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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" (the brick building near the lower parking lot)

Dance from 7:30pm to 10:00pm, beginner's workshop at 7:00

Admission prices:
$9 general admission
$8 SFS members
$8 PNA members
$8 seniors
$5 for full-time students
Free for people under the age of 16.
Cash or check only. (One of these days, we might accept credit & debit cards - but not yet).

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.

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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, the 2020 booking form is now up.
Information for bands and callers.
Information for dancers.
See past caller set lists.

For information not already posted here: 206-440-9839 or emeraldcitycontra@pobox.com


All dances taught. No partner necessary.
Light, comfortable clothing recommended.


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



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

Schedule of bands and callers:


  • September 13 - The band Golden features Audrey Knuth on fiddle, Everest Whitman on guitar and mandolin and Jesse Ball on guitar, accordion, mandolin and piano. You have probably danced to these musicians as members of Free Raisins, Audacious, Wake Up Robin, Nova, & Polaris. This is the their first ever tour as Golden, and they’re going to feature a combination of traditional and original tunes, rhythmic and melodic grooves, and Irish and Quebecois flare. Craig Wolfe calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • September 20 - The Nettles: Laura Brophy (fiddle), Kevin Johnsrude (guitar), Michael Proctor (bass), Brian Bucolo (drums). The Nettles play improvisational music based on traditional Irish and American music. Laura Brophy’s powerful fiddling forms strong and lyrical melodies punctuated by wild improvisation. The Nettles are propelled further by the rhythm engine of Kevin Johnsrude on guitar, Michael Proctor on bass and drummer Brian Bucolo. If you haven't danced to them before, watch & listen to them here. Gwen Rousseau calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • September 27 - Pete's Posse: Pete Sutherland on keyboard, fiddle, banjo, & melodica; Oliver Scanlon on fiddle, mandolin, viola, & foot percussion; Tristan Henderson on guitars, mandolin, base, jaw harp, & foot percussion. Susan Michaels calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • October 4 - Countercurrent - Brian Lindsay (feet & fiddle); Alex Sturbaum (guitar & accordion). Lindsey Dono calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • October 11 - The Euphemists is Alan Snyder on fiddle, Dave Goldman on keyboard, Jerry Nelson on guitar & sax, Paula Hamlin on sax, flute, & whistle, and Kaye Blesener on trombone. Richard Barnes calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • October 18 - Chassez is Vivian Williams on fiddle, Terry Wergeland on piano and accordion, and WB Reid on guitar and six-string banjo. Vivian chooses the tunes from a vast repertoire with an emphasis on Northwest traditions. Terry Wergeland accompanies Vivian, and sometimes he shares the lead on accordion. WB Reid chases and re-inforces the tunes on the banjo, sometimes trading off with guitar accompaniment. Expect some improvisation on melody, harmony, and counterpoint as well. Valerie Cohen calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • October 25 - Heliotrope - Michael Hobart on guitar, Robin Brown on fiddle, Paul Englesberg on flutes, whistles, & concertina, and Greg Sherman on bass. They play tunes from the New England, French Canadian, and Celtic traditions, interspersed with some Bach, Mozart, Klezmer, swing, and jazz. Sonja Kaufman calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • November 1 - Jigsaw: Dan Compton – mandolin & guitar; George Penk – fiddle; Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle. Rich Goss calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • November 8 - Contra Quartet: Jesse Partridge – fiddle, Jay Finkelstein – guitar, Steve Cifka – cello, Julie Bennett – percussion. Amy Wimmer calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • November 15 - BAG O' Tricks - Betsy Cooper on flute, Sande Gillette on fiddle, Anita Anderson on piano, and Dave Bartley on guitar-like instruments. Laura Me" Smith calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • November 22 - Faux Paws: Andrew VanNorstrand – guitar; Chris Miller – saxophones & banjo; Noah VanNorstrand – fiddle & feet. George Marshall calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • November 29 - The Raccoon Carnival, led by Sarah Comer. Jesse Partridge calls. Role terms will be Ladies and Gents.
  • December 6 - Uncle Farmer. Lindsey Dono calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • December 13 - Blueberry MacGuffin is Dave Bartley (mandolin & guitar), Kate Powers (fiddle), and Amy Englesberg (keyboard). Isaac Banner calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.
  • December 20 - Lost Pass. Abigail Hobart calls. Role terms will be Larks and Ravens/Robins.



Larks, robins, ravens, ladies, gents, etc...

As people, culture, and expectations change, so does language... or maybe it's the other way around. The contra community at Phinney evolves, and the terms that the callers use evolve as well. If a caller plans on using gender-free terms at an upcoming dance, you'll find that notification here at least a month in advance. Look for a phase such as "The caller will use the terms larks & ravens..." in the schedule above. In some cases, we have asked callers to use a particular terminology to try and balance the overall frequency of ladies and gents vs. gender-free role terms. Please don't assume the terms listed above represent the caller's preference. However as the community evolves, more callers and bands are expressing a preference to use gender-free terms. Since a happy caller and band make for more fun dancing, it is likely we will stop trying to achieve a balance and just go with whatever the caller chooses sometime in the new year.
Webmaster: Matt Fisher (webmaster@seattledance.org)
Last modified 09/18/19.
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