Liquefaction: Heather, Roger, Jonathan, Geoff, Tom and George provided a great sound. Check out these videos of the great dancing and music: Simple Pleasures a grid contra by Bob Isaacs; Delphiniums and Daisies a lovely flowing dance by Tanya Rotenberg; and Star Crazy a mixer that generates lots of laughs. We were all in good voice for birthday boy Mikki.

Some of us traveled to Hororata the next day to listen to Roger and Jonathan's fund raising recital for Trinity Church, Darfield. It was a fantastic event. The old wooden church is an ideal venue for a small contra dance. I'm keen to do a fund raising dance for them, and the vicar was enthusiastic.

Saturday 12 March 2011 - Seven of us had a small dance at our house in the afternoon.

Saturday 5 February 2011 - We had 28 dancing and with great music by Claire, Heather, Roger, Geoff, David, Justin, Nigel, George and Tom.


Saturday 8 January 2011 - Nineteen of us got together for a pot luck meal and dance at our house.

Saturday 4 December 2010 - We had 32 dancing to the music of "Aftershock 5" - Heather, Jonathan, Justin, George and Nigel. A great end of year dance. Thank you all for your support this year. Check out the photo page. Also have a look at how well you did on First Bloom a 4 facing 4 dance.

Saturday 6 November 2010 - We had 37 dancing and "Aftershock 5" - Heather, Jonathan, Justin, David and George provided the lively music. We welcomed our Japanese friends Rieko and Nobuhiro who made a special trip to come to the dance. Everyone is getting better and better at these dances, learning how to put a few flourishes into the dance. I was especially happy with how the dance Mad Robin Imagination went. This is dance I wrote in 2008 for Liz. I've given it to callers in the US and it has been getting rave reviews over there.


Saturday 2 October 2010 - We had 32 dancing and a few spectators. "Aftershock 7" - Roger, Heather, Jonathan, Nigel, Justin, David and George did great job with the music. A special thanks to Kathryn for helping open up the hall.

Saturday 4 September 2010 - Not many dances get canceled because of an earthquake, but this one did. Click here if you want to hear the first 27 minutes of the seismograph compressed into 16 seconds.

Saturday 7 August 2010 - The debut of the contra dance band. A big thanks to David, Eric, George, Heather, Justin, Meg, Nigel and Roger. We appreciate the time you spent preparing, and it was a great performance. Again a good turnout of 32 dancing. Altogether 44 people worked to make a great night.


Saturday 3 July 2010 - Just past the shortest day, so spring is heading our way. A good turnout with 33 of us dancing. Kathryn made her calling debut! She did a great job with the Easy Petronella dance. Here is a video of the evening compressed into a minute and a half. Here is a public radio broadcast in the US about contra dancing there.

Saturday 5 June 2010 - The Queen's birthday! Unfortunately she could not come, but 16 of us enjoyed the dancing anyway. We had a small workshop on flourishes for dosido and ladies chain. We had three very keen and experienced contra dancers join with us: Rachel and Dover, from North Carolina, on short study exchanges; and Katie who is now living in CHCH and hoping to settle here.

Saturday 1 May 2010 - Special May Day dance with Maypoles donated by George. 29 dancers enjoy some contras and a bit of a laugh doing the entry, taking of ribbons, single plaiting, and the spiders web! Great music by Eric, Meg, David, Roger and George.

Saturday 3 April 2010 - I expected a small turnout due to Easter weekend, so we had it at our house. It grew from small to very cosy! We had 22 dancers, 7 musicians and 1 caller :-). We had a pot luck meal before the dance. Special thanks to the Magnificent Seven Band: Meg, Roger, Eric, Eric, Jo, Heather and George. Check out photos and these youtube videos: One Horse Reel, Easy Petronella, and Final Waltz.

Saturday 6 March 2010 - A very small but enthusiastic group (10) did a few Becket and other dances that had action for the inactives too. A big thanks to Jo who played accordion for us, it made the night special.

Friday 19 February 2010 - We had a fantastic special dance with Ron and Cathy's contra tour group. A total of 73 dancers (30 of them and 43 of us) danced a varied selection of contras to great callers and wonderful musicians.

5 December 2009 - The last of the year and BIGGEST by far. 48 dancing! A special thanks to Four Fifths of Folkworks (Roger, Michael, Heather and Fleur) for some fantastic music. Try and catch their gig in Akaroa on 30 January. Liz has helped me alot throughout the year with the organizing and looking after drinks and supper. A special thanks to Annette, Judy, David and the others who took on these tasks.

It was really good to see more experienced dancers helping less experienced dancers, even in some of the complicated dances the lines held together! It's been a fantastic year and the contra community is growing steadily.


14 November 2009 - Eric and Meg were back and joined by Heather for a great band! 26 people attended including 6 new dancers. Welcome!


3 October 2009 - Lots of the regulars were away, but Harry brought some friends, and we had 3 Australians show up! So twenty people danced. We were lucky again to have live music provided by Eric and Meg. They came up from Dunedin and stayed with us in our new house.

1 August 2009 - Twenty six people continued the theme from the previous month with a bit of Rory O'More rolling. Everyone is getting good at memorizing the dances! Check out this YouTube clip of us dancing "Stopping by Woods" by David Smuckler. A big thanks to Eric and Meg from New Hampshire who are keen contra dancers and musicians in the band Leigheas for coming all the way up from Dunedin to dance with us and play a few brackets.


11 July 2009 - Twenty two people showed up on the cold night to kick off the winter dances.

Anzac Day: A great turn out. A great band: King Cole and his Fiddlers Three, formed especially for this dance. A big thank you to Emma, Pearl, Christine and Lou on fiddles and Leyland on the bass. The contra community is starting to build up here. People are getting good at remembering the dances, and it was great to be able to dance to live music. Thanks you to everyone for helping with supper, tea and cleaning up. Thanks to Heather for the loan of equipment for the band.

Easter weekend 2009 - The Canterbury Folk Festival was a great success - a fantastic weekend. Thanks you Russell and all the crew! Bill and Jeremy called the Friday evening barn dance. Bill ran two contra workshops. Everyone got into some really smooth dancing grooving to the music.

14 March 2009 - Great turn out with 32 dancers. As part of International Money Musk day, we danced this traditional dance. Check out this video.

28 February 2009 - The dance at Addington School hall was a great success. Everyone (28 dancers) warmed up nicely on the cold and rainy night.

6 February 2009 - Wellington Contra caller Cashy Yates ran a great contra dance as part of the 8th FDNZ National Camp: Farandol's 30th Anniversary Extravaganza.

Waitangi Weekend 2009 - Bill ran three contra workshops at the Waihi Bush Music Festival.

Sunday Afternoon 27 July 2008 - 20 people on a cold July day


Contra Beginnings 2 in Christchurch Sunday 13 April 2008 - A great dance.


Contra Dance Workshop 2008 Canterbury Folk Festival Saturday 22 March 11am - About 50 people got a taste of contra dancing at the festival. Thanks to some fantastically skilled musicians we were able to dance to live music all the time. Special thanks to Jeremy, Russell and Sophia. People got into the groove of contra dance by "giving weight." It was great to hear the feet hitting the floor in unison on the "balance and swings."

Contra Beginnings in Christchurch Sunday 9 March 2008 - Sunday afternoon 20 dancers, 5 musicians and 2 callers joined together to make a fun dance. Special thanks to the HRC trio (Heather, Roger and Claire) for the great music. Also to Dave and George for providing a nice bass line and rhythm section. Thanks to Sue for calling a dance and giving helpful style suggestions. Thanks to Liz for all the behind the scene organization and encouragement.