Yellowstone Square dance council
Join our contra dance community for an evening of live music and fun!
A new contra dance community was formed last year in Billings and we invite anyone who enjoys live music and fun to experience this form of dance. No experience is necessary to contra dance. An introduction to contra dancing precedes every dance to allow the beginner to learn enough to start dancing and then to learn more throughout the evening. Amy Letson of Billings will be the main caller and the band Copper Kelly will play at most of the dances.
Come Dance With Us
What is Contra Dancing?
Amy Letson - Caller
Amy Letson is originally from Buffalo, NY, where she grew up in ignorance of contra dancing, knowing only that the square dance segment of gym class was too short. It wasn’t until after earning a degree in viola performance at Indiana University that a friend introduced her to the joy that is contra dancing at the local Bloomington Old Time Music and Dance Group in 1983. From the enjoyment of dancing, she was drawn into playing for, and then calling the dances, collecting from other local and touring callers, keeping a notebook in her skirt pocket to quickly jot down the sequences. Moving to Billings, MT in 1998 marked the beginning of a hiatus from dancing as her two children grew up, she got involved in orchestras and chamber music, and there was no local dance. In 2011 or so, when both kids were in college, Amy began attending the contra dance in Bozeman as often as possible. In the past few years, she has called 2 or 3 evening dances in Bozeman each season, including the last three New Year’s Eve dances. Additionally, this year, she is on the calling schedule in Missoula and Helena. When she’s not calling or dancing, Amy is the principal violist of the Billings Symphony, plays with the Yellowstone Chamber Players and the String Orchestra of the Rockies, and teaches violin and viola privately.
Resources for the Beginner Contra Dancer