The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 17th Annual
SPRING SPRINGAR SPREE
near Washington, DC (3 locations)
in person and on Zoom
March 24-26, 2023
Please join us for all or part of the Spree. It runs Friday evening through whenever the final party winds down on Sunday (usually around 5 or 6 PM). Each day’s at a different location this time, or you can Zoom in. All live music on the mesmerizing Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, which has sympathetic strings under the bowed strings (see HFAA.org). Classes for dance, Hardanger fiddle, and song with three friends from the Telemark region (contact Jenny for names); jam/practice space for Hardanger fiddle and other Scandinavian music; 3 lovely dance parties with music from all over Norway and a little beyond; and our famous 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!
>>>>>REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for in-person, and greatly appreciated/recommended for Zoom. Updates if necessary during the event will go to the lists of registrants, probably not the whole MAND email list.
Below is a lot of info about this unique event. For every person who complains about TMI and TL:DR, there are several others who appreciate various details and the effort it took to write. To keep y’all happy, it’s quite organized with bolded headings and keywords. Dig in!
MUSIC: The weekend will be saturated with fabulous all-live Norwegian Hardanger fiddle music by our own Loretta Kelley who’s the most prominent in the US, our featured Norwegian guest, plus whomever else Loretta arranges to play in person or via Zoom. (What’s a Hardanger fiddle? See www.HFAA.org.)
DANCE PARTIES: will have a good variety of Norwegian Springars and Gangars from different areas, Rørospols, Springleik, Vossarul, Reinlender, etc. And likely also music for Swedish Hambo, Schottis, Polskas, etc.
Telespringar, the springar from the Telemark region, is very popular among Scandinavian dance enthusiasts 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—like the uneven lilting style of Viennese waltz but quite different….)
Telegangar is the same moves done with walking steps to jaunty 2-beat music. (Gang = walk.)
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.
NOTE TO NEW DANCERS: This is a great year to attend! Telespringar is a good first springer to learn, and you can have a nice dance just moving around and doing a few moves, without having to learn/remember a sequence as in other dances. If you like, you can get a taste and head start at our monthly MAND party on March 11. 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 other dances you don’t know (yet!), 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 were all new once and are happy to share the joy. “Newbies will be welcomed, encouraged, and assimilated.”
HARDANGER FIDDLERS AND WANNABES: Lessons and/or classes for all levels are possible, with Loretta Kelley and/or our featured guest Hardanger fiddler, depending on who’s attending. Please contact Loretta as early as possible for planning. There will probably be jam/practice space at all 3 locations, where you can easily pop back and forth to dancing. There’s often Swedish jamming, too—yes that’s OK!
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 our friends from Norway will do a short performance of dance, Hardanger fiddle music, and song.
NEEDLEWORK, JIGSAW PUZZLES, AND GAMES: You might like to bring your needlework along. It’s always pleasant to sit and stitch/knit near the dancing/music, and see what others are working on. (Some past Sprees have had costume and handwork workshops.) Sorry, no Norwegian/Scandinavian themed jigsaw puzzles and games out for you on Saturday at the church this time--Jenny's apparently come down with COVID.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF FOOD TO SHARE ARE APPRECIATED AT 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, just snack/party food, please, instead of the usual potluck, so you may want to eat a light dinner before arriving. Saturday we’ll have cookies/crackers/pretzels and tea/water/lemonade in the church kitchen, plus whatever yummy stuff people bring to share. Saturday meals are on your own--you might bring from home or visit one of Takoma Park’s diverse eateries--see http://www.mainstreettakoma.org/dine-drink/ ; click on Explore, then Get around, then the walking map which has numbered list of eateries and other businesses. And the TPSS Co-op (health food store) is at 201 Ethan Allan Ave. Consider getting carryout to eat at the church, and remember to spread out a bit. Some like the covered back porch. Then there’s our famous Sunday brunch potluck—another cozy potluck in MAND’s thriving tradition of tasty dishes and good company at our monthly Norwegian-style house parties. Sonia’s place has a nice back deck/patio to spread out into, and the forecast is 66 degrees and sunny! She has lawn chairs; you might like to stash one from home in your car to deploy if needed. There’s usually snack/party food out all day as people come and go.
