North Texas Traditional Dance Society

NTTDS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization that promotes a better understanding and appreciation of American folk dancing, its music, its history, and related folklore. We are a group affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society.


What is a Contra Dance ?

It is an evening of fun, energetic, no-pressure dancing to traditional American music played by an "old time" band. You'll join dozens of other dancers moving together with easy walking steps, to directions from a caller.

More technically: Contra dance is done in a formation of two long lines facing each other, with your partner in the other line across from you. You and your partner go through a sequence of steps with the couple next to you, resulting in the two couples trading places. This is repeated with the next couple, and so on down the line.

More whimsically: In a contra dance, a new person of the opposite sex is thrust into your arms every 30 seconds.

English Country dancing is similar to Contra dancing, but is generally less vigorous and more "refined".

Do I need a partner ?

NO! Everyone is welcome: singles, couples, young, and old. In fact, we encourage everyone to change partners between dances to meet new people, make new friends, and maybe learn some new tips from fellow dancers.

Do I need to know how to dance ?

NO again! If you enjoy music and are enthusiastic, you can be a contra dancer. The caller explains the dance before you begin, and then prompts you through the dance. Most dances use the same 8-10 basic moves, just in a different order. New dancers may wish to come to the 15-minute "everything you need to know" lesson before a dance. It is really easy ... and youll have fun meeting new people while you learn.

What do I need to participate ?

Energy and a smile! Wear cool, comfortable clothes. Most women wear full skirts and blouse; most men wear slacks with a sport shirt or t-shirt. During warm weather many people wear shorts. Soft-sole shoes are easier on both the feet and the floor.

Are there pictures and/or videos of does Contra Dancing available?

YES. See our Pictures page.

When and Where are the dances ?

We do two types of dance: English Country is fairly gentle, and Contra is more vigorous. We do English on 4th Saturdays, and Contra on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Saturdays. See the Schedule page for the details.
Come 15-30 minutes early for a quick beginners lesson.

More Information

For more information about Contra Dancing, see A Contra Dance Primer or Contraculture: An Introduction To Contradancing, or the Chattahoochee Country Dancers of Atlanta Contra Dance Training Videos, or other web sites listed on our Links page.


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North Texas Traditional Dance Society is a 501(c)(3) organization with registered offices in the State of Texas.
How to contact NTTDS:    972-546-8858    OR       OR    PO Box 820203, Dallas, TX 75382
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