Emerald City Contra Dances
Co-sponsored by the PNA and Emerald City Contra

Nearly every Friday in the Community Hall in brick building off the lower parking lot.

Lesson: 7 pm
Dance: 7:30-10 pm

Adults: $9, Seniors $8
Show us a PNA membership card: $8
Show us a student ID: $5
Under 16 years of age: Free

If this is your first time at a contra dance, please tell us and you'll receive a coupon for a free dance the next time you visit. We have no dress code; since this dancing involves some activity, we suggest that you wear something light and comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes that have a smooth sole. Please do not wear cologne, perfume or oils (such as patouli) - it evaporates readily with the activity and can cause some people to feel quite ill.

And what exactly is contra dancing?

Contra dancing evolved in New England from English and French country dancing of the 1800's. In this type of dance, you and a partner dance a series of figures with another couple. As the music continues, you and your partner dance with other couples. Live music accompanies each dance, and the bands play acoustic instruments such as fiddles, guitars, keyboards, mandolins, and accordions. A caller briefly teaches each dance and prompts each move of the dance once the music begins. (For a good description from many different perspectives, please check this page from the web site of the Santa Barbara Country Dance Society: http://www.sbcds.org/contradance/whatis)

Contra dancing experienced a resurgance in the early 20th century, and its current popularity in Seattle began in 1979. This dance series began in 1998, and relocated to the Phinney Neighborhood Center in 2003.

You can enjoy a dance on your first evening. We offer a lesson prior to every dance in which you'll learn the basics of contra dancing. With the caller teaching and prompting each dance, no memorization is necessary and no previous experience is required. If you can hear a beat in music and walk to that beat, then you can do contra dances. Just show up with a willingness to have some fun and move to some good live music.

For a current schedule of dances, musicians, and callers at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, please check: http://seattledance.org/contra/emerald.city.html

For any other questions about this dance, please call Emerald City Contra Dances at 206.440.9839.

(Many thanks to Adam Carlson, Penn Fix, Amy Hanson, Sherry Nevins, and Roger Peacock for their contributions to this description.)