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Who we are

The Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver, BC, Canada, is a group of energetic dancers and musicians, going strong since 1971. Though many of us are not Scandinavian, we're dedicated to the preservation, enjoyment and performance of ethnic dances and music of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. 

What we offer

We offer Beginner lessons (incl. waltz, hambo, schottis) Intermediate lessons followed by request dancing Workshops, social and special events Monthly dances with live music Opportunity to join our performance dance group

You may join our Weekly Dancing

Dance with us each Wednesday evening, September thru April, at the Scandinavian Community Centre in Burnaby. From 7:30 until 8:45, we run a beginner class and an intermediate class. After a short coffee/tea break, the classes come together for request dancing for another hour.

The 2nd Wednesday of every month is a "Live Music" night at a different location (check the Upcoming Events page for the actual location). 

Couples and singles are welcome - no experience necessary! Scandinavian background not necessary. Visitors and musicians are welcome too! Members dance for free at these weekly sessions, for a yearly membership fee of $100. Drop-in fee for non-members is $10.00/$15 with a friend. Dress is casual; shoes are non-street shoes with non-rubber soles and low heels, and we ask that you not use perfume.

Here is a page with links to videos of dances we have been doing recently in our Intermediate classes: Dance repertory links

Our weekly page has a
detailed schedule of the teaching planned for the Fall 2019 term.

Beginners classes

Each term we run an 8-session course on basic Scandinavian couple dance steps including schottis, waltz, hambo, polka, etc.  Teaching runs Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:45 at the Scandinavian Community Centre.  Cost is $60 per person and includes club membership for the term, or if you want, you can pay $100 for the full year's membership and get the class for free. Also included is our video of basic dances. Couples and singles are welcome. Classes begin mid-September and mid-January. Check the Upcoming Events page for the next start date.

This document on Scandinavian Couple Dance Basics tells a bit more about the dancing and the teaching. 

For registration, contact by email: Judith Anderson or by phone: (604) 526-4722.


Beginners Teaching Video

A beginner video is available showing the dances featured in the basics dance class demonstrated by members of the club. Each tune begins with voice over cues for the man and for the woman, followed by the tunes played  three times through - plenty of music to practice to. Tracks 14 and 15 are additional music but not dance demonstration. Have a look at the jacket to see what dances are included.

The price is $25 CAD plus shipping (generally $10-$15). Contact by email: Raul Segas or by phone: 604 327-2187 to discuss purchasing a copy of this video.  

Mixer Dance Video

Mixer dances are great icebreakers that get everyone up on the floor and help novices and newcomers to feel part of the group. We have made a DVD featuring 32 mixers from all the Nordic countries, demonstrated by members of the club. Have a look at the jacket to see what dances are included. The package now includes two audio CDs with the tunes played long enough for dancing.

The price is $40 CAD plus shipping (generally $10-$15). Contact by email: Raul Segas or by phone: 604 327-2187 to discuss purchasing a copy of this video.

Intermediate program

What we call our "intermediate program" is our main weekly dance session, open to everyone of all levels. 

We have a consortium - Janet Gabites, Soren Huber and Ross Schipper - programming the session before the break, which generally consists of a review, a new turning dance and a set dance, taught by a variety of teachers. Here is a page with links to videos of dances we have been doing recently: Dance repertory links. That's followed by coffee at 8:45 and then request dancing until around 10:00. 

Club members are encouraged to try their hand at teaching dances that they learned at workshops. We usually have videos available to use as a refresher, and there's an excellent Tips for Teachers guide for teachers and teacher wannabes (see below).

Check the Upcoming Events for 2nd Wednesday "Live Music" nights, featuring our local musicians and potluck snacks.

There being no other logical place to put this, here is a Polska Cheatsheet, with descriptions of the steps for various polska dances.  

Tips for Teachers

Tips for Teachers notes from the workshop given by Deborah Jones are available as a pdf document.

Performance group

Our performance group is not currently accepting performance requests. The objective of the group was to demonstrate the kind of dancing we do weekly, rather than to put on flashy performances. Our Performances page has a few photos and links to video performances.

Tee Shirts

Tee shirt designs are available for you to have applied to your own shirt. The file location for the designs and for the page showing the designs and filenames is in this Design Instructions document.

For more information, contact:

By email: Judith Anderson or by phone: (604) 526-4722
By email: Ib Nielsen or by phone: (604) 596-3967
By email: Wendy Cutler

Directors of the club are:

Pia Christensen, Acting President
Pia Christensen, Vice President
Riitta Huttunen, Treasurer
Wendy Cutler, Secretary
Janet Gabites, director at large
Inge Rasmussen, director at large
Sigrid Felland, director at large
Monika Hayden, director at large
Paul Broste, director at large
Ross Schipper, director at large 

A bit of history

You can read a short document about our history from 1970-1990, written by Ib Nielsen, one of the founding members. Here are some historical notes, from Ib Nielsen, which was compiled for some anniversary.


1971 to 1972 - Leif Svensson
1972 to ? - Tage Pedersen
1974 to 1988 - Laine Ruus, who moved to Toronto in 1988
In 1988, the group decided to have various instructors from the group on Wednesday nights. The Wednesday evening organization and teaching co-ordination has been done by:
1988 to 1995 - Bob Redlich
1995 to 2005 - Deborah Jones
2005 to 2018 - Pia Christensen
2018 to present - Janet Gabites, Soren Huber and Ross Schipper

Performance group leaders

1988 to 1999?- Rikke Rytter
1999? to 2013 - Janet Gabites
2013 to present - Pia Christensen

Past presidents

1972 to ? - Anna Eriksson Segas
1982? to 1985 - David Mallek
1985 to 1986 - Linda Burrough
1986 to 1987 - Prunella Barlow
1987 to 1991 - Bob Redlich
1991 to 1993 - Lise Shearer
1993 to 1995 - Colin Young
1995 to 2000 - Bob Redlich
2001 to 2006 - Judith Anderson
2007 to 2016 - Ron Stubbings
2017 to 2020 - Paul Broste
2020 to present - Judith Anderson

Young people's group

Bob and Lauretta Redlich and Linda Burrough started a young people's group in September, 1988. The group had up to 25 members at the high point in 1991. After that, three couples married within the group, some moved to Prince George, Calgary and Toronto. By 1994, the remaining people joined the main group.


This page was last modified on January 26, 2023.

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