Utah Contradance Information Page

Last updated November 20, 2020

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What is Contra Dancing?

Is it legal in Provo?

Do you remember having to do square dancing back in grade school?

Have you seen square dancers at the county fair?

Contra dancing is every good thing that you have heard about square dancing, with none of the bad things. We dance in longways sets like a Virginia Reel, but everybody gets to dance instead of just having one active couple. We dance to live music, teach all of the dances, and welcome newcomers. You can walk in off the street knowing nothing about contra dancing and still have a great time.

If it's outlawed in Provo, it must be fun!

Local Dances

To the best of my knowledge all local contra dances are on hold until the pandemic subsides. One of the early super-spreader events was a square dance in Washington State.

Please show even more care and consideration for others than you show for yourself, maintain social distance, limit exposure to others, and please wear a mask.

May, 2020
 2	Contra, Logan (cancelled due to Cornavirus)
16	Wasatch Contra, Salt Lake City (might need to be cancelled, check web site)
23	Contra, Salt Lake City

Special Events

I am sorry to inform you of the passing on of Rob Snow, long time organizer, caller, and sound guy for the Salt Lake City contra dances at the Unitarian Church.

I met Rob Snow at my place of work, Evans & Sutherland, back in the mid-eighties. Rob encouraged me to branch out from square dancing with the Wasatch Rascals to contra dancing, encouraged me when I took up calling, and was always a joy to be around.

Here is Rob's full obituary:

Robert J. Snow passed away with his loving wife and children by his side in his home in Redmond, Washington on June 12, 2020 at the age of 73.

Rob is survived by his wife, Connie Baring-Gould, his kids Joey (Heather) Snow, Michael (Angela) Snow, Judith (Mikey) Runchel, and Heather (Michael) Clark, his six grandchildren, Tyler and Duncan Runchel, Makenzie and Maggie Snow, and Lin and Aria Clark and his one great grandchild, Hudson Runchel. He also leaves behind is sister Paula (Neal) Madsen and brother Jack (Pam) Snow.

Rob and Connie were married in Salt Lake City, UT in May of 2001 after a long engagement. Their marriage truly was the marriage odyssey they dreamed of with many exciting adventures.

Rob is lovingly remembered by his kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. They will all miss his playful and engaging nature. There was always a twinkle in his eye when rescuing a child from a long family dinner in a restaurant to escape and have a game of tag or hide and seek.

Rob was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1947. He graduated from Millard High School in 1965 and went on to earn a masterís in engineering from the University of Utah in 1971. He served in the Air Force after graduating from College. He was a disc jockey for KNAC and then a disc jockey and engineer for KRSP. In 1978 he started working for Evans and Sutherland the earliest computer graphics simulation company. He planned to retire once work was no longer fun, but he loved working there so much that he never did. His colleagues were also close friends and his computer was never found far from his side.

Always up for a new adventure, Rob learned how to call for contra dances (New England Squares) in the early 1990s. He became an inventive and engaging caller who loved passing on his skills. He enjoyed playing music and dancing with friends and was very active in the contradance community. He loved hiking, bike riding and doing sound for musical events.

A small celebration of Robís life will be held in Redmond, WA with close family. This will be followed by a larger gathering of friends and family in Salt Lake City, UT once we can all meet safely as a large group. Details will be made available as the date approaches.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Utah Food bank (Utahfoodbank.org, 3150 South 900 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119) or to your local food bank. Condolences for the family may be offered online at Becks Funeral Home.

The family would like to thank Evergreen Hospice for their support during this difficult time.

Dance Locations and Times

Contra Dance, Salt Lake City, UT
First Unitarian Church, 569 South 1300 East
Music by Loose Shoes
Chief caller: Rob Snow (usually open mic)
Usually fourth Saturday of the month, September through May.
Beginner Classes 7:30 PM, Dancing 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Cost $5.00
Contact 801-328-4742
Wasatch Contras, Salt Lake City, UT
Garbett Center at the intersection of 200 West and Wall Street, Salt Lake City
Possibly also known as "The Old North Church" at 700 N 200 W in Salt Lake City
Park on 2nd West (east side only), Wall Street, or 7th North
Music by a variety of bands
Calling by various callers
Usually third Saturday of the month
Beginner Workshop 7:00 PM, Dancing 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Cost $8 General Admission, $5 Students (16-25), $3 Youth (7-15)
Contact: Brenda 801-232-2348
Contra Dance, Logan, UT
Whittier Community Center, 290 North 400 East Logan
Music by Leaping Lulu
Chief caller: Kay Forsyth
Usually first Saturday of the month.
Dancing 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Cost $7, $4 for children under 12
Contact: Kay Forsyth 435-232-2966
Contra Dance, Rockport, UT
Rockport Old Church, Wanship, UT
Music by Loose Shoes and the Rockport Dam Band
Calling by Rob Snow
Held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall (2019 dates: Saturday, May 4th and Saturday, October 12th)
Beginner Workshop 7:30 PM, Dancing 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Cost $5.00, Proceeds benefit Friends of Rockport Old Church
Contact Dani or Sharon for more information
Awesome wood floor in a beautifully restored historic building. All dances taught; no partner or experience needed. Located in the Old Church area of Rockport State Park (below the dam), exit 155 off I-80, Wanship, Utah. Sponsored by Friends of Rockport Old Church, Utah State Parks, and Loose Shoes.
Download October flyer (PDF)
Contra Dance, Moab, UT
Moab Arts and Recreation Center (the MARC), 111 E. 1st North, Moab
Music by the Moab Community Dance Band
Various callers, including our own
Usually third Saturday of the month.
Dancing 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM, instruction at 7:30 PM
Cost: We are non-profit and the admission charge is a donation to a worthy local charity of the month (such as the Food Bank, the Youth Garden Project,the Humane Society, etc).
Contact: Miriam Graham 516-376-8003
Contra Dance, Pocatello, Idaho
Pilgrim Hall, United Congregational Church
309 North Garfield Ave Pocatello
Music by a variety of bands
Calling by various callers
Usually second Saturday of the month, October through May.
Instruction for Beginners starts at 7:30pm
Dancing 8 PM - 11 PM
Cost $6.00 per person
Contacts: Sandy Wilbanks and Don Allen

Dance Related Sites on the Web:

Salt Lake Scandinavian Dancing
Bridger Folk Music Society Contra Dance Page
Leaping Lulu, Cache Valley based band
Harp Irish Dance Company
Wasatch Tango Club
Zivio Ethnic Arts Ensemble
Idlewild Recordings
Boise Contra Dance Society
Colorado Contra
Locations and Schedules for Colorado dances
New Mexico Folk Music & Dance Society
Country Dance and Song Society
National Grange
Seattle Folkdancing

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