Come to the monthly contra dance in Holland Michigan! Great fun for everyone! Held at Ottawa County Fairgrounds on the third Friday of every month, September through June. Allegan Woods Folk Arts Cooperative holland michigan contra dance dancing jan coray jack veldman karen dunnam glen morningstar park township hall ottawa county fairgrounds singles by design family families home school college students live music string band square dance fun friday night hope college plenty of fish facebook panning family fiddlefire fs

Allegan Woods Folk Arts Cooperative
Contra Dances

Third and fifth Fridays, 7 - 10 pm
$8 admission • ages 5 and under: free • $5 full-time students • $20 family (all in the same household)


Sometimes our dance is cancelled due to severe weather. Call Thom at 616/402-6434 if you need to verify.
~ Dance schedule~ scroll down to see future events

It's friend-raising!

Click here to


Visiting callers and bands: we work with nearby dance communities to provide a two-fer (our 3rd or 5th Friday and the very next day).

Contra dancing is a lot like square dancing, but you need no previous experience, special clothing, or a partner. Everyone is friendly, and someone will ask you to dance! (We even provide nametags.)To get a complete picture, take a look at these videos.

New Year's Eve 2010
Great turn-out, loads of fun, midnight in Greenland!

November 2010


Contra dances are walked through and taught by a caller, who then prompts the figures to music. It's customary to change partners when the music stops, so you'll get to dance with everyone in the room. (Here's a helpful hint: if someone asks, just say "yes.") No fancy footwork needed. If you can walk, you can do this type of dancing.

Comfortable casual clothing and soft-soled shoes recommended (check the pictures for ideas). You might want to wear layers, as this is a vigorous activity. You'll find singles, couples, family groups, seniors, students, and happy folks of all ages at our dances. (By yourself? C'mon down--we'll set you up with dance partners and new friends!)
The event is non-smoking and alcohol-free. Please bring a snack to share. And please arrive early, or linger afterwards, to help load in, set up, then clean up and pack out!
There's often a newcomer's session at about 7 p.m., to help you with the basics. Bring a water bottle to fill at the drinking fountain, and something for the treat table.


Our dance has evolved, and we welcome all the newcomers and younger folks who recently discovered the joys of traditional dance. Students of all ages, home-schoolers, and large groups of friends: we're glad to have you. Thanks for coming!


Dances are held at the Park Township Community Hall, at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. It's on Ottawa Beach Road directly across from the Park Township airport, on the way to Holland State Park. Free parking near the building. 1286 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424.
Click here for a map and directions.

For more information call 616/402-6434.
Winter months: if the weather looks iffy, call to confirm!


Always live music!
Our regular bands include Fiddlefire (the Panning Family), Puddingstone, and Three's a Crowd. If you like the music of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Riverdance, or A Prairie Home Companion, you'll enjoy our string bands. (The volume is not too loud; you'll be able to hear conversations too.) Our callers include a cavalcade of just-learning dance prompters, and long-timers.

Judi and Glen Morningstar, of metro Detroit, came to play and call for us


Group hug! This figure is called a basket...notice the big smiles!

The Pannings always have a good time playing music


Here's a ladies chain, which concludes with a courtesy turn. (It's easy!)

Three's a Crowd plays while Jan Coray calls



One of the best things about contra dancing: the swing!

Fiddlefire on stage, with web goddess Karen and our sound guy Louie


January 2009, with Karin Neils calling.
October 2008, with visitors Glen and Judi Morningstar.

December 2007: Karen Dunnam calls a grand finale to music by Fiddlefire.
The Golden Griffon Stringtet visited from the Detroit area in February 2008. Karin Neils is calling.

Here are videos of Glen Morningstar calling to music by "Rough Time" at the December 2006 dance.
(Not shown: the walk-through prior to each dance where the caller explains the figures. This ain't no dance performing group; he's telling us what to do!)

Page created by Karen Dunnam, updated 1/20/2012 • Be sure to refresh the page on your computer to see updates (on a PC, hit F5) • This page has been accessed times