Please keep in mind the general COVID precaution to unmask indoors only for eating/drinking, and spread out through the space or outdoors.
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.
PART-TIMERS, WATCHERS, and LISTENERS: You’re very 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?
OUT-OF-TOWNERS: It's a great time of year to visit beautiful Takoma Park! The famous Yoshino CHERRY BLOSSOMS are projected to be at peak right during the Spree. They are all over the place, not just at the Tidal Basin where the crowds are. See www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. And there are many other spring flowering plants/trees. Consider visiting the National Arboretum (incl National Herb Garden) or Brookside Gardens (both free), or others.
You might want to come in a day early to enjoy DC and a special concert on Thursday evening 3/23 on the Virginia side of DC: Swedish folk musicians Va"sen Duo (no longer the trio), with an exciting new local trio opening for them: Nordensong, which includes Karl Lundeberg, Loretta Kelley, and Laura Hummel. Info at jamminjava.com and Nordensong.com.
Of the 3 nearby airports, Reagan National (DCA) is closest, yet Dulles (IAD) which is pretty far west of DC usually has more/cheaper flights. Metro (see wmata.org) has stops at both. BWI is on the DC side of Baltimore. 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 Metro Red Line, one stop away from Takoma. And there are B&Bs around, including in Takoma Park. 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.
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? Please contact Jenny to volunteer—thanks!
SCHEDULE (subject to change, so check back):
Fri 3/24 at Linda Brooks’
6:30pm mingling and munching as people arrive
7:30pm dance party! incl dance demo and brief intro teaching
Sat 3/25 at Seekers Church (Hardanger fiddle classes/lessons TBD)
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)
7:00pm informal program by our Norwegian guests: dance/music/song
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 3/26 at Sonia White’s
9:30am singing class
10:30am more dance class (tips, corrections, and cool moves by request)
11:30am potluck brunch (please spread out incl outside; 66 degrees and sunny!)
1:00pm dance party! (Dancing, mingling, and jamming on a lovely long afternoon with
friends old and new, til whenever folks head out for dinner—usually 5 or 6)
LOCATIONS (and be sure to see COVID precautions below):
FRIDAY AT LINDA BROOKS’, in DC betw Georgetown & US Naval Observatory. Addr/phone upon registration. See parking note.
SATURDAY AT SEEKERS CHURCH, where we’ve been for a few years—info below.
SUNDAY AT SONIA WHITE’s, off of Connecticut Ave outside Beltway. Addr/phone upon registration.
(Loretta & Tony couldn’t host this year due to construction project at their house.)
Parking at Linda's: 2 hour limit until 8:30, so arrive after 6:30. (If arriving before 6:30, you can't just move vehicle later to another place in neighborhood, because it might have been put on list before 6:30. You can stay in car until 6:30, watching carefully and moving if you see parking patrol approaching, but if you miss seeing patrol you're out of luck.)
All 3 locations are well out from central DC. Linda's at the far side of Georgetown, Seekers is at the border of DC and Takoma Park, and Sonia's is a mile or so outside the Beltway.
Getting there: Seekers is easy--see below. This year our Friday and Sunday locations are both between two Metro stops, so getting there by car is easiest. For those coming by public transportation, if you contact Jenny or the host a few days ahead of time they can probably have someone game to go pick you up when you text from the Metro station. And it’ll be easy enough to arrange a ride afterward.
SEEKERS CHURCH INFO FOR SATURDAY:
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, across Carroll St. from the Takoma Park Metro station lot (on the Red line). If you drive, you can easily park either in Metro station lot (free on weekends) or on nearby streets. The tiny lot behind church with steep narrow driveway needs to be only for staff/loading/handicapped and church people; if you need to park there for some reason please contact Jenny beforehand and tell her your vehicle model and license plate in case needed. For pickup/dropoff on this busy street where it's not safe to pull over (yes really), the best place is the Metro lot or a side street. The 7-11 that was across the street is gone--there’s a big building now. Closest groc is Safeway at Piney Branch & Georgia, and there's a CVS almost across from it on Georgia.
