*will be* APR 25-28, 2019--note date!






which *was* MAY 10-13, 2018:

The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 13th Annual


in charming Takoma Park, MD (by Washington, DC)

May 10-13, 2018

Please join us for all or part of the Spree, which runs from Thursday evening through late Sunday afternoon. There will be dance parties and classes, Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes and jamming, a program on the variety and history of Norwegian dances, coffee and tasty Norwegian baked goodies (for our baker’s dozenth Spree), and a cozy potluck Sunday brunch.  There’s always someone to chat with and something to nibble, whether or not you’re taking part in what’s scheduled. Everyone is welcome!


Our Norwegian guest teacher is a beautiful champion dancer and popular teacher/performer from Norway.  She and her partner won the Norwegian Landskappleik (the annual national competition) in 2007 dancing Telespringar, and again in 2008 dancing Numedalsgangar.  She grew up in tradition, dancing in Småjondølane, her mother Karin’s bygdedans group for young people located in Jondalen—a valley which runs across the border between Telemark and Buskerud counties—mother and daughter both specialize in the bordering dance traditions of East Telemark and Numedal.  (Karin taught at our 2011 Spree.)  Our guest has been teaching since she was a teenager, and has taught and performed many times in the US, including Scandinavian Week, Scandia Camp Mendocino, the Ski-Dance Weekend in Vermont, multiple Christmas Revels Scandinavian productions, and Norwegian festivals around the country.  Her “day job” is nursing.  Here’s a Youtube video of her dancing Numedalsgangar at the 2016 Landskappleik:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu4-3-zyX5I

Telespringar, our featured dance, seems to be the most popular springar in the US.  It has been described as appearing somewhat like swing dancing but more elegant.  Couples tend to stay in one place on the floor for a while and do moves that are led by the man in improvised order.  In between the various figures & flourishes, the dancers return again & again to the distinctive hold known as armkrok, where they spin together and the man may be inspired to do some step variations which our friend Bruce Emery compares to 2nd and 3rd gear.  Whee!  (Caution:  the uneven-3-beat rhythm is highly addictive to susceptible individuals….)

Telegangar is the same moves done with walking steps to jaunty music that’s in 2.  (Gang = walk.)

Numedalsgangar, which will be taught on Friday, is the playful dance from the next valley, also done to jaunty walking-rhythm music with 2 beats per measure.  (There’s a less often seen springar version, too.)  Couples circulate counterclockwise in Numedalsgangar, so during a gangar tune it’s neighborly for those dancing Telegangar to move in a bit and leave space around the outer edge of the dance floor.

Setesdalgangar, the featured dance from last year’s Spree with driving heartbeat-rhythm tunes, will be briefly reviewed by Cathie Springer before dancing it as a mixer (the usual way) during this year’s parties.  Jump right in whether you know it or not—it’s fun/easy to do basic steps and mix.

Pace of classes:  We have a Spree tradition of asking teachers to pace classes somewhat faster than at other workshops, yet start with the basics for new dancers.  So attendees who have been learning the dance elsewhere can get into more details and variations, yet new dancers are very welcome as always and shouldn’t hesitate to attend—see note below.  

MUSIC:    The weekend will be saturated with fabulous all-live Norwegian Hardanger fiddle music by two versatile top US fiddlers who have spent extensive time in Norway:  Karin Loberg Code and our own Loretta Kelley.  (What’s a Hardanger fiddle?  See www.HFAA.org.)

DANCE PARTIES:  will have a good variety of Norwegian Springars and Gangars, Rørospols, Vossarul, Reinlender, etc.  And likely also music for Swedish Hambo, Schottis, Polskas, etc., assuming some of the usual suspects show up and want to play.

NOTE TO NEW DANCERS:  This is a good year to attend!  If you like, you can get a head start at the March ScandiaDC Telespringar class, or at monthly MAND parties or selected Tuesday nights at NIH with HamboDC.  Friendly folks are always happy to show you some steps.  You'll be comfortable picking up some easy dances.  During the harder dances, it’s pleasant to watch/listen, or just get out there and move around the floor doing the basic step to the music, with or without a partner.  Feel free to ask anyone to dance—we’ve all been newbies and we want to share the joy.  “Newbies will be welcomed, encouraged, and assimilated.”

HARDANGER FIDDLERS AND WANNABES:  Lessons for all levels with Loretta are possible.  Or classes if that works for who’s attending.  Please contact us as early as possible for planning.  There’s jam/practice space at both locations, where you can easily pop back and forth to dancing.

