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EFS contra dances

EFS Contra Dances: 2nd & 4th Saturdays

Dances run regularly through the school year, Sept-June.
Beginner’s lesson: 7:00PM. Dancing: 7:30PM unless listed otherwise.
Starting in the fall of 2014, EFS contra dances will start 30 minutes earlier, with the newcomers’ session at 7:00 and the dance running from 7:30 to 10:30.
We continue to dance in the Gym of the Dunn School, 3411 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405 (Google Map). (Directions).
Please bring your own water bottle to the dances at Dunn School. We do not have access to a convenient water fountain or sink.

No Partner or experience needed!
Families are Welcome!
Please bring soft soled shoes that won’t mark the floor.
In order to keep the dances affordable while trying to cover our expenses, we have a sliding scale for admissions, $6 to $10 for members, $8 to $10 for non-members. Arrive by 7:00 PM and get $1 off admission. Students with ID get another $1 off.

Special offer for folks new to contra dancing: When you pay the admission charge at your first dance in Eugene or Corvallis, you will be offered a coupon for free admission to a regular dance evening, valid in either Eugene or Corvallis. When you redeem that coupon, you will be offered a 50% discount coupon for your next dance in either Eugene or Corvallis.

EFS also hosts two camp "retreat" weekends for contra dancers:

Cascade Contras
A full weekend for contra dance enthusiasts, Cascade Contras takes place each April at SKY Camp (the Springfield Kiwanas Youth camp) on Fall Creek Reservoir. The camp offers two full evenings of contra dancing, four contra dance workshops with live music, and a set of other music, dance, and calling workshops. Our special kitchen staff prepares all meals on-site: a snack Friday evening, breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday, and Sunday breakfast and lunch. Campers may select from shared bunk cabins, with perhaps six campers per room, or may bring their own tents or campers/trailers.
Midsummer Madness
Midsummer Madness offers a dance and sports weekend retreat for contra dancers, families, and friends. The event takes place in late July in odd years, thus the appropriate title "the odd camp in odd years". For 2013 it took place July 26-28 at Living Waters Camp, above the McKenzie River about 20 minutes east of Eugene. Midsummer Madness offered three sessions of contra dancing (Fri & Sat nights and Sun am), and scheduled and unscheduled dances, sports, games, lessons, and events each day. The camp has a large heated swimming pool with diving board, as well as a resident chef who prepares all the meals. There are cabins available or you may tent or bring a rig to sleep in. The camp offers trails, volleyball, and fields for sports, as well as a lodge with a stage and fine oak dance floor. For more information, check out the Midsummer Madness page.

EFS Contra Dance Calendar

We continue to dance in the Gym of the Dunn School, 3411 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405 (Google Map). (Directions). Starting in the fall of 2014, EFS contra dances will start 30 minutes earlier, with the newcomers’ session at 7:00 and the dance running from 7:30 to 10:30.
Please bring your own water bottle to the dances at Dunn School. We do not have access to a convenient water fountain or sink.

