Country Dance*New York & Country Dance and Song Society to Offer Free Contra Dance for Beginners, 1/11

Country Dance*New York and the Country Dance and Song Society are sponsoring a special free contra dance geared for beginners - ContraResolution - on Saturday, January 11th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Church of the Village (201 West 13th Street). No previous experience is required and it is not necessary to come with a partner. Each beginner will be paired with an experienced dancer.

Dynamic and spirited live accompaniment will be provided by one of the hottest bands on the circuit, Boston-based Nor'easter. Cedar Stanistreet (fiddle), Max Newman (mandolin/guitar), and Julie Vallimont (piano/accordion) play their joyous, uplifting music at dances and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Nor'easter showcases a fresh, contemporary approach to traditional tunes. Layered, dance-driven arrangements and fiery performance are the hallmarks of their sound.

Will Mentor, a hugely popular caller from Northern Vermont beloved for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence, will lead the dance.

Contra dance is having a renaissance throughout the country thanks to a thriving youth scene; high energy, acoustic music; and joyful, fast-paced dancing. There are lots of opportunities for flirting and fun. Contra dance started in New England in the 1700s, but the modern version is a far cry from the Virginia Reel-type dancing done in schools years ago. The current dancing is done in long lines of dancers facing their partners and moving briskly in easy-to-learn patterns to live music.

This event is supported in part by the Gadd/Merrill Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society (

General Information: Admission to the January 11 special afternoon contra dance for beginners is free. Everyone who attends the free afternoon dance will receive a coupon for $5 off the $15 regular admission price for that evening's contra dance beginning at 8:00pm (also with caller Will Mentor and music by Nor'easter). For more information visit the Country Dance*New York website, or call The Dancephone at 212.459.4080. Attendees are asked to bring a separate pair of clean, soft-soled shoes for dancing.

The dance will be held in CD*NY's home for over 60 years, the Church of the Village, 201 West 13th Street, corner of 7th Avenue, which is easily accessible from the 14th Street 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, and F trains.

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by Barnett Serchuk