Seattle's Skandia Folkdance Society is a non-profit, educational and cultural organization founded by Gordon E. Tracie, January 9th 1949 for the preservation and teaching of traditional dance culture and music of the Nordic lands.
Skandia members come from all sorts of backgrounds, so one doesn't need to be a Scandinavian to enjoy the activities.
At least twice per month, Skandia has dance parties with live music. There are a large number of musicians in the Seattle area who spend a great deal of time learning to play the traditional tunes of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. They have studied with some of the best musicians in those countries. The dancing at the parties may include waltzes, hambos, schottisches, set dances, and mixers, as well as regional dances whose styles are particular to the area from which they come. People who have not done much dancing before will find some dances at the parties done at a basic level which they can follow and willing partners to help them along. Those comfortable with partner dances may find themselves challenged by the subtleties of many of the regional dances.
Dance classes are taught each week on a beginning, intermediate and advanced level and before most bi-monthly dance parties. Skandia instructors, many of whom have traveled and studied in Scandinavia, teach the classes. Different classes cover a wide range of material. One can learn the basics of partner dances, or some of the figure dances that are performed or some of the fun variations of polka, schottis, or waltz that abound. For the adventuresome, there are the athletic "Halling" dances of Norway.
Skandia also sponsors several special events during the year!
Midsommarfest recreates the festive atmosphere of the Scandinavian summer solstice celebration, welcoming the summer with music and dance out-of-doors, long into the lingering light of the year's longest day.
The annual Skandia Ball in the fall has hundreds of people dancing to the music of several groups throughout the night.
Winterdansen brightens a dark winter's night with another major dance party that can feature musicians from Scandinavia.
Springdans Northwest provides a chance to get away for a whole weekend of dance and music in a Puget Sound location with instructors from abroad.
During each year, Skandia sponsors many prestigious folk dancers and musicians from Scandinavia to demonstrate and teach their music and dance at special dance and music workshops in town.
Come join Skandia and share the pleasures of Scandinavian dance and music. Call the Skandia Information Line at (206) 784-7470 to get information on events and classes and a free introductory issue of the Skandia Newsletter.