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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" (the brick building near the lower parking lot)

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

Admission prices:
$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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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 2019 booking form is now up.
Information for bands and callers.
Information for dancers.
See past caller set lists.

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:

Thank you for participating in our recent experiment with the use the terms "larks" and "ravens". If you haven't taken the survey yet, you'll find it here.

  • The Time Zones - Rex Blazer (fiddle), Sue Songer (piano), and Chris Knepper. With hundreds of centuries of combined experience, how do they stay so young and insouciant? (Yeah, I had to look up the definition, too.) Woody Lane calls.
  • April 26 - MDB - Matti Mero (mandolin), Dale Hailey (percussion), and Bruce Larson (keyboard). John Gallagher calls.
  • May 3 - The Alphabeats: Clyde Curley (fiddle), Susan Curley (piano), Mike Haberman (mandolin), Kris Parker (bass), and Dave Nerad (banjo). Noah Grunzweig calls.
  • May 10 - TBD
  • May 17 - Redcurrants - Dave Bartley (mandolin, percussion), Claude Ginsburg (fiddle), Jack Bogard (fiddle), and Alex Sturbaum (guitar, accordion). Jesse Partridge calls.
  • May 24 - No dance here. Go to the Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center for 4 days of dancing.
  • May 31 - Phoenix: Corey Walters - flute, mandolin, and accordion; Nora Smith – fiddle; Christopher Jacoby - guitar. They build innovative and exciting music around a traditional framework for contra dances. You might hear a set of moody and intense Irish jigs, or some rhythmic and roaring French-Canadian reels. Listen to them here. Enjoy. Isaac Banner calls.
  • June 7 - Contra Quartet is Jesse Partridge (fiddle), Jay Finklestein (guitar), Steve Cifka (cello), Julie Bennett (percussion). Jesse plays melodies from Ireland to Appalachia. Jay plays chords and rhythm to back up that melody. Julie emphasizes the beat and the energy. Steve holds it all together with growling low notes and even more rhythm. And wait until you hear the solos...
  • June 14 - Waxwings is Jesse Partridge on fiddle, Alex Sturbaum on guitar and accordion, and Amy Englesberg on keyboard and accordion. Dance to some original tunes and some traditional favorites. Expect some classic sounds as well as some 21st century groove.
  • June 21 - KGB is Julie King on piano, Claude Ginsburg on fiddle, and Dave Bartley on fretted instruments and percussion.
  • June 28 - Continental Drift
  • July 5 - Spindrift - Eileen Kalfass, Chuck Abell, and Eric Metzger. Rich Goss calls.
  • July 12 - Calluna: Eileen O’Grady, Gus Cantieni, Jesse Ball. Kelsey Hartman calls.
  • July 19 - Dale Russ and Mike Saunders

Larks and ravens?

As society and language evolve, we want to experiment with language that doesn't infer gender identity, appearance, or expectation. Several different options exist to replace the terms "ladies" and "gents"; the words "larks" and "ravens" seem most popular on the west coast. The words are associated with the positions of the dancers when they finish a swing - the lark is on the left and the raven is on the right. The new terminology isn't perfect, but it's a good starting point.
Webmaster: Matt Fisher (
Last modified 04/17/19.