Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to have a ‘caller’? We hire a caller for each dance. The caller teaches all dance steps and calls out the sequence of dance moves during the dance for different dances including contra, square, circle, and other dances. Do I need to bring a partner? No, you do not have to come to the dance with someone else. You are expected and encouraged to dance with many partners during the evening. Anyone can ask another person to dance. A couple can be a man and woman (traditional configuration), two women, or two men. If young children are dancing, it is usually easier if their partner is an adult. Is it OK to bring children? Absolutely! This is a community dance and one of the few activities available these days where all ages can do something together. We encourage all ages to dance, especially early in the evening when dances are a bit easier. What kind of dances should I expect during an evening? Most of our dances are done in patterns with couples. Common moves include swing your partner, allemande left or right, do si do, circle left or right in a larger group, and promenade. Each dance is a specific sequence of these common moves. You do not have to know the dances ahead of time, the caller teaches everything. Dance types may include contra dancing, square dancing, circle dancing, waltzing and other couples dancing, and other related dancing. See our dance descriptions.

Questions About V.O.D.S.

What is the VODS? VODS stands for the Valparaiso Oldtime Dance Society. We are a non-profit group with a mission to promote an old style of community dance in the Valparaiso Area. The board of directors is made up of a variety of community members including teachers, musicians, business people, and other professional folks with a passion for oldtime dance. What is my money used for? For each dance we must pay the caller, musicians, hall rental, and other costs of holding the dance. One-hundred percent of your money goes to cover those direct costs. We thank you for your support. Are we connected to other organizations? The Chicago Barn Dance Company supports us by hosting a web page for our group. How often are dances held? Our dances are held every 2nd Saturday of the month. from September through May.How can I find out about upcoming dances? Put your name on our email mailing list and you will get one reminder before each dance. You can also watch the current events section of the local newspaper or check our web page at ‘’ We do not send out reminders or newsletters through regular mail at this time.