Thursday Night Contra Dance in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA 19119

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3rd Saturday

Contact Us

Contra Dance in Mt Airy PA
Normally every Thursday night at the Commodore Barry Club
Normally third Saturdays (7:30pm) at Summit Church
8 to 11 pm every Thursday Night ~ Instruction at 7:30pm

Sliding scale -- pay what you can!
Local bands: $15-$5; *touring bands $20-$8.
Free admission for children 12 and under.

More In-Person Dancing!

~Sixty dancers, ~fifteen musicians and two callers participated in our outdoor contra dance on November 6, 2021. It was our first in-person dance since March 2020. Over a hundred dancers attended our indoor dance on March 17, 2022.

We're dancing in person every two weeks, for now, while COVID numbers remain low.

More details on the main page!

Virtual Dances on Saturday nights!

Since regular dances were canceled, we moved online! Join us almost every Saturday evening for fun dancing with fantastic bands and callers performing live.

Web design experts say we're not supposed to write "click here" for links? We don't care! Click here for information about the next dance.

Membership Renewal

Membership is free, but must be renewed annually. Your membership will be until Dec. 2022.
** NOTE: You can be on our email announcement list with or without being a PATMAD member. **

Contra dances [were] canceled (including Third Saturdays)
through at least the end of May [2020]

We very much look forward to dancing with all of you when this is over.
Stay healthy, stay safe and stay connected!

Contra dancing is an activity with a uniquely high level of physical closeness and contact with most of the other participants. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that community transmission has been occuring in the United States among people not showing symptoms, we have decided with heavy hearts to cancel the contra dances (including the Medley Marathon) until it is safe to dance together. We will assess the possibility of dancing again at the end of each month that we remain dark.

The board wishes to reassure everyone that the dance organization is on comfortable financial footing, and we very much look forward to dancing with all of you when this is over.

We recognize that this dance cancellation causes considerable problems with the vote we were conducting on role terms. The vote on role terms will be restarted with a fresh set of ballots when we return to in-person dances. (More details)

More information about the COVID-19 outbreak:
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Pennsylvania Department of Health: Coronavirus

As the Country Dance and Song Society remind us:

Our dance, song, and music traditions will not go away if we need to hit the pause button for a while. They’ve made it through population migrations, world wars, and the rise of digital entertainment. Dancing and singing together will continue with gusto after the initial virus has run its course. Be kind and understanding with the dancers, singers, musicians, callers, and organizers around you.

The PATMAD board
March 8, 2020

We normally dance every Thursday night (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) in Mt. Airy at the Commodore Barry Club, 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (directions). The Third Saturday Contra Dance is at Summit Church, also in Mt. Airy. We thank the staff of Glenside Memorial Hall for supporting our dances for nearly 20 years.

Sliding Scale Admission

We offer admission to our Thursday night dance on a $15-$5 sliding scale *($20-$8 for touring bands).
Some guidelines to help you decide how much to pay:

Local bands *Touring bands
$15 $20 Dance supporter - you make it possible for others to come to our dance. Thank you!
$10 $12 Dance sustainer - you make our dance sustainable by paying enough to help us meet our costs.
$5 $8 Basic admission - on a tight budget? You too are a valued member of our community. We're happy you're coming to dance!

No one is turned away for lack of funds. Ask us about work grants.

Larks and Robins

Lark and robinAs part of our mission to make contra dancing accessible to anyone who wants to dance, we are experimenting with non-gendered dance role terms. On selected evenings, dances will be called using the terms "Larks" (for the dancers generally on the left, traditionally the "gents") and "Robins" (for the dancers generally on the right, traditionally the "ladies").

(We will vote on the role terms to use, after returning to our normal weekly schedule.)

At every dance, whether Gents/Ladies or Larks/Robins, we encourage you to dance whichever role(s) you like, and to dance with whoever is coming at you!

Tell your friends!

If this is your first time, WELCOME!
"If you can walk and count to 4, you can contra dance!"

Not your first time? Bring your friends and let them too discover the joy, energy, swirling awesomeness, and just plain fun of contra dancing!

As contra dancers, we need to always be recruiting in order to grow our dance and have more fun. Now is the time to start talking to that friend who you think would love to dance with us.

The best way to get people to try something new is to personally ask them: share your love for dancing, bring them early, teach them how to swing, et cetera. The more we grow our dance, the more fun we can all have. Who will you recruit? Will it be someone from work? Someone from your place of worship? Someone from your knitting group or Zumba class? A stranger on the street?

See you and your new dancer friends soon!

Want to Know More?

See Welcome Information for more about the volunteer-run Thursday Night Dance and general information about Contra Dancing. See also the article "Mt Airy Contra, Dancing with your Neighbor" (by Kae Kalwaic, with a video clip). See our contact page to get answers to your questions or to volunteer.

Weather-Related Cancellations
In case of inclement weather please check this website or our Facebook page.


The Summit Pick Up Dance Society (SPUDS) is open to all musicians who wish to participate, and has musicians of different levels of ability among its members. Since it is a contra dance band, the tunes range from reels and jigs to waltzes. We play for the Thursday night dance about seven times a year and occasionally for other events. For more information on how you can take part, including jams and rehearsals, visit the SPUDS website or contact SPUDS Coordinators Kim Neubauer and Bill Quern.



Third Saturday Contra Dance at Summit Church in Mt. Airy
The Seven Day Dance Guide for links to dances in the Philadelphia region
Ted Crane's Dance Database
Contra Dance Links
Germantown Country Dancers
Mostly Waltz
Join us on Facebook
Join us on Meetup



The Thursday Night Contra Dance is sponsored by Philadelphia Area Traditional Music and Dance (PATMAD), a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation that is an affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society. PATMAD also sponsors the Third Saturday Contra Dance, SPUDS, and Allons Danser. PATMAD's non-profit filings are available from

PATMAD is committed to the safety and comfort of the people who attend the events it sponsors.

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