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 N, Seattle,
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 11 - Group du Jour: David Cahn, accordion; Clyde Curley, fiddle; Bill Meyer, piano; Jerry Gallaher, banjo. Lindsey Dono calls.
  • April 18 - The Hat Band - Syd Newell fiddle; Sue Gray fiddle; Jon Neff guitar. The Hat Band is a three-piece all-purpose string band. All three members own hats. Marlin Prowell calls.
  • April 25 - JDBM – Jessica Ritts – flute, Dale Hailey – percussion, Bruce Larson – keyboard, and Matti Mero – mandolin. Music from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Northwestern Seattle, with a few other styles added for variety. Jay Finkelstein calls.
  • May 2 - The Quarks - Betsy Branch - fiddle, Terry Wergeland - piano, Bill Tomczak - clarinet and saxophone, with caller Cindy Holmes.

Take note! The PNA will close the upper parking lot that evening, so you won't find as much parking as usual.

  • May 9 - BAG o' Tricks – Betsy Cooper – flute, Sande Gillette – fiddle, Dave Bartley – guitar, etc., Anita Anderson - piano. Andrea Nettleton calls.

Take more notes! The Greenwood neighborhood hosts Art Walk - The BIG One. Plan on multiple street closures, less street parking, and more pedestrians. Give yourself a little more travel time than usual, and find other travel routes.

  • May 16 - Hands4 – Fran Tewksbury – whistles, Keith Moe – fiddle, Rich Goss – percussion, Carl Thor – piano.They'll play some seldom-heard traditional tunes with some newer music, and you won't get bored with the same-old, same-old contra tunes. If that isn't enough, how about some diverse instrumentation, well-crafted harmonies, and arrangements? Noah Grunsweig calls.
  • May 23 - No dance at ECCD. Go to Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center
Four days of dancing, music, food, friends, performers, food, crafts, etc. All of it free! (Ok, except for the food and crafts.) Check their web page for information, as well as a picture of what it is like to dance with 500 for your friends.

  • May 30 - BLT Sandwich - Betsy Alexander - fiddle, Laurie Andres - accordion, Terry Wergeland - piano, and a great caller.
  • June 6 - The Crabapples - Marta Lynch - fiddle Bob Silberstein - mandolin, dumbek, piano Norm Cotton - piano, fiddle Teresa Fife - bass. Jean Gorrindo calls.
  • June 13 - Ratnip - Caroline McCaskey – fiddle, Howard Booster - fiddle, Alan Snyder - keyboards, Kristen Falk – percussion. Expect a repertoire of Scottish, Québécois and old-time tunes spiced up by a wee bit of Cape Breton. Susan Petrick calls.
  • June 20 - Steam – Allice Boyle – fiddle, Dave Firestine - mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, Claire Jamieson Zucker – bodhran, feet percussion, Robert Rosenberg – guitar. Steam features flying fiddle & mandolin harmonies with solid foot-happy drive. They offer a diverse repertoire with slink jigs, driving reels, a knack for pouncing on the balances and flowing on the heys. Happy playing Irish, old-time, French Canadian, New England, and modern tunes, each evening is filled with variety and spice. For one of many samples of their music, check this page. Deb Comly calls.
  • June 27 - The Carr Family Band – Kevin Carr – fiddle, Josie Mendelsohn – keyboards, percussion, fiddle, banjo, Molly Carr – mandolin, percussion, fiddle, Daniel Carr – guitar.
  • July 4 - It's a surprise.
  • July 11 - The Wisenheimers - Alan Snyder on fiddle and Dave Goldman on keyboard.
  • July 18 - BAM! is Brandon Vance on fiddle, Anita Anderson on piano, and Marni Rachmiel on winds. Kelsey Anne Hartman calls.
  • July 25 - Chassez - Vivian Williams - fiddle, Phil Williams - guitar, mandolin, Terry Wergeland - piano.
More exciting bands and callers to come!

It's crowded!

Well, yes, it is. 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 on the stairs, not in the entry of the hall.
- When someone leaves for the evening, we will admit additional people.   Please form a line to make this part easier.
- If you are leaving for the evening, please let us know so that we can let the next person in (see item above).
- In 2011, we sold out 18 times.   In 2012, we sold out 3 times.   In 2013, we sold out 8 times.   If we reach capacity, it typically occurs from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, but we have sold out as early as 7:40 pm and have remained sold out until as late as 9:45 pm.   As you might conclude, we have difficulty predicting 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."

And on a completely unrelated topic: if you leave belongings behind, we will hang on to them for a short time. We will then offer them to other dancers, and if no one wants them we will donate them to Goodwill. Fair warning.

For even more information about the dance, click here.

Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 04/08/14.