Photo from GODS Weekend by Dave Pokorney

Please continue to check our website here, our Facebook page, and our Google group (email list) for announcements about the resumption of our dances.


Where are the dances held?

Initially, as we resume dancing again, at:
Echo Pavilion
(outdoor/open-air pavilion)
at Gainesville Health & Fitness Main Center
4820 W Newberry Rd, Gainesville, FL

How much does it cost?

Suggested Donation:
$10 [age 26+]
$ 5 [age 16-25]
Free [age 15 and under]
(Special dances may have higher suggested donations.)

When are the dances?

Third Fridays, initially, as we resume dancing again.

How difficult is contra dance?

Contra dance is done with a lively, walking step. You simply walk in time to the music – one step for each beat of music. There is no fancy footwork required. There is a caller for every dance who walks the dancers through the moves before the music begins and continues to call until the dancers are confidently moving through the dance. If you can walk, you can contra dance!

How do I learn the dances?

There is a workshop for beginners 15 minutes before the dance. It is highly recommended that newcomers attend these workshops. You will be given a good foundation that will help you relax and have fun! Typically, the dances have more simple patterns in the early part of the evening. As the evening progresses, there will be additional moves taught and added so that by the end of the night, you will have experienced most of the basic moves. If you remember one or two of those after the dance is over, that’s great! You’ll get comfortable with more moves when you come back again. Before long, you’ll be one of the experienced dancers helping the newcomers learn to contra dance! And remember that even those of us who have danced for years sometimes forget what comes next or get turned around. So, when that happens, LAUGH! We’re all in this dance together. The contra dance mantra is, “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!”

Do I need to bring a partner?

You do not need to bring a partner. Contra dancing is a community event and the tradition is that we trade partners after every dance. Even if you come with a partner, you will usually dance with many different people in one evening. Our experienced dancers are great at inviting the newcomers to dance. Dancing with an experienced partner decreases your confusion level and is the best way to learn to contra dance.

What do I wear?

Contra dance can be very aerobic. You will be happiest wearing cool, comfortable clothing — short sleeves or sleeveless tops, and shorts or skirts. There is no “proper” way to dress for contra; you’ll see a little bit of everything. Your shoes should be flat or low heeled and something that will stay firmly on your feet. A smooth sole that can slide easily on the floor is ideal.

Fragrance-free space

As a favor to dancers who are sensitive or allergic, please refrain from wearing cologne, perfume, or scented products, or clothes smelling of cigarettes or incense. Deodorants are permitted.

What kind of atmosphere will I find at contra dances?

You will find a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere at contra dances. Children are welcome to dance with us. There is no drinking or smoking at our dances. Contra dancers don’t just dance together — we are a community. We hope that you will join us!