ECCD Dancer Info

Capacity limits

The City of Seattle limits the occupancy of the room. While we operate our under COVID rules, we will limit attendance further.
– We can have 125 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 125 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).
– Sorry, 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.” You’ll pay for entrance for yourself, and only for yourself.

Who is Emerald City Contra Dances?

Adam Carlson, Amy Wimmer, and Tom Wimmer are the primary organizers of this dance. We have assistance from some regular volunteers who help with the setup and cleanup each Friday.

All of us volunteer our time to make this dance happen. We balance the work of the dance with other demands on life such as family, friends, jobs, laundry, etc. Since we do this volunteer work along with everything else in life, sometimes it can take us a while to accomplish seemingly simple tasks.

Emerald City Contra Dances is part of the Seattle Folklore Society, an organization that sponsors music and dance opportunities in Puget Sound. We run the contra dance that occurs at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. We have no affiliation with the Lake City contra dance, or the Tacoma contra dance, or the (fill in the name here) contra dance in (your favorite city). Also, we have no affiliation with Northwest Folklife. Although we share a common enthusiasm for those events, they are operated by completely different individuals and organizations. If you have questions or comments for those organizations, please contact them directly.

Geez, it’s warm in here…

Yes, it is. That is what happens when a hundred people do an aerobic activity in an enclosed and poorly-ventilated space. 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.
– 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, permeate the hall, and make some people sick.
– 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.

Please join us without perfumes, colognes, aftershave…

Unfortunately, some of the organizers and dancers react to the natural and synthetic aromatic chemicals in many modern products. In an effort to provide an environment in which everyone can participate, we ask you to join us without aromatic products.
– Symptoms are quite real, such as sore throats, headaches, migraines, asthma attacks, and fainting.
– The worst products are the obvious ones – cologne, aftershave, perfume, scented laundry detergent and fabric softeners.
– Many common products use the chemicals as well, such as shampoo, soap, and lotion. If you see the words “fragrance,” “scent,” or even “unscented” on the product’s list of ingredients, then it contains an aromatic chemical of some kind. Look for the words “fragrance free.”
– If you wear cologne and perfume during the day, please shower and put on clean clothes before the dance.
– Our hall has very little ventilation. Anything aromatic will eventually permeate the hall.
– In our hall, you will perspire and… become aromatic in a different sense of the word. That aroma will quickly negate the cologne and perfume.
– We aren’t adamant about the use of aromatic products, but we like to breathe.

Where does my money go?

From the money we collect at the door, we spend approximately 75% on pay for musicians, callers, and sound people. 20% of it pays the rent, and the remaining 5% pays for insurance, supplies, and equipment repairs (actual percentages may vary). No money goes to the organizers, except for the nights that they play music or call.

Our rental for the Community Hall is $160 per week. The remainder of your admission fee pays the talent and fixed expenses. We figure that the performers put their heart and soul into their task and we believe that their effort is worth some money. That is why we ask anyone who attends to pay something. If you think we don’t like spivery… well, we don’t.

The rules that we need to live by

These are the rules that we follow to be good tenants of the Phinney Neighborhood Association and good neighbors with the residents of the neighborhood. While these rules are not enforceable by lease agreement or City of Seattle laws, we still try to follow them.
– Dancers, performers, and volunteers park their vehicles in the parking lots.
– We use the doors at the top of the stairs for access as much as possible.
– Parents need to supervise their children. If the children want to leave the Community Hall, the parents or another adult must accompany them. This rule includes waiting in the stairwell, playing on the playground, etc.

For questions about these rules, please contact Georgette Semroc, Rentals Coordinator. You can reach Georgette by phone at 206-783-2244, or by e-mail:

Politeness, decency, and human kindness.

Noah and Andrew say it quite well here.

One last item

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. Consider yourself warned.