Peterborough 1st Saturdays and Special Dances

Peterborough dances are held on the first Saturday of every month. The dance opens at 7:30 with a beginners workshop, and the dancing starts at 8:00. There is also a jam session for beginning and intermediate level musicians at 6:30. The callers and bands represent diverse choices from New England’s finest. Admission to the dance is $10 / $7 for students and senior citizens. There are also special dances during the year: notably the Fall Ball in October, Thanksgiving Eve dance, the Snow Ball in January, and the Play Ball in April.

Look for details about the upcoming First Saturday dances in the MFS calendar and on Facebook.
The Peterborough 1st Saturday Contra Dance was started in the 1980’s by Tod Whittemore, then from the Boston area. When Tod moved to the southwest, the dance was taken over by Steve Zakon-Anderson. In 2012, the monthly dance organization was moved to a committee of the Monadnock Folklore Society. Steve continues to be the primary caller, with guest callers at various times throughout the year. Steve is also the organizing force behind the annual Fall Ball, Thanksgiving Eve, Snow Ball and Play Ball.

The Monadnock Folklore Society is proud to provide sponsorship for the Peterborough Dances, which are held in the lovely Peterborough Town House.

For more information about the Peterborough dance, call 603-762-0235, or by Email.

The Peterborough Town House is located at 1 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH 03458. Click here for directions.


What Is Contra Dancing?

Contra dance is a fun, easy style of folk dance which has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. At the end of the sequence, each couple progresses on to meet new neighbors. Over the course of the dance, each couple travels the length of the line and dances with every other couple.

Check out Wikipedia and note that the photo is from Peterborough! And you can check out Google and YouTube, of course.

How Do I Learn?

From 7:30 – 8:00pm before every dance, the evening’s caller offers a workshop on the basic steps used in contra. Then, as the evening progresses, each new dance is taught with a brief walk-through. We also have a wonderful community of friendly, experienced dancers who welcome new dancers.

Do I Need a Partner?

You are welcome to bring a dance partner or a group of friends with you, but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening. You can ask anyone you’d like to dance, you can accept a dance invitation from whomever you like, and you can also decline to dance as well.

Is It Difficult?

If you can walk and smile, you can contra dance!

Live Music

Our first Saturday contra dance always features wonderful live music drawn from the Irish, Scottish, English, and French Canadian traditions. Our live contra bands are drawn from regional and national touring groups, usually featuring fiddle, flute, or accordion, backed by piano, guitar, and/or bass.