< Summer Soirée Contra Dance Weekend

Summer Soirée June 2018 - June 22-24

Summer Soirée 2018 will be June 22-24

Wild Asparagus!! With Pokey and George Marshall calling! Plus Toss the Possum and Caller Rona Wiener!!!

Dance Registration is OPEN NOW.
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If you’ve enjoyed Summer Soiree in the past, you will love it this year. Wild Asparagus and Toss the Possum share the stage with callers George Marshall and Rona Wiener. There will be six hours of live waltz music, as always, a program full of workshops and more blues than ever. We will have late night blues on both Friday and Saturday night, as welll as blues workshops for beginners and more advanced.

ore will be revealed ... if you haven't joined aleady, please join our Friends of Summer Soirée Facebook Page.

Summer Soirée:
"Burning Man" of Contradance Weekends!
testimonials for 2017)

SPECIAL REGISTRATION FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T USUALLY GET IN! We have a few tickets set aside for dancers who have never attended or who haven't attended in the last 3 or so years. So many dancers have been frustrated by how hard it has been to register - (some years tickets are gone in 15 minutes - though it is usually a few hours) and so they stopped trying!

If you fit this category, please  and let me try to get you in this year!

To be up to date on Soirée, please join the Facebook Group,Friends of Summer Soirée -- all news is generally released there first! But if you're not on Facebook or want to be sure to get all the news, sign up for the newsletter below. You will not get any newsletters that are related to ANYTHING but Summer Soirée and I will never share your email with anyone!

An example of the schedule from past years will give you an idea of our general lineup! Schedule and details for 2017 here: Weekend Schedule and Details of What to Bring.

Find out who went to Soiree 2017 on the
Facebook Event Page
. There are lots of videos and photos posted there!

Some videos from the dance weekend:

2015 Summer Soiree Saturday evening

Posted by Trish Finn on Monday, June 22, 2015

The Disco Late Night Contra Dance Party was a huge success again - all the best disco hits from the 1970s and some great dance tracks from the 1980s. Check out this Fleetwood Mac snippet:

2015 Summer Soiree Disco Techno

Posted by Trish Finn on Monday, June 22, 2015

If it gets any better than this, please tell me about it - we will try and make it better.

Facebook is the fastest way to communicate with contra dancers, so announcements are made there first, and on the website immediately thereafter. Friends of Summer Soirée

Early Registration? Go Ahead!

Gender Balance? Nope! No role balancing either!

Join Friends of Summer Soirée's
Facebook Page for The Earliest Updates.

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We send out Soirée Related Newsletters only, no more than 2-3 times a year.


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Summer Soirée holds the safety of dancers to be paramount. Unfortunately, to preserve the protection of the younger women Summer Soirée has severed all ties to Jordy Williams. He is no longer part of the weekend and will not be welcome. This is not the first time Soirée has had to ban a dancer, but because Jordy has been a part of the dance - running the late night technos, for example - it feels imperative that a public statement was made.


M.-J. Taylor, Summer Soirée Organizer


More Videos:

Just Another High Energy Dance on Saturday afternoon:

An overview of the dance weekend shot and edited by John-Michael Seng-Wheeler at the 2013 weekend:

More Favorite Contra Dance Videos:

What folks say about about Summer Soirée:

Summer Soirée 2017:

"... this particular event is unique because it draws a national and even international crowd who book months in advance. For many years, the event is almost always sold out from preregistration. This is one of a very few contra dance events that people make plans a year in advance for. If dancing were an arts festival, this would be like Burning Man...Maybe not as big, but still, the sort of thing that people plan way in advance about. I hear people talk this way about NEFFA, Dance Flurry, as well." Dan Kappus, Nashville, Tenn.

"Dear MJ, what a wonderful event, every year it seems the best ever. Bands were incredible, callers were incredible, organization was incredible, and oh the weather! And the full moon! Thank you so much for all your hard work, and the work of all who helped you make it happen. Homage, and congrats!" James Morgan, Carrboro, NC.

