The Gainesville Oldtime Dance Society (GODS) is a non-profit Florida corporation (501c3) organization under the Country Dance and Song Society of America. GODS was formed around 1986. GODS has no paid administrative positions; all administrative/governance positions and all organizational/operational tasks are undertaken by volunteers. A Board and officers are elected from the membership. GODS is well organized and solvent.

GODS mission is to further traditional dance and music, and to sponsor community dance events. Our primary focus is on regularly scheduled American contra dance events in the Gainesville, Florida area. Other featured dance forms include waltz, English country dance, percussive dances such as clogging or flatfoot dance, Irish dance, Balfolk, Scottish, and other traditional dance.

  • All events are open to the public. The GODS is a community asset.
  • There is a suggested fee per dance ($10 for ages 16 and older, with no fee for children under 16 years.) No dancer is ever turned away for inability to pay, however.
  • Our costs include the hall rental, insurance, website, and the Talent (the band, the caller, and the sound tech) in addition to any travel-related expenses the Talent may have. Other than the Talent, we fully function on volunteer energy.
  • The main venue for the GODS is the Thelma Boltin Center, 516 Northeast 2nd Avenue; Gainesville, Florida, 32601. Occasionally, other venues are used for additional contra and waltz events.
  • Regular events are open to all skill levels of dancing and newcomers are welcome – there is a teaching workshop for beginners before each regular dance. Advanced Dances have no workshop and it is recommended that dancers have attended at least three contra dances before attempting an Advanced Contra.
  • There is no drinking or smoking at a contra dance. Contra dance prides itself on providing a safe and inclusive environment. Children are welcome to dance with us when they attend accompanied by an adult.
  • The GODS contra dance on the first Sunday afternoon of every month and the third Saturday evening of every month, with an advanced contra every fifth Sunday afternoon. Additionally, there are special dances, including the Annual Dance-with-the-GODS Weekend (3-day event) held since 2004 in February.
  • The GODS host about thirty dance days per year, with an average attendance of about 100 participants at our regular dances.
  • If you are new to contra or new to Gainesville, we recommend you check out our FAQ page.

Periodic meetings of the GODS Board of Directors (Steering Committee) are open to the public. Minutes of meetings can be found here. A complete year-by-year list of GODS Steering Committee members may be found here.

To contact the webmaster or the GODS Steering Committee: e-mail us.