The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 11th Annual


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

April 29-May 1, 2016

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.  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:  Simon and Ingunn will visit us from Norway and teach Hallingspringar, the beautiful springar dance from Hallingdal.  Their dancing and teaching got rave reviews at Nordic Fiddles and Feet camp in the US last summer.  Here’s a Youtube video of them:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7u1TAZJy_Q 

Notice that the 3 beats per measure of Hallingspringar music are fairly even and easy to dance to, unlike some other springars which aren’t comfortable until you internalize their uneven rhythms.  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 lift at the end is optional—for consenting adults!)

They will also teach the Mazurka from Sigdal, Simon’s home.  The only video on Youtube seems to be this one, of the Swedish teachers Britt-Marie and Sven Olsson who learned it last summer while also teaching at NFF:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T8G-0ik_0s

Teaching will be paced somewhat faster than at other workshops, so we can get into more details and variations, because many US dancers have now learned some Hallingspringar elsewhere and would like more depth.  New Hallingspringar dancers are of course quite welcome as always, and encouraged to get a head start if possible by attending local classes on March 19 and/or April 2 or getting a little tutoring on the basics.  (Everyone liked the combo of faster pace and newbie head start last year so we're doing it again.)

Simon has focused on traditional Hallingdal dance since he began dancing at age 19 and has made a name for himself in the Norwegian folk dancing community. He is currently a freelance dancer and dance instructor. He teaches all over Norway as a part of “Bygda Dansar,” the national project for teaching folk dancing to youth. He also teaches for “Hallinglaget” (the Hallingdal community) in Oslo and the Norwegian folk museums dance group.  In 2012 he won the National Championship as a part of the group “Hallingan” performing Hallingspringar. At the 2013 and 2014 National Championships he won his class in Hallingdans (laus), making him an A-class dancer. He is a member of the dance company FRIKAR.

Ingunn is a versatile dancer, performer, educator, and administrator. She is one of the important tradition bearers in Hallingdal today, in both dance and accordion.  She has received honors in folk music, including a nomination for a Grammy Award in 2003 and winner of the King’s Cup in 2009. She taught a new generation of accordionists in Hallingdal as a teacher in culture education in Gol and Ål from 2004-2012. Today she is culture manager in the Geilo Culture Church and also a church musician in Ål.

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 Karin Løberg Code and our own Loretta Kelley. (What’s a Hardanger fiddle?  See www.HFAA.org.)  Ingunn will also play her “torader” (two-row accordion) for some dancing.

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 we want to share the joy--“newbies will be welcomed, encouraged, and assimilated.”  (See also above info on Hallingspringar classes.)

AFTER-DINNER PROGRAM ON SATURDAY:  The torader (two-row accordion is very popular in Hallingdal, where Ingunn helps carry the tradition.  She will play some tunes, and talk about the instrument and its use in dance music and folk church music.  Then she and Simon (team of champions!) will perform two or three different dances.  Some local accordion enthusiasts may come in to check out the torader and stay to watch some of the dance.

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--fiddle jam/practice space will be nearby.

NEEDLEWORK:  Ingunn loves to knit, especially sitting next to a dance party!  If you'd like to join her, bring a project along--knitting or other needlework--it's always fun to see who's working on what.  If you would like to make wrist warmers with an angel pattern she has offered to share, bring yarn and needles that will give you a gauge of 20-22 stitches in 4 inches.  Also, for those interested in Hardanger embroidery, we still have a few of Fran Kilty’s nice kits from two years ago for sale.

FOOD:  Yes, your CONTRIBUTIONS OF SNACKS OR PARTY FOOD ARE APPRECIATED AT ANY/ALL SPREE EVENTS--THANKS!!  Friday night share potluck/snack as folks arrive and mingle; or go out for dinner if you like.  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 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 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 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 and something to nibble.

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?  Please contact Jenny to volunteer—thanks thanks thanks!

SCHEDULE (check back for changes--possible knitting workshop w/Ingunn, etc.):

     Fri 4/29 at Loretta & Tony’s Great Room
6:00pm    mingling and munching as people arrive
7:00pm    dance party! including demo of Hallingspringar and teaching of Mazurka from Sigdal

     Sat 4/30 at Seekers Church
9:00am    Hallingspringar dance class (with breaks)
noon        lunch break

1:30pm    Hallingspringar dance class (with breaks)
5:00pm    dinner break
7:00pm    torader (two-row accordion) program & dance performance
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 5/1 at Loretta & Tony's Great Room
11:00am   Hallingspringar dance class (corrections, tips, cool moves by request, etc.)
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 heading out for dinner somewhere.)


Friday 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 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 please please leave the tiny lot behind Seekers for staff/loading/handicapped.  Or take Metro!

>>>KEYPAD CODE<<< to get into Seekers on Saturday:  No, we can't put it on the website.  It will be sent to the MAND email list a few days before the event—ask Jenny to put you on the list if you’d like to get our occasional news or ask her for the code.  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.  Please avoid calling from outside or banging on the door which would be frustrating for you and disruptive to events—thanks!

Use street-level door at Seekers.  Enter into the large Gallery; we are renting this and the Children’s Room for mingling, jamming, and fiddle lessons.  Take stairs or elevator up to the main level where the welcome table, dancing, and food will be.

Where to park your stuff?  Upstairs for security.  Around the PERIMETER of the dance space is best, under chairs/benches so folks can sit.  Or along walls of the hallway.  Please NOT UNDERFOOT at the tables or otherwise blocking traffic.  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.

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 are by arrangement with Loretta or Karin; contact Loretta ASAP for planning.  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’ll be jamming.


Fri 4/29:        dance party & class $15
Sat 4/30:       dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
                     dance party $15
                            (dance classes & party $60)
                            (half-day class & party $40)

Sun 5/1:        dance class $5
                     dance party $15
Whole weekend:  $95

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

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 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.


(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!)