Much info is quite similar from year to year...

...so, for your reference, HERE IS THE INFO FROM *LAST* YEAR'S SPREE:

The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 12th Annual


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

May 4-7, 2017

(see note above)

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 concert by a champion traditional singer, baking of Norwegian goodies, and a cozy potluck 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!


Olaf Moen and Sigrid Kjetilsdotter Jore, who got rave reviews at last summer’s HFAA gathering, will visit us from Norway.  They will teach Setesdalgangar, a particularly fun and easy dance from the Setesdal region which can be done by individual couples or as a mixer.  Also some appealing rarely-taught dances from Southern Norway which Olaf teaches—contact Jenny if you’d like to know the possibilities and express any preferences.

Hey, about Setesdalgangar:  The hot tunes are capitivating, with their driving heartbeat-like pulse.  For years the Americans who had danced it in Norway wanted to dance it here, but others saw it as a ho-hum little mixer dance.  Well, all that changed last summer at HFAA!  Olaf and Sigrid shared what fun it could be, with some sparkly details and variations, and the delightful awareness of dancing the mixer version as part of a whole connected group (as in our contra dancing).  So c’mon to the Spree to see what the buzz is about! 

Olaf has been interested in folkdance and music most of his life. He started dancing at 10 years old, and teaching in 1992.  He went to Setesdal for high school, and learned a lot from local dancers and singers. His university education is in Norwegian folk music and dance from Rauland in Telemark, and from NTNU in Trondheim. He has worked a lot with the old springars and other local dances in the Agder region of southern Norway. Since 1995 he has also sung traditional folk songs and played the langeleik.  For the last five years he has been a judge at kappleiks (competitions in Norwegian folk music and dance). When teaching, he tries to inspire the group and have a lot of fun. As a traditionalist, he likes to teach dance the old fashioned way, by watching and copying, before the dancers start to develop their own style.

Sigrid is a Norwegian traditional singer and dancer from Valle, in the valley of Setesdal in Norway, educated at The Norwegian Academy of Music. She has competed in local, regional and national competitions in Norwegian folk music since the age of five. In 2012 she advanced to the A class in vocal folk music, the elite class in the national competition of folk music in Norway, and is now amongst the best singers in the genre. As a dancer, Sigrid has long experience both as a performer and as a teacher. She teaches the “gangar from Setesdal” to people of all ages and levels! In 2011 she founded a folklore dance group called “Sæbyggjan” (the name means people from Setesdal), and the group has now over 40 active members.

Pace of classes:  We have a tradition of asking teachers to pace classes somewhat faster than at other workshops, so we can get into more details and variations.  Many Spree attendees have done the dances elsewhere already, and we usually offer an intro class ahead of time for new dancers—but not this year because Setesdalgangar is so easy.  New dancers are very welcome as always!

MUSIC:    The weekend will be saturated with fabulous all-live Hardanger fiddle music by two versatile top US fiddlers who have spent extensive time in Norway:  esteemed guest Paul Morrissett, an amazing multi-instrumentalist professional musician who won a Grammy with his band the Klezmatics; and our own Loretta Kelley, the foremost US-born Hardanger fiddler. (What’s a Hardanger fiddle?  See www.HFAA.org.)

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

Newbies, this is a great year to attend—the featured dance is easy and fun.  At the parties, you'll be comfortable picking up some other 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.”

THURSDAY EVENING HOUSE CONCERT:  Sigrid will shine, singing songs in the Setesdal tradition!  See bio above.

SATURDAY AFTER-DINNER INFORMAL PROGRAM:  Setesdal photos, songs, Q&A, etc.

HARDANGER FIDDLERS AND WANNABES:  Classes/lessons for all levels are available.  (Lessons by arrangement with either of our fiddlers, or classes if enough of you will attend.)  Please contact us as early as you can for planning.  Note that you can easily pop in & out of the dancing—there’s fiddle jam/practice space at both locations.

BAKING:  It’s our twelfth Spree.  Yep, a dozen.  So let’s do some baking!  Kransekake and krumkake.  For consumption at the Spree, or some of you might want to bake for home.  Sonia White and her wondrous convection oven will host on Friday afternoon, then there will likely be some decorating and more krumkake making in the church kitchen on Saturday.  Space at Sonia's is limited, so reservation is required—as early as possible for planning, please.  Start time is TBD based on who’s coming and baking what; end time will be to comfortably get over to the evening party.

