About the Gainesville Oldtime Dance Society

The Gainesville Oldtime Dance Society (GODS) is a non-profit Florida corporation (501c3) organization under the Country Dance and Song Society of America. GODS was formed around 1986.


To contact the webmaster or the GODS Steering Committee: e-mail us.

GODS has no paid administrative positions; all administrative/governance positions and all organizational/operational tasks are undertaken by volunteers. A Board and officers are elected from the membership. GODS is well organized and solvent.

GODS mission is to further traditional dance and music, and to sponsor community dance events. Primary focus is on regularly scheduled American contra dance events. Other featured dance forms include waltz, English country dance, percussive dances such as clogging or flatfoot dance, Irish dance, Balfolk, Scottish, and other traditional dance.

  • No membership requirement or fee. ALL events are open to the public. The GODS is a community asset.
  • There is a suggested fee per dance, but no dancer is ever turned away for inability to pay.
  • The main venue for the GODS is the Thelma Boltin Center. Occasionally the MLK Center is utilized for contra dance. The GODS have also held waltz events at the Historic Thomas Center.
  • Events are open to all skill levels of dancing and newcomers are welcome – there is a teaching workshop for beginners before each regular dance; infrequent Advanced Dances have no workshop. Partners are not required. Contra dancing is a community event and the tradition is to trade partners after every dance.
  • There is no drinking or smoking at a contra dance. Contra dance prides itself on providing a safe environment. Children are welcome to dance with us when they attend accompanied by an adult.
  • It costs $600+ to hold a regularly scheduled dance; it can cost much more depending on the talent (the band, the caller, and the sound tech). In addition to the talent, other costs include hall rental and CDSS insurance.
  • The GODS dance on the first Sunday afternoon of every month and the third Saturday evening of every month and every fifth Sunday afternoon; additionally there are special dances, and the Annual 'Dancing with the GODS' Weekend (3-day event) held since 2004 in February.
  • The GODS host about thirty dance days per year, with an average attendance of about 100 participants.
  • Details, FAQs, and the calendar can be found on the various tabs (above) of this website.

Periodic meetings of the GODS Board of Directors (Steering Committee) are open to the public. Minutes of meetings can be found here.

A complete year-by-year list of GODS Board of Directors/Steering Committee members can be found here.