Contra Dance – The Hat Band w/ Karen Olsen

February 4, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Gatton Hall, First Congregational Church
4515 West Hills Road
$12-20 sliding scale
Shell Stowell

Contra dance is returning to a regular schedule in Corvallis this fall! The dance will start at 7:00 PM with a newcomer’s lesson and community meetup, helpful for all dancers. Following the lesson will be dancing from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM. No partner necessary. Dance calling and role terms will be Larks & Robins. The cost is $12 – $20 sliding scale.

Because of the Covid-19 situation:

  • A well-fitted face mask,
  • proof of up-to-date vaccination, and
  • waivers for CFS and Gatton Hall

will still be required at this time. Online pre-registration is no longer required, but registration/check-in will be required at the door. For more information on attendance requirements and other precautions, please see our current COVID-19 policy here.

Hat Band Jon and SydThe Hat Band

 The Hat Band is an all-purpose string band from Portland that includes Jon Neff on guitar and Syd Newell on fiddle. Jon Neff is an IT specialist, and Syd Newell is a retired technical writer and former chemistry professor. The band plays for contra dancing and other events throughout Oregon and Washington. Dancers love their diversity – traditional, rags, blues, swing, klezmer. Jon and Syd have also been members of The Portland Megaband and Five-Euro Tip.

Karen OlsenKaren Olsen

Karen Olsen has an encyclopedic knowledge of contra dances and is a good teacher and caller, very patient and clear. She likes to keep the dancers moving, starting out with simpler dances in the beginners lesson, and progressing to more complex dances. She is also a musician and plays her concertina for dances in Coos Bay. She strives to infuse both her calling and the dancers with her own joyful enthusiasm for contra dance and music.

Newcomers lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers encouraged)
dance starts at 7:30pm.

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary
(it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner).

We are currently seeking new volunteers to help with dances! If you are interested in volunteering, please see role descriptions and tell us how you would like to help by taking our volunteer survey at:
For questions regarding contra dance volunteering, please contact Shell Stowell at

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