This page tries to keep track of all contra dances, traditional square dances (but not Modern Western Square Dances), traditional waltz sessions and Scandinavian dances in Alabama including dance camps and weekends along with other events in Alabama which include contra dancing and these other forms. Because most of the information is gathered from web sites and the listings are not updated as frequently as the web sites, dancers should visit the web sites for up-to-date information. If you are aware of any dances, dance series or other events that should be included on this list, please e-mail me.
As of September 3, 2020, the dance listings should be fairly up to date including whether dances are canceled although I am behind in keeping up to date with festivals, weekends, etc.. Some dances series have not posted new information about dance cancellations since April or even March but if a dance series has not indicated that a dance is canceled, I strongly recommend that you contact the dance organizers to confirm that the dance is happening. For those series that have posted that dances are canceled for the "foreseeable future" or the equivalent, I've put a cancelation notice for dances up to and including October 31, 2020. In mid-October, I'll follow up for the September dates. You'll notice that, in many cases, information about evening/afternoon dances is getting "thin". Many dance groups post dates a few months ahead and dances have been canceled for much of the last three months. Organizations are not posting new dates until they confirm that they will start holding dances so you may not see the usual dates for dance series because they have not been posted, even with cancelations. Also note that some dance weekends, etc. are already postponing events from winter/spring of 2021 to similar dates in 2022.
Conversations and cancelations are happening every day in connection with dances as part of regular series and also weekends, festivals, etc. I'll try to keep current as much as possible, but please check the individual web sites, Facebook groups/pages, e-mail lists, etc. for the most up-to-date information about a dance or other event that you may want to attend.
Anniston - Georgy Alabam Square Dance Weekend: The weekend is held in mid-January in the historic 1930s ballroom at the Bald Rock Lodge, in Cheaha State Park (the highest point in Alabama), 25 miles south of Anniston, Alabama. Register in advance. Web site: http://www.footmadbirmingham.org/georgy-alabam.html.
Birmingham - Saturday : The Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance, formerly the Birmingham Country Dance Society hold dances on the various Saturdays of each month at the YWCA, 309 23rd St N in downtown Birmingham. Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for those 12 and under. Saturday night dances begin with warm-ups and teaching at 7:00 p.m. and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. For more info call 205-822-0505. Web site: http://www.footmadbirmingham.org/.
Birmingham - New Year's Eve: The Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance holds a New Year's Eve dance with beginner's lessons at 8:30, start at 9 and celebrate at midnight. The dance ends at 12:30 at the YWCA of Central Alabama 2324 3rd Ave, N Birmingham, AL 35203. Admission: Adults (Over 18): $15 for non-members, $13 for members; Children (13-18): $6; Children (12 and under): Free Web site: http://www.footmadbirmingham.org/.
Birmingham - City Stages: A weekend of music performances in a variety of genres, along with a dance track, again in a variety of genres, but generally with a contra dance at some point. Held in mid-June in downtown Birmingham. Web site: http://www.citystages.org.
Birmingham - Callers' Workshop: The Birmingham Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance will a callers' workshop from 10am to noon and 1:30pm to 4:00pm at the YMCA Gymnasium, 309 23rd Street North, Birmingham, AL. Cost is $15. Web site: http://sites.google.com/site/bfootmad/.
Birmingham - Pepper Place Market: Dance at Pepper Place Market, 29th and 2nd Avenue North from 6pm to 8pm. Pepper Place will will have farmers and vendors from the farmers' market there, along with four or five food trucks. Easy, fun dances that everyone will enjoy! Web site: http://www.pepperplacemarket.com/.
Birmingham - Squares - Matthew's Bar and Grill: Square dance at Matthew's Bar and Grill, 2208 Morris Avenue, Birmingham, AL, 35203. 21 and up. No experience necessary. 50 cents per dance, first hour free. Web site: http://www.matthewsbarandgrill.com/.
Birmingham - Linn Park: Footmad folks will be dancing in Linn Park at the Magic City Art Connection at 2:00 pm. We want to show people how much fun contra dancing is and need at least 20 folks to do that. We hope you'll help us. You'll need to be at the Back Yard Production Stage by 1:45. It's in the area of Linn Park across the street from the Birmingham Museum of Art. The Art Connection is $10 to enter. More information at https://www.facebook.com/events/1868022373495997/ and web site: http://www.footmadbirmingham.org/.
Huntsville: On the first and third Saturdays of the month you'll find us at Faith Presbyterian Church at 5003 Whitesburg Drive. Newcomers' contra workshop at 6:30 p.m. Contra dance 7:00-10 p.m. Admission: Non-members $ 8 (10 + under free). Members: 16 years of age or Older $ 7. Younger than 16 but older than 10 $ 6. All under the age of 16 must enter with someone who is 16 or older and is responsible for them during the evening. MEMBERSHIP FEE; $12 per person, or $20 per family. Wear shoes that won't damage a wooden gym floor, but will turn freely. Leather flats or hard rubber soles are fine. Avoid high heels or tennis shoes with treads. Bowling shoes and most dance shoes are great. Wear comfortable clothing you can move in, and won't get too hot. Contra dancing is vigorous; you will work up a sweat! Web site: http://huntsvillecontra.dance/nacds/.
