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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 admission, $7 for SFS and PNA members and seniors, $5 for students, under 16 free.
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.

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

Schedule of bands and callers:

  • March 27 - Eric Anderson (piano) and Eileen Nicholson (fiddle). Start Eric's birthday celebration with another fine evening of dance. Enjoy Eileen's fiddling, featuring elements of classical technique with rich tonality. You'll dance to Northern, Quebecois, Scottish, and Irish tunes, and even more. Susie Kendig visits from Alaska to call.
  • April 3 - KGB. No, it's not the Soviet-era counterpart of the CIA. It's Julie King, Claude Ginsberg, and Dave Bartley in one of Seattle's finest contra dance bands. (Check out the dossier for the instruments they play. Need-to-know basis only, however). Kelsey Hartman calls.
  • April 10 - Northern Contraband is Steve Blum-Anderson on fiddle, Mark Danielson on concertina and penny whistle, Greg Sherman on bass and/or bass ukelele, and Michael Hobart on guitar. Gaye Fifer calls.
  • April 17 - RiffRaff: Lindon Toney and Jesse Partridge on fiddles, Jay Finkelstein on guitar. Eric Curl and John Denlea call.
  • April 24 - Brandon Vance - fiddle, Mark Minkler - piano, guitar, and maybe someone else.
  • May 1 - Coffey Party - Cathie Whitesides - fiddle, Amy Carroll - piano, Melissa Coffey – whistles, etc. Kathy Anderson calls.
  • May 8 - The Sybaritic String Band - Barry Cole (mandolin, banjo, guitar), Claire McCague (flute, whistle, saxophone), Leith Davis (piano), Rich Sobel (fiddle, mandolin). Their high energy music includes traditional, contemporary and original fiddle tunes with styles including Celtic, Quebecois, and Klezmer. Amy Wimmer calls.

Take note! The Big One Greenwood-Phinney Art Walk happens this weekend. The neighborhood and neighborhood businesses host the works of about 150 artists for you to enjoy. Start your evening a little earlier than usual and check out some of their work. As you travel that evening, plan on road closures, pedestrian traffic, and longer travel times in the neighborhood. Carpool, walk, or bike to make the travel easier or more enjoyable.

  • May 15 - Atlas String Band. Suzanne Girardot calls.
  • May 22 - No dance at ECCD. Instead, go to Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center. You can dance for 4 days on a dance floor built just for this weekend. How much fun can you have dancing with 500 of your friends? This much. Click here for more information about all of the music, dance, food, crafts, and other things that you can do and see.
  • May 29 - Contra Quartet is Jesse Partridge on fiddle, Jay Finkelstein on guitar, Steve Cifka on cello, and Julie Bennett on percussion. Jesse can play about a thousand tunes (ok, maybe 900). Jay plays chords and rhythm to back up the melody. Julie plays even more percussion to emphasize the beat and the energy. Steve holds it all together with the low-end sustain - then he'll probably play melody just to liven it up. In other words, they have everything and then some more. Warm up your vocal cords for a lot of whooping.

Click here to a printable copy of the flyer

We have updated some of the information about the dance. Click here for details.

It's no longer summer. It hasn't been summer for a while. And it won't be summer for a few months. That means it's that time of the year when we have some really large crowds.

Yes, really large - so much so that we need to comply with the occupancy limit of the room set by the City of Seattle.
- We can have 150 people in the room, period. That number includes the musicians, callers, guests of the performers, dancers, volunteers, children, adults acting like 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 on the stairs, not in the entry of the hall.
- Please form a line to make this part easier. (Ok, the waiting may not be easy.)
- When someone leaves for the evening, we will admit additional people.
- If you are leaving for the evening, please let us know so that we can let the next person in (see item above).
- In the fall of 2010, we sold out about 50% of the time starting around 8 pm and lasting until about 9 pm. In 2012, we had 3 sellout crowds. Unfortunately, we can't predict attendance with any 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."
Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 03/27/15.