The second weekend of March this year brings not only the annual Portland Megaband Dance but also the first ever Cascade Promenade – a grand concatenation of contra dancing stretching from Seattle to Eugene and spanning 4 days. The event begins on Thursday March 11th, with the annual Lake City (Seattle) Contra Marathon: 3 straight hours of dancing; no walkthrough’s, no breaks, non-stop music, 17 callers! On Friday, the regular Emerald City Contra Dance will be held in Seattle and, this weekend only, the regular contra dances in Olympia and Eugene (normally held on Saturday) will take place on Friday as well. Saturday March 13th is of course the day of the Megaband Dance [see article on page one] but dancers driving down from Seattle will want to stop in Olympia for the Waltz Workshop & Contra Dance being held there from 10-3 PM.Get plenty of sleep Saturday night after the Megaband dance because you will want to be well rested for the culmination of this amazing weekend: a ten-hour, no holds- barred, out and out, take no prisoners (you get the idea!) contra dance extravaganza featuring 8 bands and 8 callers, all of whom hail from the Pacific Northwest. It’s the Portland Roadhouse Dance and it will be held at the Milwaukie Community Club (10666 SE 42nd Ave, Milwaukie), a lovely grange-style hall with a hardwood floor ballroom and a large basement where dancers can hang out, talk, eat and jam all day long. The event starts at 11 AM and goes until 9 PM. Admission is only $12 and dancers will be able to come and go as they please during the day.

Music will be provided by some of your favorite bands: Common Ground, Hands4, Joyride, RetroSpectacles, The Nettles, Three-Fingered Jack, Wild Hair and Zollo; Sue Baker, Mary Devlin, Gordy Euler, Woody Lane, Sherry Nevins, Marlin Prowell, Mike Richardson and William Watson will call. It’s a veritable Who’s Who of homegrown contra talent!

Want to help? The Roadhouse committee is comprised of dancers & musicians from Bellingham to Roseburg and is presenting this event in cooperation with PCDC. Many volunteers are needed both to house out-of-town dancers and to help clean up after the dance. If you can host an out-of-town dancer, contact Greg Jackson at: gregj at northjetty.com. If you would like to help with the Roadhouse dance, contact Marcia Karnesky. For more information about Cascade Promenade and the Portland Roadhouse Dance go to: http://www.cascadepromenade.org. To connect with dancers who are planning on attending some of the Cascade Promenade events, check out Cascade Promenade on Facebook.


Initially published in Footnotes, newsletter of the Portland Country Dance Community, Jan/Feb 2010 & used with permission.