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Pittsburgh Region: Dances


Weekly Square and Contra dances

(check here for dance events listed on The New Old Times calendar)

Square and Contra dances are held weekly around Pittsburgh. Please visit the link at PittsburghContra.Org  Different callers and bands every week. Follow the link for scheduled dances, maps and directions.

Occasionally you can dance to the 
Lackawanna Longnecks

Frank Falvo – fiddle
Mark Tamsula – banjo
Mike Reing – guitar
Jean getz – bass

Steel City Squares

Not a regularly scheduled event, and not always at the same location, Steel City Squares is here to inspire people to let their preconceived notions of square dancing go. Talk to us, suggest, grab a partner, listen, participate and enjoy!

Mardis Gras

The Mardi Gras Dance Party  will be at the BMNECC Hall in West Homestead. Included in the admission price (kids are free) is a dance lesson starting at 7:30, followed by live music by Grand Bon Rien, Pittsburgh’s traditional Cajun band, starting at 8:30. We encourage you to come in costume — there will be awards for best costumes after the “courier” (parade) between dance sets. Also, feel free to bring a snack to share (not required). The hall has a great wooden dance floor, a cash bar, and plenty of parking. No partners necessary, and we encourage you to bring your family and friends. Hope to see you there! Laissez les bon temps rouller…

The Mardis Gras Season
Mardi Gras, which literally means “Fat Tuesday”, is celebrated the day before the beginning of the Christian Lenten period (Ash Wednesday thru Easter Sunday). However most people are unaware that Mardi Gras is not just one day, or even a few days. The Mardi Gras season of celebration, actually starts on Twelfth Night (the 12th night after Christmas), and lasts approximately a month! The festival ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday when the courts of Rex and Comus meet and exchange greetings.

This festival began in the middle of the second century in Rome when the Fast of the 40 Days of Lent was preceded by a period of several days during which time participants feasted on food and drink, put on masks, clothed themselves like specters, gave themselves up to Bacchus and Venus and considered all pleasure allowable. This festival spread to Europe and other cities, and ultimately made its way to New Orleans in 1827, when a group of students donned costumes and paraded thru the streets of New Orleans upon their return from the Mardi Gras celebration in Paris.

Mardi Gras has grown immensely from its humble beginnings in South Louisiana in the 19th century, and is now attended throughout each season by millions of tourists.

The Annual Holiday Ball

Square and Contra dances are held weekly around Pittsburgh. Please visit the link at  PittsburghContra.Org.

But once every year, just before Christmas, local musicians collaborate to form a grand orchestra, and medleys of holiday music and contradance chestnuts are painstakingly arranged and seriously rehearsed for hours. The dancers come decked out in tuxes and gowns, and The Main Man of Merriment himself, Marlin Whitaker comes to town. 
’tis glorious.

Follow the link for scheduled dances, maps and directions.