Country Dance*New York Announces December 15 Contra Dance

Country Dance*New York Announces December 15 Contra Dance

Country Dance*New York will present a contra dance with live, high energy music by the Boston-based trio Nor'easter, on Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 8:00 pm to 10:45 pm at the Chinatown YMCA's Houston Street Center (273 Bowery, near Houston Street, Manhattan). No previous experience is required. From 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm there is a beginner's contra workshop, and the caller walks everyone through the patterns of each dance.

Contra dancing 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 patterns to live music, sometimes changing partners.

Live music will be provided by the Boston-based trio Nor'easter with Cedar Stanistreet (fiddle), Max Newman (mandolin/guitar), and Julie Vallimont (piano). Drawing from New England traditions, they create an exciting, joyous sound and have been bringing infectious, uplifting music to dance floors throughout the U.S. since 2008. Their first CD, Nor'easter, is available from the band's website ( The popular caller, Bev Birnbaum will lead the proceedings. Her clear teaching and calling have made her a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.

Contra dancing is having a renaissance around the country, thanks to a thriving youth scene; high energy, acoustic music; and joyful, fast-paced, aerobic dancing. There is plenty of swinging your partner and lots of fun, flirting and eye contact. Some men wear kilts or skirts. Women dance with men, men dance with men, and women dance with women.

General Information:
Admission (for dancers at all levels from beginners to experienced) is $15 general public, and $12 for full-time students with ID. First timers get a free pass to use to come another time.

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.

Traveling to 273 Bowery (and Houston Street) via subway: Take the 6 train to Bleecker Street stop, the F train to Second Avenue stop, or the B or D train to Broadway and Lafayette Street.