Author Archives: bronwyn_woods

Sound system fundraiser a success!

A big thank you to all who contributed towards our new sound system! We raised over $3,000 to get new sound equipment so that our bands and callers have the sound they deserve! Want to join the sound volunteer team that helps make our dance possible at the Friday night dances? Contact us here. We plan to run at least training workshop with the new system, so everyone can have a chance to learn in a low-stress environment.

Sound system fundraiser (donate online!)

The sound equipment we use at our dances is nearly 30 years old, and it’s time for an upgrade. A new mixer will be easier to operate, substantially easier to move around and set up, and more reliable. New speakers will provide substantially richer sound to everyone dancing, making the bands sound even more amazing. New monitors will allow the bands to more accurately and pleasantly hear their own sound and enjoy performing for us.

We are running a fundraiser to raise the money necessary to replace these components of the sound system, as well as a few odds and ends that bands frequently request that we can’t currently supply. We are hoping to raise $3000 for this project. If you would like to contribute using a credit card, click on the buttons below to donate securely through Stripe. You can also donate at the dances during the month of May.


Fall Dance Weekend 2015, online registration open!

Online registration (and paper registration!) is open for the 2015 Fall Dance Weekend. Information about the weekend, and the details about how to register are available on the Fall Dance Weekend page. Register by October 16 for the early bird rate!

This year we are in a new, bigger location in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. Twice the space, and proximity to public transit, restaurants, hotels, museums and more. We hope to see you at the weekend November 6-8, dancing to the music of Maivish and the Free Raisins and the calling of Rick Mohr and Mary Wesley!

Volunteer opportunities

Do you want to help make the Pittsburgh contra dance happen? Not sure how to get involved? We are actively looking for volunteers to help with a wide variety of roles. No matter how much of a time commitment you are able to make, we can use your help. Some examples of volunteer jobs available:

  • Sound board operators
  • Opening the hall, closing the hall
  • Collecting, counting, and depositing the money from the desk
  • Assisting with set-up and clean-up
  • Making the announcements
  • Scheduling for volunteers

and more. Some of these tasks require some training. For many of them we are looking for back-up people who know the job and can cover for others when needed. We have many members of the community who are doing or have done these tasks who will be happy to help you learn.

If you want to volunteer and don’t currently know what you can do, contact Bronwyn who will put you in touch with the right people for whatever tasks seem best to you.

Council Election

This Friday we will begin our election process for the new Contra Council.  Ballots will be available at the dance for the next 3 weeks (Feb. 27, Mar. 6, Mar. 13).  You may vote once.  Check out this page to see pictures of the volunteers who are willing to serve!

Council nominations wanted

At the dance on January 16, the community approved the bylaws that establish a contra council. The council is a 9 member group responsible for operating and improving the dance. The council members will be jointly covering tasks such as

  • implementing ideas for improving the dance
  • organizing volunteers to manage the hall, run sound, book talent, maintain the website, organize rides, lead publicity, and all the other tasks that need to happen for the dance to be successful
  • managing the financial wellbeing of the dance
  • responding to community feedback, concerns and questions

Since we want the council members to have staggered terms, the first council will be split into thirds based on term length. 3 people will be elected for 1 year, 3 people for 2 years, and 3 people for 3 years. If you are interested in participating for a shorter 1 or 2 year term but still getting the opportunity to help lead our dance, this is your chance!

We are now seeking community members interested in running for a seat on the council. The group who wrote the bylaws will be serving as a nominating committee to organize the slate and run the election. If you wish to be considered for membership on the board, email Gaye or Bronwyn or talk to any of us in person (Gaye, Bronwyn, John, Linda, Paula, Ted, Jo).


Bylaw vote January 16, 2015

Considering feedback from the community survey, a group of volunteers has created a set of bylaws establishing a committee to help organize and operate the dances. The proposed bylaws are available here (bylaws). There will be a vote to approve these bylaws at the dance on January 16, 2015.

Proposed bylaws

Considering feedback from the community survey, a group of volunteers has created a set of bylaws establishing a committee to help organize and operate the dances. The proposed bylaws are available here (bylaws). There will be a vote to approve these bylaws in January, date to be announced.

Lost and found from FDW

Here are the items that were found at the 2014 Pittsburgh Fall Dance Weekend. If you think any of them are yours, email Cecil.

1. One grey “rubbery plastic” water bottle, Trizilla brand.

2. One dark tan cloth bag, containing a pair of women’s dance shoes, brand Enzo Angiolini. They are gold color, leather flats, (no strap across front.) Size looks to be between 71⁄2 and 91⁄2.

3. One black and grey, (camouflage look), (stretchy fabric) head cover, with ties in the back.

4. One pair of black jersey leggings, Ann Taylor LOFT brand, 93% cotton, 7% spandex. Lady’s size M.

5. One light grey, (jersey fabric), zippered jacket with two zippered pockets, Ralph Lauren brand, 93% cotton, 7% spandex. Lady’s size Petite.

6. One black terry cloth headband, 2 inches wide.

7. One lightweight pullover black sweater, V neck, “Perfect” Old Navy brand. Lady’s size M.

8. One lightweight, black, button sweater, 67% Rayon, 33% Polyester, Worthington brand. Lady’s size L.

9. One heavy, dark blue zippered jacket with 3 zippered pockets, Windproof fabric, PacTech Performance, Pacific Trail brand. Men’s size XL.

10. One dark green, 3⁄4 length, zippered raincoat with two Velcro Pockets, Eddie Bauer brand. Shell is 100% Polyester with Gore–Tex Lamination. Lining is 100% Nylon. Men’s size Large.