"The music all weekend was top notch. Great Bear is just about my favorite contra dance band, and of course they were just as great as ever, but I have to say I just loved Eloise and Company all weekend. I wasn't familiar with them as a group before Thursday, but I was impressed: three real powerhouse musicians, excellent tune selection and arrangements, great energy. I really enjoyed the contrast between their sound, which was powerful and rooted in northern contra tradition, and Great Bear, which continues to push the limit of contra dance music." Gretchen Caverly, Asheville, NC.

"Congratulations MJ Taylor for organizing/guiding another fabulous dance experience. You are to be commended for having consistently good music over the years and your ability to attract the skilled, high-energy dancers to match the dynamic musicianship. And, there certainly was enough dancing opportunities offered." Warren Doyle, organizer of Contradancers Holiday Delight.

Comments from other years:

"Best dance camp I've been to in 15 years."
Tom Bowers of California who attended Soirée for the first time in 2015.

"My face hurts from smiling so much. Words cannot accurately describe the joy I felt this weekend. There were numerous moments where I felt this weird lovely incredible natural high. Just a state of pure happiness. You created that magical world for a weekend, and I can't thank you enough. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! It was incredible... Great dancers. Great musicians. Really- it was all I could do to keep my eyes from rolling back into my head I was so caught up in that music, movement, community, aerobic twirly trusting joyful dancing. You can see it in the pictures and videos. People are just beaming. Loved every minute of it. Thank you!" Chrissie Chapman.

""I'm a complainer, and I had nothing to complain about." ~ Debra Kirsch

"I thought the weekend was awesome. The housing was much better than other dance weekends, where we've stayed in camp facilities, and the price was very reasonable for what was included. The food was outstanding, especially when compared to other dance camps, and the the music was great. I enjoyed the swing lesson, but was disappointed that there was no techno contra. I probably would have stayed and danced for about an hour, if there had been one. The younger dancers add a lot of energy and dynamics to the dances; they are important to the life and survival of our dance communities ...." ~ Suzanne Patnaude

"Music and weather were the best! The food was great!" ~ Mike Brannaman

"The intermediate waltz and swing dance classes on Saturday morning were great!!!! All weekend the energy in the air was magical-Had soooo much fun!!!" ~ Marty Grist

I had a wonderful time at Soiree!! I like the dorms and the dancing and of course PeM and GRD together was just over the top!!" ~ Cathy Willis

"I love you MJ! Thanks for making one of the best weekends of my life." ~ Alan Best

About the Weekend

Location and lodging: Summer Soirée is held at Warren Wilson College, just outside Asheville, NC. The college campus is one of the lovliest settings in the area. Dancers from out of town have the option of staying in the college dorms for $60 for two nights, shared room. The largest dorm is air conditioned and most dancers are housed there. Out of town dancers will find reasonably priced hotels within a couple of miles of campus.

we offer a meal packagefor $60. Saturday breakfast and lunch and Sunday breakfast are in the college cafeteria, which has excellent food. Saturday night dinner is held in the Morris Pavilion and catered by Whole Foods. Sunday lunch is wraps from Whole Foods. Folks are on their own for Friday night. There are lots of snacks throughout the weekend, and snacks and meals have lots of vegetarian and gluten free choices.
We get rave reviews on the food (see above and ask around.)

Many Soirée dancers stretch their weekend into a 5 day festival, arriving early to dance at the Old Farmer's Ball on Thursday night and staying over for the Monday Night Dance in West Asheville. The Soirée
bands always play at least one of those dates, usually both.

It's not all dance, dance, dance; there is relaxing and sharing snacks on the Grassy Knoll above the Pavilion. Bring a blanket and join in the lazy moments, too.

Do you have trouble explaining your love of contra dance weekends to your friends? This video is for you:

More Visuals and Videos

Some fun from previous years: some extraordinary photos by Kevin Riggs and videos by John Newsome. Here's my favorite techno contra video from John.

More videos from Summer Soirée 2011 by John Newsome:

M.-J. Taylor 
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Asheville, NC Contra Dancing

Dance Registration :: Band & Caller :: What to Bring
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