The Valparaiso Oldtime Dance will be the 3rd Saturday of each month from 7-10 pm on the third Saturday of the month in 2019. Contras, squares and circle dances will be taught to live music. No experience or partner is needed. Layered clothing is recommended. Dances are held at the Valparaiso YMCA. (Click here for map)
The doors open at 6:30 PM and the dance will start at 7:00. New Dancers are encouraged to arrive at the beginning of the dance for basic instructions. Layered clothing is suggested, comfortable shoes and drinking water are recommended. The cost is $5 per person, with children under 14 free.
No partner is required, and their dances welcome children as well. They don’t wear any special costumes, but comfortable shoes are suggested. This is a family friendly event – kids under 14 dance for free. $5 admission.
The Valparaiso Oldtime Dance Society began organizing public Contra Dances in 2010, offering dance instruction by some of the Midwest’s favorite dance callers. Live Oldtime Dance Music is provided by some of the region’s finest instrumental musicians. They present eight monthly dances per year – every second Saturday from September to May, featuring contra, square, and circle dances, jigs, reels and waltzes.
Their house band is the nine-member Hoosier Recruits, Valparaiso’s premier Oldtime Dance Band. Music is often provided by our all-volunteer band, The Hoosier Recruits. Current members include Peter Martin (hammered dulcimer and flutes), Dot Pakan (accordion), Suzanne Keldsen (fiddle) Julietta Raby (fiddle), Hilda Demuth-Lutze (keyboard), Mark Lutze (bass), and Marti Pizzini (guitar and a variety of other traditional instruments). They also have enjoyed several guest bands which include: Trois Canard, Good Gravity, Cosmic Otters, The Panning Family, Celery City Sodbusters, Chirps Smith & Friends, Dr. Hojka’s Medicine Show, Grande Old Aubrey, Millbillies, Pinhook Bogtrotters, Blind Squirrel, and The Cat Wranglers.
The Valparaiso Oldtime Dance Society is a nonprofit educational organization based in Northwest Indiana. We are dedicated to enjoying, preserving, studying, teaching, and continuing the evolution of American, Celtic and English traditional dance, music and song. Their dances are open to the public, and children are welcome. No costume, partner or experience is necessary. All dances are taught.
Here is a Sample of the Dances they Provide:
Contra Dancing: Dancers form two long lines standing across from their partners. The caller guides the dance partners to dance with each other and with the other couples. With each repeated round of the dance, the dance moves lead you and your partner to â€˜progressâ€™ up (or down) the line to dance with the next couple in turn. When a couple reaches the end of the line, they change direction to dance their way back down (or up) the hall.
Square Dancing: four couples face each other in a square of eight people. Dance moves include things done with your partner and also moves done with all others in the square.
Circle Dancing: Usually circles dances are mixers meaning that the partner you start with will not stay your partner for long. Dance moves are done with each sequential partner as well as everyone in a large circle.
Waltzing and other couples dancing: They often have a waltz or other couple’s dance at the break and end of the dance. These are usually not taught and “free-style” dancing is welcomed. The caller and other experienced dancers are willing to give a quick lesson if desired.
They sometimes do other related dances that are variants of the above including the Virginia Reel and others.
For more information contact Peter Martin (219) 464-0846 or visit their website at www.valpo.chicagobarndance.com or find them on facebook.