Contra Council Information

The Contra Council is a group of 9 volunteers from the contra dance community who are working with help from all of you to make our dance a continued success. On this page you will find information about the projects and ideas that the Council is currently discussing or implementing. You can also find information about when the next Council meeting is scheduled and a contact form if you want to give your feedback or share your ideas on anything dance-related. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please email

Next Council Meeting

We haven't scheduled the next meeting yet. Check back later!

Council Members

In the spring of 2015, the community voted to approve bylaws that created a Contra Council. The first Contra Council was elected in March of 2015, and we had elections in October 2016 and October 2017.  The current members are

  • Paul Frye
  • Bronwyn Woods
  • Eva Westheimer
  • Lauren Connolly
  • Ralph Kaden
  • Deb Byrum
  • Jim Leonard
  • Gwen Kelly
  • Johanne Rokholt

Last Meeting Summaries

  • June 2017- At June’s meeting the Contra Council discussed logistics on our upcoming move to the Winchester Thurston School for our weekly dances. Our first dance at the new location will be on Friday, July 21st!
  • May, 2017- At May’s meeting the Contra Council discussed the upcoming Community Meeting, happening on Sunday, June 4th at 4pm at Gaye and Wayne’s house (all are welcome to join). And our on-going search for a new venue (come to the community meeting to learn more and give your feedback!).We also discussed the on-going need for volunteers to help with the Welcome Desk, opening and closing, sound, and other volunteer opportunities.
  • January, 2017- At the January Contra Council meeting council members talked about ways for brining in new volunteers to help out with the welcome desk (interested? email ), ideas for trainings (a sound training and callers workshop will be in the works in the coming months), and the beginning searches of a possible new dance venue (have ideas for dance venues?
  • At the February meeting the council discussed preliminary outreach for the 2016 Fall Dance Weekend, selling leftover t-shirts (they will be available for $15 at Friday dances), recruiting more volunteers, community safety and dance comfort, recruiting new dancers, and holding a General Community Meeting. As a Contra dance community we are seeking more volunteers- can you help with cleanup, do you have skills in accounting, would you like to volunteer in another way? Please email us or fill out this form: We are working to make our Pittsburgh dance community as safe and comfortable for everyone, we have been making an announcement before the break about consent and dancer comfort. Is there anything that we can change? Please feel free to reach out to any of the Contra Council members if you have any feedback. We will be holding a General Community Meeting sometime this spring to update the dance community in person on what we have been working on, keep your eyes open for a date. Lastly, we discussed what to do with the old sound equipment, now that we have a wonderful new system. If you are interested in buying some of the equipment look out for information at the dance.
  • At the July Contra Council Meeting we reviewed the design for the new Pittsburgh Contra Dance logo, solidified sound equipment options, and started the process of creating sustainable coverage of the key volunteer and coordination roles that are needed to make our dance run smoothly. Keep your eyes open for a variety of ways to get involved at the weekly dances (with defined commitment levels, and lots of options).
  • At the Contra Council’s June meeting we talked about the Fall Dance Weekend, our new sound system, and ways of engaging our dance community. We are very excited to be working on a great Fall Dance Weekend. We are interested in incorporating a techno contra, a blues dance workshop, and a swing dance workshop. Workshops are not yet confirmed, but we are excited to be reaching out to leaders in the region (more to come as we know more!). In addition to the schedule we will have Pittsburgh Contra Dance t-shirts offered at this year’s Fall Dance Weekend. In addition to work around the FDW we are happy to announce that we have reached our funding goal to get a new sound system! The sound system we will available by this fall and we will be holding a sound workshop. We are also planning a combined Family Dance and traditional Friday night dance sometime this fall (likely September).