The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers (MMTD) is a not-for-profit organization, affiliated with the Country Dance and Song Society. The purpose of the association is to enhance the experience of, the understanding of, and participation in traditional dance.
A Bit of History
According to legend, the first contra dance in Columbia took place in someone’s kitchen in the late 1970s. Several of the people who attended contra and Irish dances in the early days are still involved in MMTD. Can you identify any of these people?
Contra dance is a two-hundred-year-old dance style still relevant in today’s world, with much that appeals to modern tastes. Check out this article from the New York Times.
In the News
One great thing about living in a town with a journalism school is that we often get young journalists and photographers at our dances, who help us spread the word about what great fun we’re having.
- Contra dance incorporates community, comfort, country by Jade Earle, The Maneater, November 9, 2010
- Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers Teach Contra Dance, Vox Magazine, November 3, 2010
- Katie Currid’s photo blog, October 31, 2010
- Dancing for a Festival by Jessica Holdman, The Missourian, October 6, 2010
- Contradancers welcome all comers in a community of real movers and shakers by Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Tribune, March 21, 2010
- What’s not to like? Yelp, October 12, 2009 (review)
- Dancing the Night Away: Contra Dancing in Mid-Missouri by Erin Schwartz (multimedia presentation)
- Fiddle Players of All Ages Carry on Missouri Tradition by Paige Pritchard, Missourian, July 23, 2009
- The Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers invite everyone to Spring Breakdown 2009 by Marcie McGuire, My Missourian, March 25, 2009
- Hallsville square dancers cross the generation gap by Aaron Rosenblatt, Missourian, July 23, 2007
- Hallsville Square Dance (slide show) by Aaron Rosenblatt, Missourian, July 23, 2007
- Contra fever by Debrin Foxcroft, Missourian, April 3, 2006
- Fair in the Making by Carrie Durkee, Missourian, July 22, 2012
- Barn dance at Boone County Fair mixes fiddles and family by Leah Beane, Missourian, July 25, 2012
- Dancing Contraditionally (multimedia) by MU students Hannah Franz, Bell Johnson and Emerald O’Brien, 2013.
- Community GAthers for Traditional Dancing Event by Tatiana Darle, KOMU, March 16, 2014.
Now that you have a taste of what we’re about, come dance with us and experience the fun of contra dancing for yourself.
The MMTD Board holds monthly meetings to conduct the business of Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers, which is to
- stimulate and encourage the development of traditional dance and music in Missouri
- foster interest in and preserve the cultural heritage of traditional dance and music in Missouri
- bring to the attention of civic authorities, business leaders, and government the needs of the traditional dance community
- act as a clearinghouse for dance and music information throughout the state.
Members of the dance community are encouraged to get involved in MMTD. Contact current board members to find out how you can help. Board elections are held each July at our annual general meeting (aka “watermelon dance”). More information about the organization can be found in the bylaws.
MMTD Board Members for 2016-17
- Debbie Newkirk, President
- Renee Carter, Vice-President
- Jim Thaxter, Treasurer
- Barbara Keen, Secretary
- Odell Newkirk, Spring Breakdown Chair
- Julie Borders
- Shelley Botts
- Jan Harcourt
- Richard Moore