>>>*** 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 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 a few other people in the building while we are there, who will have their own codes: in office and church members; this time nobody renting downstairs conference room.
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 (others in building downstairs). 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—stuff left in these places will be moved. OK to leave things in the dance space if you go out for lunch/dinner—some of us will be there all day/evening.
COVID PRECAUTIONS: will be almost the same over the three locations. The general idea is: Be vaxed plus 3 boosters. (State it in registration; cards not checked.) Stay home and Zoom if you have COVID/flu/cold symptoms or feel sick or have had a recent known COVID exposure. Wear well-fitting mask such as KN-95 indoors except when eating/drinking, and for that try to spread out or go outside. Practice good hygiene including handwashing. If you come down with COVID within 10 days afterward, contact Jenny so attendees can be notified (contact tracing).
The only difference in the locations is that Friday host Linda allows guests who are not vaxed-plus-3, if they have negative rapid test the day of. (Her covid parameters for multiple occasions have also said "have not been knowingly in recent contact with anyone with COVID or have tested negative on the day of the event," which means someone with exposure can attend if they test negative, so that was previously stated here. But that was not what she actually intended--apparently a typo--so it's been removed here. Sorry to have to change a parameter, but most folks probably prefer to have anyone with COVID exposure join us on Zoom instead of in-person anyway.)
For those who want to gather to Zoom together with somewhat more stringent pandemic parameters (up-to-date with bivalent booster, vax card check, rapid test, and/or temperature check), please contact Jenny by the 23rd to be connected with others. And please register as a Zoomer.
ZOOM: We expect the whole weekend to be Zoomable, and will do our best to. There will be opportunities between scheduled things for Zoomers and those in-person to visit. Zoom links will be sent a couple days ahead to registrants and the MAND email list. MAND monthly parties have kept Zooming since starting back up with in-person a few months ago. It’s so nice to see and chat with folks from all over, sometimes halfway around the world from Hawaii to Norway!
SUGGESTED CONTRIBUTIONS (any amount is quite OK):
Fri 3/24: dance party $15
Sat 3/25: dance classes $45/day, $25/half-day
dance party $15
Sun 3/26: singing class $5
dance class $5
potluck/dance party $15
Combos: Sat dance classes & party, $60, half-day class & party $40, and total for weekend excluding singing class $95.
Part-timers, watchers/listeners, and Zoomers, pick a number which seems appropriate. 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 break even and 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 absolutely just want you to be there!
How to contribute? In-person folks please place your contribution in basket at event. Zoomers please send. Writing/sending a check? Jenny Foster, 4532 Old National Pike, Middletown, MD 21769, and it would be helpful to send an email (with MAND: SSS in subect) saying to watch for it and how much. Least preferable but OK is Paypal to Jenny's email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
In-person registration form (required): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4Dg66LJkiqmv-cHwxJf-b4NTa0-icjOXVOMw9nPxOtIkyyg/viewform?usp=sf_link Friday and Sunday hosts are limiting the number of attendees; if we hit the limit (unlikely) we’ll either expand it somewhat or try to arrange an additional location to gather and Zoom together.
Zoomer registration form (greatly appreciated/recommended): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeoIGrOBnV2ygI_LsjzzrDnwzN_954n1SWLrVg_NZiMFvXBdg/viewform?usp=sf_link
Updates if necessary during the event will go to the lists of registrants, probably not to the whole MAND email list.
Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes are by prior arrangement, in-person AND on Zoom. So if you’re thinking of attending please contact Loretta Kelley ASAP for planning; last-minute additions are probably possible too. LorettaKelley@fanitull.org; please begin Subject with MAND SSS.
INFO IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE so check back here for updates and breaking news....
CONTACT: Jenny Foster. email@example.com (please begin Subject with MAND SSS). H3O13714312 before event, then Cxxxxxxxxxx during (texting OK). Won't be there--apparently coming down with COVID, will be on Zoom.
HOPE THIS LONG AND ORGANIZED INFO ANSWERS ALL YOUR QUESTIONS…. SEE YOU AT THE SPREE!!!
(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!)