Thursday Night Contra Dance in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA 19119

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2019 Calendar

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Contra Dance in Mt Airy PA
Every Thursday night at the Commodore Barry Club
Third Saturdays (7:30pm) at Summit Church
8 to 11 pm every Thursday Night ~ Instruction at 7:30pm

Sliding scale -- pay what you can!
Local bands: $15-$5; *touring bands $20-$8.
Free admission for children 12 and under.

Community round table discussions on role terms (e.g. Gents and Ladies, Larks and Ravens)
October 10 and October 24 before the dance, at 6:30 in the Commodore Barry Room (between the ballroom and the bar)

Oct. 3 Tavi Merrill
The Orphans - Miranda Weinberg (fiddle), Peter Buchak (accordion), Ben Kennedy (piano)
Oct. 10 Michael Kernan

Coracree - Jane Rothfield (fiddle), Sarah Gowan (guitar), Bill Quern (mando, banjo, melodeon), Allan Carr (bass)

(Preceded by a Community Round Table Discussion on role terms )

Oct. 17 Ridge Kennedy
with other callers
SPUDS - Philadelphia's Phabulous Pickup Band
Oct. 19
Jan Alter

Pieces of Eight - Location: Summit Church
Note new start and end time for Third Saturday dances: 7:30 to 10:30 pm

Oct. 24 Sam Rotenberg

Galen and Jared - Galen Kirkpatrick, Jared Kirkpatrick

(Preceded by a Community Round Table Discussion on role terms - 6:30pm in the Commodore Barry Room)

Oct. 31 Dave Rupp
with other callers
Raise the Roof - Mat Clark (fiddle, mando), Bob Pasquarello (bass), Judi Stellar (hammered dulcimer), Kathy Talvitie (guitar)
(Larks and Ravens will be used after the break.)

We dance every Thursday night (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) in Mt. Airy at the Commodore Barry Club, 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (directions). The Third Saturday Contra Dance is at Summit Church, also in Mt. Airy. We thank the staff of Glenside Memorial Hall for supporting our dances for nearly 20 years.

Sliding Scale Admission

We offer admission to our Thursday night dance on a $15-$5 sliding scale *($20-$8 for touring bands).
Some guidelines to help you decide how much to pay:

Local bands *Touring bands
$15 $20 Dance supporter - you make it possible for others to come to our dance. Thank you!
$10 $12 Dance sustainer - you make our dance sustainable by paying enough to help us meet our costs.
$5 $8 Basic admission - on a tight budget? You too are a valued member of our community. We're happy you're coming to dance!

No one is turned away for lack of funds. Ask us about work grants.

Larks and Ravens

As part of our mission to make contra dancing accessible to anyone who wants to dance, we are experimenting with non-gendered dance role terms. On selected evenings, dances will be called using the terms
"Larks" (for the dancers generally on the left, traditionally the "gents") and
"Ravens" (for the dancers generally on the right, traditionally the "ladies").

At every dance, we encourage people to dance whichever role(s) they like, and to dance with whoever is coming at you!

Role Terms Taskforce and Round Table Discussions

The Role Terms Taskforce is working to guide discussion and identify options for the future. The Taskforce will be hosting round table discussions where community members can learn about, discuss and contribute to the decision about the role terms to be used at our dance. The discussions will take place on October 10 and 24, at 6:30pm before the dance in the Commodore Barry Room (between the ballroom and the bar). Please come to at least one session.

If you wish to express your views and you are unable to attend either session, please and let us know when and how you would like to participate. We are open to scheduling an additional round table session in November.

(Read more about the Role Terms Taskforce, including a timeline, reasons why and why not to change, discussion and dancers' comments, and the membership vote in March of 2020.)

Tell your friends!

If this is your first time, WELCOME! 
"If you can walk and count to 4, you can contra dance!"

Not your first time? Bring your friends and let them too discover the joy, energy, swirling awesomeness, and just plain fun of contra dancing!

As contra dancers, we need to always be recruiting in order to grow our dance and have more fun. Now is the time to start talking to that friend who you think would love to dance with us.

The best way to get people to try something new is to personally ask them: share your love for dancing, bring them early, teach them how to swing, et cetera. The more we grow our dance, the more fun we can all have. Who will you recruit? Will it be someone from work? Someone from your place of worship? Someone from your knitting group or Zumba class? A stranger on the street?

See you and your new dancer friends soon!

Want to Know More?

See Welcome Information for more about the volunteer-run Thursday Night Dance and general information about Contra Dancing. See also the article "Mt Airy Contra, Dancing with your Neighbor" (by Kae Kalwaic, with a video clip). See our contact page to get answers to your questions or to volunteer.

Weather-Related Cancellations
In case of inclement weather please check this website or our Facebook page.


The Summit Pick Up Dance Society (SPUDS) is open to all musicians who wish to participate, and has musicians of different levels of ability among its members. Since it is a contra dance band, the tunes range from reels and jigs to waltzes. We play for the Thursday night dance about seven times a year and occasionally for other events. For more information on how you can take part, including jams and rehearsals, visit the SPUDS website or contact SPUDS Coordinators Kim Neubauer and Bill Quern.



Third Saturday Contra Dance at Summit Church in Mt. Airy
The Seven Day Dance Guide for links to dances in the Philadelphia region
Ted Crane's Dance Database
Contra Dance Links
Germantown Country Dancers
Mostly Waltz
Join us on Facebook
Join us on Meetup



The Thursday Night Contra Dance is sponsored by Philadelphia Area Traditional Music and Dance (PATMAD), a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation that is an affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society. PATMAD also sponsors the Third Saturday Contra Dance, SPUDS, and Allons Danser. PATMAD's non-profit filings are available from

PATMAD is committed to the safety and comfort of the people who attend the events it sponsors.

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