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" (the brick building near the lower parking lot)

Dance from 7:30pm to 10:00pm, beginner's workshop at 7:00

$9 general admission
$8 SFS members
$8 PNA members
$8 seniors
$5 for full-time 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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Due to an adverse medical reaction at a recent dance, we'd like to emphasize showing up without cologne, perfume or other strongly scented products. Some of the organizers and dancers have allergic-like reactions to the chemicals in these items.

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 2018 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.

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:

  • April 20 - Improper - Melissa Coffey (whistles, flute, saxophone, & fiddle), Sean Bolton (fiddle), Nick Leininger (guitar), and Julie Bennett (percussion). They'll play an interesting mix of tunes throughout the evening: old time, New England, contemporary contra tunes, and some original tunes. They'll range in feeling from driving to perky to dreamy and back. Valerie Cohen calls.
  • April 27 - To be determined.
  • May 4 - TBD - Ron Buchanan calls.
  • May 11 - Tapsalteerie - Jon Singleton (fiddle), Jan Martindale (fiddle), Clare Woolgrove (concertina), Nick Leininger (guitar), Sam Good (bass). Rhythm-driven music from Northern climes played with enthusiasm. Isaac Banner calls.
  • May 18 - Contra Quartet is Jesse Partridge (fiddle), Jay Finklestein (guitar), Steve Cifka (cello), Julie Bennett (percussion). Jesse plays a mix of styles including modern driving tunes and Appalachian classics. Jay plays chords and rhythm to back up Jesse's melody. Julie plays even more percussion to emphasize the beat and the energy. Steve holds it all together with low-end sustain - then he'll probably play melody just to liven it up. Tom Wimmer calls.
  • May 25 - No dance here Go to Northwest Folklife at Seattle Center for 4 days of dancing, food, music, friends, buskers, more music, more dancing, and a few things you haven't yet imagined.
  • June 1 - InTentCity is Betz Richards (fiddle), David Richards (percussion), Graham Richards (guitar), and Seth Richards (bass & piano). They include classical, contra, Irish, bluegrass, oldie-goodies, and early rock genres in their gigs. You'll enjoy a sound and style strongly influenced by modern contra dance bands and musicians. Jacqui Ann Grennan calls.
  • June 8 - To be determined as well.
  • June 15 - Les Fabulous Girls du Ouest Coast. It's an orchestra on stage composed of 15 of your friends (or maybe 20... or maybe 25... or...)
  • June 22 - To be determined again. Emma Anderson calls.
  • June 29 - Hands4 (Fran Tewksbury on flute, whistle, & percussion; Keith Moe on fiddle & mandolin; Carl Thor on piano; Rick Goss on percussion). You'll hear some seldom-heard traditional tunes, original tunes by band members, and tunes by other familiar musicians. Dance to a unique blend of music that isn't your usual contra repertoire. Listen to some of their music here. Abigail Hobart calls.
  • July 6 - To be determined (yes, again...)
  • July 13 - Making Time is Susan Burke on fiddle, Terry Wergeland on accordion, Joe Michaels on guitar, and Marielle Fries on piano. Expect some sizzling and slinky melodie​​s - hot accordion and fiddle lines that intertwine over guitar magic with bursts of harmony. Enjoy some original takes on Celtic and contemporary contra tunes.
  • July 20 - Dam Beavers - Ben Schreiber (fiddle) and Scotty Leach (piano) with Susan Petrick (caller).

It's that time of the year...

Yes, it is crowded. We can't admit everyone at the same time, since the City of Seattle limits the occupancy of the room. We need to comply with that limit to continue to operate legally.
- 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 some years, we sold out every other week. Other years, we sold out once every 3 months. 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.

For even more information about the dance, click here.

Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 04/18/18.