East Bay Waltz is a casual social dance held each month on the second Saturday, featuring mostly waltz and cross-step waltz, with polka, swing, schottische, and latin dances thrown in to mix things up.
Every month, there is a class for beginners and a class for more experienced dancers, each running simultaneously from 7-9 p.m. Then, there's DJ'd social dancing and fun times from 9-midnight. $12 gets you the lesson and dance, or $8 for just the dance. (Cash only, please.)
Come by yourself, or with a friend, or a crowd. People of all ages are welcome. Dress in jeans and a t-shirt, or dress up all fancy-like if you've the inclination.
We dance at the Finnish Hall in Berkeley:
1970 Chestnut St (at University), Berkeley, CA.
EBW is a volunteer-run event. The DJs, teachers, board members are all volunteers.
Intro & Intermediate Lessons: both 7 - 9 p.m.
Dancing: 9 p.m. - midnight
The introductory class from 7-9 will be on rotary waltz, which is so important that it's usually just called the "waltz". No experience or partner necessary! Miranda Bridges and Alan Kline teach. This "beginner lesson" is great for anyone who doesn't yet feel confident in 3/4, even if you've taken a lesson before.
Upstairs from 7-9, there will be an intermediate class on polka and rotary waltz, for those already comfortable with rotary waltz. The first hour is polka time for waltzers, taking waltz and moving it into the oom-pah (and/or disco) zone. We'll start with the basic step, show different polka styles, and variations. (This will be great prep for next month, when EBW will be teaching the Bohemian National Polka.) The second hour brings it back to rotary waltz, with advanced variations to try. Bob Galloway teaches.
From 9-midnight, our DJ will be Alina Larson, playing waltzes, polkas, swing, hustle, tango, and more for your dancing enjoyment. Tonight's theme is the love of cinema, and television, and video games, and things on all screens great and small.
(Please remember that significantly late students to lessons can be disruptive to everyone else. We like to get everyone in, but late admission for lessons is always up to the discretion of the teacher)
East Bay Waltz takes place in the wonderful Berkeley Finnish Hall at 1970 Chestnut Street in Berkeley. The Hall is a 7 to 10 minute walk from the North Berkeley BART Station and is easily accessible by the 51 Bus.
1970 Chestnut Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
We have a wide variety of teachers and DJs from all sorts of different backgrounds.
Aarin Parker has been dancing since she can remember. With initial training in Modern & Jazz choreographed dance and Irish Step dance, she happily fell into the world of social dance in 2013 with Irish Ceili dancing and hasn’t stopped since. In December you can find her dancing on the Silk Road stage of Dickens Fair, dancing and calling the Ceili dances with the Guild of St. Patrick's.
Miranda Bridges was dragged to her first waltz just before she started high school and hasn't stopped dancing since. Her dancing repertoire has since spread to leading and following vintage dances, Irish ceili, blues, fusion, salsa, contra and anything else she has time to learn. You'll find her dancing all over the Bay Area and beyond. Ask her to dance and she'll regale you with stories about birds.
Alina Larson has been obsessed with celtic music since age 13, and was introduced to dance when she began learning Scottish Country Dance in the mid 2000's. Since then, she has branched out and explored various forms of ballroom, country, and blues dances. She enjoys collecting and sharing music that she loves with the world, both as a DJ and pennywhistler, and dancing along when she can. Alina is currently studying Cognitive Psychology in a PhD program at UC Santa Cruz, but spends many of her weekends and breaks here in the East Bay.
Alan Kline has been trying to determine if one can dance "too much" since 2007. Other dances he has DJed and/or taught at include Vintage Invasion, Dickens Fair, Queer Contra Dance Camp, Parlor Ceili and Loony Ceili, which he also co-hosted. He took the advice "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" to heart and, through his own series of dances, created the Showtune Shindig, now an EBW favorite. At EBW he has taught waltz, Irish ceili, polka, east-coast swing, west-coast swing, lead/follow switching, country two-step and more. An experienced follow and lead, he loves the social and the dance parts equally and hopes you'll join him for a dance.
