Nils Fredland is a highly-regarded, Internationally-traveling dance caller, song leader, and trombonist.

Nils is a gifted teacher, and uses his skills to build community through shared experience; with expertise and heart, he creates a safe and positive space for people to connect through music and dance.

Nils travels across North America to teach and perform over 150 days a year; his calendar of gigs shows his dedication, commitment, and belief in the power of music and dance as a vehicle for social change. Nils has been a touring artist for over fifteen years, and has earned the loyalty and respect of the many thousands of people that he has worked to serve.

Nils Fredland makes dance, music, and song accessible and available to everyone. to discuss the possibilities.

Find out more about Nils’s offerings:

Dance Calling – Song Leading – Trombone


Nils Fredland, trombone in hand

Upcoming Gigs

10/31 to 11/2Hey Fever
11/7 to 11/9Atlanta Dance Weekend
11/14 to 11/16Fluer de Lis Fling
11/19Boston Traditional Square Dance

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Nils Fredland, dance caller Facebook feed

OK, friends and fans! This afternoon, I'm feeling fascinated by this question:

"What's your contra dance elevator pitch?"

Looking forward to your responses... #fbfeed
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Ashley Foster Okel, Deborah Byrd and 6 others like this

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Ron T BlechnerDepends on dancer vs non-dancer, geek vs. non-geek.2 days ago
Nils Fredland, dance callerOk, Ron...tell me more. Non- dancer, both geek and non-geek.2 days ago
Nancy Knottcan't wait to see responses as the past month, at separate dances, I've introduced two different dancers to contra. Both were dancers (various ballroom and tango) and I really struggled with a proper description. One thing that one of them said after the fact was that she missed all my attempts of explaining progression ---- *sigh*. The friend that introduced me to contra took an approach of intrigue with his proclamation that "contra is a little slice of life that has to be experienced, not explained" worked. Dave Renzi2 days ago
Louise SiddonsI agree with Ron -- I think "word of mouth" advertising works so well precisely because most people automatically tailor their description to the person they're talking with. Because of my (college-town, rural) audience, my talking points often include, "it's really family-friendly," "it's an alternative to drinking on the Strip where you can actually get to know people," "it's exercise but you're having too much fun to notice," "it's like swing dancing but you don't need to worry about having a partner," and dozens of other things. I usually start all of them with "I love it."2 days ago   ·  4
Ron T BlechnerGeeks are less likely to go dancing, based on my own biased experience. Relating things like "every dance is taught", "I didn't dance at all before contra", "it's not high pressure like couples dancing" and "it attracts a nerdy crowd" are things I mention. To non-geeks, I might stress the social aspect, meeting people, great music more.2 days ago   ·  2
Ron T BlechnerOr... I might go at it from the calling perspective to a geek.2 days ago
Paul McKechnieI overheard someone explaining it to a non dancer as "organized walking with a smile"2 days ago   ·  5
Justin SargentI usually say "it's like line dancing and square dancing had a cool kid"2 days ago   ·  4
Robert ChristieIt's not square dancing2 days ago
Brenda HubbardI start with "Did you learn the Virginia Reel in elementary school?" and continue based on their response. When someone says "I'm not much of a dancer" I respond with "Trust me, most contra dancers I know were not the ones dancing under the disco ball in the 80's."2 days ago
Arthur DavisI'm not a big fan of dissing square dancing when promoting contra dancing, because I feel like it biases new people from enjoying squares. However, I usually go for my dad's classic description: "walking around to music, acting friendly."2 days ago   ·  3
Craig GreenI like the line about it being an amusement park ride we make for ourselves...2 days ago
Anna JesionowskiWhile I appreciate not dissing square dancing, my description is usually along the lines of, "It's like square dancing, but in long lines and more fun. You get to dance with a lot more people." I do often mention that the music is great and that every dance is taught and called, and that it doesn't matter how "good" you are at it as long as you're having fun.2 days ago   ·  1
Arthur DavisI like that, but I'd probably leave out the "more fun" line, because that is very subjective. I have grown up with both square and contra dancing and don't really like the big divide that is made between them. It is true about dancing with more people in each dance though!2 days ago   ·  1
Bill Ward"kinda like square dancing but in long lines of couples and any improvisation is up to the dancers rather than the caller"2 days ago   ·  2
Tamara SmithLive music !, dress down not up, if you can count to eight and walk you can contra dance. The caller tells you what to do next, no problem, loads of fun doing what is called.2 days ago   ·  1
John GintellAerobic flirting. I like to throw in the course of an evening you get to dance with everyone in the hall.2 days ago   ·  1
Jessica Kaufman"Picture swing dancing... now picture square dancing... Now put 'em together and add driving, gorgeous, live music that's sort of Celtic and jazzy at the same time." (Not true of all dances, as we know, but it's true enough and exciting for potential newbies)2 days ago   ·  3
Carl LevineIt's where the wild and frenetic meets the slightly corny.2 days ago   ·  2
Bill WardDo most kids still learn square dancing in elementary school? We did every year except for the one year when we did disco instead (Saturday Night Fever had just come out... gives you a sense of when I grew up)2 days ago
Debra Carson Harpea new woman/man in your arms every 16 seconds!2 days ago
Catherine LenoxIt's New England country-style dancing, similar to square dancing, but done in long lines.2 days ago
Louise SiddonsI do try not to emphasize the flirting/"new person thrown into your arms" style of explanation because we have struggled with new dancers who take that the wrong way in multiple communities I've been a part of. The dance floor is not a dating service, so I try to keep my descriptions activity-at-hand-focused.2 days ago   ·  4
Bill WardYeah if you mention the flirtiness it has to be described in more than an elevator speech context2 days ago
Debra Carson Harpeuh, pardon you, that was for Nils.2 days ago

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Sassafras Stomp have been hanging out with the Fredlands for the last couple of days! Adam, Johanna...thank you for being such generous, kind, super-awesome human beings. (AND fantastic dance musicians who enthusiastically embrace old-time music played on a trombone.). Great dances in Brattleboro, VT and Concord, MA...can't wait for the next time I get to work with these two! #fbfeed (4 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

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Leslie Sandra Winston Barkley, Sarah Irene Sharlet and 20 others like this

Rab CummingsSmooches all around :^)3 days ago   ·  2
Lynn NicholsLove Sassafras Stomp!3 days ago   ·  1
William Mentorwithin song and dance - there is so much more.3 days ago   ·  2
Adam NordellNils, thanks the great time over the past couple days! Such a treat to hang out with you and your family, AND to share the stage with you. Old time trombone? Yes, please.3 days ago   ·  2

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