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Dance Reports 1999 (Sweden)

Winter Folk Music Festival at Kallhäll

Jan 23, 1999

For the first time we visited the winter dance event in Kallhäll. Previously we had been discouraged by reports about poor dance space.

We had not found any program for the event, so we arrived at 6 p.m.. If we had known that Peter Carlsson, Ale Möller and Pelle Lindström had a performance there at 5, we would probably been there earlier.

When we arrived the dance had already started. The dance room was better than expected. It lies at the ground floor and is without windows and has a plastic surface. It proved to be very smooth and nice to dance at, and had enough elasticity to remove any feeling of dancing on concrete.

The ventilation was also better than expected, it was only at a few occasions that it had too low capacity. It was rather tight and crowded, but it was possible to dance all the time. There were some chairs around the walls, but many persons were also standing around the floor.

There was much gammaldans, but also some polskor.

The following musicians played:

  • Dance instruction with Hörkens
  • Järfälla Nyckelharpsgille
  • Cittrasterna
  • Edsbacka Spelmän
  • Kungsängens Spelmanslag
  • Arne Modén
  • Bas, Fiol & Drag;
  • Kollijox
  • Wallmans Polskekvartett
  • Bro Låtgille
  • Bröt
  • Lätt o Lagom
  • Wermdö Durspelare
  • One more group that played when we left at 11 p.m.

There was also some possibilities to dance at other places in the house. We danced for example a very enjoyable and inspiring waltz at the third floor.

We will for sure visit Kallhälls Spelmansstämma again!

Ten enjoyable hours and tired legs

Tired and happy... This weekend offered quite a lot of dance.

Wermdö Durspelare at Hemmesta

January 29, 1999

On Friday we choose gammaldans with Wermdö Durspelare at Hemmesta. Hemmesta is located at some distance from the central city, but is rather easily reached with bus.

Wermdö Durspelare is a very lovely group, making me wanting to dance. Unfortunately we will miss the next event with them due to a conflicting dance course. At this event we have luck and get a lift with Leffe back to town, and get then an interesting talk with him about dance back in time.

Skarphälls Spelmanslag at Alvik

January 30, 1999

On Saturday there are several dance events to choose among. We have at least three dances we would like to visit, but our choice is Örjansringen and Skarphälls Spelmanslag.

It is always nice to go to Örjansringen, and we are happy to meet Skarphälls Spelmän again, it was a year or two since the last time. They play many types of folk music, e.g. Upplandspolskor, beautiful waltzes and also some tango and foxtrot. We remember for example Linnea played as foxtrot, which was a very nice experience.

In the pause it is traditionally dancing games and folklore, this time also the Västgötapolska worked well.


January 31, 1999

On Sunday the muscles are stiff after the dance. But Mälarsalen begins their dance already at 5 p.m. The tired legs suddenly wake up when Sigtuna Spelmän tell us how much they like to come to Mälarsalen and play. After the pause they ask for and get some extra time to play more.

Ludgo-Pelle with Gamla Polare (old friends) play the mixed dance. The low pace modern dance at this stage suits the mind and the legs. I must admire Ludgo-Pelle, still going strong.

In total there was 10 hours of intensive dancing this weekend, and then is coffee- and other short pauses not counted.

Fortunately there is a work to go to, giving a chance to recover the tired legs!

Gnesta Folk Music Festival

Feb 6, 1999

Encouraged by the previous success with the dance event in Kallhäll, we decided to try one more of the for us unknown dance events - the winter dance event in Gnesta. We had during the previous years felt discouraged by the long travel from Stockholm.

We travelled with the local train to Gnesta, where we easily got help to find the dance. Elektron is situated just over five minutes walk from the railway station, along the road that runs parallel to the railway beyond the station when travelling from Stockholm, to the left of the road.

The dancing room is approximately square, with some tables at the entrance, a low stage opposite, and a café with tables along the left side about one metre above the dance floor. The dance floor is parquet-laid and is excellent for dance.

We arrived at half past six, and then the dance had already started. It was rather many dancers that we had not seen before, and also some youth people.

We missed Nyköpings Spelmanslag, and when we began to dance it was dance hand in hand in a long row with Ingvar Andersson. He then played hamburgska and slängpolska for the rest of his half hour.

The rest of the evening contained about as much gammaldans as polskor. Among polskor, hamburgska and slängpolska were most common, but also some polskor from Dalarna were played. Hambopolkett (gubbstöt) was rarely played. We do not remember the names of all the musicians, but remember for example a guy who played clarinet very nicely. Leif-Billyz, that we know from previously, had also an appreciated performance.

The train left at 10.45 and took us without problems back to Stockholm. We enjoyed the evening and hope to come back the next year.

Hallunda Tuesday Dance

Feb 9, 1999

When we this evening visited the dance in Hallunda, we were tempered by a memory of Dingtunas playing nice modern dance music.

The dance was well visited, and our memory was correct. Dingtunas use saxophone and sometimes trombone. Several partners I danced with told me spontaneously that the liked this orchestra.

Before pause they played two modern and one gammaldans, after pause three modern and one gammaldans. Because of the varied music it was quite nice. For example the last melody before pause was wiener waltz, and after pause they played one tango and one modern waltz. A sign of our pleasure was that we stayed to the end of the dance.

Hallunda Folk Music Festival

Feb 13, 1999

When we arrived just before 6 p,m., it was a little more quiet compared with previous years. Both visitors and musicians seemed to be fewer. At the main dance floor it was as usually gammaldans, at the smaller dance floor it was polskor. We did only dance at the main hall. We visited the smaller room twice, but the dances that then were played felt less enjoyable to dance than the gammaldans.

