Contra Dance

contra_Erica&Donovan_Contra dance in America evolved from English Country dances and has been enjoyed continuously since the time of the English colonies in America as a true community dance.

Lighthearted and social, contra is danced in two lines of couples who dance various patterns or figures with one another.  By the end of the overall pattern, each leading couple will have exchanged places with another couple, and the dance repeats until all couples in the lines have danced with one another.

Contra dance music is in the form of lively reels or jigs in the Celtic and bluegrass traditions. Traditional contra dance is a precursor of square dancing, but is unrelated to modern country and western line dancing.

The Sacramento Country Dance Society sponsors dances on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in Sacramento, and often a Fifth Saturday Zesty Contra. Dances generally begin at 7 PM. Please check our calendar for specific information on dances and locations. An introduction to basics workshop is held at 6:30 PM for newcomers and first timers attending the workshop get a half-off coupon for the donation at their next dance. Halfway through the dance, the caller and musicians will announce a 15–20 minute break to share snacks brought by the dancers. You may also want to bring your water bottle to stay hydrated while you dance!

If you’d like to learn more about American contra dance, visit