Skip to main content

WSLR Radio

WSLR Kicks off Monthly Contra Dance Series

| Sande Caplin |

For Immediate Release
For information contact:  David Beaton, 941-894-6469
Saturday, October 18, 8pm

In an effort to meet demand for a contra dance location in Sarasota, WSLR is launching a monthly contra dance series at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Saturday, October 18th at 8pm.  Over the summer Fogartyville has expanded their dance floor and they are ready to welcome Southwest Florida contra dance enthusiasts.  Contra dance band Shwadevee will be providing the music and Joey Norton will be the caller.  Tickets are $8 and are available at or by calling 894-6469.  This dance will be a benefit to help support publication of the EAT LOCAL GUIDE, which you will find in the most recent edition of SoundWaves, WSLR’s quarterly newsletter.

Contra dancing is social interaction, meeting people, and making new friends, set to music.  A caller, usually working with a group of live musicians, guides new and experienced dancers alike through a variety of dances.   A dancer and his or her partner dance a series of figures, or moves, with each other and with another couple for a short time. They then repeat the same figures with another couple, and so on. The figures are similar to those of old-time square dancing. The figures are combined in different ways for each different dance.  The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed. The caller leads the dances while they are being done to music, so dancers are able to perform each movement to the music.  People of all ages and lifestyles, including children, are welcome. Contra dances are a place where people from many walks of life come together to dance and socialize. Children as young as seven can participate in adult dancing.
First-time dancers will likely find experienced dancers extremely friendly and helpful.

Shwadevee is made up of Debra Zanders (fiddle), Rich Blasich (hammered dulcimer, mandolin, tenor banjo) and Dwight Sullivan (guitar and vocals).  Debra Zanders picked up her first fiddle 48 years ago, distinguishing herself first in Bluegrass music, then in Irish tunes, and, for the last 22 years in Contra Dance music with bands such as “Friends of Reilly”.   Rich Blasich has 34 years of experience as a professional musician with traditional Irish, Americana and Classical Music.  He currently plays with Murphy’s Law, A Bit Of Malarkey and Mooncoin and hosts the Weekly Irish Music Session at Pub 32 Irish Gastropub in Sarasota.   Dwight Sullivan currently produces and performs Ballads, Yarns & Riddles weekly at Pub 32 Irish Gastropub in Sarasota and performs Traditional Irish, Folk, Popular, Great American Songbook and original songs at Sarasota area venues.  

The second in the series of contra dances will take place on Saturday, November 15th and will feature the band Terns at Tide.

David Beaton
WSLR-LP 96.5
P.O. Box 2540
Sarasota, FL  34230
(941) 894-6469

Skip to content