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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
$9 general admission. $8 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.

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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 2017 booking form is now up.
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, disclaimers, and notifications. Here is what you really want to know...

Schedule of bands and callers:

Take note: The Phinney Farmers' Market has started for the summer. The Market takes place in the upper parking lot until 7:30 pm, so you'll find less parking in the early evening. Plan on arriving early, or plan on finding parking on the street.

  • July 22 - STEAM! Alice Boyle – fiddle, Michael Black - mandolin, Claire Jamieson Zucker – bodhran, feet percussion, Robert Rosenberg – guitar. Steam features flying fiddle & mandolin harmonies with solid driving rhythm. Listen to some of their music here. (I highly recommend track 6.) Rick Mohr calls.
  • July 29 - Au Contraire is Susan Burke (fiddle), Julie Bennett (percussion) & Jay Finkelstein (guitar). Fiery, unique Scots/Cape Breton fiddle; surprising, tasteful percussion; solid rhythm guitar pulling it all together. Is this your ordinary contra dance band? Au Contraire! Caller Mike Karcher.
  • August 5 - Les Fabulous Girls du Ouest Coast. Seattle's big band crowds the stage to fill the hall with music. David Kaynor calls.
  • August 12 - 3 Fiddlers, 3 Traditions: Ruthie Dornfeld, Jamie Fox, and Kristian Bugge play music from the traditions of Quebec, Skandanavia, and Métis (that's a mix of French Canadien and First Nations music). Dance to a night of music spanning the globe. Amy Carroll calls.
  • August 19 - Jesse Partridge (fiddle), Alex Sturbaum (guitar, accordion), Amy Englesberg (piano, accordion) provide energetic and driving music, offering a blend of traditional music and original tunes with plenty of funk. Tarka Ayers calls.
  • August 26 - Continental Drift – Eileen Nicholson - fiddle, Eric Anderson - piano, and Terry Wergeland – other things. Caller Marlin Prowell.
  • September 2 - Rhythm Rollers – Cathie Whitesides (fiddle), Laurie Andres (accordion), WB Reid (guitar). Caller TBD.
  • September 9 - The Euphemists. Craig Wolfe calls.
  • September 16 - La Famille Leger. Mariah Pepper calls.
  • September 23 - Wild Hair. Lindsey Dono calls.
  • September 30 - Saving Daylight - Brian Lindsay (fiddle) and Alex Sturbaum (guitar, accordion), Amy Englesberg (keyboard). William Watson calls.
  • October 7 - Buddy System. Woody Lane calls.
  • October 14 - RiffRaff
  • October 21 - Hands4. Maureen Collier calls.
  • October 28 - Ryan McKasson, Dave Bartley, & Amy Englesberg. Laura Mé Smith calls.
  • November 4 - Uncle Sutra - Ben Schreiber (fiddle) of Uncle Farmer, Dave Bartley (various) of KGB, Marni Rachmiel (winds) of Contra Sutra, Ness Smith-Savedoff (percussion) of Gallimaufry and caller Tavi Merrill
  • November 11 - Heliotrope
  • November 18 - Contra Quartet. Maureen Collier calls.
  • November 25 - The McKassons. Marlin Prowell calls.
  • December 2 - KGB. Susan Petrick calls.
  • December 9 - Sassafrass Stomp. Erik Weberg calls.
  • December 16 - David Kaynor and Friends
  • December 23 - Purple Heys Laura Mé Smith calls.
  • December 30 - Hot Cider. David Kaynor calls.

Whoa! It's hot in here...

Yes, it is. When a hundred people do an aerobic activity in an enclosed and poorly-ventilated space, that kind of thing happens. Here are a few suggestions to make your experience and everyone else's experience better.
- Drink plenty of water. If you perspire, your body needs water to replace that perspiration.
- Bring additional shirts or blouses so that you can dance in (relatively) dry garments.
- Take a break and get some fresh air outside. Go up to the parking lot, and please don't use the lower outside doors. (Sorry, we had one complaint about this from a neighbor in July 2012.)
- Shower before you arrive. Yes, I admit that it sounds weird. If you don't have the collection of aromas from the entire day, those aromas won't permeate the hall.
- Sit out a dance or two to give your body some rest.
- Drink plenty of water. If you perspire, your body needs water to replace that perspiration. Repeat often.
- Don't bother with cologne, perfumes, aftershave, etc. Volatile organic chemicals like these will evaporate readily and, uh, permeate the hall. Also, their pleasant effect wears off in a few minutes.
- Drink plenty of water. Bring some lemonade or fruit juice for variety. If you perspire, your body needs water to replace that perspiration. Repeat more often.
- Take a break and get some fresh air outside.
- Use unscented or fragrance-free antiperspirant. Check the fine print on the label for the words "scent" or "fragrance". Those of us who react adversely to these chemicals will appreciate your restraint.
- Not everyone can endure the warmth and humidity. If you reach your limit, we understand. We look forward to seeing you again when we have cooler weather.

For even more information about the dance click here.

Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 07/19/16.