Contradancing in Owego

Contradancing in OwegoMichael Ludgate (left) and Jon Avery (right) will be performing live music at the Tioga County Contradancer's June event. Provided photo.

Even after the Strawberry Festival is over, there will still be great celebrations and merry-making in Owego! Join the Tioga County Contradancers for a community dance event on Sunday, June 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Countryside Community Center, located at 9 Sheldon Guile Blvd. in Owego. 

If you love dancing, folk music, or simply want to find a new way to burn off those strawberry shortcake calories, here’s your chance! 

Contradancing in Owego
Casey Carr, pictured, will be calling at the June Contrdance in Owego. Provided photo.

From College Campuses, to Community Centers, thousands of people across the country and all over the world enjoy Contradancing. The term contradance is derived from “country dance,” and is related to English country dancing and square dancing. Dancers start out in parallel lines with a partner. (Don’t worry if you don’t bring one; everyone switches around throughout the afternoon!)  

Each dance consists of a series of moves between your partner and your neighbors. Like square dancing, contradancing is done to a walking step and is easy to learn. As a folk dance, it is open to people of all ages! 

Contradancing in Owego
Contradancing. Provided photo.

All dances are taught beforehand by an experienced caller, who calls out the moves and leads you through the steps. The caller teaches each dance before it begins in what is called a “walkthrough.” This allows even beginning dancers to feel comfortable. No experience is necessary, and the caller leads you through the steps, so you learn as you go. 

Caller Casey Carr will be leading participants for the June Contradance in Owego. Casey has called for many contradance events, including dances in Ithaca, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Owego, Rochester, and Albany.

Michael Ludgate (mandolin) and Jon Avery (fiddle) will be playing at the dance as a Duo. Michael and Jon are part of The O’Shanigans Contradance band, which was originally formed to fill a St Paddy’s gig in March of 2009. The name was coined as a spin off on the word shenanigans and that first Irish gig! 

But this group plays more than just Irish music! They are known for their high energy Celtic, American and world Fiddle tunes, including tunes from New England, Southern Appalachia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Finland, Sweden and the Middle East.

To learn more about the O’Shanigans family of musicians, visit their website at 

Be sure to follow the Contradance events on Facebook at

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