Saturday, September 13, 2014: The Euphemists with Rich Goss
Saturday, September 27: Treehouse with Noah Grunzweig
Saturday, October 11: Cascade Crossing with Lindsey Dono
Cascade Crossing is currently one of the hottest and most sought after bands in the Pacific Northwest. With Lori Prime on fiddle, Carl Thor on piano, hammer dulcimer, and drum, Rich Goss on guitar and percussion, and Sarah Goss on bass, whistles, and oboe, Cascade Crossing has developed a reputation for intense creativity, breadth of instrumentation, and energizing dance crowds. Their music is influenced by many styles, with touches of baroque, Caribbean, Celtic, Klezmer, traditional, northern, southern, jazz, and ragtime. With many original tunes, expect the unexpected, from hard driving reels to smooth, mysterious jigs, Cascade Crossing fills the dance hall with an exciting palette of musical colors and textures.
Massachusetts transplant Lindsey Dono is rapidly establishing herself as a Northwest mainstay. With her serene teaching, meticulous programming, and sunny demeanor, Lindsey transforms absolute beginners into confident regulars. Known for hercreativity on the dance floor, Lindsey incorporates knowledge of waltz, swing, and blues to lead a variety of workshops, including the ever-requested "advanced contra flourishes." By day, Lindsey is a devoted research scientist.
Potluck starts at 5:30. Hosted by Robert & Kathleen at 2750 University St.
Saturday, October 25: Wisenheimers with Greg McKenzie
The Wisenheimers count only two members (Dave Goldman — piano; Alan Snyder — fiddle)), both from Portland, but they have each played for decades, and bring skill and a sense of playfulness to their music.
Greg McKenzie has been dancing contras for 25 years and calling for 24 of those years. He has called throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona. Greg is one of the most precise and clear callers around and is known for his ability to get dancers moving quickly to lively music. His professional calling and confident, relaxed style puts dancers at ease allowing the music to take center stage for an exciting and joyful social dance event.
Referring to his contra calling style as "progressive" Greg explains his goal as "More music, more dancing, more socializing, shorter walk-throughs, and a lot less teaching from the mike." He views the open public contra dance as, primarily, a social event where the caller’s main job is to bring the dancers and the music together in short order, and then to "get out of the way!".
Greg calls primarily contras but occasionally calls a circle or random mixer. He does not call square dances.
5:30 pot luck, Jane and Ken host, 912 Van Buren, 541-344-7615.
THURSDAY, November 6: Wild Asparagus with George Marshall
Dancing starts at 7:30 (no lesson) $10/$12
Wild Asparagus, from Massachusetts, has been playing top notch music for contra dances across the country since 1984. They bring an original approach to the traditional music drawn from New England, the British Isles, and Canada. Their powerful and sensitive performance will take you to new highs. Ann Percival plays irresistible piano and guitar rhythms and provides mellifluous vocals. David Cantieni, the woodwind wizard, plays flute, tin-whistle, oboe, saxophone and bombard. Becky Tracy graces you with her elegant, energetic fiddling. Add in rhythm king Mark Hellenberg on percussion and bassmeister Harry Aceto and you’ve got one great big sound. Caller George Marshall also joins the band on concertina, bodhran and bones.
George Marshall is a master caller whose smooth, efficient calling makes challenging contras seem easy as pie.
6pm potluck, David hosts, 1611 Lincoln St., 541-342-2772
MONDAY, November 17: The Great Bear Trio with George Marshall
Young brothers Andrew and Noah Van Norstrand have played for contra dances for more than a decade. Yes, they started touring before graduating high school. They’re both "married old men" in their 20s now, but still enjoy touring with their mom, Kim Yerton, playing for dances from coast to coast. This trio visits us all the way from New York. Make the trip worth their while; dancing to their music will definitely be worth your while!
Caller George Marshall returns to Eugene, bringing these fine musicians. $10/$12
Saturday, November 22: The Nettles with Woody Lane
The Nettles are well-known on the West Coast for their original approach to contra dance music. Playing traditional music from all over the world, The Nettles create a strong rhythmic groove under soaring improvisations. Rhythmic drive and melodic fluidity allow The Nettles to propel contra dances into the stratosphere.
A caller for more than 25 years, Woody Lane from Roseburg is known for his smooth contras, fast squares, and superb programming. His teaching style is clear and concise. Also an accomplished clogger, he often accompanies the band as a foot percussionist, raising the energy level on the dance floor to wonderful heights. Woody has brought his exciting brand of calling to dances from Alaska to Boston to Florida, and he has a growing reputation throughout the country.
Saturday, December 13: Mad Robin with William Watson
Local Eugene band Mad Robin features these three musicians: Victor Fiore — fiddle, 5-string fiddle; Cecily Morris — piano; Art Morris — upright bass.
Victor is a physics graduate student at UO. He grew up playing violin and listening to his mother’s Irish band. He converted to contra dance fiddle in 2005, and has been playing in the Portland open band since moving to Oregon in 2008, as well as playing workshops, jams and dance camps.
Art and Cecily moved back to Oregon this year after many years in Alaska. Art has been playing contra dance bass since 2006, and Cecily has been playing contra dance piano since 1990. They have played dances for the Alaska Folk Festival as well as regular weekly and monthly dances and the occasional wedding reception, most recently with the Grateful Celtics and Full Circle.
William Watson, now a resident of Portland, OR, danced his first contra in 1989 and began calling in Texas in 1992. Having called numerous contra events in cities coast-to-coast, William’s extensive experience and soothing voice project a calm confidence. His vigilant and thoughtful dance programming ensures a variety of figures, transitions, and sequences to entertain and support new dancers while offering the occasional challenge for the more advanced. His calling proficiency and sensitivities ensure everyone has a good time.
Saturday, December 27: NO DANCE — HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Contradance/Potluck e-mail list: For notification of Eugene and Corvallis mostly contra dance events and potluck dinners - anyone may subscribe to this list. To subscribe, send an e-mail from the account where you want to receive the newsletter to:
In the BODY (not the subject line) put this single line: subscribe efs-contradance. Instructions for unsubscribing will be included at the end of each email that we send you. (Or visit this web page to subscribe to the EFS contra dance mailing list.)

Corvallis car pool: Leaves at 7:00 from the parking lot accross from New Morning Bakery in downtown Corvallis.

