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60th annual Skandia Ball!

Link to Downloadable Flyer

Too much fun to miss!

Date: October 18th, 2014
Time: Social hour is 6–7 p.m. Grand March lineup is at 6:55pm.Dancing until 11 p.m. (or later)
Place: Seattle Latvian Center, 11710 3rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Cost: $20

The job, for those who choose to accept it:

Skandia has offered to arrange a “brush-up” Scandinavian dance lesson in early October for dancers in the NFDI and Seattle Folklore communities. You are welcome to support this by referring friends or attending yourself. To express your interest, please email

A few words about the evening’s musicians:

Nordiskaspel: Former and current Nordiska musicians reunite as Nordiskaspel to play for the traditional and delightfully changing Grand March. Don’t miss this first dance at the Ball; have your dance shoes on at 7 p.m.!

Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag: The second set of live musicians is the Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag. Led by Emma Anderson and Martha Levenson, the Lilla Spelmanslag has become:

They follow the Grand March, partially because of a few early bed times. This is more than a dozen kids—a crowd of blossoming musical expertise. Hearing them is a delight.

Jeff and Jane Anderson: From the wilds of Olympia, we are pleased to have Jeff and Jane give us some of their great music.

Mäd Fiddlu: Bart Brashers, Anna Abraham, and John Peekstock will energize us with a great set of their very “Äkta Svenska” (truly Swedish) sound.

Peter Michaelsen: Peter has been playing mostly Swedish music on “flat” fiddle for many years. He took up the Norwegian hardanger fiddle about eight years ago, lured by the enchanting music of Valdres.

Allspel: This year’s Allspel will be led by Vicki Watt Warshaw, who was a member of the original Lilla Spelmanslag led by David Lamb.

Fiol Glädje: Leslie Foley, Irene Myers, and Bob Hamilton will dish up some great harmonies and rhythms for your feet to follow.

Skandia Kapell: Led by Kris Johansson, the Kapell has been a Skandia favorite since 1957. We are very pleased to have their old-time sound on our stage at the Ball.

Efterspel: The Efterspel is when the musicians get to play while the dancers clean up. Makes the work into fun! David Lamb has been an active member of Skandia for many years, and we are tickled to have him lead the goodnight tunefest.

—Patrick McMonagle, Ball Chairman


Allspel at the Skandia Ball

Musicians! Here’s the Allspel list for the Skandia Ball! We are very pleased this year to have Vicki Watt Warshaw leading (she picked the tunes too!).

Type of Dance
Allspel CD
Stens Vals
I 7
Vals fr. Kall eft. Per Röst
II 8
Jan Mor Boda Polska
Boda Polska
I 17
Schottis fr. Haverö
I 1
Imeland Grimeland
III 22
Skinnbracka med Lucku
I 16
IV 16
Säbb Johns Gånglåt
II 2
Trekantet Sløjfe
III 15
GP fr Föllinge
IV 19
A&A Engelska
IV 13
Pols etter Jostein Nytroen
Røros Pols
IV 14
Nylandspojkarnas Polska (nerifrån)
Bingsjö Polska
Åttetur fr. Asker
IV 21
Leken Hinnes Karolina Wicklund
Røros Pols
IV 25

There will be an opportunity for all musicians who want to play in the mid-evening Allspel set to rehearse together on the evening of Skandia Ball from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Seattle Latvian Center. Attendance at the rehearsal is encouraged, but not required, to play in the Allspel.

Musicians, please note: In past years, musicians who attended the Allspel rehearsal were offered free admission to the Ball. However, as with last year, due to increasing financial challenges, the Skandia Board, the Music Committee, and the Skandia Ball Chair have agreed that Allspel musicians who attend the rehearsal will be offered a $10 admission to the Ball, which is a 50% discount from the general admission of $20.

—Bob Hamilton and Deb Kosche


Having a Ball for 60 years

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Skandia Ball. The very first “Scandia Ball” was held on January 9, 1954 at the HUB Ballroom on the University of Washington campus, celebrating the fifth anniversary of “Scandia Folkdance Club.” The program of 38 recorded dances included Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, and Icelandic dances familiar to current Skandia dancers, plus some international dances: Kol Dodi (Israeli), Kalvelis (Lithuanian), Cor Beirte (Irish), Kolos (Yugoslavian), Senftenerger (German), and some American square dances. Nordiska Folkdancers, still an active performing group in Seattle, performed a dance exhibition at the intermission.

