The Montpelier Contra Dance happens every first, third, and fifth Saturday from 8–11 pm at the Capital City Grange hall. We celebrated our restart on April 16, 2022, with 200 dancers in attendance, after more than two years on hiatus due to the COVID pandemic. We have held successful, joyful dances regularly since then.
If this is your first time dancing with us, please keep reading after the COVID section for a basic overview of our dance.
The Montpelier Contra Dance is currently masks optional. We will continue to provide masks free of charge to anyone who wants one. Everyone is welcome at our dance, whether or not you choose to wear a mask! We will continue to monitor the public health situation and we will revisit this decision as COVID numbers shift, as we have done for all of our COVID policy decisions so far. You can read more about the reasoning behind this policy change here.
If someone tests positive / notification of COVID cases
Please inform us if you test positive for COVID in the 5 days following a dance by emailing email@example.com. If we get a report that someone who has been at a dance has tested positive, we will send out a notification to all the people who have opted in to notifications. We will also post any reports of COVID cases on this web page and on our Facebook page.
If you would like to receive notifications of any reported COVID cases following a dance, you may sign up here. Signing up for notifications is optional.
Please stay home if:
- If you or someone in your household had your first positive test result for COVID within 10 days before a dance, please do not attend.
- If you have symptoms of COVID or otherwise feel sick, please do not attend.
We’ll miss you and we’ll see you at the next dance. Feel better soon! If you have questions about when it’s safe to return to the dance following a COVID infection, please contact the organizers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not require proof of vaccination to attend the dance. You can read more about the reasoning behind this policy here.
Ventilation & filtration
The Capital City Grange has improved the ventilation in the hall since 2020. This includes installing a new whole-room exhaust fan in the ceiling, which pulls fresh air in through the windows. You can expect the windows to be fully open, so dress accordingly. The Grange has also built and installed four room air filter boxes on each floor that circulate air and filter it to trap particles, including COVID aerosol-sized particles. These may be running as well.
What if things change?
The dance organizing team will revisit these requirements as COVID numbers shift. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that we may need to adapt what we’re doing to work with changing circumstances. Please check this webpage or our Facebook page at facebook.com/montpeliercontradance for the most up to date information before you come dancing. You can also sign up for the Montpelier Contra Dance email newsletter at this link.
What is contra dancing?
Contra dancing brings joy and laughter and friends into your life. It is fun beyond words. Contra dancing is done to live music — guitar and fiddle and other instruments, playing jigs and reels. A caller teaches each dance, and tells you what to do. You just need to know how to walk! No need to bring a partner. Our dance uses gender-neutral role terms, and we strive to be a safe place for everyone to dance.
When: 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturdays, 8–11 p.m
Newcomers lesson offered around 7:40 pm
Where: at the Capital City Grange in Berlin (located on Northfield Street/Route 12 just south of the I-89 overpass),
Cost: Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for kids or low-income, $20 for dance supporters–choose the right price for your budget!
What to bring: We suggest light, comfortable clothing — expect to wear short sleeves or a tank top, even in winter. Please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to preserve our floor. Bring a water bottle to refill at our water fountain/bottle filler. Masks are optional.
Wait, so how does contra dancing work?
Contra dances are done in lines of couples. Beginners, singles, and all ages are welcome; all dances are taught. Each couple follows the calls, dancing with another couple. After you and your partner have done the dance figures with one couple, you do them with the next couple in line. By the end of the dance you have danced with everyone in your set.
There are about 8 or 9 dances in an evening. The convention is to ask a different partner for each dance and to ask people you don’t know to dance. You get to hear lively music, enjoy some exercise, meet your neighbors, and participate in a lively folk community and living tradition.
We are a friendly and open dance community. Whoever you are, we invite you to come share the joy of dancing with us!
Helpful hints: For new or experienced dancers, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips and dance etiquette.
The Montpelier Contra Dance’s mission is to run a welcoming and consistently high-caliber dance. We are committed to:
- Promoting and nurturing dancing for people of all ages and levels of experience in an environment that feels open and safe
- Providing a variety of musicians and callers that represent a compelling mix of local, regional, and national talent; and
- Encouraging the dance community to support the Capital City Grange as a great place to dance.
Want more info?
Sign up to get email reminders about dances, notifications about cancellations, and other dance info. No information is shared or sold from this list! Click on THIS LINK, to fill out a sign-up form. Questions? Email Tim Swartz: email@example.com
For more information about the Montpelier Contra Dance, call Tim at 802-225-8921, or email him at the address above.
For information about booking bands and callers, contact Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the organizers
The Montpelier Contra Dance organizing team is a volunteer group of Montpelier dancers. If you have questions, concerns, suggestions, or want to know more about the Montpelier dance at any time, feel free to talk with one of these folks:
- Will Cleland
- Dana Dwinell-Yardley
- Kurt Giavara
- Patty Giavara
- Noah Harrison
- Alice Smolinsky
- Tim Swartz
- Thomas Weiss
Live elsewhere but want to try contra dancing?
For a listing of other dances, visit Try Contra: trycontra.com