Open Caller
Opportunities for
Contra Dances

One of the traditions of contra dancing is that, at a few dances, there is an open mic (mike, microphone) for callers. This can range from a designated caller who organizes the evening (volunteers contact the designated caller and the caller works out an order for the dances for the evening) to a completely open mic with a sign-up list at the dance.

I have tried to list all open caller opportunities, even if the opportunity is once-a-year. Each situation has different traditions, rules or requirements, so visit the web sites before making any assumptions and showing up.

California, BerkeleyBerkeley Wednesday Contra Dance5th (sometimes)
Wednesday
8:00pm
Open calling sometimes on 5th Wednesdays.
Colorado, Glenwood SpringsGlenwood Springs Community Contra Dance1st
Saturday
7:30pm
Callers and musicians seeking to gain experience should contact the dance organizers for information on calling and participating in a band at this dance.
Colorado, WestminsterWestminster Old-Time Community Dance1st
Saturday
7:00pm-10:00pm
Callers and musicians seeking to gain experience should contact the dance organizers for information on calling and participating in a band at this dance.
Connecticut, WethersfieldHartford Community Contra Dance2nd
Saturday in August
8:00pm-11:00pm
Call ahead for caller info. Open band that night, too.
Georgia, SauteeSautee Contra DanceOccasional
Saturday
7:30pm-
Open calling opportunity on February 20, 2009.
Illinois, UrbanaChambana Jan JamAnnually in January
Friday/Saturday
7:00pm to ????
There are opportunities for open caller/mic as part of this event.
Indiana, BloomingtonBloomington Old-Time Music & Dance Group1st (?)
Wednesday
8:30pm-10:30pm
Open caller mic
Indiana, GoshenGoshen Community Contra DancingOnce a year
Saturday

