February 2017

Break the back of winter and come on out to dance!

When: Saturday, February 25, 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15
Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 First Street N.W.
Steven Méthot and Annette Lefaive
Kelly Guenter, Jarred Albright and David Settles
$12.00 per person
Next Dance:
Saturday, April 1, 7:30 pm

Fancy a dance in Saskatoon on March 4th?

The Saskatoon Folk Music Association is hosting a contra dance in the St. Joseph’s Parish Hall on Saturday March 4th at 7:30. Steven will be calling and there’s an anticipation that there’ll be at least 100 dancers in attendance.  If you have friends or family in Saskatoon or would want to attend yourself, here’s the number for more information:  305-665-0864

This Month’s Video

We’ve posted this video before.  It was taken on a ferry from Anacortes Washington to Orcas Island.  The waters look pretty calm, but I am not sure I’d try a spinny dance if there was a swell.  The dance is “Bumbling In The Shower”, and we’ll be dancing it on February 25th – without poles, pitching decks or nautical sounds.

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January 2017

Our First Dance of the Year – right after Robbie Burns Night!

When: Saturday, January 28, 7:30 pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:15
Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary
, 1703 First Street N.W.
Steven Méthot and Leslie Gotfrit
Kelly Guenter, Jarred Albright and David Settles.
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday February 25, 7:30 pm.

A Word About Our Schedule of Dances

We usually hold our dances on the first Saturday of the month, but for both February and March, those dates were already taken by another group. We decided to hold the dances a week early, and so our February dance is in January and our March dance is in February. Confused? Don’t be. Come on out and dance and the date won’t matter.

This Month’s Video

This is a nice flowing dance that Steven will be prompting.  It is called “Groundhog Daze”, and we figure that it’s a seasonal enough offering to be enjoyed this time around.

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New Year’s Eve 2016

Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot, There’s Always Contra!

When: Saturday, December 31, 8:00  pm; quick teaching of basics for newcomers at 7:45
Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary
, 1703 First Street N.W.
Steven Méthot and Michael Pollock
This year we have a delightful group of musicians including Kelly Guenter and John Vooys to provide us with jigs and reels to set our toes a-tapping!  Kelly and John were introduced to our dance community earlier this month and are great!
$12.00 per person
Next Dance: 
Saturday January 28th, 7:30 pm.  We usually have our dances on the first Saturday of the month, but February’s is booked, and so we’ve advanced our dance one week.  Take note!

New Years Eve

You well may be asking, “What’s so special about New Year’s Eve?”  Well I could go into a long description about the sidereal year and the path of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, but I think you would rather know about our evening.  Here’s what makes our New Year’s Celebration special, in no particular order:

  • The dance! The evening is structured around our Contra Dance in more or less the usual set up, 3 sets of dancing with breaks in between for dancers to catch their breaths, chat and mingle, share resolutions made and broken.  We will be calling some of our all-time favourites.
  • The food! We ask people to bring finger food, hors d’oeuvres, munchies, treats and trifles (nothing that requires plates and forks) and to resist the temptation to nibble on them until after we are done dancing, unless you bring enough!  The evening can be a bit hectic, so we encourage everyone to label any bowls or serving utensils.  After 11 we will clear the decks and tuck in!  We do not have a liquor license and so we ask that you help us keep this a dry
  • Auld Lang Syne! We count down the old year and bring in the new with a song and a kiss and best wishes all around.  After some more chatting and hobnobbing we can be on the roads before the crazies come out, and if you’re young at heart you can continue your celebrations knowing that you’ve already had a fine time dancing.
  • 50/50 Draw! We are a non-profit organization, and we are often in the red.  To help cover deficits in our finances we are holding a 50/50 draw at the dance.  $2 a ticket gives you a chance to take home half of the pot.  The other half goes to ensure that we can continue holding these dances.
  • You! It wouldn’t be the same without your presence.  Come celebrate with us as we mark another passing of our world’s dance around the Sun.

We do not have access to the dishes of the church, nor to the dishwashers, and so we ask you to be mindful of that as you prepare your dishes.  As always, we encourage you to bring your own mugs and / or water bottles.

We will not be gathering up any “lost and found” items as we have no way of knowing if the item belongs to someone from the church.  Items left behind will remain at the church.  So be like Santa and make a list!


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December 2016 – “Bah Humbug?” Come Dancing!

When: Saturday December 3, 7:30 pm; quick teaching for newcomers at 7:15
Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 First Street N.W.
Callers: Steven Méthot and James Prescott
Band: Special guests
Admission: $12.00 per person
Next dance: New Year’s Eve! (see further information below)

Old Friends Night?

We are welcoming back two very dear friends of our Contra Dance community this month for a short visit.  Parker and Marian Mann will be up from California to dance with us.  Parker used to be a regular caller in our community and we’ve picked a few of their favourites to dance to.

Lots and Lots of Upcoming Events!

Chautauqua: The Other Sounds of Christmas

  • What:  An annual benefit for the Food Bank. An evening of music, storytelling, dance, mummery – a non-traditional traditional Christmas. Performers include: David Morrissey, Steve Goodchild, Derek Lofthouse, Kathy Pepers, Sharon Lenz and Joel Weder, Halite, The Rocky Mountain Rappers and Diminished Fifth. Our Mummers will hold forth with a play for 2016, and Steven has an original story to share.
  • When: Friday December 9, 7:30 pm
  • Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 First Street N.W.
  • Ticket Information: Individuals $10, Families $25. Contact Natalie at 430-730-8389. NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR.

A Christmas Carol

  • What: Charles Dickens told his story over 100 times in a series of soirees. Join Calgary storyteller Steven Méthot in a recreation of one of these performances. Music by Natalie Manzer, Michael Pollock and Karen Pollock.
  • When: December 1st AND 15th 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30)
  • Where: The Lougheed House, 707 13 Ave SW, Calgary
  • Ticket Information: via Eventbrite for December 1 or December 15

New Year’s Contra Dance!

  • What: Ring in the New Year with us! An evening of dancing followed by food and camaraderie.
  • When: Saturday, December 31 8:00 pm
  • Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 First Street N.W.
  • Admission: $12 at the door. Bring finger food to share. This is an alcohol-free event.

Delphiniums and Daisies

That’s the name of this dance that Steven will be prompting.  A nice, easy, flowing dance that will fit in with the spirit of the evening with one minor alteration.

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November 2016 – Take Advantage of the “Fall Back” Weekend and Dance!

Come take advantage of the “fall back” weekend to dance to your heart’s content..

When: Saturday November 5, 7:30 pm; quick teaching for newcomers at 7:15
Where: Unitarian Church of Calgary, 1703 First Street N.W.
Callers: Annette LeFaive and Steven Méthot
Band: Contraband
Admission: $12.00 per person
Next dance: Saturday, December 3

Reminder of Upcoming Events

As if we needed any reminder. But with winter comes the holiday season, and sure as snow in September that means Chautauqua and a visit from Charles Dickens! This year is our 12th anniversary, and we have a really special show planned to celebrate. Mark your calendars for Friday December 9th.

Mr. Dickens will be in Alberta to present his story “A Christmas Carol” on December 1st and 15th at the Lougheed House here in Calgary, and on December 11th at the Water Valley Church Events Centre.

The websites for these two venues will be updated this week with more details.

Videos (and other media)

A nice little video by Doug Plummer of a dance called at the NEFFA (New England Folk Festival Association) meeting earlier this year. A glimpse at a really large crowd. We’ll be prompting this dance on November 5th.

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