Note: Winter hours, starting now 7:00 pm
Dance 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Bill will be calling
Hamish, Rowan Michelle and Arwen will assist
Recorded music by top contra dance bands in the USA!
No Experience Needed!
No Partners Needed!
All Dances Taught!
Easy and Lots of Fun!
An Alcohol Free Community Oriented Event.
(Bickies and water available during dance)
Adults $10, Children under 11 years $5, Family $20
Nelson Contra Dances So Far
8 June 2019 - 28 dancing! The early 7 pm start worked well. My granddaughter Iris was able to come for the first half. We did nine dances. Everyone enjoyed coming back cozy again!
11 May 2019 - 26 dancing! Everyone enjoyed coming back cozy! Will do Dog Branch Reel by Bob Dalsemer again! We all voted to starting earlier during the winter.
13 April 2019 - 32 dancing! Thanks for this fantastic support. We did quite a variety of dances with so many experienced dances.
9 March 2019 - Welcome back to Victory - 16 dancing. With this turnout we can keep the dancing going.
10 November 2018 - 26 dancing. A great dance to end the year! At last minute had to change venue. Michelle found the YMCA hall and we used Hamish’s gear.
14 October 2018 - Cancelled
8 Sept 2018 - 6 dancing. Hamish, Michelle and Rowan ran the dance.
11 August 2018 - 16 dancing. Nice to be back again.
14 July 2018 - Bill had a bad cold and the dance was cancelled. Hopefully next month.
9 June 2018 - 17 dancing great that numbers are on the rise again. Nice to see some regulars returning and some new faces.
12 May 2018 - 9 dancing, did some unusual dances for small numbers plus a few squares and two contras.
14 April 2018 - 14 dancing, did quite a variety of dances. Nice to have Rob and Susi join us from Hokitika and two visitors traveling around NZ.
10 March 2018 - The very small turnout was disappointing. Still 5 experienced dancers helped 5 new dancers with seven different dances, and we all had fun.
7,8 and 10 February 2018 - Three contra dances with Allemande Joy tour. We got between 10 to 20 local dancers to dance with the 30 from the tour. Bill and Janie call a few and the tour callers Chris Deephouse, Donna Hunt, Ed Hall, Mike Boerschig and Tina Fields taught us a lot of new dances. The musicians: Arlene Jamar: Keyboard; Aubrey Swift: Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar; Betsy Foote: Fiddle; Glenn Lee: Accordion; Mike Boerschig: Guitar; Rob Lindauer: Viola; Robin Fox: Fiddle; Tom Gebhardt: Percussion. On Saturday Nigel joined in on Cajon. Hamish set up sound.
11 November 2017 - 13 danced, Bill (& Rowan) called. Had two USA Visitors.
14 October 2017 - Only Eileen came! With Liz, Michelle, Hamish and I we did five person dances. Unfortunate clash with the annual pipe band Ceilidh.
9 September 2017 - 18 danced and Bill called.
12 August 2017 - 20 danced and Bill called. A good turnout!
8 July 2017 - 14 danced and Bill called. A bit of a bug going round, hope for better turnout next month.
10 June 2017 - 19 danced and Bill called. Nice to have Steve and Rosie from The Celts coming to dance.
13 May 2017 - 18 came and danced to a selection of tunes ranging from traditional tunes to jazzy arrangements. Bill called.
8 April 2017 - 22 dancers. A varied selection of tunes by the Celts lead by Steve with Sue, Rosie, Pete, Luca and Neil. Bill called. This was the last dance run by the band. A big thank you to Steve and "The Celts" who have been playing regularly for these dances since Oct 2014. I hope they will be able to come and dance now and wish them all the best in their musical endeavours.
11 March 2017 - the first dance after a long summer's break. 26 dancers from around the world: Nelson of course plus Denmark, Germany and Chile! A varied selection of tunes by the Celts lead by Steve with Sue, Rosie, Pete, Nigel and Neil played. Bill called.
13 August 2016 - 40 dancers. The Celts with Steve, Sue, Rosie, Jeanette, Denise, Alison and Neil played. Hamish and Bill called.
9 July 2016 - Nineteen dancers. Special thanks to Adie, Denise, Neil and Nigel for providing the music. A big thanks to Hamish for assistance with the calling at very short notice. This was his contra calling debut and he did a good job.
11 June 2016 - About 30 dances did a great job with the contras that Bill called. The Celts with Steve, Sue, Jeanette, Denise and Neil played. We hope Sue's bass survived its crash.
14 May 2016 - About 24 dancers danced to live music of The Celts with Steve, Sue, Jeanette, Denise, Pete, Neil and Rosie. Bill called contra and Will from UK called a few ceilidh dances. Short video.
9 April 2016 - Over 30 dancers danced to live music of The Celts with Steve, Ken, Neil, Rosie, Pete, Adie and Nigel. Bill called a mix of contra and barn dances.
