2024 Corvallis Contra Weekend
February 16, 17, 18
Two bands, two callers
Covid policy: Negative test at arrival, N95 masks required while dancing. See below for details.
Riptide Trio (Maine)
- Riptide is one of the most energetic contra dance bands on the scene today. They love the tunes they play, and their repertoire contains hundreds of tunes from New England, Quebec, Ireland, Appalachia, and a few other places. Featuring Glen Loper on mandolin, Alden Robinson on fiddle, Max Newman on guitar.
- The Fiddle Hellions (Portland, OR)
- Combine the driving rhythm of George Penk’s fiddle, the soaring harmonies of Betsy Branch’s fiddle, and the propulsive accompaniment of Sue Songer’s piano and you get…The Fiddle Hellions! This trio of long-time musical collaborators from Portland, Oregon came together to give concerts and lead jam sessions at Fiddle Hell online in 2021 and have been repeat performers in this setting ever since. They take special delight in chances to share their vibrant energy with live dancers.
- Frannie Marr (Southern CA)
- Frannie Marr began contra dancing in 1998 when she went looking for a new form of dance to bring back to her elementary school. She quickly fell in love with the music and dance scene and became an organizer as well as a caller. Frannie is known for her excellent choices of wonderful dances, and her clear precise walkthroughs which make her easy to understand and follow. Can you tell she was a kindergarten teacher? Frannie’s joy of dance is so present in her exuberant calling you’ll think you’re at a dance party. Which is exactly where you’ll be when you arrive in Corvallis.
- Julian Blechner (Massachusetts)
- Julian Blechner has a passion for contra dance and is excited to share it with you! He is a seasoned contra and set dance caller based in Western Massachusetts. Since 2011, he’s called dances of all sizes, from big festival and camp stages, to series from Maine to the Mid-Atlantic. Julian is excited to return to the West Coast to call! He loves calling for all skill levels. He brings a cheerful, friendly attitude with clear, concise teaching and prompting. Julian has written dozens of dances, and combines this expertise with his love of dancing to provide a joyful flair to dances!
- Alan Roberts (Seattle, WA)
- Alan is a fiddle player (plays with Southwest Passage) and dancer in addition to being an excellent sound person. He is aware of the nuances that make us all happy, and is able to provide a great experience for the callers, band members and dancers.
Schedule: There will be dance workshops featuring Contra, more Contra and perhaps some other dancing. Also several music workshops led by members of the bands. There are also plenty of opportunities for some open waltzing, jamming, socializing and whatever you want.
Larks and robins? Teaching and calling will use the gender neutral terms “Larks” (dancer on the left) and “Robins” (dancer on the right). If you haven’t been dancing with these tags yet, you will probably encounter them soon. Now is your chance to spend a whole weekend immersed in this calling style.
Facilities: Contra dance sessions take place in Gatton Hall at the First United Congregational Church of Christ, 4515 SW West Hills Road in Corvallis (no change from previous years). This hall has a nice wood floor, recently refinished, so it is important to wear very clean, soft-soled shoes for dancing. There will be open waltzing Sunday morning in a different TBD location..
NOTE: This is a fragrance-free event. Please do not use cologne, perfume; or scented deodorants, soaps or other grooming products. We will provide scent-free hand soap at the dance venues.
Also note: We will make no attempt to “role-balance” the camp.
After you register online, you must also send full payment for all dancers in your sign-up group. The weekend costs $100. We prefer online payment (PayPal, credit card, or debit card), but you can send a paper check to “CCW c/o Corvallis Folklore Society, P.O. Box 1690, Corvallis, Oregon 97339.”
We offer a limited number of half-price grants for those who might not otherwise be able to come. Simply answer “Yes” to the question about wanting a grant during the sign-up process.
We want to encourage early registration, but also to handle fairly dancers who don’t get prompt word about registration opening and to allow for slow mail delivery. If we have more dancers who register and whose payments we receive by December first, we will hold a lottery and start a waiting list. As soon as we can, we will generate a list of dancers to admit. An email telling your status will be sent as soon as we know, but no later than December 21st. If you have not heard from us by December 23th, please double check your spam folder, then check with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late Applicants: You will be added to the waiting list. Your checks will be held until you are accepted.
If you need a quick response, perhaps because you need to make travel plans, please mention it in the comments section of the application form (it can’t hurt to contact us too). We enjoy meeting folks from outside our immediate community and will do what we can to help.
We will assume you have your notification unless we hear otherwise from you!
Cancellation: We will refund admission less $10.00 if cancelled at least 10 days prior to the dance. After that date, the full fee may be retained: We will attempt to fill vacancies from our waiting list and issue refunds at our discretion. Please do not find your own replacement. Please do not bring illness to share with other dancers. Let us know if that is the reason for your cancellation.
Housing: Please arrange your own housing. For a comprehensive listing of Corvallis hotels, motels and campgrounds, visit The Corvallis visitors’ bureau lodging website.
Eating: In light of Covid concerns, you will need to find your own meals. We will not arrange open-house pot-luck luncheons in 2024.
Covid Protocol: We will be requiring proof of one negative Covid test upon arrival at camp. Please bring your test or a picture of your negative Covid test to registration. Order free tests here.
We will requiring you to wear a high quality KN95 mask throughout the weekend at camp.
If you feel ill at all either on the day of camp or any time during the weekend, please do not return. We thank you for not bringing your illness to camp!
For more information, contact the registrar at email@example.com.
Forgot where to send the check? “CCW c/o Corvallis Folklore Society, P.O. Box 1690, Corvallis, Oregon 97339.” or check the FAQ