We like events that combine old-time square dances and Contra dances. Old-time means that the square dances try to be like they were done before the Western square dance clubs were formed in the 1950's. Contra dances are a tradition from New England which use a lot of the same moves as squares but are done in lines of couples instead. You and your partner typically progress down parallel lines doing a figure with each couple you meet and then a swing with the partner. The Virginia Reel that you did in Junior High School is an oversimplified Contra. They get much more interesting.
These groups have a live string band and caller. The live music adds a lot to the experience.
There is a writeup about the former annual
Mooney Hollow All Night Barn Dance
that was lots of fun. Pat's description tells more about the music and dance
community. We also attended a dance at Scattergood school for several years.
A monthly dance is going in Iowa City at The Center, 28 South Linn Street, downtown Iowa City, on the 4th Saturday of the month.
Dances are being held in Decorah, Iowa, most often on the 3rd
Saturday. Call Sharon 563-387-3199 or Bill 563-382-3699.
You can find more announcements about dances at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PrairieBarnDance and can also sign up to receive those announcements by email.
The music used for these dances is acoustic, meaning
they do use microphones if the hall is big,
sometimes an electronic piano). The repertoir is largely old-time
fiddle tunes (the stuff Bluegrass grew out of). The music is also a lot
of fun to play without having a dance.
updated 2017 Feb 21