THURSDAY EVENING PROGRAM:   Like her Mom, our Norwegian guest teacher has uniquely extensive knowledge of Norwegian dance.  She will give a lively informal program on the variety and history of Norwegian dances, with videos and demos.  Main topics are examples of different dance types (songdans, turdans, runddans, bygdedans), and their history which is especially interesting for bygdedans (the distinctive older dances such as springars from particular areas).  Other topics she will get into either here, during dance teaching, or during the Saturday evening Q&A are:  East and West Telemark variations of Telespringar, the connection between the dancers and the fiddler (and the woman’s big heavy skirt in Telemark!), kappleiks (competitions), and hey so what dances do Norwegians currently do socially for fun?  Bring your dance shoes—there may be some open dancing following the program.

SATURDAY AFTER-DINNER Q&A SESSION:  While resting and digesting between dinner and the dance party, our Norwegian guest teacher will sit and chat with us in an informal Q&A session.

BAKING:  Hey, it’s our baker’s dozenth (13th) Spree!  So some of us will bake some Norwegian goodies to share on Saturday.  If you’re similarly inspired, please contact Jenny to coordinate who’s baking what….  Yes, of course there will be coffee.  And tea. 

NEEDLEWORK:  You might like to bring your needlework along to do.  Some past Sprees have had costume and handwork workshops.  It’s always pleasant to sit and stitch/knit near the dancing/music, and see what others are working on.

FOOD:  Yes, your CONTRIBUTIONS OF SNACKS OR PARTY FOOD ARE APPRECIATED AT ANY & ALL SPREE EVENTS--THANKS!!  Labels such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free or lists of ingredients would be helpful for some folks.  Locals, please bring a little more food than usual if you can, so out-of-towners don't have to if inconvenient.  On Friday night, those who want to eat dinner as folks arrive and mingle bring potluck fare, and others bring party snack fare if they like.  Saturday we’ll have nonstop light snacks & coffee/tea/water/lemonade in the church kitchen, plus whatever fun stuff people bring to share, including some special Norwegian baked goods mentioned above.  For meals on your own Fri and Sat, you can bring from home or visit one of Takoma Park’s great eateries—there will be a list of recommendations at the welcome table—or some folks like to order ahead for pickup because it’s so pleasant to relax and socialize while eating at the church.  And then there’s Sunday brunch—another cozy potluck in MAND’s thriving tradition of tasty dishes and good company at our monthly Norwegian-style house parties.  Thanks, everybody!

WHAT TO WEAR/BRING:  Clean dance shoes to change into--wide low heel is best, with leather/smooth sole for turning—really, please clean/check them to protect the floors.  Comfortable clothing, with extra shirts if you plan to work up a good springar-sweat.  Ladies, it’s fun to wear a big full skirt for Scandinavian turning dances.  Floral patterns would suit the Spring Springar theme, if you like.  Nicer outfit or Scandinavian costume for Saturday night.  Food—see above.  And your choice of practical items such as water bottle and/or mug w/name on it and toothbrush/paste.  WHAT NOT TO BRING:  Drugs, pets, weapons, etc. (Yes, we have a special dispensation for Norwegian belt knives like Paul’s.)  WHAT’S OPTIONAL TO BRING:  A partner.  It’s fun and good experience to dance with lots of different folks; some also enjoy the challenge and perspective of dancing the other gender’s part, so everybody who wants to can dance.

OUT-OF-TOWNERS:  It's a great time of year to visit beautiful Takoma Park!  Our two locations are close to the Takoma Park Metro station (on the Red Line), so they're accessible via public transportation from train, bus, and all 3 airports, and you may not even need to rent a car.  Of the airports, Reagan National (DCA) is closest and has a Metro stop so it's easiest, yet Dulles (IAD) which is pretty far west of DC usually has more/cheaper flights and has a frequent shuttle in to Metro.  Yup, you may not need to rent a car.  Of course there are many hotels in the DC area; one which is recommended is the Courtyard by Marriott in Silver Spring which is close to the next stop along the Metro Red Line.  Or if you want to be in walking distance, check out Takoma Park’s B&B’s.  And, like other folkie communities, MAND has a tradition of offering spare beds & crash space to out-of-town visitors; if interested please contact Jenny ASAP. 

PART-TIMERS, WATCHERS, and LISTENERS:  You’re welcome to attend all or part of the weekend.  When not participating in a scheduled event, there’s always someone to chat with or something to nibble.  Maybe you could spend some extra time with us on Saturday helping out as a volunteer?

HOSTS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  Are you able and willing to:  Offer a bed or crash space?  Take someone to/from airport/train?  Take a turn at the welcome table or being on call to answer the door on Saturday, especially during a set you won't be dancing at the evening party?  Tidy up the food counter there, or make coffee/tea/lemonade?  Come early on Saturday to help with setup/greeting, or stay late to help with cleanup?  Maybe you or someone you know would enjoy just being with us on Saturday and helping out a bit? Please contact Jenny to volunteer—thanks thanks thanks!

