Contra in The Couve!

2nd Friday Contra Dance

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Friday, May 11, 2018
Lesson at 7:30 pm, dance 8 - 10:30

Thyme Travelers, with
Abigail Hobart calling

at the Hazel Dell Grange,
7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver WA

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Abigail Hobart

    Abigail Hobart


Thyme Travelers

   Thyme Travelers: Norman, Jennifer, Don

Join us for a contra dance on Friday, May 11, with music by Thyme Travelers, and dances called by Abigail Hobart. We are looking forward to this combination of a semi-local band and an up-and-coming caller!

Abigail Hobart hails from Bellingham, though she considers parts of New England to be home, as well. A young caller, Abigail has been a dancer, a fiddle player, and an organizer of sorts since childhood, and was a featured caller at this year's Portland Roadhouse event. She brings a deep love of the tradition, personal warmth, and joie de vivre to her calling and to her interactions both on and off the dance floor.

Take a dynamic duo from Coos Bay, Oregon -- Jennifer Sordyl (fiddle) and Don Berg (jazz guitar), known locally as Contra Swings. Add a former Alaskan and Oklahoman, now a Clark County resident -- Norman Farrell (mandolin, woodwinds). What do you get? Thyme Travelers! And when they warp in to fill our hall with great music, their eclectic mix of Contra, Old-time, Celtic & Swing Dance tunes is sure to delight the senses.

Friday, May 11
Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave.
Lesson at 7:30 pm, dance 8 - 10:30 pm
Admission: $7 / $5 for 65 or over, and under 12

Special note for Portland contra dancers:
We are only 10 miles from downtown Portland and we have some of the best bands and callers in the region at our dances.

Friday traffic got you down? Try waiting until 7:30 or 8:00 to head north.
Or come with a friend before 6pm, use the carpool lane through N. Portland, and have dinner in “the Couve.”

About Contra in the Couve!

We contra dance in Vancouver (WA) on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. This fine, roomy dance hall has a great wood floor and an easy-to-find location, with plenty of parking, just a few blocks from I-5, Exit 4. We welcome new and experienced dancers alike, and we invite you to come and dance with us!

What the heck is contra dancing? Contra dancing is an American social dance tradition dating back to the colonial period. It's fun, interactive, easy to learn, great exercise, and has nothing to do with Nicarauga. Some say that if you can walk, you can contra dance, because there is no fancy footwork involved. Contra dance is not country line dancing, nor is it square dancing, though we may occasionally dance a square. Contra is square's Yankee cousin and, like square dancing, is always prompted by a caller. So if you've ever done square dancing, contra will seem familiar to you — but no fancy outfit is required! To learn more about contra dancing, check out Gary Shapiro's informative page.

No experience needed. All dances are taught. Come alone or with a partner.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Always live music!

Please wear soft-soled shoes, free of grit from outside. Shoes with leather or suede soles, or dance sneakers make for easier turning.
The dance floor and your feet will be happier. Thanks!

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Contra in The Couve! Schedule

Always the 2nd Friday.

Date Caller Music
Jan. 12, 2018 William Watson (Portland) The Bridgetown Boys (Portland)
Feb. 9, 2018 Laurel Thomas (Portland) Full Moon (Portland)
Mar. 9, 2018
A Cascade Promenade event
Isaac Banner (Seattle) Cascade Crossing (Portland / Clark County)
Apr. 13, 2018 Carol Piening (Olympia) Campaign for Reel Time (Portland)
May 11, 2018 Abigail Hobart (Bellingham) Thyme Travelers (Coos Bay / Ridgefield)
June 8, 2018 Woody Lane (Roseburg) The Hat Band (Portland)
July 13, 2018 Ric Goldman (Portland) The Wisenheimers (Portland)
August 10, 2018 TBA LCL Express (Portland / Vancouver)


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Contact us

Please note our email addresses have changed, from contra-van-wa 'dot' org to ContraInTheCouve 'dot' org (November 2017).

We are committed to the enjoyment and safety of all in our dance community. Click here to view our Safe Dancing Policy. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. You can talk to an organizer at the dance, write a comment in our guest book at the dance, or contact us by email to info 'at' ContraInTheCouve 'dot' org. If you email, please include your phone number if you would like to speak with a dance organizer.


Join our mailing list to receive e-mail reminders of Vancouver contra dances. Please sign up here:


Bands and callers, if you are interested in playing or calling for a future Vancouver contra dance, please send an e-mail to booking 'at' ContraInTheCouve 'dot' org with information about your band or your calling.


Please send feedback on our web site to webmaster 'at' ContraInTheCouve 'dot' org.


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How can I help?

Putting on a contra dance really is a community effort, and there are many ways you can get involved to help keep this dance series going strong. Here are a few of the valuable and important contributions you might make:

To volunteer or to learn more about how you can help, please email info 'at' ContraInTheCouve 'dot' org.

And here's something you can do right now! Just download the Flyer for our next dance, print two or three copies, and post them at your workplace, church, school, favorite cafe, or neighborhood bulletin board. Or, better yet, give one to a friend and invite him or her to come with you to the next dance.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this dance series!

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Directions to Hazel Dell Grange

Hazel Dell Grange

Map to Hazel Dell Grange


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Videos: Contra Dance Training for Beginning Dancers

The Chattahoochee Country Dancers in Atlanta, GA, have produced a great series of contra dance instructional videos. If you are new to contra dancing, these short videos offer an opportunity for you to review some of the basics, away from the dance floor. Then you can have even more fun the next time you come to a dance. The YouTube versions are listed below. CCD also has a very informative page for new dancers at their web site.

  1. Introduction - Watch this first
  2. Two Dancers
  3. Four Dancers or Hands Four
  4. A Contra Line & Progression
  5. Come Dance With Us
  6. A Called Dance #1
  7. A Called Dance #2
  8. Tips for New Dancers
  9. Contra Video Credits
  10. Welcome New Dancers -- Susan Davis
  11. Welcome New Dancers -- Rob Harper

CCD also offers a higher resolution DVD version of these videos.

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