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Contra Dancing in Fort Collins

Contra Dances run most 1st and 3rd Saturdays. See schedule below.
next dance: December 17th, live music with Julia Hays & Ben Cohen, Sam Smith calling
see the Flyer below for our special Christmas Day Holi-Dance, special time 5-9 p.m.

Dances run 7–10 p.m.
Beginner’s Workshop at 6:15 p.m. (or thereabouts)

$10–15 sliding scale, $5 less for students
Public welcome. No tickets needed, just pay at door

We dance at the fabulous Masonic Ballroom, with its gorgeous sprung wood dance floor.
225 W. Oak St., Fort Collins: Directions (google maps)

Holiday Dance Holidance 2022

Schedule of Bands and Callers:

Check the CFOOTMAD.org calendar for upcoming dances throughout the Denver area.

  • December 3rd, Avourneen with Tina Fields calling: Denver-based trio that specializes in Irish folk, doesn’t have direct geographic ties to Ireland. The band is composed of guitarist/vocalist Adam Goldstein, a Denver native, violinist CL Morden, an import from California, and Alice on bass. Check out their website.
  • December 17th, Julia Hays & Ben Cohen with Sam Smith calling
  • December 25th, Christmas Day, 6-9pm, Adam Goldstein, Andy Reiner, Alice on bass with Helle Hill calling.

Callers and bands: E-mail  FoTD@FoTD.org or call the FoTD hotline at 970-829-8689 with booking inquiries.

Balls and special events: temporarily on hiatus. Let us know if you're interested in helping organize!

What is Contra Dancing?

Contra dancing is a form of American folk dancing, usually danced to live music of Celtic origin. Although it has been done since the eighteenth century, contra dancing is a living tradition. Thousands of people contra dance every week all over the country, and new contra dances are being written all the time. Contra dancers form an informal community locally, regionally, and nationally.

Check out this NPR story on Contra Dancing!

Here's what Contra dancing looks like:

Contra dancing is a very easy form of dance to learn, but the music is lively and the dancing is vigorous and aerobic. Each dance is taught by the caller, who cues the dancers through the moves in the dance. Contra dance moves are similar to square dance moves, but sets of couples dance in facing lines. Each time through the dance, each couple dances with the couple next to them, and ends by trading places with that couple. In the course of a dance, each couple dances with every other couple in the set. Contra dancing combines the pleasure of dancing with your partner with the pleasure of dancing with everybody in the room.

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra dance you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. And you don't have to come with a partner. At a contra dance, it is customary to dance with a variety of partners. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone they haven't met before to dance. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

You may also want to check out some attempts by Gary D. Shapiro to answer the question, "What Is Contra Dance?"

COVID Policy

The FoTD board has determined criteria under which we will dance based on what we believe is prudent and reasonable, given the current conditions:

  • Initial course of vaccinations required, booster not required.
  • Masks optional.
  • No dance when CDC level is “high.”

We understand that many in our community cannot or choose not to vaccinate, and we will miss you on the dance floor. Please understand these decisions have been made for the health of all of us — dancers as well as our larger community of family and friends.

Additional resources:


Let us know if you have questions! We are thrilled to have beginners at all our Fort Collins dances.

email: board@fotd.org