Who We Are
Put simply, we are a community of people who love to dance! We strive to make our community friendly, welcoming, and safe for all dancers. We want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the joy of contra, and share the reasons why we love to do it!
Triangle Country Dancers (TCD) is a nonprofit organization which promotes the enjoyment, preservation, and study of contra dancing and other English and American traditional and historic dance, music, and song. TCD is a group affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is contra dance?
Contra dance is an American folk dance that is a mixing pot of cultural influences. These influences include English, French, Irish, Scottish, Canadian, African American, Native American, & Appalachian, and maybe even more! Many people compare Contra dancing to Square dancing because they do have similar roots and some shared figures. However, the Contra dance you see today is much younger dance, and is continually evolving. Contra is a partner dance, but that does not mean you have to bring one to the dance! As a community dance, in Contra you dance with your partner, and with everyone else in the room! Contra is also a “Called” dance, which means there will be a caller, or dance instructor, who will teach each dance in a “walkthrough” beforehand. During the dance, the caller will call, or prompt, the next move, giving the dancers reminders of what’s coming next. This is what makes contra dancing easy to learn, you don’t have to remember everything!
Do I need to bring a partner?
You will need a partner for each dance but you don’t need to bring one. You can find a partner at the dance or partners will find you. In fact people usually find a different partner for each dance.
What should I expect at my first contra dance?
We’re glad you’ve decided to give contra a try! Newcomers are welcome, and you don’t need any prior dance experience! At all of the regular dances there is a Newcomer’s Lesson, which starts roughly 30 minutes before the beginning of the dance. Those lessons will teach you all you need to know to enjoy the dance. You will continue to learn new things throughout the night from the caller and other dancers. We recommend that new dancers try to dance with some experienced dancers, they will be glad to dance with you and they can help guide you through a dance if you get lost.
What should I wear?
You’ll see a very diverse collections of outfits at a contra dance. We recommend that you wear something you’ll feel comfortable dancing in. Keep in mind that it will get a little hot, and you may get sweaty - some dancers bring a change of clothes to change into partway through the dance. Many people prefer something loose, or breathable material. You’ll also see a lot of skirts (regardless of gender) at a dance because everyone likes a good twirl!
Do I need special dance shoes?
We just ask that shoes be clean and soft-soled (no taps, no spike heels, etc). We want to keep our dance floor well-maintained!