In 1996, Cityfolk founder Phyllis Brzozowska and staffer Holly Underwood, both contra dancers, decided it was time Dayton, Ohio, had a contra dance again. They assembled a small group of local musicians, callers and dancers (including caller Kathy Anderson and Corndrinkers guitarist Doug Smith) to help get the dance started. Cityfolk sponsored the dances for many years. In 2013, the dance became a volunteer-run series.
After dancing for a few years in the University of Dayton Kennedy Union ballroom, the dance moved to the beautiful Michael Solomon Dance Pavilion where we continue to dance to this day.
Dayton's dances have evolved to be very welcoming to dancers of all ages and all levels of experience. This family-friendly dance is alcohol-free and smoke-free. No experience is necessary, all ages are welcome and you don’t need to bring a partner. The caller teaches all dances before they start.
Dayton Contra Dance Parties are a member of the Miami Valley Dance Council.
The Dayton Contra Dance Parties are under the umbrella of the Greene Giving Foundation, through which we are a non-profit organization. Donations made to the Dayton Dance Parties are tax-deductible.