Our American Contra Dance weeks are tremendously popular and often sell well out in advance so we really do encourage early booking! Hosted by Meg Winters our Autumn dance week is led by a wonderful American caller Diane Silver, with music from the inimitable Halsway favourites English Contra Dance Band.
Dance workshops take place each morning with fun optional outings and activities in the afternoons. There is usually a musicians’ workshop Wednesday tea-time, so bring instruments too. Dances every evening, all in the lovely setting of Halsway Manor!
Who’s it For
Dancers of all levels of experience; newcomers to Contra are welcome, with plenty to challenge more experienced dancers too!
“Friendly and welcoming group of people, plenty of laughs, energetic dancing and really enjoyable sessions in the bar afterwards!” Participant
Diane Silver, (Asheville, NC) is a popular caller of contras for all ages and levels of experience. For over 20 years she has brought energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to regular classes, dance weekends, camps and festivals across the US and beyond. Her clear, kind teaching, great positive energy, and a spirit of community-building create a fun, low-risk atmosphere for dancers of all levels of experience to improve and try new things. She’s also an avid freestyle Appalachian flat-footing dancer, so expect to see some moves!
The English Contra Dance Band is a two piece band, based in the UK, who have for the last ten years played at most of the major contra dances. Linda Game plays a driving fiddle style over Gareth Kiddier’s solid piano accompaniment. Although they are from different traditions, English traditional and Rock, they have adapted very well to the American high energy style of contra dance music. As a dancer recently said, “How can two people make so much noise!”.
In the last few years they have played at many major festivals in the UK, including EIFF, IVFDF, Sidmouth, Chippenham, and Towersey, as well as dance weekends at Halsway Manor. They regularly perform at contra clubs up and down the UK, and have worked with most of the top UK callers. In recent years they have played at festivals in Denmark, where there is a strong contra community. In 2012 they had their first US tour, playing for American contra dancers on the East Coast.