Liverpool Contra folk-dance club. . LIVERPOOL "Contra" folk-dance club

To contact us; phone 0151 427 1907 or email our Secretary.

We meet each Tuesday, 7.45 (hopefully!) - 10.00.p.m.
(September to May, with a few exceptions.)
at Gorsedale Road Scout Hut,
off Dovedale Road, Allerton, Liverpool 18.

(Sorry about the map quality; it will show better if copied into an image program)

TUESDAY 12th MAY is our A.G.M.
- but we still dance during that evening, before and after the (short) meeting.

TUESDAY 19th MAY is our LAST SESSION (and Party!)
before we close down for the summer.

SEPTEMBER 8th is our START AGAIN DATE for Autumn.

Our next public dance will feature
ALBIREO folk-dance band
and RHODRI DAVIES, the Caller.
Please visit their web-sites by clicking on their names.

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We are a specialist club for English Country Dancing.
We meet on Tuesday evenings each week, from 7.45p.m to 10 o'clock. This is right through the year, apart from a summer break during June, July & August, and sometimes we miss out on the Tuesday following a bank holiday (e.g. Christmas and Easter.).

No previous experience is needed, and anyone is welcome simply to turn up some Tuesday night.There is no joining fee nor annual subscription; just a small charge each evening you come, (£2.00 from October 2006),), and this even includes light refreshments.

No special equipment is needed ; just comfortable shoes. You do not need to bring a partner, and you would normally dance with many different people during an evening.

English country dancing still suffers from a reputation for being "sniffy", with mistakes being frowned on. This is NOT the case in Liverpool Contra; there is plenty of laughing and smiling in our club, especially at the mistakes we all still make together. Beginners are always very welcome.

Our Secretary is Maria Warrington, 0151 427 1907.
Our club is one of a number of folk-dance clubs in the the Mersey And Deeside federation, M.A.D.folk) ,
and is affiliated to the The English Folk Dance & Song Society.

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Some people refer to this as barn-dancing, or even "square-dancing" or ceilidhs (which are rather different). This is not solo or couple dancing, but we dance in "teams" or "sets" of a number of couples, and everyone dances together to form pleasing patterns of movement.
Many of the most popular country dances were composed in the 20th century, and modern dances are still being created in this tradition. Some of the dances we keep alive are the formal dances from the dancing masters of the 18th century.

English country dancing was taken across to America by early settlers, and it became very popular in New England, where it it developed in its own way, and much of this was brought back to England. As a result, we do include some "American" country dancing in our programmes, but we do not do any Line dancing.

There are two main types of English Country Dancing. To over-simplify...
There is the dancing of the ordinary folk of the villages and market towns, which can be quite complex and smooth, but not "standing onm one's dignity."

There is also the dancing of the gentry in the Big Manor House and grand London residences. This second style is generally known by the name of Mr. Playford, a most famous Dancing Master who composed many of the typical dances of this type. So these "Playford" dances tend to be more gentle, graceful and sedate than the "barn-dance" activities of the "country-folk."

The word "ceilidh" crops up in these conversations, where it is used widely in Scottish and Irish for a small body of dances which "we all learned at school."
In English Country dancing it is used to denote dances and dancing at the more rumbustious and energetic end of the spectrum. So there are many dances which would be done at "English Ceilidhs," - not just a basic half-dozen - and a Caller would always be needed to teach or remind the dancers.

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Some other web-sites which may be of interest;
The English Folk Dance & Song Society.
"Lancashire Folk": details of folk activities in Lancashire.
"FolkGroup NorthWest" the North West Section of the Folk Group
"Down the Lane" forum; folk-dance section. All about dancing,bands,clubs, etc.

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Here are some pages linked to this page:
Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs, bands, callers etc.
St Helens Folkdance Dentons Green
Gerry Jones' daytime Country Dancing clubs
on Mondays in Fazakerley and Childwall.
Some popular English country dances and how to dance them.
Liverpool Country Dance Band for barn-dances and ceilidhs.
Lyrics of some Liverpool Songs.and a CD of them.
Gerry Jones, the handy musician in many different ways
Liverpool branch of the RSCDSfor learning Scottish Country Dancing.
IRISH Dancing information schools and teachers in Merseyside.
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email Gerry Jones as webmaster for general information.
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In autumn of 2003, we had the pleasure of wishing Alan Whitwell, our Caller, "All the best" for his 70th Birthday.

The remarkable montage of Alan and his friends at Contra was created by Brian Adams, and is incredibly detailed, showing everyone in the club at least once. Alan has a full-colour A4 print of it, but would take forever to download on a website, so here is a small jpeg to give some idea of it.
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