January 19–21, Larry Unger and Audrey Knuth will join us for a special weekend of music and dancing.
Larry and Audrey are a Boston based traditional duo playing for contra dances and concerts. Guitar and banjo player Larry Unger and fiddler Audrey Knuth are a Boston based traditional duo who play exhilarating tunes with driving rhythms. Their concerts feature American and Celtic tunes with elements of other traditions including swing and blues.
The weekend will begin with a Friday night house concert at Wayne and Gaye’s (1125 LaClair Street in Regent Square) with a suggested donation of $20. Contact Gaye (email@example.com or 412-860-7845) to reserve seats.
Saturday, January 20th- 12:15pm-3:00pm, English Country Dance, Gaye Fifer- and music from Larry Unger and Audrey Knuth at Friends’ Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Avenue
Saturday, January 20th, 8-11pm- Contra Dance with Ron Buchanan calling music from Larry Unger and Audrey Knuth at the Shiloh Center
On Sunday, Larry and Audrey will host a musicians’ workshop from 10:30am–12pm at Wayne and Gaye’s house. The cost is $10; please call Gaye ahead of time to let her know that you are coming.
Sunday, January 21st dancing returns Sunday afternoon at Skibo Small Gym at CMU, 5098 Tech Street in Oakland, with an open waltz from 2–4pm followed by a contra dance (with Gaye Fifer calling) from 5:30–8:30pm.
Don’t miss this full weekend of music and dance!
We’d love for all of you to attend as many dances as possible. A full dance hall is great for everyone — the band, the caller, experienced dancers, and brand-new beginners all benefit from a bunch of nice long lines full of people like you.
With that in mind, we are delighted to announce the Pittsburgh Contra Dance Season Pass! Starting now, Spring 2018 Season Passes are available for $110. Not only is this very nearly half-price for a full season of dancing, it’s also a great way to show your support for the local dance community! You can sign up at any Friday dance, or pay securely online by following this link: https://pittsburghcontra-secure.herokuapp.com/season-pass.html
Announcement on dance location from January 6th-February 24th. We will be dancing at the Shiloh Center- at 3832 Mintwood St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201 from the beginning of January- end of February 2018 as we are looking for a more permanent location. We will be keeping the dances on Saturday evenings, due to our already confirmed arrangements with the bands and callers.
We are excited to be dancing at the Shiloh Center and we looking forward to dancing with you there!
A few things to note about the location:
Bus Transportation: There is ample bus transportation with stops very close to the venue! The 54, 64, 86, 87, 88, and 93 all make stops near by.
Parking: may be a little more difficult to find, however, there is street parking. There is also a parking lot at 37th and Mintwood (two streets over- we will have signs up directing you there!). We cannot park at the Health Department parking lot.
Accessibility: Unfortunately this location is not ADA accessible.
If you have any questions about this location, or suggestions for a longer term venue- please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (412) 945-0554
ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT DANCE LOCATION FROM THE CONTRA COUNCIL:
It has become clear over the last few weeks that Winchester Thurston is not working out as a home for our dances. The school recently informed us that we cannot hold dances in the gym at all during their basketball season, which is a big chunk of the year. The other spaces available at the school are too small or otherwise unsuitable as a permanent location for us. This is disappointing, especially since we were very upfront about the effects of dancing feet on a polished floor before we agreed to the arrangement.
We are working now to find a stable, long-term solution for our dance venue and will share information as we investigate options. We want to be as transparent as possible with the community about this process. Please get in touch with the contra council if you have any suggestions or leads on potential venues. Email us at email@example.com or call us at (412) 945-0554.
We want to emphasize that our dances will continue. Right now there’s a question of where our dances will find their home, but this community surely will continue to come together to share dancing and music. We are trying hard to minimize the confusion caused by changes in location so that coming together to dance is as easy as possible for everyone. Please sign up for our weekly emails, if you haven’t already, you can do so here http://eepurl.com/bO9PaT, or check our website (pittsburghcontra.org) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pittsburghcontra/) for updates about dance location and scheduling.
For December, it is confirmed that dances will be held every Saturday: For the 9th, the 23rd and the 30th at the dance studio at Winchester Thurston. The Holiday Ball on Saturday the 16th will be held at the Swisshelm Park Community Center (1050 Windermere Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15218).
For January and February, we are working to arrange to hold dances on Friday nights in the small room at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, which is where the Fall Dance Weekend is held (419 S Dithridge St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). This plan is not yet confirmed–we will keep the community informed about developments.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the contra council. We are sorry that our dance life is a little out of rhythm right now, but we hope to be back in step together as soon as possible.
