Society hosts dance night in Moscow for all ages

‘Contra’ style incorporates swing elements, event includes family dance session, free admission for children

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

The Palouse Folklore Society welcomes anyone interested in learning contra dance to join their community dance on Saturday, including beginners and enthusiasts.

“It’s not too difficult,” Tim Daulton, Palouse Folklore Society dance coordinator, said. “Anyone can pick it up.”

Contra, a folk-style dance formed in long lines, does not require you to bring a partner. Contra is a social dance, he said.

“It’s very popular in the United States,” Daulton said. “There are swing dance elements with simple moves that can be combined in different ways.”

The Palouse Folklore Society has put on dances for about 30 years, Daulton said.

The evening will include a family dance session starting at 6:30 p.m., which introduces kids and beginners to contra-style dance, he said. The family session is free.

A free lesson open to the community and beginners, instructed by Daulton, will go from 7:30-8 p.m. The Palouse Folklore Society website recommends participants to bring comfy shoes and clothes.

After the free session, the evening will continue with more dancing and Irish music by Paul Smith, a fiddler from the Palouse and member of the band Potatohead. Alex Roberts will also play guitar, Daulton said.

The dance caller, someone who prompts what type of dance will be next, will be Spokane resident Nancy Staub, he said.

Participants are encouraged to not to wear fragrances, as some members are sensitive to them, according to the website.

Admission to the dance on Saturday will be charged after 8 p.m. and will finish at 10:30 p.m. The cost is $6 for Palouse Folklore Society members, $8 for non-members and $5 for first-time dancers. Children are always free, according to the website.

The dance will be at the 1912 Center on the corner of Third St. and Van Buren in Moscow.