Why We Contradance
In Missoula, we believe contradancing is for folks who value community and enjoy connecting with others -- all while having fun and dancing to lively fiddle music.
Contradancing is easy to learn and all dances are taught from scratch. Most folks can't stop smiling once they get going!
In this video, Chattahoochee Country Dancers tell why they contradance. True for Missoulians as well.
Check out these past contra dances at UM, Lubrecht & Flathead Lake!
Contradancing explained simply
Contra Dances begin with two lines running the length of the hall, usually a line of men and a line of women facing each other. These two lines are called a “set.” You and a partner (who could be anyone) will join a set. Each dance is taught from scratch so no experience is necessary.
A “caller” will walk you slowly through simple figures in the dance, e.g. circle left. When the music starts — usually with a lively band — the caller will continue "calling" out the figures to guide you through the dance with your partner. Pretty simple and fun!
Contra Dance Music is very lively and is often an Irish jig, reel or old time tune. Jigs are in 6/8 time (somewhat "bouncy" -- think of someone dancing a jig) and reels are in 4/4 time (think of someone walking briskly.) Some of the tunes are driving fiddle tunes and others are a bit slower and more elegant. All are fun to dance to.