The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society was chartered in the Fall of 2005 as a non-profit, educational organization to promote a better understanding and appreciation of American folk dancing, its music, its history and related folklore. HJDS is a group affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society. We are an all-volunteer organization based in Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee.

We will hold community dances on the first and third Saturdays every month in the auditorium of the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Our dances are open to the public and feature live music in a smoke and alcohol free environment. No experience is necessary. Each dance is taught by the caller for the evening. You do not have to bring a partner. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. Snacks and beverages are for sale in the visitors center. For more information about Jonesborough, please visit their website that can be found in our links section.

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Next Event: ContraForce

Let the ContraForce be with you! It’s Contra Dance Time in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will present a contra dance on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The featured band will be ContraForce from Charleston, SC with Chattanooga’s Vicki Herndon calling. Admission to the dance is $7, HJDS Members $5, Students $5. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught by the caller. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. A workshop for beginning contra dancers will be led by the caller at 7:00pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30pm with a waltz break at 9:00pm where, once again, Klondike Bars will be served to all.

ContraForce’s goal is to bring the rock influence to some folk tunes. This three-piece powerhouse packs the frenzied bowing arm of Andrae Raffield, the Donkey Kong slammin’ palms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi “Two Nails” Periano, into a hurricane of wild, energetic, kick-in-the-mouth contra music that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

Andrae and Joey were old hands at the contra band scene, having vetted themselves in local Charleston bands, Anna’s Bananas and Shady Groove, for over fifteen years before deciding to create ContraForce to explore their new and exciting vision for contra dance music. To complete the rockin’ trinity, Jimi “Two Nails” Periano came on board to begin experimenting with “rocking out some fiddle tunes”. This synergy quickly led to a period of this new band writing much of their material. On the side, Joey and Jimi are registered nurses while Andrae is teaching music at a Charleston middle school.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers as was the case when they played for the FOOT BALL in Jonesborough on February 2nd and at Serenity Knoll on August 8th. They were one of the featured bands at the 2014 Moon Dance at Table Rock State Park last weekend.

Thus, a new band was born merging traditional contra music with psychedelic, surf rock and metal to create a new force: ContraForce! With these crazy jokers at the wheel, there’s no telling where the dance will end up, but you can be sure that the hall will be filled with happy dancers.

Vicki Herndon has been a dancer since 1997, when she accidentally came across contra dancing, and has been a dance lover since. She began calling in 2000, and have called all around the southeast. Wedding dances in open fields, and dances with kids are all part of the diversity she represents, and loves.

Vicki is very active part of the Chattanooga dance community. “Keeping my home group growing and strong has become very important to me over the years. Welcoming newcomers, and giving them confidence is my specialty. Dancers must have this to return to your dance and thrive” offers Ms. Herndon.

Being a dance gypsy has led Vicki to be a familiar face at many dance weekends along with her husband, Steve, where her enthusiasm as a caller is just as evident as when she is dancing. “There's not much more than I love to do . . . dance and call”, she adds.

Contra dancing is a traditional form of American folk dance that evolved from the long ways country dances popular in English society centuries ago. Contra dance communities now thrive all over the country. There are websites that can direct you to contra dances in most states. The modern contra dances provide dancers of all ages and experience levels with the opportunity to smile, move, connect, flirt and create an evening of dance nirvana with each other. No previous dance experience is necessary. No fancy footwork is required. If you can walk and count to eight, you can contra dance!

Contra dances are community events. At almost any contra you will find people of all ages and all dance skill levels, from young to old, beginner to expert. Contra dancers form a very open and welcoming group of people. You can come alone or with others since it is a tradition to dance with a variety of partners throughout the night. It is perfectly acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask someone to dance. It’s a great way to make friends with someone they haven’t met before. You will find contra dancing a great way to make new friends.

For more information, please contact event organizer, David Wiley at 423-534-8879, visit www.historicjonesboroughdancesociety.org and on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on September 10, 2014