2020 Family Contradance Series

January 11,  3:00 - 4:30 pm

February 8,   3:00 - 4:30 pm

March 14, 3:00 - 4:30 pm  CANCELLED!  We will postpone this dance until it is a safer time for community gatherings.  Stay well!!


Families with young children are welcome!  All dances are taught by capable callers who really know how to give families a fun and memorable experience! 

Admission is $5 - $8 suggested donation per adult.  Free for children.   $15 cap per family. 

These dances are fundraisers for the Schoolhouse Learning Center.


Woodbury Strings, in collaboration with Mad Robin Callers Collective, is hosting a winter series Family Dance for the Schoolhouse Learning Center community, its students, slow jam participants, and anyone else intested in participating.  Participants will be able to play with the band as well as dance.  We will make use of tunes that are common to the groups that make good contradance band material (Slow Jam, Vermont Fiddle Orchestra, Fiddleheads, Woodbury Strings Fiddle and Banjo Club, Young Tradition Vermont Trad Camp, Northeast Heritage Music Camp--Visit Groups Page for links).  For a PDF of some good tunes, click HERE.  We will not each need to play the tunes exactly the same way as long as our various versions compliment each other. Harmonies and back up chords welcomed for those who are able. John will be leading the backup instruments so participants on fretted instruments will be able to follow his chord changes.  Sarah and John may trade off leading fiddle (or give the lead to a participant or set of participants who are willing and able), and Sarah may sometimes play the banjo and lead the backup instruments as well.  Keys with corresponding chords most likely used will be G, D, A, Em, Dm and sometimes C. Chord changes will be kept simple and tunes will be chosen that are less notey but never-the-less lively and fun to dance to so that anyone can feel comfortable sitting in! Recommmended instruments are fiddle, mandolin, guitar, flute (minimum level-intermediate), banjo, ukelele.  Play something else? Send me and email to see if what you do is a fit!  Tempos will be the usual family contradance tempos ranging from 100 bpm - 120 bmp. At the dance Sarah or the lead fiddler will pole participants for common tunes that a majority may know.  We will do our best to call out the tunes before the dance is taught so that participants have the option to choose dancing or playing with the band.  Participants may also sit in with the band and learn tunes quietly in the background while the dance is going on. The front of the band will be on mic so those sitting in and learning will not be a distraction, and the positive energy will just add to the fun! For some tips on learning tunes by ear and sitting in with a band download this PDF.  Admission for dancers and band lab participants discounted for members of the Schoolhouse Learning Center community!  

If you have questions or you'd like to be on the elist for these dances contact Sarah Hotchkiss and request a reminder when the time comes.