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Dedicated to promoting, preserving, enjoying and sharing the music, dance, arts, crafts,
and skills of contemporary and traditional cultures and generally having a pretty good time.

Welcome to the Missoula Folklore Society's Contra Dance Page!
Last Updated: 3/2/2012

Contra Dancing evolved from English Country Dancing. Couples form long parallel lines and dance a series of figures. All dances are taught from scratch. It is fun, great exercise, and easy to learn. Questions about contra dancing? Check out this site. Need more info? Check out contra dancing.

Contradancing: Missoula, Helena, Kalispell, Hamilton, or Shy Bear Farm (summer)

Photos: (Missoula contra dances): Jan-21-2006, Nov-05-2005, Dec-04-2004, Jan-17-2004, Nov-15-2003, Nov-1-2003May-15-2004

All MFS events are smoke-free.

If you would like to join MFS click here.

Missoula Contra dances feature live music and are held regularly on the first and third Saturday of each month, October through May, on the second floor of  The Union Hall in Missoula, unless otherwise noted in the calendar below.  There is a beginner's (or newcomer's) workshop at 7:30 p.m. and dancing from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.  Cost is $6 for MFS members and students and $9 for all others.  All dances are taught from scratch. Everyone is welcome including singles, couples, groups, and families. Summer dances in June, July, August will be held on the third Saturday only at Shy Bear Farm's Dance Pavilion.

MFS dances are put on by volunteers who get into dances free. If you can help, contact Rita Cheek (rcheek[at sign]

2013 - 2014 (29th Anniversary Year)
Missoula Contra Dances 1st and 3rd Saturdays
Schedule may change; check back for updates.

Oct 5

Celtic Knots

Derek Gallagher
Oct 19
Tra Le Gael
Janet Grove
Nov 2
Out of the Wood (Sandpoint, Idaho)
Bev Young
Nov 16
Skippin' a Groove (Msla)
Christa Torrens
Dec 7
Balled in Burlap
Mark Matthews
Dec 21
Skippin' a Groove (Msla)
Morna Leonard
Dec 31
Celtic Knots (Hamilton)
First Night!

Missoula Senior Center, 705 S. Higgins

6:30 to 8:45 PM

Jan 4
Sassafras Stomp (Maine)
Rab Cummings
Jan 18
Sassafras Stomp (Maine)
Janet Grove
Black & White
Feb 1
Skippin' a Groove
Mark Matthews
Feb 15
Mystery Band
Christa Torrens
Mar 1
Balled in Burlap
Bev Young
Mar 15
Skippin' a Groove
Morna Leonard
Apr 5
Tra La Gael
Roy Curet
Apr 19

Skippin' a Groove

Derek Gallagher
Apr 26
Balled in Burlap
Bev Young
May 3
Out of the Wood
Roy Curet
May 17
Skippin' a Groove
Round Robin Calling

Helena Contra Dances


Dates: 2nd Saturdays of most months, beginning October 2012.

Cost: $8 at the door. $1 off with membership card. Family rates available.

Location: Placer Hotel Lobby, 21 N Last Chance Gulch on the Walking Mall.

7:00 - 7:30 pm: Introductory Workshop (for newcomers)
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm: Contra Dance

Check out our schedule at:

No partner or experience necessary. Singles and couples welcome. More info, call Amie at 495-0935.



Come join us for lively music and fun dancing. No partner or experience necessary. Beginners, singles, couples and families are welcome.



Kalispell Contra Dances

Date Caller Band Location
Dec. 1 Morna Leonard New Money

Kalispell Senior Center (403 2nd Ave. West)

Jan. 5 Kathy Neff Left Side Brains Kalispell Senior Center
Feb. 2 TBA New Money Kalispell Senior Center
Feb. 23 Mark Matthews Grin and Bear It Kalispell Senior Center
Mar. 2 Kathy Neff Left Side Brains Kalispell Senior Center
Mar. 23 TBA TBA Kalispell Senior Center
Apr. 6 Bev Young Tra La Gael Kalispell Senior Center

Times: 7:30 - 10:30 PM

7:30 - 8:15 PM: Beginners' lessons. All children are welcome to dance at this time.

8:15 -10:30 PM: More complex dances will be intermingled with easier ones. These dances are best suited for adults and children ages 10 & older.

Snacks: Feel free to bring snacks to share for any dance: sliced fruit, nuts, (banana, pumpkin, zucchini, whatever) bread, crackers, chips, whatever YOU like to eat!

Except for the April dance, swing dance music will be played for dancing purposes during the break.

Prices: $8 individuals; $5 high school and college students; $18 family

Questions: Call Joe at 406-752-7469, or e-mail him at fisherdogshot[at sign]


Missoula get ready to Boogie in the Springtime!!!
Old Time Montana and the Missoula Folklore Society are teaming up to host FOUR dances at the Downtown Dance Collective, on the FIRST FRIDAYS of Feb, March, April, and May!

This means you can go downtown and enjoy the art walk (AKA free wine night) then stay downtown for the dance at 8!

Everybody is Welcome... these dances are All Ages, All Sizes, All Abilities, All Gender and sexual orientation! You don't need to bring a partner or special dancing shoes, just bring yourself!

The ephemeral string band PARALLELLOGRAM will be at it again serving up hot n' tasty Old Time Tunes for our frolicking pleasure.

Only $5!


Shy Bear Farm Summer Contra Dances

3rd Saturday of June, July, and August

June 21, July 19, August 16 (2014)

5:30 pm
Dance: 7:00 pm
Sunday Breakfast: 9 am

Dance Cost: No charge - altho' donations are welcomed!
Breakfast: $4.00 person/$10.00 Family

Bring lawn chairs, water bottles, dance shoes, warm clothes, hiking shoes, dinner potluck food, swimsuit/towel (Big Knife Creek is nearby for those hot days) and camping gear if staying overnight. A flashlight comes in handy when trying to find your car or camp after the dance.

These dances are open band and open caller.  If you have a hankerin' to try your hand at calling or love to play music with other musicians, this is the time and place to indulge yourself!

Please carpool. Parking is limited!
Dogs must be leashed.

Click here for directions to Shy Bear Farm.


This page is maintained by Gary Decker. If you have MFS-related dances (including non-Missoula dances) that you would like to have listed here or if you have corrections/comments concerning this dance page, please e-mail -- gdecker[at sign] -- and now, did you hear about the three musicians and the accordion player who walked into a bar? And what's the difference between an accordion and a trampoline? You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline....

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