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Bristol Contra Dance is a communal-style folk dance very similar to a Ceilidh. No partner or experience is necessary. A caller leads the dancers through a series of moves. All calling is gender free.

Beginners and experienced dancers are welcome at any time. We have a beginners workshop at the start and the community is welcoming and happy to help.

Upcoming Events

Friday 25th NovCharlie TurnerBearded Dragons
TechnoContra Music
Friday 27th JanJake Wood and Mark ElvinsMatt Norman & Laurel Swift
Friday 24th FebRhi Davies Ali & Mollie
Friday 24th MarchCharlotte Rich-GriffinBenjamin Rowe & Adam Rich-Griffin
Friday 21st AprilLouise SiddonsAdam Rich-Griffin & Nicola McConkey
Friday 19th MayCis HinkleEnglish Contra Dance Band
Friday 16th JuneTBCFlying Cat

The dates can also be found via google calendar and on Facebook.

Past events can be found here.


At present, Bristol Contra is operating as it did in 2019. This will be monitored over winter in line with any government guidelines.


Faithspace, Redcliffe Methodist Church, Bristol, BS1 6PB

There is plenty of parking around the back and within walking distance from Bristol Temple Meads.

The venue is within the Bristol Clean Air Zone, that starts in November 2022. Please check if this effects you here.


Suggested prices:

  • £15 – Supporters Ticket
  • £10 – Waged
  • £6 – Unwaged
  • Free – under 16’s

Bristol Contra is committed to not having the cost of a dance be a hindrance to anyone attending. However, we also need to be able to cover costs. To do this we have introducing a pricing system aimed at providing a fairer fee for the Callers and Bands and keeping Bristol Contra afloat for the future.

The supporters ticket is a better representation of what the contra costs to put on each month but is entirely voluntary. It is aimed at those who feel they can contribute slightly more and will help to provide a fairer fee for the Band and Caller each month. Anyone is welcome to pay as much or as little as they feel they can on a month by month basis. We would love to see your smiling faces each and every dance.

We accept cash and paypal for our events, we don’t have a card machine.


Typical timings for all our events are as follows:

  • 7.15 – Doors Open
  • 7.45-8.00 – Workshop: Introduction and technique.
  • 8.00-11.00 – Dance with interval around 9pm.

New to Contra?

Newcomers to contra dancing are very welcome and wanted. Dancing is done with a partner in company with many other couples to form longways sets. However, there is no need to come with a partner as you can always find people to dance with on the night.

This can be a bit scary due to the fear of mucking it up for the other dancers. It’s OK, every dancer in the room was once new to Contra as well and will understand. There is a lot of repetition with the dance with each time through lasting about 30 seconds, you go through the dance many times though, so you will have plenty of time to pick it up.

All dances are walked through beforehand and the caller will prompt you during the dance as well.

If you are new and a bit nervous, feel free to let an organiser know. They may inform the caller so the caller can keep an eye out for you. It is also best to get up near the band end if you can, this makes it easier for the caller.

A quick note on roles: Bristol Contra uses Gender free calling, usually in the form of Larks and Ravens. You are welcome to dance which ever role you feel like and change which role you are dancing with in the evening if you want to.

Code of Conduct

Everyone coming to Bristol Contra should be safe enough to express themselves and enjoy their evening. There are a few guidelines that we ask all dancers to follow. More details can be found here.

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you, if you have any questions, ponderings, suggestions, comments or obscure facts about tea, drop us a message via Facebook, email at or below.

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We are happy to accept paypal as well as cash on the night. There will be a QR code to be able to scan at our events. Any donations will be split between the performers at the events.