Copies of almost every Skandia Ball printed program since 1954 will be available to peruse at this year’s Ball. The years missing are 1960, 1970, 1972, and 1976. If you have any of the missing programs, please contact the Skandia newsletter editor at

Browsing through past Skandia Ball programs is like fastforwarding through Skandia’s history. Here are some freeze frames:

1957: At the 4th Annual Skandia Ball, live music is listed on the dance program for the first time—Skandia Kapell accompanying Nordiska Folkdancers, and the Skandia
Spelmanslag playing Gårdebylåten for the Grand March. The rest of the evening includes 40 recorded dances. It’s interesting to note that all three of these groups have evolved through the years but are still active in Skandia today.

1959: Skandia President Philip Swenson writes after the Ball: Who can ever forget the Grand March to end all Grand Marches at Skandia’s Tenth Anniversary Ball in

1959, the music by the Club’s own 27-piece orchestra, or the many old friends and familiar faces you see at these annual reunions?

1962: A polska (Gammal Polska) is listed on the dance program for the first time. Hambos had been on the dance program since 1954.

1964: Skandia Ball is held on Leap Year. No doubt there were many Sadie Hawkins jokes that evening!

1967 and 1968: The 50-piece Thalia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Scheremetiew and Frances Walton, performs for dancing at the Ball. In 1969, a smaller ensemble of Thalia musicians, the Nordisk Storkapell, performs again. The Thalia appearances are master-minded by Skandia President Anders Anderssen.

1968: Skandia Spelmanslag and three other live music groups perform at the Skandia Ball After-Party, starting at midnight at the Skandia Ballroom on University Way and NE 47th St. Ah, to be young and dancing the night away!

1971: The Skandia Ball printed program is shaped like a Viking helmet, mimeographed and hand-cut with scissors

1977: A Bingsjöpolska is the first bygedans ever listed on the Ball’s dance program.

1979: At the 25th Annual Skandia Ball at the Norway Center in Seattle, every music group active with Skandia— 14 total, plus an Allspel—is listed on the program. Quite a marathon of Scandinavian dancing!

1982: The Skandia Junior Spelmanslag (later called the Lilla Spelmanslag) is the opening music group. The group, directed by David Lamb, plays again each of the next three years. David Lamb will be leading the Efterspel at the upcoming Skandia Ball.

1987: Skandia Ball is held for the first time at Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle, which becomes the Ball’s home for 13 years.

1988: The 34th Annual Skandia Ball is the last Ball attended by Skandia founder Gordon Ekvall Tracie, quoted as saying at this event: “I think the thing that personally has pleased me the most about Skandia, even more than the success of the dancing, has been the large number of local people who have become interested in playing the music and who do it so well.”

1992: An Allspel (“everybody plays”) is one of the music groups and becomes an annual feature of the Ball since then.

1994: At the 40th Annual Skandia Ball, a photo is taken of 15 of Skandia’s past presidents. Attendance at the Ball is recorded as 350-plus people.

1997: Two young, talented fiddlers—Anna Abraham and Ingrid Hamberg—play a short set together at the Ball. They both continue fiddling and go on to study folk music in
Sweden and Norway, respectively. Anna becomes leader of the Seattle Skandia Spelmanslag for several years and will be onstage at this year’s Ball as a member of Mād Fiddlu.

2000: Skandia Ball moves to the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell, which becomes its home for 12 years, through 2011.

2004: At the 50th Annual Skandia Ball, Leif Alpsjö, Swedish Riksspelman (“national folk musician”) is a guest musician and a “Local Composers Make Good … Music” set features 15 tunes written by Skandia musicians.

2007: To recognize the upcoming 50th anniversary of Skandia Midsommarfest in June 2008, slices of the recently shortened majstång (midsummer pole) are raffled off at the Ball.

2011: Skandia Ball moves to the Seattle Latvian Center.

2013: Säbb Anders, visiting fiddler from Rättvik, Sweden, plays a set with his trio, Grävvå, and leads the Allspel.

2014: This year’s Skandia Ball Committee, led by Chairperson Pat McMonagle, invites you to join the festivities on Saturday, October 18, and help kick off another decade of Skandia Ball history!

—Deb Kosche