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Thanks for dropping by! I'm Tavi Merrill, a contradance caller and choreographer, privileged to be part of a great dance community in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. Seasoned contrarian or organizer? Follow the links above for video samples of my calling and original dance sequences.

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Unfamiliar with contra? It is a community dance form that's been generating joy for more than two centuries, and it's still evolving today. Most dances feature live Celtic or folk-fusion music with diverse influences from jazz to rock. The only footwork required is a simple forward-and-back step called a "balance.” Contradance figures rely instead on hand or eye connection between dancers walking at the gently aerobic pace of roughly 60 strides per minute. Many dances are preceded by a beginner session teaching basic figures.

It's okay to show up alone! When the dance begins, you'll find a partner, join a double line of dancers, and take hands in groups of four with your partner and a pair of "neighbors," ready to walk through a dance sequence. A caller teaches the sequence and prompts the figures until most dancers have internalized them. Each sequence lasts about 32 seconds, so it's easy to memorize; you'll repeat it with new neighbors each time through. After perhaps eight minutes, the dance will end, and dancers will find a new partners for the next one.

Pictures are better than words at conveying what we do, and videos are worth even more: here are a few of my favorite YouTube links to show contradancers in action.