PATMAD and Thursday Contra Dance News

Masks Will Be Optional, Starting June 6 May 2024

After a careful review of the results of the community survey sent out earlier this month, and relying on the available data from the CDC and local counties regarding COVID transmission and hospitalizations, the board has decided that, starting on June 6, the Thursday Contra will become fully mask-optional.

Masks will continue to be welcome. This policy is subject to change. The board will continue to monitor COVID data, and we may update this policy in the future to ensure a safe and healthy contra community.

The board understands that there is a broad spectrum of feelings surrounding the subject of masking. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to connect with us by emailing .

We hope to see you at the dance.

New COVID Alert Email List May 2024

We will continue to alert our community should a positive COVID case be reported at or after a dance. Starting on June 6, COVID alerts will be email-only and will be sent to a dedicated opt-in email list separate from our regular publicity list.

At the first three dances in June, our managers will have the latest waiver list on hand so anybody who wishes to join the COVID alerts list can simply check their name. After that, regular dancers and newcomers alike can update their email preferences (publicity, alerts, volunteer opportunities) at any time by stopping at the admission table.

Birthday Celebration on 3.14 with Pie! March 2024

On March 14th, Lisa Hyatt Cooper, Maggie Mongeau, Phil Baumgarten, Phil Maynard and Chris Deephouse are celebrating a combined 350 years of life on earth by sponsoring the dance. Admission is free; tips for the performers are optional. Come join us!

Apple pie The PATMAD Board is now encouraging people to bring snacks on mask optional nights, starting in March. Let's celebrate Pi Day by bringing a pie! Cherry Pie

January 18 is Tie-Dye Night! January 2024

Come wearing your favorite fun colors, and dance to the music of SPUDS, Philadelphia's phabulous open contradance band! Why? Just because!

PATMAD Board Election Results October 2023

We welcome our new board members Cristian Clothier, Oliver Lyons, and Ella Williams, and welcome back Ian Brehm, Kirsten Erwin, and Dave Rupp who were reelected, all by acclamation on October 12.

Thanks to the Nominating Committee, Dave Rupp, Sue Gola, Ian Brehm and Cecelia Tannous-Taylor, who reached out to people interested in helping to carry on the exciting work of our growing dance community.  Community members are also welcome to serve on one of our many committees.

Masks are Optional 2nd and 4th Thursdays, starting September 14August 2023

As we return to weekly dancing, the PATMAD Board voted to change the current masking policy so that the dances on the second and fourth Thursdays will be mask-optional, starting September 14. We recognize that many of our dancers do not want to wear masks. We also recognize that there are a substantial number of our community who are more vulnerable to respiratory diseases and who feel safer when all dancers are masked. The majority of you who responded to our survey said that you will dance with us regardless of the masking policy, and we thank you for that endorsement. The PATMAD Board will review the masking policy at end of October. Let us all respect each other's decisions, and hope for low COVID numbers and good health to all. Let’s dance!

Role Terms Vote Results July 2023

Larks and Robins will be the role terms for all Thursday contra dances, starting in August 2023. The PATMAD board made this change in response to the vote of 101 PATMAD members during June. (Read more)

Ridge Kennedy Demonstrates Symmetrical Swings March 2023

As more dancers take an interest in dancing different roles in contra and square dancing, three universal handholds may be helpful when swinging. Ridge Kennedy takes the time with helpful partners to demonstrate them at the Thursday Night Contra Dance in Philadelphia. Thanks to Jan Alter for the video. (2‑minute YouTube video)

Survey on Increasing Attendance November 2022

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

Safety at PATMAD Events January 2016

Philadelphia Area Traditional Music and Dance needs the cooperation of all attendees to ensure all social interaction and physical contact is safe, appropriate, and welcome. If anyone is doing something that hurts or makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, don't hesitate to let him/her know. Quite often, the offender does not realize he/she is making someone uncomfortable. If the inappropriate behavior continues, or if you do not feel comfortable confronting the person, report the matter to any board member or to the event manager.

The board has adopted the Policy and Procedure for Dealing with Complaints of Inappropriate Behavior.