Contra College 2018
c/o David Buesch
109 Murray Court
Redwood City, CA 94061

Email Address

Phone Number
650 257 7214

Sponsored By
Bay Area Country Dance Society

In Collaboration With
North Bay Country Dance Society
Traditional Dancers of Santa Cruz



Dancers practicing instructions

© David Buesch 2017

Contra College (March 10-11, 2018) will be an urban weekend focused on teaching Contra dance to new and intermediate dancers, and were experienced dancers can improve their skills, help newer dancers, or practice the other dance role.

The weekend will be from Saturday 9:00 a.m. to Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and includes the Saturday night (8:00-11:00 p.m.) Palo Alto Contra Dance and Sunday afternoon (4:00-7:00 p.m.) Contra College Graduation Dance (open to the public). In total, there will be 11 hours of Contra College sessions and 6 hours of regular contra dance time.

An integrated curriculum and careful pacing will allow dancers to build skills slowly over the course of the weekend and to internalize what they’ve learned as they go along. There will be plenty of explanations and question-and-answer time. The group’s small size will allow for individualized attention and the dances will be selected to help everyone gain confidence and feel at ease. The carefully-crafted curriculum will emphasize dances that are simple while still being varied and well-choreographed.

On Saturday at noon, there will be a Caller’s Workshop for new and experienced callers that will be led by Susan Petrick. The schedule of the college instructional sessions enables regular attendees to also attend the Caller’s workshop. Attendees will be guest callers at the Sunday afternoon Contra College Graduation dance.

The cost of the weekend is $125, which includes teaching, music, dancing, meals and snacks, and the Palo Alto Saturday night and Contra College Grad afternoon dances. Early registration (postmarked by January 22, 2018) is $100. Some financial assistance is available; so, don't let finances stop you from attending and learning! See details on the registration form.

The callers/instructors for the weekend are Jacqui Grennan, Susan Petrick, and Jim Saxe and the music/teacher is Jim Oakden. Jacqui is from the Los Angeles area, and Susan and Jim are local to the bay area, and all have called dances and been involved in weekends across the country. Jim Oakden is a musician, teacher, and dancer, and brings a huge breadth of knowledge and experience to inspiring people to move on the dance floor. Live music for Saturday will by Jim Oakden and Shira Kammen, and on Sunday by Ben Schreiber and Michael Sokolovsky. On Sunday afternoon, Uncle Farmer (Ben Schreiber and Michael Sokolovsky) will play for the Contra College Graduation Dance with calling by Susan Petrick, Jacqui Grennan, and guest callers from the Callers’ Workshop.

For more information on the staff, schedule, program, or registration process, please select the appropriate topic at the top of the page. To read more about the Contra College weekend, please read the article found on page three of the December 2017 issue of the Bay Area Country Dancer.

Out-of-town dancers are encouraged to inquire about housing with local dancers.

Contra College Alumni – How you can support the College?

The goal of Contra College is to enable every person, who wants to attend, to participate in this unique learning environment. Here are two ways that you can help.

For more information or making a donation, please contact David Buesch (Organizer).

Dance Angels

Experienced dancers are encouraged to attend the entire Contra College, and there are always things to learn and ways to help others gain experience. Numerous experienced dancers have expressed their interest in supporting the College, but might not be able to attend the entire weekend. These experienced dancers, who might be known by many names including Dance Angels, are welcome to attend to balance the lines and enrich the learning experience.

Not everyone is cut out to be a Dance Angel, but if you want to be an angel, please ask yourself if these are the ways you can contribute.

New this year!! Two locations

Contra College 2018 will be held in two different venues.