Annual Town & Gown Dance to Feature Contra Dancing

October 27, 2014

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Folklore Society will host the annual Town & Gown Dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are appreciated to help cover expenses.

The dance will include a variety of traditional American folk dances, but will focus on contra, a form of old English country dancing that American colonists in New England eventually modified to fit into the long, thin floor spaces of barns. Two long lines of people dance a series of simple figures, continually moving along the line until each person has danced with everyone else. 

A beginner’s workshop will be held at 7:30 p.m. before the main dance begins. Morna Leonard will teach and call dances throughout the evening. Skippin’ a Groove, a band that specializes in Irish jigs and reels, will perform live music. Dress is casual and eclectic.

For more information call Vicki Watson, UM Folklore Society adviser, at 406-243-5153, email or visit


Contact: Vicki Watson, UM environmental studies professor and UM Folklore Society adviser, 406-243-5153,