The dances happen on Saturday evenings. The main dancing usually happens
from 8pm – 11pm in the Stoneyard Centre, with doors opening half an hour
before. There is an introductory lesson before the main dancing starts.
Occasionally, dances are in different venues with different timings, check
the specific event details for venues and door times. Calling will be
gender-free. Depending on the caller's preference, this will either be
positionally (no role terms), or with the role terms Larks and Robins.
The dances are held in various venues in central Cambridge. If you're
travelling by train, the venues are generally around 1 mile from the
Cambridge station (CBG). You can walk, grab a taxi from the rank outside, or
get the 1, 3 or 7 bus from station to Downing College. If you're coming by
car, parking at Grand Arcade
is free in the evenings and is a short walk from the venue.
Queen Anne Terrace is an alternative car park that's slightly further away, but easier to find.
the Stoneyard Centre
The Stoneyard Centre is located at 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.
Entry to the Stoneyard Centre building is flat, via a heavy door, from St Andrew's Street. There is a lift to the hall on the first floor. An accessible toilet is available on the ground floor. We're happy to discuss your access needs!
Downing Place URC
Downing Place URC is located at 4 Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EL [Google Maps, openstreetmap]. To get to the Gibson Hall, go through the big gates on the left as you walk down Downing Place. Once you're in the building, the door to the hall is at the back-right of the social area.
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
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
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.
Do not come to our dances with unexplained respiratory symptoms or if you
are feeling unwell for any unexplained reason.
Do not come to our dances if you know or suspect you have COVID-19 (or any
other illness that may be spread by folk dancing).
Do not come to our dances if government guidelines say you should stay at
Consider testing before dancing — LFTs are easily available for £2
from most supermarkets and pharmacies.
Consider being fully vaccinated — COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
reduce the risk of severe illness and may limit spread.