Directions to EFS Contra dances

The Dunn School 3411 Willamette St., Eugene, OR 97405

From north of Eugene on I-5:
Follow I-5 Southbound to Exit 194B. Take the exit and head west on I-105 / Oregon 126.
After 1.3 miles, take exit 2 for Coburg Road and Downtown. As you exit, stay left, towards Downtown and the University. This will dump you onto southbound Coburg Road. Stay on Coburg Road, crossing the Willamette River, and into downtown.
After about a mile, exit right onto 8th Avenue. Head west on 8th Avenue for two blocks, until you can turn left onto Pearl Street. After you cross 19th Avenue, Pearl becomes Amazon Parkway. Keep Going.
Turn Right at the light at 24th Avenue. Follow 24th west for two blocks.
Turn left at the light onto Willamette Street.
Stay right at 32nd Avenue, where Donald Street forks off to the left. The Dunn School will lie on your left after another two blocks.
There is limited automobile parking: Please carpool or ride your bike!
The Dunn School has a small parking lot on the north side.
You can also park on 35th Avenue, just south of the school.
Alternatively, turn off Willamette at 33rd, and park in the South Eugene Post Office parking lot.
From south of Eugene on I-5:
Take I-5 to Exit 189 for South Eugene and 30th Avenue.
Proceed to the stop sign, and Turn Left onto 30th Avenue. Follow 30th West for about three miles, up and over the big hill.
Turn Left at the light at Hilyard Street. Follow Hilyard less than 1/4 mile.
Turn Right onto 33rd Avenue. Follow 33rd West for three blocks.
Turn Left onto Donald Street.
Take the first right turn onto 35th Avenue. Look for parking. The school will be through the trees on your right.
From Corvallis via Oregon highway 99
On the north edge of Eugene, Loop right to get onto Beltline EAST.
After 3 1/2 miles, exit right onto Delta highway SOUTH.
Keep right at fork (immediately after the Valley River Center overpass) following signs for Downtown/Fairgrounds.
Coming off the freeway go straight ahead onto Jefferson Street. Jefferson will take a jog at 13th Avenue so prepare by getting into the center lane.
Turn Left onto 13th Ave.
Almost immediately, turn Right to continue south on Jefferson.
Turn L onto 18th Ave.
In just a few blocks (at a traffic light and gas station), turn Right onto Willamette Street. Continue south for about 1 1/2 miles.
When the road splits (at 32nd), take the right fork to continue south on Willamette. At 33rd you’ll see the post office on your left. The entrance to the school is just past the post office.
From the U of O Campus by bicycle
Head south on Alder Street to 26th Avenue.
Turn Right (West) onto 26th. Cross Hilyard at the light, and continue through the parking lot to the Amazon Bike Path.
Turn left onto the bike path. Follow the bike path to 33rd Avenue.
Turn Right onto 33rd Avenue. Follow 33rd West for three blocks.
Turn Left onto Donald Street.
Take the first right turn onto 35th Avenue. Turn Right again to stay on 35th Avenue. Either continue to Willamette, where you’ll find the school on your right, or enter the back parking lot from 35th.

Here’s a building map of the Dunn school. We will dance in the gym, colored black.
Building map for the Dunn school
Please bring your own water bottle to the dances at Dunn School. We do not have access to a convenient water fountain or sink.

Teddy Roosevelt Middle School: 680 E 24th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405
(This is our backup location. Unless otherwise specified, all dances take place at the Dunn School.)

From the North:
Go south on HWY 99 to Chambers St, and turn right (south).
Continue through the lights at 11th and 13th, and turn left (east) at the light at 18th Ave.
Take 18th east for just over one and 1/4 mile, passing the busy lights at Willamette and Oak, and turn right (south) at the next light at Pearl.
Pass 19th, and continue 1/2 mile south to the next light, at 24th, and turn left.
In less than 1/4 mile, you’ll see the school on the right.
Turn IMMEDIATELY into the first driveway, and park on one of the several small lots behind the school.
From the south:
If you head north on Willamette or Amazon parkway, turn right onto 24th.
If you head north on Hilyard, you will find the school on your left, at the corner of 24th.
You may have to turn left onto 24th and drive around the school to get into its parking lots.
Via bicycle:
Take the Amazon Creek bike path to 24th street. Head east along 24th to the school.
There is limited automobile parking: Please carpool or ride your bike!

Regional Dance Internet Resources

Do you have something to say to Willamette Valley dancers? Want to share a ride? find a ride? You can connect here at Oregon Contra Connection

There are two email lists with local dance information, one for Eugene and one or Corvallis. These are cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly.

To subscribe by email:
Send an email to either
In the message body, say "subscribe". Wait for an email reply and follow instructions. Unsubcribing is the same, but say "unsubscribe". Change your email by unsubscribing from the old account and also subscribing from the new.
To subscribe via the web:
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Spencer Creek Grange Barn Dances: 3rd Saturdays

Spencer Creek Grange Barn Dances (Traditional square dancing, waltzes, and line dancing.)

Live music by the Old Time Fiddlers, 3rd Saturdays, 7-10 p.m. Admission: $4 for adults, free for kids under 10.

Donations accepted at the door. The Spencer Creek Grange is located on the southwest side of Eugene, at the corner of Lorane Hwy. and McBeth Rd. (Google map to the location)

Corvallis Contra Dances: 1st and 3rd Saturdays

Corvallis Folklore Society: Dances usually held at First Congregational Church, 4515 SW West Hills Rd, Corvallis (Map). From 99W, go west on Western, stay right as it veers left after the traffic light at 35th St. Church is on the right. Go to second driveway on the west side of the building, head back to the parking lot, and go to the east end to enter Gatton Hall directly. Please bring clean soled shoes to dance in to help protect the dance floor. Cost: $6 CFS/EFS members; $7 general admission. There are sometimes potluck dinners held before the dance at 6PM. Info: call 541-745-1002 (Karen and Frank Griswold) or email: See Corvallis Dance Schedule.

Out of Town Contra Dances