SCHEDULE (subject to change, so check back):

     Thu 5/10 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
7:00pm    program on the variety & history of Norwegian Dance, w videos/demos

     Fri 5/11 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
9:30am    Numedalgangar dance class (with breaks)
12:30pm  lunch (BYO or nearby)
1:30pm    Numedalgangar dance class (with breaks)
4:30pm    end class (eat or shop nearby, or head home before rush hour)
6:30pm    mingling and munching as people arrive
7:30pm    dance party! incl dance demo and brief teaching

     Sat 5/12 at Seekers Church
9:00am    Telespringar/gangar dance class (with breaks)
noon        lunch (BYO or nearby)
1:30pm    Telespringar/gangar dance class (with breaks)
5:00pm    dinner (BYO or nearby) Quiet downstairs, please—prayer mtg in conf rm 5-7pm
7:00pm    after-dinner Q&A chat with Arnhild on Norwegian Dance 
8:00pm    dance party! (We can stay as late as we like, as long as we clean up
                    and set up for church—please help—many hands make light work.)

     Sun 5/13 at Loretta & Tony's Great Room
11:00am   dance class (tips, corrections, & cool moves by request)
noon         potluck brunch
1:30pm     dance party! (Dancing, mingling, and jamming on a lovely long afternoon with
                     friends old and new, until it's time to think about leaving for dinner.)


Loretta & Tony’s, 6807 Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.  Party in the Great Room, jamming or lessons elsewhere in house.  Pleasant 10-min walk from Metro station.  See MAND’s Directions page.


SEEKERS CHURCH, 276 Carroll St., NW, Washington, DC 20012.  Note that it doesn't look like a church at all—it’s a 2-story red brick storefront building with white trim.  Located just over the line from Takoma Park into DC, directly across Carroll St. from a 7-11, and diagonally across from the Takoma Park Metro station (on the Red line).  If you drive, you can park either in Metro station lot or on nearby streets. CAUTION:  METRO STATION LOT PARKING WAS ALWAYS FREE ON WEEKENDS.  THEY STARTED CHARGING FOR SATURDAY PARKING AT MOST STATIONS IN FEB, BUT APPARENTLY NOT HERE—THE SIGNS AND METERS STILL LOOK THE SAME AND NO ONE I ASKED HAS HEARD OF ANY TICKETING There are a few spaces in tiny lot behind Seekers which are only for staff/loading/handicapped; if you need to park there for some reason please contact Jenny.

>>>*** GETTING INTO SEEKERS CHURCH***:  Sorry, we can’t give out the door code to everybody as in the past.  If nobody’s right inside door to let you in, please follow Spree instructions posted outside the doors.  Please also be careful about whom you let in—if you’re not sure about somebody just ask them what’s that magical musical instrument that’s played in Norway.  And be aware that there will be other people in the building while we are there, who will have their own codes:  church members and a weekly prayer meeting in the conference room 5-7pm (shhhh).

What’s where at Seekers?  From the street-level door, you enter into the large Gallery; we are renting this and the Children’s Room for mingling, jamming, and fiddle lessons.  Take stairs (or elevator at end of hall) up to the main level where the welcome table, dancing, and food will be.

Where to park your stuff?  Upstairs for security.  Best place is around the perimeter of the dance space, under chairs/benches.  Or along walls of the back hallway.  Please not on chairs/benches where folks want to sit, and not underfoot at the tables or otherwise blocking traffic—if you put stuff in these places it will be moved.  Yes, you can confidently leave things in the dance space if you go out for lunch/dinner—some of us will be there all day/evening.


Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes are by prior arrangement with Loretta; please contact her ASAP for planning.

For the rest of the Spree events, there is NO RESERVATION/REGISTRATION. But we’d be happy to hear that you’re coming.  And to know who wants to jam on Norwegian or Swedish tunes.


Thurs 5/10:    program $15
Fri 5/11:         dance class $35
                      dance party $15
Sat 5/12:        dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
                      dance party $15
                            (dance classes & party $60)
                            (half-day class & party $40)
Sun 5/13:       dance class $5
                       dance party $15
(Fri party thru Sun total is $95; Thurs program and Fri dance class are separate.)

Part-timers and watchers/listeners, please make contributions to the kitty which seem appropriate to you.  Hardanger fiddlers, please talk with Jenny.

*Yes, we mean "suggested.”  Please feel free to contribute more or less.  Really.  If you have deep pockets and would like to do a little more than your share so we can be more generous to our excellent staff, that’s wonderful!  Or, if money's tight, just pay what you can—don't let your budget keep you away--we definitely want you to be there!

INFO IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE so check back here for updates and breaking news....

CONTACT: Jenny, pi (at) xecu (dot) net, H3O13714312, C24O344OO66 (texting OK)


(Publicity note:  If you’d like to help publicize by mentioning this event on a website, please, please check with Jenny first for a very important detail in the wording.  Thanks!)