Recent News

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday January 17, 2015

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street. The guest performers are CONTRAFORCE from Charleston with Margaret Matthews calling the dance.

Class for beginners at 7:00pm, dance from 7:30-10:30pm.

David Kehs and Dana Jensen will be married in the afternoon in a private ceremony. We will celebrate their marriage at our dance in the evening.

Admission $7, $5 for HJDS Members and Students.

Posted by: David Wiley on January 6, 2015

Special Dance Event Jan 2-3

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society welcomes you to a special dance event on January 2nd and 3rd 2015 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, featuring Perpetual e-Motion and The Buddy System for a day and a half of bringing-in-the-new year dancing.

Calling for this event will be Charlotte Crittenden and Will Mentor.

Cost is $40 per person, $30 for HJDS Members and Students. Session tickets are available for Friday night, Saturday Day and Saturday evening.

Registration is now open at

Capacity is 160 dancers.

Schedule & Prices

Friday Evening-January 2nd

7:30 pm - 11:30 pm contra -- both bands
7:30 - 9:00 Buddy System acoustic
9:30 - 11:30 Perpetual e-Motion

Saturday Daytime-January 3rd

10:30 am - 12:00 p Flow + Glide contras -- Buddy System acoustic
12:00 - 1:30 lunch break
1:30 - 2:15 waltzing -- Buddy System
2:30 - 5:00 Challenging contra dance -- Perpetual e-Motion

6:00 - 8:00 dinner break

Saturday Evening-January 3rd

6:30 – 8:30 Perpetual e-Motion
8:30 – 9:00 Dessert Break
9:00- 11:00 Buddy System (techno contra)

Admission price:
_____$40 for all events in advance, $30 for HJDS Members, Students in advance
_____$15 for Friday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday day, $10 for HJDS Members, Students
_____$15 for Saturday night, $10 for HJDS Members, Students

Posted by: David Wiley on December 21, 2014

Next Event: Christmas Contra Dance & Waltz Dec 20th

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society and the Jolly Ole Elf will hold a dance extravaganza on Saturday December 20, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street at 7:00pm featuring the Asheville band “Eric The Cat” with Warren Doyle calling the dance. Admission is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for full time students. A class for newcomer contra dances will run from 7:00-7:30pm. The dance will go from 7:30-10:30pm. Dancers are invited to bring their favorite holiday desserts for the 9:00pm intermission.

Dancers are invited to waltz from 6:00-7:00pm to recorded tunes. “We do country dance waltz compared to ballroom style waltz” offers David Wiley, event organizer. The folk waltz is quite different; it's sometimes described as a “one-step waltz”. You still do three steps: right, left, right — but the second and third are pretty much on the spot; the first step is where you do most of the travelling. It really isn't forward-side-together; it's step-two-three, step-two-three. If you concentrate on the first step and let the other two just happen, you'll find the whole thing much easier. Turn your shoulders and your feet will follow — it sounds silly, but it's absolutely true. HJDS is planning a series of waltz workshops in the new year to teach country waltz.

Eric The Cat specializes in contra dance music. The four cats include Alan Dillman, fiddle; Wes Maluk, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar and whistle; Terry Maluk, hand and foot percussion, banjo uke; Karen Gaughan, keyboard. All four Cats have been playing dance music for over 25 years in other bands such as Merriweather, Skeeziks, Hot Sonata, Good & Plenty. Wes and Terry Maluk also have a long history of providing sound engineering for dances, dance festivals, and dance weekends locally and around the county. Eric The Cats music includes a variety of styles ranging from Celtic to French Canadian, to New England to Old-Time and various other influences from evolving traditions. To discover more information about the band, visit their website for current schedule and contact info:

Warren Doyle is the co-founder of the Appalachian Folk School located near Mountain City, TN. For many years, Doyle was an educator for area colleges, hiked the Appalachian Trail, danced and called dances all over the country. His folk school houses the Appalachian Trail Institute where prospective trail hikers come for extensive training and orientation before their journey begins. Now retired, Doyle travels far and wide to continue his journey as caller, dancer and hiker. He served on the HJDS board for several years helping to building the dance tradition here and produces a very popular dance weekend in Morgantown, WV called Contradancers Delight Holiday the last week of each year.

For more information on Saturday’s dance or any upcoming events, please call David Wiley at 423-534-8879 or visit Or the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society on FACEBOOK.

Posted by: David Wiley on December 11, 2014

Next Event: Contra Dance Saturday Dec 6th

Contra Dance in Jonesborough Honoring Charley Harvey!

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a Contra Dance on Saturday December 6, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Class for beginning contra dancers starts at 7:00 pm. The dance will run from 7:30-10:30 pm with a waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm. Guest performers include “Toss the Possum” band from Blacksburg, VA, and a group of all-stars that include Barbara Groh, Lindsay Morris, Terry Doyle and Diane Silver.

The evening dance includes a tribute to caller Charley Harvey. Harvey began dancing in Berea Kentucky over twenty five years ago. He has called dances far and wide, teaching American Folk dance in Denmark and leading local dances and dance weekends throughout the eastern US.

Harvey began as an English Country Dancer, went on to become a member of Berea College Country Dancers. In 1992 he helped found the Berea Kentucky dance series "Oh Contraire!" and began calling dances regularly shortly after that. He has served as a workshop leader (Waltz, Swing, Hambo, Salty Dog Rag to name a few) at various Contra Dance Weekends throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West.

Widely regarded as an exciting and enthusiastic dance caller and sometime Washboard impresario, Harvey has worked with highly regarded bands such as Giant Robot Dance, Notorious, Hotpoint Stringband, Crowfoot, Footloose, The Avant Gardeners, Atlantic Crossing, Euphor and The Berea Castoffs. A prolific dance composer, Harvey will be honored by the assembled callers who will be calling his dances all evening.

The name Toss the Possum was inspired by a possum who found itself trapped under a spare dresser drawer in the garage of the Zisette family. This family band originally consisted of Chas on bass, Jane on flute, Rob on fiddle and Laura (mom) on keyboard.
Nowadays, Rob and Laura carry on as the kids grew up and moved away.

Rob Zisette, age 23, is the fiddler for Toss the Possum. After playing violin for a year and a half, he entered the fiddle contest sponsored by the Festival of the American West at age 10. He won first prize and has been fiddling ever since. Rob also likes to compose and was a percussionist in high school, but now attends Virginia Tech majoring in physics and math.

Laura (mom) taught Piano at Utah State University until she moved to Virginia. In Utah she played with Barnstorm and Leaping Lulu. Now she’s hanging on for the ride with Toss the Possum and has teamed up with Rob to compose over 50 original waltz tunes.

Come as you are; wear soft flexible shoes for dancing. Come to dance or just to listen. No partner is necessary. All dances are taught. As always, our dances are smoke, alcohol and fragrance free. Admission to the dance is $7, $5 for HJDS members and $5 for students.

Posted by: David Wiley on November 26, 2014

Next Event: Contra Dance & Food Drive

The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will hold a contra dance and food drive on Saturday November 15, 2014 at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street.

There will be a "Meet and Greet the Posse" potluck dinner from 5:30pm until 7:00pm. Bring a covered dish or dessert to share. Let's show some Jonesborough hospitality for our friends Tristan, Pete and Oliver from Vermont.

Performing for the dance is Pete's Posse from Vermont.. The dance will be called by Diane Silver from Asheville, NC.

The event will focus on the collection of non-perishable food stuffs for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Bank.

Beginners lesson at 7:00pm. Dance from 7:30-10:30 with waltz and Klondike Bar break at 9:00pm

Posted by: David Wiley on November 2, 2014

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