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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:

  • April 24 - Brandon Vance - fiddle, Mark Minkler - piano & guitar, and maybe someone else. Brandon combines Scottish fiddling with Mark's jazz piano for a classic yet modern sound.   Get a small taste of their music here. Tom Wimmer calls.
  • 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 on May 8th & 9th. 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.

Still not sure what Folklife is? Imagine a big party - a REALLY BIG party, with musicians playing instead of streaming audio, and a dance floor MUCH bigger than Phinney. Actually, you have your choice of about a dozen stages for listening and dancing. You'll find food in the kitchen, of course - but it's more like 50 kitchens. And then you'll find the buskers, singing and performing their heart and soul for some tips. And then...

  • 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.
  • June 5 - Minnie Pearl Jam - Claudia Anastasio – fiddle, Cary Lung – mandolin, Dave Leddell – banjo, Frank Blade - guitar, Nancy Katz - bass.
  • June 12 - JDBM is Jessica Ritts on flute, Dale Hailey on percussion, Bruce Larson on keyboard, Matti Mero on mandolin. Amy Wimmer calls.
  • June 19 - To be determined
  • June 26 - Madame Sophie of the Flowers All-Acoustic Fusion. That's Deb Kirkland (fiddle), Joe Vincenzo (guitar), & Dale Hailey (percussion).
  • July 3 - Also to be determined
  • July 10 - Yeah, to be determined as well
  • July 17 - Triple A – Andrew VanNorstrand – guitar/fiddle; Amy Englesberg – Keyboard/accordion; Audrey Knuth - fiddle/feet
  • July 24 - Bob May Redux – Bob May (percussion), Marni Rachmiel (flute & saxiphone), Nick Leininger (guitar), and a fiddler to be named later.
  • July 31 - Laurie Andres (piano and accordion) and George Wilson (fiddle). Frannie Marr calls.

Click here to a printable copy of the flyer

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

Here's a fun item:

A dancer has composed a contra dance that symbolizes cell multiplication, and he is looking for about a dozen dancers to try it out and make a video of the results. Interested? If so, please contact Ira at
Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 04/27/15.