>>>Our 2020 Spree will be the weekend of April 25.  Plans are afoot! 

>>>Meanwhile, here's some info from our last one for reference:

The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 14th Annual


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

April 25-28, 2019

Please join us for all or part of the Spree, which includes a Thursday evening concert by our Norwegian staff and the main event Friday evening through Sunday 5pm or so when folks leave for dinner.  Enjoy dance parties and classes, Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes and jamming, a cozy potluck Sunday brunch, and more.  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!


Hallingspringar is the beautiful springer dance from the Hallingdal region.  The 3 beats per measure in the music are fairly even and easy to dance to, unlike some other springars whose uneven rhythms can be a bit uncomfortable until you internalize them.  While circulating around the floor, the man and woman turn separately, then as a couple—first slowly and then quickly.  There are standard transitions between these figures, with nifty variations and style flourishes.  (Don’t worry, the traditional lift at the end is optional—for consenting adults!)

Our guest teachers are young champion dancers who grew up in tradition in Hallingdal.  They both sing and play instruments, and her female vocal quintet has a beautiful recording out.  They taught at Mendo last summer, and she taught dance and singing at the 2017 HFAA Annual Music & Dance Workshop, all to rave reviews; so we are thrilled to have them here! 

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:  Paul Morrissett 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 ScandiaDC’s April 20 Hallingspringar class (see ScandiaDC.org), or at our monthly MAND parties or selected Tuesday nights at NIH (see HamboDC.org).  Friendly folks in our local community are always happy to dance with you and show you some steps.  At parties, you'll be comfortable picking up some easy dances.  During the harder dances, it’s pleasant to watch/listen, or good to 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 you can contact her about lessons otherwise--she teaches locally and via Skype.)  And I’ve asked Paul if he wants to teach and what instrument(s); watch here for update.  Classes might work out, too, depending on 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.  There’s often Swedish jamming, and that’s fine by us!

THURSDAY EVENING PROGRAM:   Our guests will give us a concert!

SATURDAY AFTER-DINNER SESSION:  While resting and digesting between dinner and the dance party, we usually have some sort of relaxed short program or Q&A discussion.  This year it'll be an informal visit with our Norwegian guests:  some combo of Q&A, singing/playing, and/or storytelling.

NEEDLEWORK:  You might like to bring your needlework along.  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.  For meals on your own any time, you can bring from home or visit one of Takoma Park’s various eateries; on Saturday some folks like to order ahead for pickup and relax/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!

Takoma Park's various great eateries:  Spree events will have copies for you of MANDer Robin Buck's handy list/map, incl some very new places.  It's a handy walking map,  too, showing Seekers and the 7-11 across from it, Metro, and Loretta & Tony's street.  The TPSS Co-op at 201 Ethan Allan Ave is about 3 blocks E of the edge of her map.  You might also check out http://www.mainstreettakoma.org/dine-drink/

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 Metro station (on the Red Line), so they're accessible via public transportation from train, bus, and all 3 airports; renting a car is optional!  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....  Our NYC friends like the inexpensive Peter Pan bus from NY Port Authority to DC's Silver Spring Metro station, just one stop away from Takoma....  Where to stay?  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 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, especially as one of our perennial volunteers can’t attend this year?  Please contact Jenny to volunteer—thanks thanks thanks!

SCHEDULE (subject to change, so check back and click Refresh in your browser):

    Thu 4/25 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
7:00pm    concert by our guests

     Fri 4/26 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
6:30pm    mingling and munching as people arrive
7:30pm    dance party! incl dance demo and brief intro teaching

     Sat 4/27 at Seekers Church
9:00am    Hallingspringar dance class (with breaks)
noon        lunch (BYO or nearby)
1:30pm    Hallingspringar dance class (with breaks)
5:00pm    dinner (BYO or nearby)
      5:00-7:00pm Quiet downstairs, please—a prayer group is meeting in conf rm
7:00pm    visit with Norwegian guests:  Q&A, singing/playing, and/or stories
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 4/28 at Loretta & Tony's Great Room
10:30am   dance class (tips, corrections, & cool moves by request
potluck brunch

:00pm     dance party! (Dancing, mingling, and jamming on a lovely long afternoon with
                     friends old & new, til whenever folks head out for dinner--usually 5 or so)


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 Takoma Park 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 lot (on the Red line).  If you drive, you can easily park either in Metro station lot or on nearby streets. (Last year we heard that Metro stations which had previously had free parking on weekends had just started charging, but apparently this station didn’t, yay!)  The church has a tiny lot in back with steep narrow driveway; we need to use that only for staff/loading/handicapped, so if you need to park there for some reason please contact Jenny.  For pickup/dropoff on this busy street where it's not safe to pull over (yes really), the best place is the 7-11 lot across the street.

>>>*** GETTING INTO SEEKERS CHURCH***:  Sorry, we can’t give out the door code to everybody as in the past.  If nobody’s handy inside door to let you in, please call Jenny’s cell 24O344OO66 or follow any other Spree instructions which may be posted outside the doors.  And 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!  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).

Seekers has an odd layout:  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 beautiful sunny main level where the welcome table, dancing, and food will be.

Where to park your stuff?  Main space upstairs is most secure.  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 (duh), nor 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; if you’re thinking of attending please contact Jenny 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.

*SUGGESTED DONATIONS (any amount quite OK):

Thu 4/25:       concert $15
Fri 4/26:         dance party $15
Sat 4/27:         dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
                       dance party $15
                            (dance classes & party $60)
                            (half-day class & party $40)
Sun 4/28:        dance class $5
                       dance party $15
Total for Fri-Sun is $95; please contribute for Thurs program separately.

Part-timers and watchers/listeners, please make contributions to the kitty which seem appropriate to you.  Hardanger fiddlers, please contribute for the event similarly to dancers.

*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, and click Refresh in your browser to make sure you're seeing the latest....

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!)