12 March 2016 - 30 dancers danced to live music of The Celts II with Neil, Brendyn, Luca, Rosie, Pete and Sue. The Scottish dancers led by Margaret gave us a demo. Bill called most but Rob the second caller from CHCH came up for the dance and called a few dances as well.
6 February 2016 - Over 50 dancer danced to live music from visiting "Allemande Joy" contradance musicians and callers touring NZ from the USA. Through their generosity, they provided this event to our community free of charge to promote this popular style of dance. The contra callers for the evening were Vicki Morrison - Tallahassee FL, Robyn Blakley - Asheville NC and Jim Robinson - Sacramento CA. Their band: Glenn Lee (Director, Accordion, Keyboard), Mark Hessing (Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar), Arlene Jamar (Keyboard, Accordion), Rob Lindauer (Viola), Jim Robinson (Viola, Recorder, Penny Whistle), Mary Dart (Recorder, Accordion), Dick Ginns (Mouth Harps), Betsy Foote (Fiddle), Thomas Gebhardt (Percussion), Vicki Morrison (Mandolin), Michael Hamrick (Fiddle) and Steve Ketaltas (Guitar). The Ragged Crow Nelson's Morris team gave an energetic demo for us. Bill got everyone to join them and dance and sing a round commemorating the Christchurch earthquake.
Saturday 14 November 2015 - 22 dancers, a small but enthusiastic crowd who all stayed to the end. A small version of the Celts: Steve, Sue, Luca, Rosie and Neil. Helen was on the door. Bill called a mix of contra and barn dances.
Saturday 10 October 2015 - 40 dancers with good support from Scottish country dancers and lots of kids during the first half. The Celts lineup: Steve, Denise, Rosie-Anne, Sue, Neil, Pete, and Jeanette. Adie and Chelsie helped at the door. Bill taught and called a variety of contras and a few barn dances.
Saturday 12 September 2015 - A turnout of nearly 100 dancers helped Denise celebrate her 50th birthday and Phoebe celebrate her 18th. Music by the Celts: Steve (banjo), Luca, Jen (fiddles), Rosie-Anne (whistle), Sue (bass), Neil (guitar), Pete (harmonica), Ken (melodion), Addie (accordion). Bill taught and called a mix of barn dances and contra dances.
Saturday 8th August 2015 - Ian Peterson called. Special fundraiser for Luca's NCG Composite Sailing Team. Loads of laughs, auctions and games.
Saturday 11th July 2015 - Ian Peterson called.
Saturday 6th June 2015 - About 60 dancers. Music by musicians from the Ceol Aneas Irish music weekend: Davy Stuart (fiddle), Brendyn Montgomery (flute), Steve McGlone (banjo) and Barrie McDonald (keyboard and accordion.) Caller Nigel Robertson from Auckland called a variety of Irish sets. A highlight of the evening was a dance display by local Irish dance students.
Saturday 9 May 2015 - About 30 dancers. Music by the Celts: Steve (banjo), Luca, Denise (fiddles), Rosie-Anne (whistle), Sue (bass), Neil (guitar), Pete (harmonica), Ken (melodion) and Jeanette (concertina). Bill taught and called a variety of contras and a few barn dances.
Saturday 11 April 2015 - On a cold rainy evening a very good turn out of forty dancers with lots of kids. Music by the Celts: Steve (banjo), Luca, Denise (fiddles), Rosie-Anne (whistle), Sue (bass), Neil (guitar) and Pete (harmonica). Bill taught and called a variety of simple contra and barn dances.
Saturday 14 March 2015 - Twenty came to the second dance at Victory Community Centre. Music by the Celts: Steve (banjo), Luca, Denise (fiddles), Jeanette (concertina), Rosie-Anne (whistle), Sue (bass), Neil (guitar), Adrian (mandolin) and Pete (harmonica). Bill taught and called a variety of simple contra and barn dances.
Saturday 14 February 2015 - Over 50 dancers showed up for this Valentine dance at Victory Community Centre. Rousing music provided by the Celts: Steve (banjo), Luca, Sophie, Denise, Grace (fiddles), Jeanette (concertina), Rosie-Anne (whistle), Sue (bass), Neil (guitar), and Pete (harmonica). Bill taught and called a variety of simple contra and barn dances. Folk enjoyed the clapping in Muffin Man Jig.
Friday 21 November 2014 - A small but enthusiastic crowd at the Nelson Musical Theatre Hall. Old time music by BarnStorm: Steve, Helena, Nathan and Mike and Irish tunes by the Celts: Rosie-Anne, Adie, Jeanette, Peter, Adrian, Neil and Steve. Dances taught and called by Bill
Saturday 20 October 2014 - About 35 dancers came to The Post Election Barn Dance Hoedown in the Trafalgar Hall was Nelson's introduction to contra dance. Helena and Steve were the main orgainizers of the band, venue and helpers. The old time band BARNSTORM with Helena, Steve, Nathan, Mike and Luka played rousing old time music. Bill came up from Christchurch to call. Thanks to Kelly for support from the Scottish Country dance community. Video
Contra dancing in other cities
Find out more about what contra dancing is and other places where it's done in NZ.