This Resources page is intended for people anywhere who work with contradance and community “barn” dances. It also has begun to include some song resources at the end.
If you want to contra dance in the Boulder, CO area, see my Contra Calling page instead.
(I initially created this page because my email program wouldn’t properly upload an attachment to send on, damn its pixelly silicon eyes! But perhaps that will turn out to be a blessing in disguise, ’cause now here this resource is.
Main Contradance Hookups
- Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) (an amazing resource. If you enjoy this kind of dance, please consider becoming a member.)
- The Dance Gypsy (for finding local dances, festivals, and performers)
Dances – Links to Sites of Inestimable Wheeees
This section contains a slowly-growing resource list for other dance callers — links to great collections of dances you can call, and tips on how to do so well.
- Shared Weight (a terrific resource for contra dance callers to talk shop)
- Contradance Database – crowdsourced deliciousness, allowing you to look for dances by figure, name, or choreographer!
- Lloyd Shaw Foundation
- Sample dance program for new dancers
- Folk Dance Notes
- EZ Amos: Dancing for Busy People
- A Barn Dance Repertoire – by Thomas Green and Colin Hume in the U.K.
- Community and Colonial Dance videos by Patricia Campbell
- Childgrove English & Anglo-American Dance Archives
- National Library of Scotland – Dancing Masters’ collection
- Square Dance History Project (includes PDFs of entire books of calls)
- How to lead a Spiral Dance
Contra dances by Individual Choreographers:
- Melanie Axel-Lute
- Paul Balliet
- Ron Blechner
- Erik Hoffmann
- Gene Hubert
- Chris Kermiet
- Linda Leslie
- Rick Mohr
- Carol Ormand
- Chris Page
- Joseph Pimentel
- Cary Ravitz (includes notes on how to call dances)
- Sue Rosen
- Seth Tepfer
- William Watson
- Yoyo Zhou
This section is intended for paper-trained musicians with whom I will call a dance. Here you’ll find pdfs of sheet music that go with specific dances.
Singing Squares music
(Because they’re sung, these tunes are presented in my preferred keys)
- Aupres de ma Blonde (for the dance I Want To Be Near You)
- Hot Time – A
- Just Because – C – or – Just Because – D
- I Don’t Know Why – C
- The Sheikh of Araby (unsure which of these is best…)
- Sheik of Araby – C (scored by Ron Sommers for the singing square)
- Sheik of Araby_key of C full score w chords
- Two more versions of Sheik as a song (easier to read by FAR but needs tweaking for the square):
Other Sung Dances (also in my preferred keys)
Music for other dances with special tunes: Contras, Chestnuts, and Circle Dances, both sacred and fiery.
(the key for the following can be transposed at will; it does not affect calling)
Other fabulous sheet music sources
- New Orleans jazz Jambook
- North Atlantic Tune List (great for learning trad dance tunes – has listenable mp3s too)
- Hoedown Jambook from Balance & Swing
Songs you can easily learn!!!
- First must come a shout-out to mudcat.org – the most excellent site for song nerds to share lyrics & versions of lyrics, post questions for discussion, and more.
- Anti-War Songs (a LOT, in many languages – 10, 566 in English alone)
- Celtic song lyrics on DarachWeb
- Goofy camp song favorites (with videos to learn them)
- Gospel songs to sing with groups