Ridge Kennedy demonstrates three kinds of swings that are symmetrical and "gender-neutral" (2-minute YouTube video). Thanks to Jan Alter for the video.


Welcome back to the Thursday Contra! WhooHoo! We're back to in-person contra dancing, every two weeks for now, while COVID numbers stay low. See the schedule of upcoming bands and callers below.

Location: The Irish Center (a.k.a. Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center),
6815 Emlen St., Philadelphia, PA 19119.

Doors open: 7:00pm to check vaccination cards (photos ok) and sign waivers.
Beginner lesson: 7:30pm
Dance: 8:00pm to 10:30pm

Admission: sliding scale for local bands $5-15+.

Our Thursday night dances require

(If you test positive for COVID a few days after a dance, please send email to so we can alert others to a potential exposure. Thanks.)

Please read the full details if you plan to attend. We're looking forward to dancing with you!

Date Caller Band Notes
Jan. 12 Dave Rupp coordinating Box and String Quartet: Laura Alexander (cello), Sarah Gowan (guitar), Miranda Weinberg (fiddle), Bill Quern (mandolin, banjo, melodeon) Larks & Robins
Jan. 26 Sue Gola coordinating SPUDS: Philly's phabulous open contradance band! Gents & Ladies
Feb. 9 Bob Isaacs coordinating Contra Mantra: Paul Sidlick (banjo, mandolin), Mark Piro (fiddle), Margaret Sidlick (guitar), Mike Foster (bass) Larks & Robins
Feb. 23 Donna Hunt coordinating Broadside Kinetic: Rachel Hall (concertina, piano), Amy Ksir (accordion, winds, piano), Tom Rhoads (guitar), Helene Zisook Speer (fiddle), Jim Speer (bass guitar) Gents & Ladies
Mar. 9 Jan Alter coordinating Coracree: Jane Rothfield (fiddle), Allan Carr (bass), Bill Quern (mando, banjo, melodeon), Sarah Gowan (guitar) Larks & Robins
Mar. 23 Ridge Kennedy coordinating The Orphans: Peter Buchak (accordion), Ben Kennedy (piano), Miranda Weinberg (fiddle) Gents & Ladies

Dances continue every other Thursday. See details in the full calendar!

But wait, there's more! PATMAD also sponsors

Also join us online for Musicians' Tune Swaps, a biweekly online gathering for sharing tunes and socializing, hosted by SPUDS.

(All Hands In continues fun online dancing with fantastic live music and calling, now two Tuesdays a month, with a variety of games nights and other community-led events on alternate Tuesdays.)

PATMAD membership is free, but must be renewed annually. Membership forms are available online as well as at every dance; your membership will be until Dec. 2023. You will need to be a member to vote in the upcoming role terms vote. (You can be on our email announcement list with or without being a PATMAD member.)

Responses from the Fall 2022 survey are available. We discussed them, as well as other suggestions for increasing attendance, at the community meeting on Thursday, November 17.