Welcome to Cincinnati Contra Dancing!

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. (Vicki Baum)

The fiddler tunes the strings. The guitar player strums a couple of chords. Around the room, the dancers ask for a partner for the first contradance of the evening. Smiles are plentiful. Cares are left at the door. For the past two hundred years people across America have gathered in houses, churches, and dance halls for the wonderful evenings of social contradancing. Easily accessible by all people, it requires no special training or natural talent. Young and old, tall and short, fast and slow, all can come and have a beautiful evening, interacting with friends in simple and beautiful traditional dances. Melodies, though old, sound fresh and new each time as the dancing lives on, each time similar to the last, but never the same. Every Monday evening, the Cincinnati Contradancers host a dance at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center for the enjoyment of all who care to attend. Come be a part of the tradition. It won't be the same without you! (S. Tossey )

Dance Location and Schedule

The dances are held at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming. We generally dance every Monday night at 8 pm. There is a free Intro Session at 7:30 and the dance runs from 8-10 pm. Monday dances cost $5 for ages 18 and over and $2 for students and ages 13-17. Children 12 and under are free, and must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Monday dances are free admission for anyone who is attending for the first time.

Some contra basics

Contra is a communal style folk dance that is fun and easy to learn. No partner or experience is necessary.  A caller leads the dancers though a series of moves. Since it's a communal dance, most people change partners after each dance.

Dress comfortably, since the dances are energetic and you will get warm! Common attire for either gender is shorts or jeans and t-shirts. Many prefer flowing skirts because they're fun to dance in. Please wear soft-soled, non-marking shoes in order to preserve the dance floor. High heels are not allowed on the dance floor.

Contra is a style of dance where it's more important to have fun than do the dance a particular way, where people are friendly and welcoming, and where others will be glad to help you learn the basic steps. A Dancer Expectations document is available if you'd like more detail on how we try to make the dances an enjoyable experience for all.

Why We Contra Dance

We asked ourselves as a community what we loved most about contra dance. Here's what we found out! We took everyone's answers and consolidated them into a visual representation called a word cloud. The more frequently a word or idea was mentioned by our community, the larger and bolder the text appears in the word cloud.

Also, this excellent video from Jim Crawford features dancers from the Chattahoochee Country Dancers (Atlanta area) speaking about their appreciation for contra dancing.