Welcome to Ottawa Contra Dance!

Contra dancing is a joyful, energetic community dance for all ages. We dance to live music – fiddles, guitar, accordions, and more – and talented callers guide us through dance formations. Check out our Schedule page or subscribe to our email newsletter for upcoming dances.

Beginners are very welcome – all dances are taught and no partner or previous experience needed – just bring your smile!

“It was [a] very friendly atmosphere. The instructions were good. The music was fantastic!” “Very welcoming.”

Contra Dances in 2023

Contra dances will take place once or twice a month on 1st and/or 3rd Saturday evenings. Our local callers Catherine Burns or Peter Simonyi will be leading many of the dances.

Doors open at 7 PM
Introductory lesson 7:30-8 PM (highly recommended for new participants)
Dance 8-11 PM
Location: Churchill Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Road, Ottawa


February 17th, 2024
Magia Vestis Café Orchestra
Caller: Peter Simonyi
Julie Bishop will lead a Contra Dancers – Learn to Waltz! session from 6:15 to 7:15 PM, upstairs, before this contra dance. Participants will learn and practice the basics of this style of waltzing. Session is free or you can make a small donation ($5 suggested).
March 2nd, 2024
Greg Brown and friends (names to follow)
Caller: Grace Hendrickson Jones
March 16th, 2024
Peach Jam
Caller: Catherine Burns
April 6th, 2024
Traditional Fare
Caller: Bev Bernbaum
April 20th, 2024
Tamsyn Kaley-Schryer Trio
Caller: June Harman
May 4th, 2024
Grace Hendrickson-Jones, Jonathan Werk, and another (name to follow)
Caller: Emily Addison

For ticket prices and more information, check out our Schedule page.

Masks are optional. Please stay home if you’re sick.

Starting at our June 2023 dances mask wearing was optional. Dancers are most welcome to wear a mask if they wish to. If you feel unwell, test positive for Covid, or are a close contact of someone with Covid, please do not attend. Staying up to date with vaccination is highly recommended. Please see our full list of Covid measures here.


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