Welcome to Jonathan Sivier's Dance Page


Calling/leading/teaching Dances

I've been involved in traditional dance since 1987 and have been leading dances since 1992. I am active with the Urbana Country Dancers and am one of the leaders of the Central Illinois English Country Dancers. I regularly lead contra, English and square dances in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and elsewhere. I serve as one of the English country dance editors for the Country Dance and Song Society Newsletter. One of my ongoing projects is the reconstuction of music and dances from New Harmony, Indiana circa 1826. I've led contra and English dances at various locations in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia. Contact me at 217/359-8225 or jsivier@illinois.edu about calling at your dance.

I am able to organize and lead several types of dance evenings, such as:

  • Contra Dance
  • English Country Dance
  • Civil War Ball
  • Regency Ball
  • Dance Parties (for groups of mostly non-dancers)

I also have experience leading a number of different types of workshops and classes, including:

  • Contra Dance
  • Square Dance
  • English Country Dance
  • Early American Dance (1700's and 1800's)
  • Civil War Era Dances
  • Regency Era Dances
  • Dances from New Harmony, Indiana, 1826
  • Cotilions, Quadrilles and Squares: The Evolution of the Square Dance
  • Classic Contras: Early American and Chestnut Contra Dances from 1800 to the 1950's
  • Dances from Abraham Lincoln's Lifetime
  • Couple dances such as the waltz, polka, schottische and hambo
  • Irish Ceili Dances
  • Unusual Formations (not your typical contra dance)
  • Basics of contra dance
  • Becoming a better contra dancer (and a sought after partner)
  • Challenging contra dances
  • Basics of dance calling
  • Contra and English country dancing for seniors
  • English Country Dancing With Jane Austen: On Screen and Off
  • The Evolution of Social Dance in the 19th Century
  • Traditional Dance Revivals of the 20th Century

I'm currently involved in a project for the University of Illinois Kinesiology Department in which I am teaching contra and English country dances to senior's.

In the spring of 2013 I taught an English Country Dance class called English Country Dancing in the Age of Jane Austen at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. This will compare and contrast the dances seen in the various movies with dances that might have actually been done by Jane Austen and the characters in her novels.

In the fall or 2013 I taught another class at the OLLI on social dances of the 19th century and how they changed throughout the period.

In the spring of 2014 I co-taught a class at the OLLI on the traditional dance revivals of the 20th century. These included English country dance, square dance and contra dance, along with several other traditional dance forms.

Some dances I've written
Dances from New Harmony, Indiana
Notes on dance calling
What makes a good dancer?
Tips on dancing with beginners

lining up calling

Here I am calling at a Halloween family dance.

ACE Award Poster

I received a 2010 ACE Award from the Champaign County Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council for leadership in the local dance community.
Click here for more information on the award.
Download the poster.

Send me a message at:

last updated on July 27, 2014