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
$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.

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.

Construction update as of January 21st.

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:

  • February 5 - Tinker’s Dram is Bríd Nowlan on fiddle, Howard Good on accordion, Cheryl Adcock on bass, and Jalaine Madura on guitar. They play rhythmic dance music from the Pacific Northwest and beyond - from traditional tunes of early settlement days to contemporary compositions, including some original tunes by Bríd. Rich Goss calls.
  • February 12 - 3 Fiddlers, 3 Traditions: Ruthie Dornfeld, Jamie Fox and Kristian Bugge. Ruthie lives in Seattle and is an expert of oldtime American songs, Celtic music, and Scandinavian folk tunes. Jamie hails from Montana and is a master of Métis fiddle music which mixes Celtic, French, and Native American music cultures. Lastly, Kristian was born and raised in Denmark and has mastered traditional Danish music (imagine that!). This contrast in approach and style helps create a complex and varied sound that benefits from each performer’s strengths. Marlin Prowell calls.
  • February 19 - Buddy System is Julie Vallimont and Noah VanNorstrand. Imagine the latest in 21st century contra dance music and hear it this evening. Laura Mé Smith calls.
  • February 26 - RiffRaff – Jesse Partridge on fiddle, Lindon Toney on fiddle, and John Hatton on guitar. They play an eclectic collection of tunes with a wide range of styles. The two fiddles sometime play melody, sometimes play harmony, and add different textures to the tunes. Lots of practicing together makes these musicians play with a single sound, rather than three voices. They'll have as much fun playing as you will have dancing.
  • March 4 - The Bob May Experience Redux is Bob May on percussion, Marni Rachmiel on flute & saxophone, Nick Leininger on guitar, and Brandon Vance on fiddle. Classic contra tunes with a hint of jazz and rock. Mike Karcher calls.
  • March 11 - Group du Jour is Clyde Curley on fiddle, David Cahn on accordion, Jerry Gallaher on banjo, and Bill Meyer on piano. These four veteran folk musicians assembled the band years ago to bring the music of Quebec and Acadia front and center. The power and lilt of the tunes of this region lend a "je ne sais quois" flavor to an evening's dance and infuse the spirit so characteristic of French Canadian culture.
  • March 18 - JDBM is Jessica Ritts on flute, Dale Hailey on percussion, Bruce Larson on keyboard, and Matti Mero on mandolin. Get ready for a night of music with diverese origins such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and North Ballard. Eric Curl calls.
  • March 25 - Ratnip is Howard Booster and Caroline McCaskey on fiddle, Alan Snyder on keyboard, and Kristen Falk on percussion. They play a repertoire of Scottish, Québécois and old-time tunes spiced up by a few Cape Breton melodies. Susan Petrick calls.
  • April 1 - Eric Anderson and friends.
  • April 8 - Northern Contraband - Steve Blum-Anderson on fiddle, Eileen Sterns on mandolin and much more, Mark Danielson on concertina and penny whistle, Greg Sherman on bass and/or bass ukelele, and Michael Hobart on guitar.
  • April 15 - The Hat Band – Jon Neff, Sydney Newell, Sue Gray
  • April 22 - George Paul (piano), Ryan McKasson (fiddle), Dave Bartley (fretted instruments). Gordy Euler calls.
  • April 29 - To be determined.
  • May 6 - Someone else to be determined.
  • May 13 - Larry Unger (guitar and banjo) and Audrey Knuth (fiddle). Woody Lane calls.

Click here to a printable copy of the flyer

Construction Update

Elevator installation continues in the Brick Building.
- Construction occurs between 7 am and 4 pm, so we will not hear construction noise.
- The double doors from the parking lot to the building are NOW AVAILABLE FOR USE.
- The north doors (our recent entrance) will be available as an emergency exit, but not for regular use.
- One restroom on the 1st floor is available for mixed use. (Knock loudly before entering. Lock the door behind you.) We will also use a single restroom on the top floor. (Same rules as the 1st floor restroom.) 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 coolers 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 wait INSIDE (and there was much rejoicing).

Installation of the elevator car and related mechanism began on December 28, and the contractors expect to finish in the end of February (that date hasn't changed recently). Here are some pictures of the construction progress. For more details, please contact Bill Fenimore (the PNA's Director of Facilities) at 206-783-2244 or at

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 02/01/16.