Bush Dancing with the Monaro Folk Society

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Canberra has one of the liveliest social dance and music scenes in the country. Bush dancing is very much part of that scene and is meant for folks like you.

Bush dancing is Australian traditional social dancing. It's fun and friendly and new people are always welcome. All dances are taught and called, and there is no need to bring a partner. All the dances are to live music by local and interstate bands.

Monaro Folk Society Bush Dancing Calendar

Bush dancing events run by the Monaro Folk Society include:

Every Monday Feb-Nov

Bush Dance Class 8pm All Saints Ainslie Church Hall 9 Cowper St Ainslie

Mondays Dec-Jan

Dancing in the Park 6:45pm till dark Stage '88 Commonwealth Park.

First Saturday in the month

Bush Dance 8pm All Saints Ainslie

First Saturday in December

Bush Christmas Picnic Dance at the Yarralumla Woolshed with a Kids Dance 2-4pm.

Last Saturday in the Month

End of Month Bush Dance 8pm We are looking for a permanent home and we are trying Weston Creek and Kingston.

First Saturday in March

The MFS Bush Capital Ball at the Albert Hall (at St Johns Reid in 2011 and 2012, due to a prior Albert Hall booking).

Last Saturday in March

The Shearers Ball at the Yarralumla Woolshed with a Kids Dance 2-4pm.

First Saturday in May

The MFS Gala Ball at the Albert Hall.

First Saturday in September

The MFS Colonial Ball at the Albert Hall

New Year's Eve Dance

New Year's Eve Dance at the Yarralumla Woolshed

What dances do we do?

There is lots of variety in the dances. We do longways sets (such as Strip the Willow and Thady You Gander), quadrilles (such as Cumberland Square Eight and The Lancers), couples dances (such as Pride of Erin and Gypsy Tap), around the room dances (such as The Dashing White Sergeant and Margaret's Waltz), fun dances (such as The Troika and The Drongo) and many others.

What should I wear?

Unless otherwise indicated, all events are casual dress. Dress comfortably! Bush dancing is great exercise, and it is a good workout, and so don’t overdress. Even in winter you probably won’t want to wear a jumper or long sleeves while dancing. Layers of clothing work well, just as in Cross-Country skiing. Women often enjoy dancing in a skirt, as skirts flow to the music. Casual shirts are common dress. Don’t worry about what to wear – there is no special costume, just be comfortable. You probably will get warm as you dance.

Exceptions are advertised "fancy-dress" themes at dances but these are always optional and you are welcome to just come along and enjoy the spectacle, and:

  • The Shearers Ball where you can dress in your less formal ("daytime") colonial gear, or smart casual.
  • The other formal balls where you can dress elegantly in your heritage finery, or "after-five" evening wear.

What about shoes?

Since we dance on hardwood floors, many people bring a separate pair of shoes from the ones they wear to the dance. Clean off any grit from outside that might be on the soles of your shoes and could damage the floor. If possible, it is preferred not to dance in shoes with rubber soles, as these are harder on your joints – ankles, knees and hips in the long run. But people have danced in joggers, tennis shoes or whatever. If you get into dancing you might purchase a pair of dance shoes. The main thing is that your shoes are comfortable for you for active dancing. This normally means flat, comfortable shoes with smooth soles.

The music

We dance to live music, provided by local and interstate bush dance bands. We use a variety of different bands, but we guarantee that the music will be lively and fun to dance to.


Bush dancing has to be the best value-for-money recreation around. Regular Saturday dances cost is just $18, $16 for Groups and Concessions, $14 for MFS members (you can join at the door), under 18 free.

Special dances and Balls at the Albert Hall and the Yarralumla Woolshed may have different pricing, please check the Calendar.


Where indicated, please bring a contribution to the supper. Tea, coffee, cordial and water are available, costing $1 at bush dances for a "bottomless" cup which you can refill throughout the whole night.

For Further Information

EMail: dance(at)mfs(dot)org(dot)au

Hope to see you there

Content Manager: End of Month Dance Organising Team (EOMDOT) and Bush Dance Group (BDG)
Please see Contact Us for current contact information)

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