Recent News

Contrathon XVII


Thank you!

Posted by: David Wiley on April 28, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance & Workshop Saturday May 2

Contra Dance & Free Workshop in Jonesborough!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A family package allows parents to bring all of their own children for a total of $15. All dances are smoke and alcohol free. No partner is necessary. Families and children are welcome! A half hour contra dance workshop will be offered at 7pm.

At the 9:00pm waltz break, Klondike Ice Cream Bars, the official frozen treat of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society, will be offered to all dancers courtesy of the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

The evening will begin with a free two-hour workshop at 4:00pm called “Beyond the Beginners’ Workshop; How to Become Everyone’s Favorite Dance Partner” led by caller/teacher Charley Harvey. This workshop is for dancers of any level designed to make your evening of dance more pleasurable for you and others on the dance floor. The goal of the workshop for is for everyone to come away with new skills and techniques that make them a better dancer.

A better dancer is able to take good care of their partner by better understanding the flow of the dance. A better dancer is on time for every move during the dance because they understand the timing of the dance moves. That means you are in the right place at the right time. Once a dancer understands the basics, then they are free to play with Twirls and Embellishments and non-verbal communication between partners.

The final segment of the afternoon class will teach basic rotary waltz, how to add swing dance embellishments and achieving flow.

Performing for this event will be the band Hot Sonata from Asheville, NC. Charley Harvey will also call the evening dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

For more information, contact event organizer, David Wiley, at 423-534-8879 or visit

Posted by: David Wiley on April 23, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday April 18, 2015

Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. Guest performers are Laurie Fisher and Steve Trisman from Asheville. Their band is called Windmill. David Winston will be calling the dance.

Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dancers will run from 7:00-7:30pm followed by the contra dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

Laurie Fisher is a popular musician, dance caller and music teacher. She plays fiddle, keyboard, guitar and bass and has performed and called in Jonesborough on many occasions most recently with her band “BOOM CHUCK”.

Joining Laurie Fisher is fiddler/violinist Steve Trisman from Asheville. Trisman is an accomplished musician who plays with Asheville bands, One Leg Up, Bayou Diesel, Jupiter Coyote and many others. Trisman is moving over from the electric sound to more acoustic to play contra dance music.

David Winston, senior software engineer for IBM, lives in Asheville. He started contra dancing in 2000 in the Washington, D.C. area where he met his wife Juliette. His first calling workshop in 2003 was led by Tom Hinds who recently called our dance on June 1st. David strives to connect with all levels of dancers through his clear teaching and steady calling. He is always willing to help new dancers learn basic skills, feel comfortable, and enjoy the contra dancing experience. Their 11-year old daughter, Genevieve, is an excellent contra dancer. The Winstons are definitely a contra dancing family.

Posted by: David Wiley on April 9, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance 04/04/2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

The guest performers are Atlantic Crossing from Vermont and Diane Silver, caller, from Asheville.

Class for beginners at 7:00pm. Dance 7:30-10:30pm.

Admission $7, $5 HJDS Members and Students

Posted by: David Wiley on March 22, 2015

Next Event: Contra Dance March 21st

Boston/New York Based band come to play for Jonesborough Contra Dance!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday March 21, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Coming to Jonesborough to perform for the dance will be Party of Three touring the area from New York and Boston. Calling for the dance will be Nick Boulet from Winston-Salem, NC.

Party of Three brings together three musicians from diverse musical backgrounds who share a depth of experience playing for dancing. Combining high energy Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music with Latin and Funk influenced piano and drum grooves, Party of Three has been enthusiastically received by dancers across the mid-atlantic and northeast. Members include Lilly Pearlman on fiddle, Neil Pearlman on piano and Joe De Paolo on drums and percussion.
Pianist and mandolinist Neil Pearlman is rapidly distinguishing himself as a uniquely innovative artist in the contemporary traditional music scene. Called “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, Neil brings in ideas from many other genres and the result is an exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots.

Fiddler Lilly Pearlman has grown up immersed in the musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton, performing with family band Highland Soles since the age of nine. Through her experiences living and studying in New York City and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, she has continued to explore and incorporate influences from various other musical genres--from bluegrass to samba to funk-- into her unique Celtic-based fiddle sound. Lilly has played across the nation with the bands Party of Three and Alba's Edge since 2011. She was also on staff for Scottish Fiddle and Cello Camp at Ashokan, March 2014. Lilly graduates from Barnard College in 2014 with a degree in Dance.

Joe De Paolo has been drumming for over 30 years. His early studies were with Master Drum Teachers Sam Ulano and Joe Cusatis. He has also studied at both Drummers Collective and Irish Art Center in New York City. Throughout his career Joe has played in jazz/rock fusion, funk, Zydeco, Cajun and contra dance bands. He also plays and teaches bodhran and doumbek. Joe also calls for contra dances and at times combines calling with drumming. His eclectic past has influenced his current style of playing and can be heard on the three CDs that he is featured on. He has recorded with Eclectic Dance Orchestra, Coracree and Party of Three.

Nick Boulet began dancing in Knoxville in the 1980s and calling in the 1990s. He has called in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Dayton, TN, Damascus VA, Greensboro, NC, Winston-Salem NC, Berea KY, Huntsville AL, as well as Jonesborough TN. He is known for dances that he has written like "Warmin' Up The Car." He loves to dance and calls dances that keep the energy up. He invites all to come on out and dance!

Posted by: David Wiley on March 8, 2015

See all past news