Huntsville - Blue Moon: Dance weekend held in mid-May. [Canceled for 2018 due to hall not being available] Register in advance (?). Web site: http://bluemoonweekend.com/BlueMoon/.
Independence - Peach Bottom Farm Fiddle & Strings Camp: Mostly music camp (provides a fun-filled yet intensive musical environment for all ages and abilities) for five days in June with a little dancing. Register in advance. Web site: http://www.peachbottomfarm.com/peachbottomfarm.com/Fiddle_Strings.html.
Loachapoka - Lee County Gathering: Multi-day old time music festival with music performances and workshops, storytelling plus a contra dance. Held at the Lee County Historical Society and Museum, 6500 Stage Road, Highway 14 in late April. Web site: http://www.leecountyhistoricalsociety.org/leecountygathering/main.html.
Mentone - Music and Dance Weekend: The Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance sponsor this annual music and dance weekend in mid-Augustat Camp Riverview in Mentone. Register in advance. Web site: http://www.footmadbirmingham.org/mentone.html.
Montgomery: Dances on First and Third Friday nights, 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Cost: $5 per person, $15 max per family. Location: Ridgecrest Baptist Church, 5260 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, Alabama. Web site: http://riverregioncontradance.com/ContraDance/index.htm.
Montgomery - Central Alabama Contra Dancers: Dance at the Montgomery Area Square Dance Association "MASDA" Building, 2200 Poplar Street (near the Ann Street Exit, take Exit # 3 off of I-85) from 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the North Hall. Cost: $5 Person - $15 per family maximum. Currently our plan is to dance to recorded music rather than the conventional live music. We warmly welcome new dancers at every event. No special skills are required, just an ability to walk to the beat and a willingness to smile. Children are most welcome to dance (or not) but must be supervised. Please dress comfortably for vigorous physical activity and bring comfortable shoes suitable for hardwood floors. Contact us for more information or to be added to our mailing list Info@Contralines.com - Web site: http://contralines.com.
Nauvoo - Dance from Scratch Weekend: Learn how to dance old-timey American folk dances. We'll teach you everything you need to know to enjoy traditional Southern and Western squares, Appalachian circle dances, and easy contras. An opportunity to practice teaching and calling dances suitable for community groups will be offered for those interested. Previous dancing experience is not required, just a willingness to learn and have fun and the ability to move around the dance floor. Singles and couples welcome-- no need to register with a partner. Web site: http://folkschool.dioala.org.
Nauvoo - From Scratch Weekend: No dancing listed. Ever wanted to learn a musical instrument or pick up a new craft, but had no idea where to start? Well, then this workshop is perfect for you! Each class will be taught so that you can pick up a new hobby from scratch. No prior experience necessary! Web site: http://www.alfolkschool.com/.
Nauvoo - Old Time Music and Crafts: No dancing listed, but lots of music and crafts classes in this four-day weekend event. Register in advance. Web site: http://www.alfolkschool.com/.
Nauvoo - Squares - Old Time Music and Gee's Bend Quilting: During this workshop quilters and artists pursue their work in a beautiful, encouraging atmosphere while others fully immerse themselves in old-time music, their days and nights filled with classes taught by master musicians, jam sessions, concerts and group performances. Location: Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell. Register in advance. Web site: https://campmcdowell.org/alabama-folk-school.
North Birmingham - Dance for Red Mountain Community School: Dance at the YWCA at 309 23rd Street North Birmingham, AL 35203 from 8pm to 11pm. "Contra for a Cause" benefit dance for the Red Mountain Community School. Join us as we dance to support the school. All proceeds will go to the school to help them in their move to Avondale this summer. Suggested donation: $10 per individual, $20 per family. Web site: http://sites.google.com/site/bfootmad/.
Tuscaloosa: Our contra dances are generally on the 4th Saturday of every month. Swing dances are usually on the 1st Saturday. Both at various locations. Beginner's lesson: 7:15 - 8:00 p.m. Dance: 8:00 - 10:30 p.m. Web site: http://www.contradancers.org/.
Tuscaloosa - University of Alabama: The University of Alabama's Creative Campus, Natural History Museum, and Residence Hall Association are pleased to present a College Night Contra Dance at Smith Hall from 7:30 pm-10:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public and additionally sponsored by New College and the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. For more information call 205-348-7884 or visit www.creativecampus.ua.edu. Contradance is a form of music and dance that involves a caller, and blends traditional styles with new twists, drawing new audiences. Web site: http://www.uacreativecampus.org/.
This page is part of the Contrdancelinks.com web site. For more information about contra dancing, visit these other site pages:
*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.
**As far as I know, there are no regular dances or events in Mississippi, South Dakota or Wyoming, but I have created pages if something changes in the future.