Open caller opportunity on February 2, 2008.
Kentucky, BereaBerea Third Friday Dance3rd
Friday
7:30pm-11:00pm
Note that we also dance most third Fridays upstairs at 128 N. Broadway to open-mic calling and a pick-up band. For more information on Third Friday Dances, call 859-985-5501. Not every 3rd Friday dance is open calling mic.
Maine, West FarmingtonFarmington Contra DanceOccasional
Saturday
7:30pm-11:00pm
The Farmington Dance occasionally has nights when "budding callers" call at the dance.
Maryland, PikesvilleBaltimore Folk Music Society - Thanksgiving Day Dance4th (in November)
Thursday
8:00pm-10:30pm
This is an all-volunteer evening featuring an open band and open mic for callers (English, contras, squares).
Maryland, ThurmontCatocin Mountain Music & Dance Weekend - FallAnnual
Friday-Sunday
????
Volunteers lead music and dance events during this camp.
Maryland, ThurmontCatocin Mountain Music & Dance Weekend - SpringAnnual
Friday-Sunday
????
Volunteers lead music and dance events during this camp.
Massachusetts, CambridgeMIT Contra DanceVarious
Tuesday
8:00pm-10:30pm
Students and others are welcome to sit in with the band and/or call dances during many of the evenings in this series!
Michigan, Grand RapidsGrand Rapids Folk Arts Society Contra Dance4th
Saturday
7:00pm-10:30pm
Bring your acoustic instrument or flat/ low-heeled dance shoes. Come to dance, play dance music, or call a dance! Callers are requested to contact us a week prior to dance night.
Michigan, KalamazooKalamazoo Open Mic NightOccasional
Saturday
7:00pm-10:30pm
A great opportunity for novice callers and a great opportunity for dance fun for all. Call Danika at 269-674-3078 by the preceding Wednesday to get on the caller roster.
New Hampshire, DoverDover, New Hampshire Dance - Lamprey River Band1st
Thursday
8:00pm-10;40pm
Guest musicians and callers welcome.
New Hampshire, NelsonNelson Monday Night DanceEvery
Monday
8:00pm-10:30pm
The Nelson Monday Night Dance is an informal dance featuring a variety of callers and musicians, from local regulars to visiting dignitaries. If you are musician and would like to play for a dance or two during the evening, speak to Roger Treat (or the caller if need help identifying Roger) - he is the official coordinator, and he will work you into the program (such as it is). If you’d like to sit in as a backup musician, you should ask whoever is playing at the time; some players are more receptive than others, and some may have tune sets that are more difficult to follow.
New Jersey, ChathamFolk Project Swingin' TernSaturday
Occasional
7:30pm to ????
Occasional open mike opportunities for callers. Check site for details.
New Jersey, PrincetonPrinceton Contra Dancesporadic
Wednesday
7:30pm-10:30pm
The Princeton Dance series has occasional dates for open caller opportunities.
North Carolina, AshevilleThursday Night Dance at Warren Wilson CollegeEvery (jam); Every-so-often (dance)
Thursday
8:00pm
Once and a while, there are opportunities for open calling at the Thursday night dance at Warren Wilson College.
Ohio, AthensSoutheast Ohio Traditional Dance Society - AthensSporadic
Saturday
7:30pm-11:00pm
There will be open band opportunities and an open mic for callers at the dance on July 12, 2008 and August 9, 2008.
Ohio, Lake LoganMay Apple StompAnnual
Saturday and Sunday
Various
Musicians and Callers please come and share your talent! Band and caller sign up begins at 7:30 PM.
Oklahoma, KingstonFiddler's DreamAnnual
Varies
????
Volunteers lead music and dance events during this camp.
Oregon, La GrandeNE Oregon Folklore Society Contra DanceSome
Tuesday
7:30pm-9:00pm
On some Tuesdays there are opportunities for playing and calling at the dance. Call ahead if you want to try playing music or leading a dance.
Pennsylvania, GlensideThursday Night Contra Danceusually, at least once a month
Thursday
7:30pm-11:00pm
On many Thursdays, callers other than the lead caller are invited to participate. Please contact the lead caller if you are interested in calling a dance this evening.
South Carolina, GreenvilleHarvest Moon Folk SocietyOccasional
Wednesday
7:30pm-10:00pm
The Wednesday night dance series in Greenville has occasional dates for the Community Band and a callers open mic. Check web site for details.
Tennessee, JonesboroughJonesborough Contra Dance1st or 3rd
Friday or Saturday
7:30pm-10:30pm
The Jonesborough Contra Dance has occasional dances with open calling.
Texas, AustinAustin Barn Dancers Wednesday Night DanceOccasional
Wednesday
7:30pm-9:45pm
There is an occasional open caller mike.
Texas, IrvingNTTDS Irving Dance2nd
Saturday
8:00pm-11:00pm
New dance series in Irving on 2nd Saturdays from March 2009-May 2009 with open calling and open band.
Washington, BellinghamBellingham Country Dance SocietyVaries
Friday or Saturday
7:30pm-11:00pm
Open caller opportunity on Saturday, November 29, 2008.
Washington, GoldendaleMCFS Simcoe Mountain Music & Dance WeekendAnnual
Friday-Sunday
????
Volunteers lead music and dance events during this weekend.
Washington, SeattleSeattle Community Open Band Contra Dance2nd
Sunday
6:00pm-8:30pm
Seattle Community Contra Dance - an open-band contra dance, featuring an open mic for callers, preceded by a potluck supper (please bring a dish to share, as well as your own plates and utensils). It's a supportive place to dance, call, and make music - beginners welcome! The band and the callers' open mic are led and hosted by a different favorite local musician and caller each month.
Washington, Vashon IslandNorthwest New Year's CampAnnual
Varies
????
Volunteers lead music and dance events during this weekend.
Washington, WenatcheeWenatchee Contra DanceEvery
Saturday
1pm-3pm
There is a contra dance workshop EVERY SATURDAY 1-3pm. This is a relaxed gathering for new dances, new dancers, and some open mic time for anyone who would like to try calling or share a good joke.
West Virginia, BeckwithFall Flingmid-September
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

The weekend includes Jamming, Contra dancing, Open mic for musicians and callers, Workshops, and a Saturday Night Potluck!
Wisconsin, MadisonMadison Contra Dance Cooperativeevery
Tuesday
7:45pm-9:40pm
Open band and callers.

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*The Colorado link will bring you to Dancing on the Web. The Maine link will bring you to the Downeast Friends of the Folk Arts. The New Mexico link will bring you to the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society. The Utah link will bring you to Utah Contradance Information. These fine organizations and individuals already have complete listings for these states and there is no reason for me to duplicate their efforts.


http://www.contradancelinks.com/opencaller.html
Produced by Charlie Seelig
This page last updated on June 17, 2012.