Bob Galloway started social dancing in 2007, when Ms. Stuart and two other excellent people dragged him into and through a 4-Hand Reel. It wasn't long before he was waltzing, jigging, lindying, etceteraing, and recategorizing his music collection by dance type. He DJs for Vintage Invasion, Friday Night Waltz, and EBW, and dances at many of the Bay Area's fine waltz, swing, and Irish dance parties. Bob enjoys dancing with newcomers and old hands alike, as a lead or follow, so ask him to dance!
Anthony has been dancing Irish ceili and vintage ballroom dance since the mid-90s, dancing at Fezziwig's Warehouse at the Dickens Fair since 2000, and has picked up a smattering of other dance styles since then, and has been DJing since 2007. His musical tastes in dance music are pretty eclectic since nobody played waltzes when he was in high school. Teal cupcake not included.
Alice Erickson has been dancing since the night before she was born. She enjoys a wide variety of social dances, including ballroom, Irish, Scottish and Contra, and is always excited to learn new dance styles. She has taught ballet, as well as beginning waltz.
Bret Hutchinson danced his first Congress of Vienna in 1997, and has tried to absorb as many social dances as he could since then. Having explored competition and performance dancing, he has found a home in the delightful mix of vintage and modern social dance in the Bay Area, where we dance for our partners and consider any dance in which we smile at the end to be a success. He taught vintage dance in Oakland for three years and is now working to perfect his DJing skills.
Christophe Taylor picked up dancing while an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley and has been addicted ever since he first took a Tango class there. He has competed in International Syllabus Dansport, performed at PEERS and with the Can Cannibals, and is also a member of Fezziwigs, the ballroom dancing group at Dickens Fair. Now, he teaches a weekly dance class in Oakland at the Sunshine Biscuit Factory and performs regularly with the burlesque troupe - the Can Cannibals.
Kathy Lowy has been a dancer since the age of 4, when she started ballet. She taught ballet for 3 years, and is venturing into the world of teaching vintage ballroom. She began ballroom dancing with Fezziwig's 2 years ago and fell in love with it at once. You can find her out dancing most nights of the week. (Image credit: Dave Price)
MacKenzie Stuart is a teacher, dancer and DJ with a love of Irish, English, waltzing and other vintage dances. Comfortable with classes from six to sixty students, she teaches Irish weekly at the Alameda Ceili and has also enjoyed teaching beginning waltz. She performs with the Vintage Invaders as well as the Merrie Pryanksters. Look for her running out onto the floor for a hambo or calling a polka set at dance events across the Bay Area.
Sam Simmons is well versed in Balboa, Blues, Can-Can, Cha-Cha, (Lindy/Tandem) Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Cross-Step Waltz, Danse Macabre, East Coast Swing, English Country, Foxtrot, Gallop, Hambo, Hustle, Irish Ceili, Jitterbug, Jive, Lindy Hop, Maxixe, Mazurka, Merengue, Morris, Nightclub Two-Step, One-step, Polka, Redowa, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Schottische, Scottish Country, Tango, Valse, Varsovienne, Waltz (Shadow, Rotary, Viennese, Hesitation, Reverse), West Coast Swing, 20's Charleston, and probably a few others.
In addition to teaching & DJing, Sam performs with the girls of Le Cancan Bijou and The Deco Belles. In his copious spare time (sic) he can also be found rock climbing around the bay and studying aerial arts (rope/tissu/trapeze).
Todi has been teaching and dancing for a long, long time. Check out this article from her days at Yale: http://www.yale.edu/opa/arc-ybc/v27.n26/story8.html
The evening begins at 7 pm with a dance class for beginners and those who don't yet feel confident with rotary and cross-step waltz. Concurrently there's an intermediate class in one of the dance styles we practice for those who want to build up their dance skills.
At 9, our open dance party begins. During the dance, water and light refreshments are available. There is plenty of room to leave your coats and things while and seats for when you're not dancing to relax and socialize.
While songs and dances played vary by evening below is a sample set list of what you might see:
Site Header Photo - David Bedno
Description Tab Photo - Matt Rollefson
Code of conduct: EBW is a welcoming and friendly place to dance, and to learn to dance. We do not tolerate any form of sexual harassment, discrimination, or violence. In the unlikely event that such unpleasantness should happen, please contact the DJ, teacher, or person at the door, and we will gladly deal with the issue as soon as possible.