NEEDLEWORK:  We have had costume and handwork programs at past Sprees, and encourage you to bring your needlework along.  It’s pleasant to knit while watching dancing and see what others are working on.  For those interested in Hardanger embroidery, we still have a few of the nice kits from Fran Kilty’s 2014 workshop for sale.

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 would be greatly appreciated by 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 Saturday lunch & dinner, you can bring your meal from home or visit one of Takoma Park’s great eateries—there will be a list of recommendations at the welcome table—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.  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.  Floral patterns would suit the Spring theme, if you like.  Nice outfit or Scandinavian costume for Saturday night.  Food—see above.  Mug w/name on it and toothbrush/paste are nice ideas.  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 to dance with a variety of partners, and some of us 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 beautiful time of year to visit--Takoma Park is nicknamed "Azalea City."  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 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 or stay late on Saturday to help with setup/greeting or cleanup?  This year we’ll need more volunteers than usual on Saturday at the church—do you know someone who would like to come hang out and help a bit?  Please contact Jenny to volunteer—thanks thanks thanks!


     Thu 5/4 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
7:00pm    concert:  Songs in the Norwegian Setesdal Tradition

     Fri 5/5 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
(Afternoon baking is at Sonia’s—see under Baking above.)
6:30pm    mingling and munching as people arrive
7:30pm    dance party! probably including brief dance demo/teaching

     Sat 5/6 at Seekers Church
9:00am    dance class (with breaks)
noon        lunch break
1:30pm    dance class (with breaks)
5:00pm    dinner break (quiet please downstairs and going in/out--worship group in conf rm)
7:00pm    after-dinner informal program:  Setesdal photos, songs, Q&A, etc.

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 5/7 at Loretta & Tony's Great Room
11:00am   dance class (tips, corrections, cool moves by request, and maybe a new dance)
noon         potluck brunch
1:30pm     dance party! (Dancing, mingling, and jamming on a lovely long afternoon
friends old and new, until it's time to think about heading out for dinner somewhere.)


Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are at Loretta & Tony’s, 6807 Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.  Party in the Great Room, jamming or lessons elsewhere in house.  See MAND’s Directions page.

Saturday is at Seekers Church, 276 Carroll St., NW, Washington, DC 20012.  Note that Seekers Church doesn't look like a church at all—it’s a 2-story red brick storefront building with white trim.  It's just over the line from Takoma Park into DC, diagonally across Carroll from the Takoma Park Metro station (on the Red line), and directly across from a 7-11.  If you drive, best place to park is in Metro station lot (free on weekends), or you can try nearby streets.  The tiny lot behind Seekers is only for staff/loading/handicapped; if you need to park there for some reason please contact Jenny.

>>>***CHANGE THIS YEAR ON GETTING INTO SEEKERS CHURCH***:  Sorry, we can’t give out the door code to everybody as in the past.  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.  There will also be other people in the building while we are there, who will have their own codes:  church members at different times and a weekly worship group back in the conference room 5-7pm (shhhh).

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 because they’re needed for sitting upon, and not underfoot at the tables or otherwise blocking traffic—if you put stuff in these places it will be moved.  Yes, some of us will be in the building all day/evening, so you can confidently leave things in the dance space if you go out for lunch/dinner.


Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes are by arrangement with Loretta or Paul; contact Loretta ASAP for planning.  Reservation req’d.

Baking on Friday afternoon is by arrangement with host Sonia White; contact Sonia ASAP for planning, cell 3O15O379O6.  Reservation req’d.

For the rest of the Spree events, reservations are NOT req’d.  But we’d be happy to hear that you’re coming.  Including who wants to jam on Norwegian or Swedish tunes.


Thurs 5/4:    concert $15
Fri 5/5:         dance party $15
Sat 5/6:        dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
                    dance party $15
                            (dance classes & party $60)
                            (half-day class & party $40)
Sun 5/7:       dance class $5
                    dance party $15
(Fri-Sun total is $95; Thurs concert is 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 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 yes.


(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!)