These books provide great sources of dance repertoire for callers, along with information about how to learn to call and various discussions about other related topics relevant to the contra dance community.


  • Contra Dance Calling: A Basic Text by Tony Parkes - A comprehensive guide to calling contra dances.
  • Zesty Contras and Give and Take: A Sequel to Zesty Contras by Larry Jennings - A large selection of dance repertoire, discussion and advice about calling, and a great deal of information about all aspects of organizing and presenting a contra dance.
  • The Contra Connection and Basically for Callers - Booklet containing reprints of articles from the CDSS News by Larry Jennings, Dan Pearl, and Ted Sannella covering a wide range of topics about calling, programming and organizing contra dances.
  • Balance and Swing by Ted Sannella - A collection of New England contras, squares, and triplets, including suggested music. Also includes a useful glossary describing the most common dance figures.
  • Notes on Teaching Country Dance by Bruce Hamilton - This booklet focuses on English country dance calling, but includes useful suggestions about calling technique and leadership in any context.
  • Books that are out of print but are useful if you can find them:
  • Introducing a Beginner to Contra Dancing (pdf) by Chris Weiler - This article, published in the CDS Boston Centre newsletter and based on conversation from the Boston Area Contra Community email group, discusses the fine art of teaching a beginners session at a contra dance.
Go To Top