New contra dances in Cambridge

Update 23/01/2023: Contrabridge now has its own website. Future gigs will be posted there, specifically on the events page.

When? Who?

with Flying Matt (Flying Cat + guest musician Matt Cudby) and calling by Adam Hughes [click to learn more about the band and caller]
A black cat sitting on a sofa, looking into the camera.

Flying Cat (Caro Appleby and James Rhodes) enjoy regularly dancing contra in various places around the country. They play for a variety of different forms of dancing, and for contra will generally be found playing piano and melodeon, playing tunes from all around the British Isles as well as further afield. They have a cat called Meatballs, named after the tune Meatballs, Whiskey and Beer.

A black cat wearing a pointy hat, looking grumpy.

Matt Cudby plays guitar and is rather good. He has two cats, Penny (with the hat) and Indie.

A black cat looking worried.
A hand holding a model of Mario, dressed in a cat costume, jumping in the air.

Adam Hughes has been dancing contra in the UK and US for 25 years, and calling contras across the UK for nearly that long. He calls new and traditional dances from across the world with clarity, enthusiasm and a hint of mischief.

with English Contra Dance Band and calling by Charlie Turner and Rob Humphrey [more info coming soon]

The dancing will run from 8pm – 11pm, with an intro lesson at 7.45pm. Calling will be gender-free (role terms: Larks and Robins).


They will be held at the Stoneyard Centre, 43 St Andrew's St, Cambridge, CB2 3AR [Google maps, openstreetmap]. The venue is just off St Andrew's Street, down a short passage next to St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church. The hall is upstairs, at the back of the building. If you arrive late, you may need to ring the bell and wait for someone to come down and let you in.

How much?

Tickets are available on the door. The prices are £15 for supporters, £10 for standard and £7 for students or those who otherwise can't afford full price. Nobody turned away for lack of funds. You can pay with contactless or cash.

What's contra?

Contra dance is community folk dance similar to ceilidh or barn dance, and we will dance to live music! No partner is necessary, and new dancers are very welcome. As it is a community dance, you are welcome to ask anybody to dance, and everybody is supportive and friendly in enjoying the dance together.

A caller leads the dancers through a series of moves, they dance them with a partner and another pair of dancers, before progressing each time through the dance to meet the next people in the set. The caller teaches each dance before it is done with music, then leads the dances along with the music. Once the dancers have mastered a particular dance, the caller will stop calling, leaving the dancers to enjoy the movement with music alone.

What do I bring? What do I wear?

Bring a water bottle and wear comfy shoes (preferably not too grippy). Swirly skirts are also a lot of fun to wear for contra. You don't need to bring a partner.

Covid policy


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