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.
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.
Lessons: 7 - 9 p.m.
Dancing: 9 p.m. - midnight
The introductory class will be on rotary waltz, which is so important that it's usually just called the "waltz". And, since it's Irish night, we'll also cover the basics of Irish ceili dance. No experience or partner necessary! Lianna Louie and Alice Erickson teach.
The intermediate class will be on the ceili polka set (as traditionally danced, in Berkeley, as of several years ago). What's that strange dance people do in the middle of the floor when everybody else is polka-ing around the outside of the room? Find out, or learn new figures! Prerequisite: some familiarity with a turning partner dance, preferably polka. Bob Galloway teaches.
From 9-midnight will be our dance party. This month's DJ will be MacKenzie Stuart, who is awesome and will include some ceili dances among our regular variety of waltzes, polkas, tangos, and shenanigans.
Lessons: 7 - 9 p.m.
Dancing: 9 p.m. - midnight
The introductory class will be on cross-step waltz, which is a newer style of waltz danced to slower music. No experience or partner necessary!
The intermediate class will be on blues and fusion dance. Stefan Warmuth teaches.
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.
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.
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, Irish, and blues parties. Bob enjoys dancing with newcomers and old hands alike, as a lead or follow, so ask him to dance!
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.
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.
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.
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 with either a basic dance class for beginners and those new to dance, or an intermediate class for those who want to build up their dance skills.
During the dance, water and light refreshments will be available. There is a coat rack available for use and chairs available to relax and socialize.
Below is a sample set list of music and dances for an evening
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.