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Dancing to a wall of sound
Atlanta Open Band to perform at Contra Dance
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The Atlanta Open Band will perform Oct. 1 at the Sautee Nacoochee Center’s Contra Dance.

The band, described as “a wall of sound,” includes a range of musicians, both professional and amateur, performing old-time Appalachian and Celtic music.

“One of the most important aspects of our Sautee dances is community,” said Peter Bull, a lead coordinator of the dances. “At this dance, we’ll have a community of musicians playing for a community of dancers. It’s going to be a great night.”

Calling the dance will be Andrea Nettleton of Decatur, who has taken part in dances throughout the region over two decades.

The term “contra dance” comes from the word “country,” describing one of the main formations of the dances — two lines of people facing one another. It is similar to square dancing, with Appalachian, Celtic and New England flavors. About a dozen steps are intertwined in upbeat patterns by a caller.

Longtime Sautee dancer and instructor Walter Daves says, “If you can walk, you can contra dance — it’s really just walking to music.”  

Sautee Community Contra Dances begin with an optional potluck supper at 6:30 p.m. Orientation for newcomers begins at 7:30 p.m., and the main dance begins at 8.

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for students, with a discount for members of SNCA. Children 7 and younger are admitted free with a supervising adult.

Dances are held in the historic gym of the Sautee Nacoochee Center.

For more information, call Walter Daves at 706-754-3254, or email Julianne Wilson at