Tusculum University hosting free contra dancing event on the Greeneville campus; no experience necessary

GREENEVILLE – Enjoy an evening of fellowship at Tusculum University learning or further developing your talent with contra dancing.

Tusculum is hosting a free contra dancing event on campus.

The College of Science, Technology and Mathematics is sponsoring a barn dance from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in the Old Gym, located inside the Scott M. Niswonger Commons on the Greeneville campus. The event will feature Deanna Palumbo, a traveling contra, techno and square dance caller from Knoxville.

The dance is ideal for anyone in their teenage years and all older ages. No experience is necessary, and participants can, but are not required to, come with a partner. Other attendees can serve as a partner during the dance. It is customary to change partners for each dance because this is a social dance.

The event is free.

Contra dancing is performed to Celtic, Quebecois, old-time, New England, Southern Appalachian, jazz, blues and other forms of music. In a contra dance, parallel lines of dancers begin by standing opposite their partners to form a couple. Combined with another couple, the group forms a set or “hands four.” Multiple sets form a line. But at this dance, other formations, such as circles and squares, might be used.

Contra dancing involves no fancy footwork, and each dance is taught and walked through before the start. Instructions from the caller contain a series of repeating steps dancers eventually memorize.

“We invite the community and the Tusculum family to join us for this extremely fun barn dance,” said Dr. Susan Monteleone, associate professor of biology, who has organized the event. “Deanna is a terrific caller, and contra dancing will provide a great opportunity for exercise and relaxation. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible on our campus.”

Anyone with questions can email Dr. Monteleone at smonteleone@tusculum.edu. More information about the university is available at www.tusculum.edu. A campus map is accessible at https://web.tusculum.edu/about/campus-map-2/.