NYE contra dance made us happy!

Our New Year’s Eve contra dance saw 69 happy people dancing to the music of the Syncopaths and the calling of Dane Wallinga. This is more people than have attended a dance since the beginning of the pandemic, and we saw a number of friends who were back for their first dance, and a few new people as well. With the expense of a nationally famous band, the Syncopaths, we still lost money on the evening, but it was a good investment if measured by the smiles and compliments of the dancers. However, in order to have a successful dances, and a successful organization, Sacramento Country Dance Society, we need more people to attend.

We have lost money on every contra dance since the beginning of the pandemic. We were in pretty good financial position before the pandemic, but the losses cannot continue. The traditional success of Echo Summit Contra Dance Weekend supported our organization overhead, while the regular contra dance and English Country Dance came close to breaking even. But with lower attendance has come big losses.

So, we invite you to come back, see old friends and make new friends, and dance your joy. And support your dance community.

Our requirements for vaccination and masking continue. The masking requirement makes some people unhappy, but it is the most effective way of preventing COVID-19 transmission, apparently more important than vaccination or self-tests before dances. Imagine a room full of people, exercising and breathing in close proximity. Masking is the best solution. A few dance communities that have dropped masking requirements have had a considerable number of COVID cases. On the other hand, the contra dance communities that many of the Sacramento dancers attend in other places have had no documented cases of transmission. Many people happily work with masking by sitting out some dances or even every other dance. You can always head outside for some un-masked breathing, as we only require masks in the building.

While we hope we are past peak pandemic and dance cancellation, our schedules may change, so it is always best to check the online calendar (Calendar) or subscribe to it in your personal calendar, and to subscribe to our email list on groups.io at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

NYE contra dance, forward and back, by John Seto
NYE contra dance, balancing in the circle mixer, by John Seto
NYE contra dance, Syncopaths (Joe Craven, Ryan McKasson, Christa Burch, Jeff Spero), by Dan Allison

New Year’s Eve Contra Dance!

Note: The first dance of the new year will be English Country Dance on January 15 (third Sunday). There will be no English Country Dance on January 1 (first Sunday), nor contra dance on January 14 (second Saturday).

Caller: Dane Wallinga
Music: Syncopaths
Sound: Amanda Schmidt
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022
Time: 8:00–12:00 midnight, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:40pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Special NYE pricing: $18 for adults; $12 for college students with ID; $8 for dancers under 18; $40 maximum for families (cash or check)

Join us for four hours of contra dance on New Year’s Eve, 8:00PM to midnight, at Coloma Community Center. This is one of our biggest and most joyful events of the year, along with our Anniversary Dance in April, so you’ll want to be there. It’s a chance to see old friends and make new friends. Even if you can’t come for the entire evening, please come.

The Syncopaths, a Sacramento favorite, will play, with Dane Wallinga calling. Syncopaths are Jeff Spero, Ryan McKasson, Christa Burch, and Joe Craven stepping in for Ashley Hoyer (Broder). From dance floors to concert halls, the Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin to tunes and songs rooted in the Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions. Evolving through their contradance origins, they are creating a “chamber folk” sound, characterized by the compelling rhythmic interplay of fiddle and mandolin, rich vocals, and unexpected colors and rhythms of the piano and bodhrån. The exuberant joy they derive from the music and each other is palpable and contagious. Joe Craven is not just an entertaining musician with a penchant for the mischievous, he is a teacher and student all at once and he will draw you into his performance by including you as though you’re part of the show itself. His gift of gab is unprecedented and his musical knowledge impressive. Joe’s openness and expression of gratitude for the gifts he’s acquired make it all the more fun for him to share them with his audience. Syncopaths homepage Joe Craven homepage

Dane Wallinga has quickly become a Bay Area go-to caller, giving dancers a thoughtful program of interesting, fun dances, called with a relaxed style.

We will have a New Year toast with sparking cider at midnight, outside (grab your coats), and a final waltz to bring in the New Year.

We do have higher pricing for the New Year’s Eve Contra Dance. If cost is the only thing preventing you being being there, please talk to the greeters at the door.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:40 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community. No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. Events are accessible to people with disabilities.

Contact: For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email sactocds@gmail.com. Our schedule of future dances is always available at https://sactocds.wordpress.com/calendar/. You may join our email list on groups.io at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS/. Please enter your name when joining.

COVID Safety Information

We are no longer offering a rapid self-test option, and now require complete vaccination. We did offer a self-test option for a while, but it was never used, and on the request of a number of callers and dancers, we are returning to full vaccination policy.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others), cloth masks, or surgical masks. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

New Year’s Eve Contra Dance

Please join us for the traditional New Year’s Eve Dance! While this dance is always a special event, this one is extra special, with Sacramento favorites Syncopaths coming to play their wild and soulful music.

The success of New Year’s Eve will also have an effect on our dance schedule in the new year, 2023. Can we continue to have two contra dances a month, plus fifth Saturday Zesty Contras? Or will we have to trim back to one dance a month? We know you have many options for your New Year’s Eve, but we hope you will join us for all or part of the evening. Four hours of dancing, 8:00PM to midnight! And a chance to catch up with old friends and make new friends.

Pricing for the dance will be $18 adults, $12 college students, $9 youth, and $40 families.

So put it on your calendar now. There will be another announcement as the date gets closer.