Home > Contra Dancing > Emerald City Contra Dance

Emerald City Contra Dance

with the Seattle Folklore Society present

Contra dancing every Friday at the
Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle (98103)
in the "Community Hall" (brick building off lower parking lot)

Dance from 7:30pm to 10:00pm, beginner's workshop at 7:00
$8 general admission. $7 for SFS members, PNA members, and seniors. $5 for students. Free for people under the age of 16.
First time contra dancers get a coupon for free admission to their next dance.
Coupon redemption limited to first five coupons on any single night.

Please help the PNA achieve their sustainability goals. Consider carpooling, walking, biking, or riding the bus to the dance. If you drive, please park in the PNA parking lots.

Bands and Callers, you can request a gig online.
Information for bands and callers.
Information for dancers.

For information not already posted here: 206-440-9839 or

All dances taught. No partner necessary.
Light, comfortable clothing recommended.
Please do not wear cologne, perfume or other strongly scented products. Thanks!

Our hall has strict capacity limits. We occasionally need to limit entry due to high attendance.

Construction Notice

Elevator installation continues in the Brick Building.
- Construction occurs between 7 am and 4 pm, so we will not hear construction noise.
- During much of the construction, the double doors from the parking lot to the building are not available. You'll enter and exit via the doors at the back of the hall, on the north side of the Brick Building. We will have signs directing you to the correct entrance.
- Really - don't use the double doors to the parking lot. The contractors store construction materials and equipment in that part of the parking lot. It's risky out there, and you could get hurt.
- The double doors to the parking lot will be available as an emergency exit, but not for regular use.
- The Community Hall restrooms will be closed until December 14. Restrooms on the top floor will be open while Community Hall restrooms are out of service. The stairwell to the top floor will still be accessible. Thank you to everyone who has patiently climbed those flights of stairs already.
- The water fountain near the Community Hall restrooms will not be available. We will still have the water cooler in the hall.
- Most of the lower parking lot will still be available. You'll find about 5 fewer parking spots during the construction period.
- If you need to wait in line to enter the hall, you will probably wait outside. Please prepare for rain and cold weather.

As construction progresses, the schedule and building access will probably change. Please check this web page or our Facebook page for updates. Alternatively, you can contact Bill Fenimore (the PNA's Director of Facilities) at 206-783-2244 or at

Enough of the suggestions, disclaimers, and notifications. Here is what you really want to know...

Schedule of bands and callers:

  • November 27 - Susan Burke on fiddle; Terry Wergeland on piano; Dave Bartley on mandolin, guitar, and guitar-like instruments. These folks bring backrounds and styles ranging from from Cape Breton Island to jazz. Noah Grunzweig calls.
  • December 4 - The Frequent Fliers - Laura Light on fiddle, Jeffrey Spero on keyboards, Dave Bartley on fretted instruments. Three masters from different parts of the country reunite for an evening of dancing to original and classic tunes. Eric Black calls.
SPECIAL NOTE: This dance will be at OmCulture, near Gasworks Park.

  • December 11 - Contra Sutra: Marni Rachmiel – flute, saxophone. Dave Bartley – guitar, mandolin, etc. Ryan McKasson on fiddle. Mike Karcher calls.
  • December 18 - Continental Drift is Eileen Nicholson on fiddle, Terry Wergeland on accordion, and Eric Anderson on piano. Bob Nicholson calls.
  • December 25 - No dance. Tom and Amy take the night off and spend time with family.

Take note! We will raise our admission prices January 1st. Starting then, we will charge:
$9 for general admission
$8 for SFS members, PNA members, and seniors
$5 for full-time students. (Sorry, taking one continuing education class does not count as a full-time student.)
Under 16 still free.

Take more notes! The PNA refinishes the floor December 28-31. Scrub the crud that has accumulated on your dance shoes over the last year before joining us for...

  • January 1 - Gallimaufry is a band out of Ohio consisting of Brian Lindsay (fiddle), Alex Sturbaum (guitar & accordion), Donal Sheets (cello, mandolin, bouzouki), Ness Smith-Savedoff (drums), and Arthur Davis (piano, banjo, trumpet). (They might play a few other instruments for variety.) Here is an idea of what they sound like. Noah Grunzweig calls.
  • January 8 - Red Crow (Susan Burke on fiddle, Howie Meltzer on fiddle, Chuck Pliske on concertina, Joe Micheals on guitar and bass). Caller TBD.
  • January 15 - Purple Hays – Sean Bolton on fiddle, Melissa Coffey on whistle, flute, sax, and fiddle, Doug Plummer on piano. From fast moving Irish melodies, relentlessly cheerful French Canadian tunes, to rollicking old time standards, Purple Heys rocks the dance floor. Crisp fiddle licks, sparkling whistle riffs, inventive chord accompaniment, and the smile-inducing honks of the saxophone inspire big fun on the dance floor. Caller TBD.
  • January 22 - Kerplunk is Betsy Alexander (fiddle), Tony Mates (guitar), & Laurie Andres (accordion). John Gallagher calls.
  • January 29 - To be determined.
  • February 5 - Tinker's Dram: Jalaine Madura - guitar, Howard Good - button accordion, Bríd Nowlan - fiddle, Cheryl Adcock – bass. Rich Goss calls.
  • February 12 - Ruthie Dornfeld, Jamie Fox, and Kristian Bugge (fiddles and other instruments)
  • February 19 - Buddy System is Julie Vallimont and Noah VanNorstrand.
  • February 26 - RiffRaff – Jesse Partridge, Lindon Toney, and probably someone else.

Click here to a printable copy of the flyer

It's that time of the year when it gets crowded.

The City of Seattle limits the occupancy of the room, and we need to comply with that limit.
- We can have 150 people in the room, period. That number includes the musicians, callers, guests of the performers, dancers, volunteers, children, observers, babies, and other categories of people not yet identified. In other words, we can have 150 people in the room, period.
- If we reach capacity, people who have already entered the dance may leave temporarily and re-enter.
- People waiting to enter the dance may wait in the vestibule and on the outside stairs, but not in the hall. Please form a line to make this part easier.
- If you wait to enter, you'll be cold (trust me on that point). Dress accordingly.
- If you are leaving for the evening, please let us know so that we can let the next person in.
- When someone leaves for the evening, we will admit additional people.
- We have difficulty predicting attendance with any accuracy, so we can't say with certainty which nights will sell out.
- If you end up waiting in line, you will probably get to enter at some point in the evening. It may be 8:45 pm, or 9:00 pm, or 9:05 pm... Again, we have difficulty predicting with any kind of accuracy.
- If you really want to dance on a specific night, then show up early. If you can't arrive early, then have a plan B.
- Sorry, we do not sell tickets in advance.
- Sorry, we do not allow "ticket sharing."

For even more information about the dance click here.

Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 11/27/15.