We’re delighted to unveil a new Pittsburgh Contra shirt design, available at the Fall Dance Weekend. This year’s design features Pittsburgh icon, Dippy the Diplodocus.
We won’t have extras of every possible type/size/color combination available at the dance. Pre-order to guarantee exactly the shirt you want! (you’ll pay at the weekend when you pick up your shirt)
T-Shirts, “Performance” T-Shirts, Racerback Tank Tops, and Hoodies:
Please join us on Sunday, October 8th as we begin to plan our Pittsburgh Fall Dance Weekend 2018. Join us to discuss which bands and callers we’d like to invite for the wonderful weekend of dancing.
During the meeting we will take suggestions on bands and callers that we think would make a great weekend of dancing. After receiving feedback and input, the Contra Council will follow up with our list of possible bands and callers to make a fantastic line up (making sure to balance styles of bands and callers)!
Potluck dinner to follow.
207 S Aiken Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
A little more about our process:
Community planning meeting for the 2018 Fall Dance Weekend
Three-stage process for selection of bands and callers:
First stage—idea generation. The first stage will involve participants making suggestions about the bands and callers they would like to perform at the 2018 Fall Dance Weekend. Participants may have specific bands and/or callers in mind, or they may describe general musical preferences (for example, old time, modern or jazz-influenced), calling preferences or other considerations that are important to them (for example, thoughtful matching of bands and callers or a having variety of musical styles). The goal of the first stage discussion will be to generate lists of possible bands and callers.
Second stage—voting. The second stage will involve identifying the community’s preferences for possible bands and callers by using “dot-voting.” Dot-voting (voting with dot stickers) is a method of consensus decision-making in which participants vote on their chosen options using a limited number of dot stickers.
Dot-voting involves the following steps:
- Participants are each given a set number of dot stickers.
- Participants place stickers next to the options presented that they like (they may place any number of their dots on any number of the options).
- Options with the most dots at the end of the voting “win.”
The benefits of dot-voting as a method of decision-making include the following:
- It is a quick and simple method for finding the priorities of the community in a long list of options.
- It allows participants to express a preference for more than one option at the same time.
- It leverages the collective wisdom of the community and provides an equal way for all voices in the community to be heard.
- Since the community’s most-preferred bands and callers may turn out to be unavailable for the 2018 Fall Dance Weekend, it is important for the contra council members to understand the community’s preferences generally and not just to have “top choices” that may be unworkable.
Third stage—booking (occurs after the community planning meeting). The third stage will involve contra council members reaching out to the community’s preferred bands and callers to check their availability for the 2018 Fall Dance Weekend and then officially booking bands and callers.
We’d love for all of you to attend as many dances as possible. A full dance hall is great for everyone — the band, the caller, experienced dancers and brand-new beginners all benefit from a bunch of nice long lines full of people like you.
With that in mind, we are delighted to announce the Pittsburgh Contra Dance Season Pass for Fall 2017! Sign up for a season pass and gain unfettered access to every weekly contra dance in our fall season, September 8 through December 30 (15 dances). As a season pass holder, you’ll also receive two single-use guest tickets (to help you spread the joy of contra), and a personalized “Seasoned Dancer” name-button.
Starting now, season passes will be available for $100. You can sign up at any weekly dance, or sign up online by following this link — not only is this is a hefty discount for a full season of dancing, it’s also a great way to show support for the community!
The Pittsburgh Contra Dance is MOVING! First dance at new location: Friday, July 21st (and all subsequent dances)
Location: Winchester Thurston School 555 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Parking lot, more room to dance and grow as a community, air conditioned hall, and bus access (82, 77, 75, 71A, 71C, 71D, East Busway). Questions? Give us at call at (412) 945-0554
News from the Community Meeting: We’re moving?! We’re moving! At our June community meeting we discussed many important things such as what we’ve accomplished over the last year, volunteer roles, and mostly about our need to find a new venue and our research thus far.
We have been looking into moving dance venues for some time now to make the dance more accessible to people who do not have cars and to address parking issues. After much research, and feedback from the community meeting we have decided to move our weekly Friday night dances to Winchester Thurston (555 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). We are very excited to be making this move this summer (more details coming soon about when). There’s a great dance floor (with room for our community to grow), a great connection with the school, accessibility by bus and location near the Universities, a parking lot, and lots more! Keep your ears open for more details coming soon. If you have any questions give us at call at (412) 945-0554 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.