Good Dances for Teens

Here are some favorite dances from our teen dance series.

While every modern contra dance has a partner swing, I've found that dances with no swing or just a neighbor swing are a better fit for the teens. Initially my box had no such dances! But over time I've found some and written some that work well.

Dances appear in these categories:

Longways Barn Dances. Figures with arches or galloping (that might not be great for groups with small kids or low-energy adults) are great for teens!

No-role Contras. Dancers find a partner and join a set on whatever side is convenient; dances have no swings or chains.

Neighbor-swing Dances have a neighbor swing but no partner swing. (Swinging the same person repeatedly isn't a draw for most teens like it is for regular contra dancers.) In our initial years I taught a ballroom swing with lark/robin roles, but as we restart the dance in 2024 we'll try a symmetrical swing with a bit of positional calling when necessary.

Other Formations. A circle mixer, a scatter mixer, and a Sicilian circle.

Click on a dance to see the details. Figures are shown with permission of the author.

Check back for more as we find new favorites.