I'm a bit
of a dance fanatic. I started with contra in 2000, and have since
branched out into swing (east coast and lindy), waltz, cajun/zydeco,
and 19th century ballroom (polka, mezerka, shottische, etc.).
One of my
favorite venues in San Francisco was Friday
Night Waltz, which combines waltz with a variety of other
19th century ballroom dances, to an eclectic DJ mix. Fun, energetic,
mixed crowd. Now that I'm not in the Bay Area, I deeply appreciate
this unique community that I've left behind.
A good time
can also be had at Gaskell's
Ball in Oakland-- a formal ball with many of the same dances.
The picture to the right is me at Gaskell's, in my Victorial gown.
Photo courtesy of Matt Rollefson.
And the best
cajun/zydeco is at Eagle's
Hall in Alameda (Friday nights) and most Tuesdays at Ashkenaz
in Berkeley -- a truly wonderful local dance and music venue.
ago, I was crazy for contra dancing. If you don't know why, then
you haven't tried it. It's a great way to start dancing!
Do you want
to know the area contra dances going on? Please visit this Ukiah
to the Bay calendar or the BACDS
calendar (for Bay Area only)-- this will tell you, each week,
what regularly scheduled dances are happening in each of the following
towns: San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, El Cerrito Santa Rosa,
Sonoma, San Rafael, Sebastopol, Calistoga, Ukiah, Santa Cruz and
Felton, Monterey and Aromas. You can also find the Monterey Bay
and Santa Cruz Area contra dances by visiting Traditional
Dancers of Santa Cruz.
dancing is a type of country dancing, done to live music, -- mostly
jigs and reels. It's fun and energetic, flirtatious, with lots
of partner switching, and full of surprises. Here's a really good
answer to the
question, "what is contra?".
Here is an
radio piece on contra dancing (with interviews with lots of
some particularly beautiful
photos of contra dancing by an innovative photographer.
are contra camps I've been to. Have you been there
links for photos. (I only update this sometimes)
Carnivale, San Luis Obsispo, CA. 2006, 2007, 2008.
Awakening, Harbin Hot Springs CA. 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,
Fool, Seattle WA. 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007.
- Echo Summit,
Lake Tahoe CA. 2004.
- Fire Ant
Frolic, Austin TX. 2004.
Toyon, Aptos CA. Spring 2003, Fall 2003, Spring 2004, Spring
- Fall Has
Sprung, Grass Valley CA. 2002, 2003, 2005.
into Summer, Grass Valley CA. 2002, 2003, 2004.
- SOKA Summer
Solstice, CA. 2004, 2006.
Floor Festival, Santa Barbara CA. 2004, 2005.
Moon Festival, Santa Barbara CA. 2003, 2004, 2007.
Folklife, Seattle WA. 2003, 2006, 2007.
Area Country Dance Society (BACDS) - San Francisco, Berkeley,
Palo Alto, El Cerrito.
Bay Country Dance Society (NBCDS) - Santa Rosa, Sonoma, San
Rafael, Sebastopol, Calistoga, and Ukiah.
Dancers of Santa Cruz (TDSC) - Santa Cruz and Felton
Country Dance Society (MCDC) - Monterey and Aromas dances
camps in the Bay Area
CA bluegrass society
England dances - find any kind of dance on this search site
And the gold
standard for finding dances anywhere is the
Dance Gypsy site.