< Summer Soirée Contra Dance Weekend

Pre-Registration Open for Summer Soirée- June 17-19, 2016!

Summer Soirée 2016 - June 17-19

We have a couple of spaces left after cancellations.

Register here:


Summer Soirée is pleased to announce that the Syncopaths will be gracing the stage at Warren Wilson. We will bring back The Syncopaths from the west coast and Contrazz from the East Coast will be on hand for the first time, with Gaye Fifer and Charlotte Crittenden calling, plus Toss the Possum for waltzes.

Some videos from the dance weekend:


2015 Summer Soiree Saturday evening

Posted by Trish Finn on Monday, June 22, 2015

The Disco Late Night Contra Dance Party was a huge success again - all the best disco hits from the 1970s and some great dance tracks from the 1980s. Check out this Fleetwood Mac snippet:

2015 Summer Soiree Disco Techno

Posted by Trish Finn on Monday, June 22, 2015

If it gets any better than this, please tell me about it - we will try and make it better.

Facebook is the fastest way to communicate with contra dancers, so announcements are made there first, and on the website immediately thereafter. Friends of Summer Soirée

Gender Balance? Nope! Not this year or ever again. Role balancing was a success.

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Dates, Ticket Prices and Talent for Summer Soirée 2016:

All TBA. The college has not given us our 2016 commitment yet, but the contra dance weekend is usually the 3rd weekend in June. Occasionally, it's the fourth weekend. The college continues to raise prices slightly every year; we keep this as affordable as we can. Know that it is a labor of love.

M.-J. Taylor, Summer Soirée Organizer


More Videos:

Just Another High Energy Dance on Saturday afternoon:

An overview of the dance weekend shot and edited by John-Michael Seng-Wheeler at the 2013 weekend:


More Favorite Contra Dance Videos:

What folks say about the weekend:

"Best dance camp I've been to in 15 years." Tom Bowers of California who attended Soirée for the first time in 2015.

"My face hurts from smiling so much. Words cannot accurately describe the joy I felt this weekend. There were numerous moments where I felt this weird lovely incredible natural high. Just a state of pure happiness. You created that magical world for a weekend, and I can't thank you enough. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! It was incredible... Great dancers. Great musicians. Really- it was all I could do to keep my eyes from rolling back into my head I was so caught up in that music, movement, community, aerobic twirly trusting joyful dancing. You can see it in the pictures and videos. People are just beaming. Loved every minute of it. Thank you!" Chrissie Chapman.

""I'm a complainer, and I had nothing to complain about." ~ Debra Kirsch

Comments from other years:

"I thought the weekend was awesome. The housing was much better than other dance weekends, where we've stayed in camp facilities, and the price was very reasonable for what was included. The food was outstanding, especially when compared to other dance camps, and the the music was great. I enjoyed the swing lesson, but was disappointed that there was no techno contra. I probably would have stayed and danced for about an hour, if there had been one. The younger dancers add a lot of energy and dynamics to the dances; they are important to the life and survival of our dance communities ...." ~ Suzanne Patnaude

"Music and weather were the best! The food was great!" ~ Mike Brannaman

"The intermediate waltz and swing dance classes on Saturday morning were great!!!! All weekend the energy in the air was magical-Had soooo much fun!!!" ~ Marty Grist

I had a wonderful time at Soiree!! I like the dorms and the dancing and of course PeM and GRD together was just over the top!!" ~ Cathy Willis

"I love you MJ! Thanks for making one of the best weekends of my life." ~ Alan Best


Many Soirée dancers stretch their weekend into a 5 day festival, arriving early to dance at the Old Farmer's Ball on Thursday night and staying over for the Monday Night Dance at the Grey Eagle, a popular music venue and tavern in downtown Asheville. The Soirée bands always play at least one of those dates, usually both.

It's not all dance, dance, dance; there is relaxing and sharing snacks on the Grassy Knoll above the Pavilion. Bring a blanket and join in the lazy moments, too.

Do you have trouble explaining your love of contra dance weekends to your friends? This video is for you:

More Visuals and Videos

Some fun from previous years: some extraordinary photos by Kevin Riggs and videos by John Newsome. Here's my favorite techno contra video from John.

More videos from Summer Soirée 2011 by John Newsome:

M.-J. Taylor 
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