The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 10th Annual


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

Mother’s Day Weekend, May 8-10, 2015

You can attend all or part of the Spree, which runs from Friday evening through late Sunday afternoon. There will be dance parties and classes, Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes and jamming, and a cozy potluck brunch.  And 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!

DANCE CLASSES and our DANCE TEACHER:  This year’s featured dance is Valdresspringar, the springar from the Valdres region.  The music has a driving pulse, with the first beat rushed (like Viennese Waltz but different).  As the couples circulate around the floor, the man does flashy moves and spins the woman, working up to the exhilarating couple-turn (rundsnu). 

Dag Hamre is visiting from Norway and will teach, partnered by whomever he pulls from the crowd.  He is a champion Class A dancer.  Attendees at his prior US workshops have admired his smooth style and valued his teaching.  Here he is dancing at the Munnharpe fest in 2008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO02NvJRD38

>>>We are asking Dag to pace his teaching for those who have attended other Valdresspringar workshops, so he can get into more details and variations.  It seems like a good time to do this; there have been more VS workshops than usual around the country in the last few years, so there are plenty of us who want more depth. 

With that in mind, we also want to welcome everyone as always, and reach out with pre-Spree head-start options for Valdresspringar “newbies.”  Especially for those learning the men’s part; once you get the footwork used for turning and gliding, and can hit the right place on the next downbeat, you’re in the game.  (Mantra:  It’s just two measures….)  Three local newbie men got in the game at a successful April 4 workshop here.  Anyone else who’d like a head start is encouraged to ask for a tutoring session with able and willing local dancer(s); ask someone yourself or Jenny can connect you. If you can’t get a head start, come anyway to pick up what you can and enjoy the ride.

MUSIC  The weekend will be saturated with fabulous all-live Hardanger fiddle music by two versatile top US fiddlers:  Karin Løberg Code and our own Loretta Kelley. (What’s a Hardanger fiddle?  See www.HFAA.org.)  Karin has spent a year in Norway since her last visit here, and is bursting with new tunes and enthusiasm.  Loretta is the foremost US Hardanger fiddler, and generously plays often for dancing here at home.

DANCE PARTIES:  will have a good variety of Norwegian Springars, 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, you'll be comfortable getting into some easy dances which can be picked up at the parties.  And during the harder dances it’s pleasant to either watch/listen, or get out there with or without a partner and move around the floor doing the basic step to the music.  Feel free to ask anyone to dance—we’ve all been newbies and want to share the joy of springar.  (See also above info on Valdresspringar classes.)

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.  And you can easily pop in & out of the dancing--fiddle jam/practice space will be nearby.

NEEDLEWORK:  We are taking a break from needlework workshops this year.  But bring your projects along to stitch—it’s fun to see who’s working on what.

SATURDAY AT SEEKERS CHURCH:  We have only rented the upstairs this year, but may use the street door then come up the stairs (or go around back where upstairs is at ground level). So, where to park your stuff?  Under chairs/benches around the perimeter of the dance space and the tables/chairs area, or in the hallway, but please not underfoot at the tables/chairs. 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.

DOOR KEYPAD CODE AT SEEKERS CHURCHSeekers Church keeps doors locked.  There's a keypad code for our group to use to get in.  Obviously we can't put it here or post it at the door.  It will be sent to the MAND email list shortly beforehand—ask Jenny to put you on the list if you’d like to get our occasional news.  Or look for the code near the contribution basket at Loretta & Tony's on Friday night.  Or someone will let you in at the street door if you arrive a little before the start time on Saturday morning, then you can get the code at the welcome desk to get back in later yourself.  If you won't get it these ways, let’s avoid calling from outside or banging on the door which would be frustrating for you and disruptive to events—please ask Jenny or a MANDer friend beforehand--thanks!

FOOD:  Yes, your CONTRIBUTIONS OF SNACKS OR PARTY FOOD ARE APPRECIATED AT ALL SPREE EVENTS--THANKS!!  Light snacks & coffee/tea/water/lemonade will be provided on Saturday at the church.  For Saturday lunch & dinner, you might like to 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.  Consider carryout or delivery—it’s quite pleasant to relax and eat at Seekers.  Then there’s Sunday brunch—another cozy potluck in MAND’s thriving tradition of tasty dishes and good company!  Locals, please bring a little more food than usual if you can, so out-of-towners don't have to if inconvenient.  Thanks.

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 be nice for our 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 Paul's Norwegian belt knife.)  WHAT'S OPTIONAL TO BRING:  A partner--we mix, and some of us even change gender to keep the balance and enjoy the dances from a different perspective.

OUT-OF-TOWNERS:  It's a beautiful time of year to visit--Takoma Park is nicknamed "Azalea City."  Our two main 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; Metro even has a stop at Reagan National (DCA) so it's easiest.  Of course there are many hotels in the DC area.  And, like other folkie communities, MAND has a tradition of offering spare beds & crash space to out-of-town visitors; if interested (or if you're a local host) please contact Jenny ASAP.  You may not need to rent a car—see location info below. 

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 and something to nibble.


Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes by arrangement; contact Loretta ASAP for planning.

     Fri 5/8 evening at Loretta & Tony’s
6:30pm    meeting/mingling/munching begins
7:00pm    Valdresspringar dance class—intro/basics
8:00pm    dance party!

     Sat 5/9 at Seekers Church
9:00am    Valdresspringar dance class (with breaks)
noon        lunch break
1:30pm    Valdresspringar dance class (with breaks)
5:30pm    dinner break
7:30pm    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 5/10 at Loretta & Tony's
11:00am   Valdresspringar dance review (corrections, tips, cool moves by request, etc.)
noon         potluck brunch
1:30pm     dance party!
(A lovely lingering long afternoon w/friends old & new—don’t leave too early and miss it)


Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes:  in same bldgs as the dancing, so you can pop back & forth.

Friday evening:  at Loretta & Tony’s, 6807 Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.  Party in the Great Room, fiddlers can jam elsewhere in house.  See MAND’s Directions page.

Saturday:  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.  Park on nearby streets or in Metro station lot (free on weekends); please leave the tiny lot behind Seekers for staff/loading/handicapped.  Or take Metro!

Sunday: back at Loretta & Tony's

Phone numbers just in case you get lost or whatever:  Loretta & Tony’s house 3O127O4925, Jenny’s cell 24O344OO66.


Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes:  by arrangement with Loretta or Karin; contact Loretta ASAP for planning; reservation req’d.

For everything else, reservations are not req’d.

    Fri 5/8:      dance class $7
                     dance party $15
    Sat 5/9:     dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
                     dance party $15
                     dance classes & party $55 ($5 discount)
                     half-day class & party $35 ($5 discount)

    Sun 5/10:  dance class $7
                     dance party $15                  

Feel free to contribute more or less than the suggested donations.  Really.  If you have deep pockets and would like to do a little more than your share so we can be 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!

Part-timers, watchers, and listeners, please make appropriate contributions to the kitty.

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

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


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