< Summer Soirée Contra Dance Weekend

Registration Will Open Monday, March 20 at 11am
for S
ummer Soirée: June 9-11, 2017!

Summer Soirée 2017

Registration opened Monday, March 20th at 11 am. The weekend is now about 90% sold, but I expect there will be spaces available for the next few days or so. The rush is over!

There are more details on the Dance Registration page - and there is a link there to the registration form.

If you're interested but can't pay now, you should register anyway to get on the waitlist. Just note in the special comment section that you want to pay later. There is a 'pay later' button after you press Submit right next to the Paypal button.

Find out who else is going on the
Facebook Event Page

We are excited to present Great Bear 6.0 and Eloise and Co. as our contra dance bands this year. Joyful Noise will play waltzes. Callers are Diane Silver and Jesse Edgerton.

Great Bear 6.0: Andrew van Norstrand, Noah van Norstrand, Mama Bear Kim Yerton (keyboard), Dana Billings (drums), Chris Miller (sax), and Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens (clarinet).

Eloise and Co: Becky Tracy (fiddle), Owen Morrison (guitar), Rachel Bell (accordion).

Joyful Noise: George Paul (keyboard) and Cailen Campbell (fiddle).

There will also be late night blues dancing, Rush Fest, workshops galore including a callers workshop with specal guest, George Marshall.

There will be some other special treats, including a contra medley on Saturday afternoon.

There will be no gender or role balancing this year! So come as you are! ;)

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!

You should definitely be a member of the regular Friends of Summer Soirée group - all the news is 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!

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.

Gender Balance? Nope! No role balancing either!

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M.-J. Taylor, Summer Soirée Organizer


Click here to learn more ABOUT the Dance Weekend
A few details for dancers who have never been to Summer

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 the weekend:

"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

Comments from other years:

"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

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