Looking for something to do this Friday night?

Try Contra Dance

LIve Music

Dance to live high-energy music in various genres, including Appalachian, Celtic, old time, Quebecois, jazz, and rock.

Easy to Learn

Come early at 7:30 PM for a free introduction and refresher lesson. Dance 8:00pm-10:30pm.

Beginners Welcome

All ages. We value diversity and foster an inclusive community. Come by yourself or with friends – no partner nor experience needed!

Casual, Friendly

Make new friends. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. 

Online Introductory Price


General Information

We dance every Friday night at the Decatur Recreation Center, unless otherwise noted on the Events Calendar(*Link).

  • 7:30pm – 8:00pm Intro/Refresher Session
  • 8:00pm – 10:45pm Contra dance with Waltz at the break.


Free Parking at Decatur Library next door. (If the top lot is full, parking is available below.)

Things to Know Before Dancing

You are in good company — we were all new to Contra at one time. Beginners are encouraged to join us at the Atlanta Contra Dance! Experienced dancers will help you, we are here to have fun not to be perfect! There is a Dance Basics Workshop before every dance on Fridays from 7:30-8:00pm. The Caller will get you all warmed up and ready to dance that night.

You will learn things like a basic swing, an ‘allemande’, a ‘do si do’, and how a contra dance set works. You’ll get the fundamentals that will make you successful and put a smile on your face!

Water, Water, Water: Hydration is so important! Bring a water bottle! If you’re well hydrated, it will reduce potential dizziness, keep you feeling great and increase the joy you feel from the dance. This means start drinking water before you get to the dance.


  • There is no dress code, come in gym clothes, dress up fancy, or anything in
  • Wear comfortable shoes- you will be dancing and being very active. Shoes with smooth soles that are designed to slide are ideal.
  • You will get sweaty, a hand towel or an extra shirt could help you stay more
    comfortable and drier throughout the dance.
  • Dancers generally do not wear cologne or perfume as some people are very sensitive.


  • The beauty of contra is that it is inherently a group activity.
  • It is customary to switch partners after each dance.
  • You do not need to bring a partner with you
  • You are also welcome to bring a bunch a people!

Over the course of a dance, you will interact with everyone, so don’t be concerned if you aren’t bringing a partner to the dance. Ask some experienced dancers to dance, they would love to show you the ropes!

  1. Dance Role Terms: Anyone can dance any role. We don’t use the terms Lead/Follow as
    in many social dances, we use Gents/Ladies or Larks/Robins. When a couple who are dancing together are standing side by side, the dance role of the person on the Left is called the “Lark” or “Gent”. The person standing on the right is
    called the “Robin” or “Lady” These terms are not gendered, they just refer to the dance role, meaning any one can dance any role. Each couple dancing decides between them, while lining up for each dance.
  2. Callers and Walk Throughs: Don’t worry about not knowing the dances in advance. All dances are completely explained and walked through by the caller before they are danced. Each dance is different throughout the night and varies by caller. This variety is one of the things that makes contra so fun, the dances are different every night and there are thousands of dances callers can choose from. This makes many “experienced” dancers newbies too, when a new dance is called that they have never before done. The callers keep calling throughout the dance, they will have your back and help guide everyone – that’s their job!
  3. Give ‘Weight’: Picture the arm tension you use when helping a seated person stand up. In contra, this arm tension is called “weight”. This weight provides energy both people use in the dance. When dancers who are touching hands keep arm tension they are giving weight to each other and it helps propel both of them through the figure.
  4. Feel the Beat: Contra dances are written to fit the music in counts of 4/8; listen for the downbeats and let your body flow with the rhythm of the dance.
  5. Better Never than Late: All dances are designed and timed so that each figure should work with the musical beat to flow seamlessly from one figure to the next. If you forget a figure or get lost, just jump into the next one! Don’t even worry about it 😉

Be gentle and try to be in tune with your partner’s comfort level. Contra dancers love feedback and want you to feel safe. We want to know how you feel, so share your thoughts so we can all enjoy the dance!

  • Speak up if you are uncomfortable or are hurt
  • Use a light touch to connect and make suggestions to your partner
  • Avoid using force to get a dancer to twirl or go into a figure
  • Ask your partner if there are injuries or specifics you should be aware of
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure or a strong hand grip
  • Communicate with your partner, check in
  • Speak up as situations arise with the dancer or a dance organizer

Check out the history of Contra and The history of Contra in Atlanta at this page ____

See info on this page.

Contra Dance Details

Online Introductory Price


Why We Love Contra

Community is at the center of contra, and every dance is an expression of that. See what dancers and talent have to say about Atlanta Contra Dance.



We have been bringing the Atlanta Contra Dance community together since 1975.



Dancers from across the United States travel to join in our dances.



We currently dance at the Decatur Recreation Center in Decatur, Georgia.



The musical talents of these performers bring every dance to life.