Contra dance welcomes 2019

  • A contra dance at the Peterborough Town House. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • A contra dance will be held Saturday at the Peterborough Town House. Staff photos by Ben Conant

Published: 1/3/2019 4:54:01 PM

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents First Saturday Contra Dance at the Peterborough Town House on Jan. 5, featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with the band Birl.

Contra dance is a fun, relaxed style of folk dance that has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. Dancers are welcome to bring a partner or a group of friends, but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening.

Zakon-Anderson has been calling contra dances for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Florida and his clear teaching, precise calling, and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.

Music for the dance will be provided by Birl, a new contra dance band formed by young musicians who regularly perform at the monday night dance in Nelson.

Accordionist Samuel Foucher of Harrisville was the 2012 recipient of the Johnny Trombly Scholarship, which supports and encourages young musicians interested in playing piano or other instruments for traditional New England dance music. Multi-instrumentalist Tad Dreis is a singer-songwriter and music teacher based in Keene. Garrett Cameron is active in the Scottish, Irish, and New England traditional music scene, playing banjo, uke and low whistle for contra dances and at various sessions.

Dancing begins at 8 p.m. A free jam session for beginning and intermediate musicians will be held at 6:30 p.m. and a workshop for new dancers at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $10, or $7 for students and seniors.

For more information, call 762-0235 or visit


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