Both your hosts have knee trouble, and also the dances weren't getting any bigger, so we're pausing for at least a while. Thanks to everyone who came.
We'll play fast waltzes and polkas, but we also like smooth waltzes, swing, foxtrot, tango and all the other social dances.
All sets will have a mix of tempos. We play music from the last 150 years, from Victorian brass to video game sound tracks.
|Slow Waltz||Listen to the Mocking Bird, Home Waltz|
|Castle Walk / One Step||New England Ragtime Ensemble, Castle Walk|
|Mazurka Waltz||DC Halls Concert & Quadrille band / Zingara Mazurka|
|Waltz||Talking Heads, Dream Operator|
|Foxtrot / Swing||Kay Kyser, Music, Maestro, Please|
|Latin Waltz||The Just Deserts, La Partida|
|Valse musette||Baguette Quartette, La vraie valse musette|
|Schottische||Brassworks Band, Rainbow Schottische|
|Fast Swing||Jellyroll, Hard Boiled Hep|
|Rotary Waltz||Postmodern Jukebox, Girls Just Wanna Have fun|
|Polka||Chestnut Brass, Evergreen Polka|
|Cross Step Waltz||Idan Raichel, Todos Las Palabras|
|Blues||Asleep at the Wheel/Lyle Lovett, Trouble In My Mind|
|Viennese Waltz||Soviet Army Brass, On Manchurian Hills|
|Rotary Waltz||Final Fantasy Wedding Waltz Edit|
We'll always start with a free lesson: we explain the travelling lane and have an introduction to waltz and polka for any new dancers. That will run from 7:20 to 8 PM. There might be an intermediate or advanced lesson running at the same time, or during a set break. These will practice a more advanced step, e.g. the Redowa step or 5/4 waltz.
See our Links pages for where to go for more lessons.
The only rule is non-marking shoes, no spike heels, that you can dance in. So no black rubber soles unless you know they're non-marking, and you want to be able to turn on your forefoot and stop on your heels. We will have duct tape and shoe wraps to temporarily make grippy sneakers slipperier in the forefoot.
No high or spike heels, because the venue doesn't allow them. They damage the floor. You can also hurt yourself or a partner while learning, so please save them for later and elsewhere.
Fast travelling dances are as active as a light jog, so lightweight clothes are nicer than heavy ones, but jeans and a T-shirt work fine.
You really don't; it's a social dance tradition and we all dance with each other. It's also fun with friends even if they aren't romantic friends.
That said, it's delightful with someone who is a romantic partner. The Last Waltz of the evening is traditionally extra sweet music and danced with your sweetie, if you have one.
You do put your arms around each other, but you don't squeeze each other; there's about six inches of space between you. Probably you will step on each others' feet while learning. We teach the "escape promenade" at every dance, which is walking while holding hands in a way that totally counts as dancing. This is helpful whether you're shy about the embrace or about getting your feet crossed up, or if you're out of breath, or if you want to watch everyone else dancing for a while.
It isn't like Dancing with the Stars; it's more like historical movies. We don't learn choreographed routines with lifts, but a small set of steps that can be rearranged to fit a variety of songs and partners.
Maybe not. We think we can show you enough that you can have fun on the floor with us and tell what it would be like to waltz. And if you would like it, we can recommend lessons.
Some people do pick up the basics first try!
We're two people who really enjoy some fast travelling dances like the schottische, mazurka, redowa, Viennese waltz, and of course polka. Or the ridiculous ones like the Grizzly Bear. We need a room to dance them in. We'd love to have a lot of other people to dance them with. We got addicted in the Bay Area, where there are four or five regular series of dances in this style (casual, costumed, or dressy). We keep meeting one or two enthusiasts of the fast styles at a time; if we were all in a room together it would work better! Also, bringing new dancers into the loop would be great, and Seattle has plenty of dance teachers who can teach the fast dances.
A big thank-you to the long standing organization Northwest Dance Network, which is helping us set up a new dance.
The Wise Orchid studio is at 2002 E. Union Street, Seattle. I've always found street parking within a few blocks; the #2 bus also runs directly there.
Northwest Dance, our mentor organization. They teach and hold dances all over town but especially at the Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Avenue North. Very thorough about teaching the basics, and lots of Seattle's long-term dance teachers hold classes there.
The Century Ballroom in Capitol Hill is the prettiest ballroom in town at the Oddfellows Hall, 915 E Pine. They have beginner and advanced lessons; the waltz lessons are usually in 5-week sessions on Sundays. There's also an afternoon waltz, the Waltz Cafe, in the lovely gilded ballroom, second and fourth Sundays.
In Lake City, Waltz Etc. has a dance starting with lessons every Monday night. They specialize in understated, improvisatory dancing, often with a tango base, but over the course of a year or two teach a wide range of dances.
On the west and north of Lake Union, Roll Up The Rug has weeknight lessons and weekend dances. Anything from Viennese waltz through blues improvisation, though maybe not both at once.
Dance for Joy runs the amazing Dancing til Dusk series in Seattle parks every summer, and *also* lessons and dances all over town.
For some particularly Seattle flavor, you could learn folkdancing at Skandia, many of which are the precursors or close cousins to ballroom dances -- you can often do them to ballroom music but not always with a ballroom dancer. Really carefully taught, and rhythmically interesting.