UM to Host Folklore Dance Nov. 3

October 31, 2018

Participants line up for contra dancing at a previous Town and Gown Dance.MISSOULA – It’s time to get down for the annual Town and Gown Dance, hosted by the University of Montana and Missoula folklore societies, on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the University Center Ballroom. 

The event is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to help cover costs. A non-required beginner’s workshop will start at 7:30 p.m., and dancing runs from 8 to 11 p.m. The dress code is casual with comfortable shoes essential.

The dances, called contra dances, are Americanized versions of European country dances, all taught and called. The contra dances are fun and easy to learn, and no experience or partner is necessary, as participants dance with everyone.

“If you can smile and walk at the same time, you can contra dance,” said Vicki Watson, UM Folklore Society adviser.

Music will include old-time Appalachian mountain music and Irish jigs and reels from the band Skippin’ a Groove. Bev Young will call the dances.

More information is online at or by calling Watson at 406-243-5153 or emailing

For an example of contra dancing, visit


Contact: Vicki Watson, UM Folklore Society adviser, 406-243-5153,