Despite that it was less visitors it was plenty of nice dancing, of course with Ellika but also with acquaintances e.g. from Alvik, with local visitors and with a casual acquaintance from Skeppis. Slagsta Spelmanslag played twice, very nicely. The dance ended at 10.45 p.m. with family waltz and family schottishe. On the train home I felt I was very tired in my legs.

Swing at Nalen

Feb 14, 1999

We had reached level one of the proceeding course in jitterbug, and thought it was definitively time to practice the dance. We had noticed that Nalen had started with dances on Sundays, which seemed to be a golden opportunity.

My legs were still tired after the preceeding dance, and when there was five minutes break before we left for the dance, I did almost fall asleep.

We planned to join the instruction at 5 o'clock, to get warmed up before the dance.

At Nalen there was plenty of people, and the hall was full of dancers eager to learn. The instruction gave a feeling for the rhythm, and a simple variant was also taught within one hour. And we were warmed up, but more by the environment than by own produced energy.

When the dance started it was really crowded and tight, which at least made us not feel exposed. The music was very good, which made us wishing for more space for the dance. The floor had better glide than at the previous visits.

At this time we were also warmed from inside. The orchestra played one hour at a time, with a pause in between. The music contained many old famous melodies, like Frank Sinatra etc.. In the pause there was more space to dance. The music in the pause contained for example some Glenn Miller music.

The dance I liked best was when a speedy rock melody was played, although we then danced jive. There was also some samba and cha cha cha. After a couple of hours there was more space, but at that time the music did also change. My legs felt at this stage like belonging to Pinocchio - stiff, but with knees that swayed in all directions.

When we left after the third pause and summed up the evening, we agreed on three things: The music was very good, we used what we had learned from the dance, and we failed to end the dances in a neat way. At the long ritardandos at the end of the melodies it was mostly either a couple of annoying steps after the music stopped, or the other way around.

March 26 - March 28, 1999

It is now again time to report from some of the dances we attend. The last weekend contained much gammaldans and polskor.


March 26, 1999

On Friday we choose once again to take the bus to Hemmesta Bygdegård, where Wermdö Durspelare were playing. It was more visitors than at our previous dances there. The orchestra had now a microphone for announcing their melodies, although it was even more difficult to hear the contents when it was used.

Stockholms Spelmanslag 10 years jubilee

March 27, 1999

On Saturday we visited the 10 years' jubilee with Stockholms Spelmanslag at the Music Museum. It was well attended, and there were also some attendees that seemed to have used the 'under 25 years' free tickets. The evening was very nice. As usually when Stockholms spelmanslag is playing, mainly polskor were played.


March 28, 1999

On Sunday Mälarsalen had a dance with gammaldans and mixed dance. Slagsta Gille played gammaldans, and Jonnys played mixed modern and gammaldans music. It was beautiful weather and it was also the first day of the summertime. It was very few visitors when the dance opened at 5. More dancers did however arrive, and it took not long until it was rather much people there.

The evening was fun, but without any chance to rest. It seems to be almost impossible to drink enough water, which caused us to leave just before the end.

This weekend we were once again exhausted when walking home after the dance.

April 9 - April 10, 1999

Westlings at Jakobsbergs GDV

April 9, 1999

After my 'traditional' Eastern cool, we could not resist from participating in the dance with Westlings and Jakobsbergs GDV at Aspnässkolan.

The trip to the event was not without friction, but once we arrived we enjoyed the evening and stayed of course to the end. Westlings dance music is something that has to be experienced.

The dance was well attended and nice, although I had to keep in mind to keep a low profile after my cool.

Boda Spelmanslag at Bagarmossen

April 10, 1999

On Saturday there were two dances to choose among, Mixdur in Hemmesta and Boda Spelmanslag in Bagarmossen. We choose after considerable frustration Boda Spelmanslag.

This dance was also well attended, a little crowded though. The floor there was new, and a little resistant in the beginning. At the end of the dance it was however marvellous. As with the previous dance, I had to keep calm as I was not fully recovered after my cool. It was a nice atmosphere, and the dance ended on overtime with "Långdans from Sollerön".

June 15 - June 21, 1999

Mats Bergmans at Galejan (Skansen)

June 15, 1999

This was the first time for a very long time that the dance at Skansen started before midsummer.

The weather was very nice, and so was the dance floor when Mats Bergmans played to dance. The dance was very well attended.

The "mixture" for the evening was modern, modern, modern - and two dances with gammaldans before and after the pause.

Hemmesta Bygdegård

June 16, 1999

On Wednesday we visited the outdoors dance at Hemmesta Bygdegård with Wermdö Durspelare. The weather was once again excellent, and with some help from dance wax the outdoors dance floor was good. We caught the direct bus back to the town, and did thus miss the end of the dance.

Bollnästorget (Skansen)

June 17, 1999

On Thursday Ludgo-Pelle and Gamla Polare played gammaldans at Bollnästorget. The excellent weather remained, but the dance floor was a little rough in the beginning. After some polishing with the soles by us dancers it was however improved.

The dance music was traditional, with a brisk style that was common some decades ago. I admire Ludgo-Pelle for his incredible staying power. Despite all the years his tone and his tempo is still very accurate, and he has not lost his inspiration. It is no doubt that the group enjoyed every minute they played this evening, and that they played gammaldans.

Night watch at Skansen

June 21, 1999

On Monday it was the last summer solstice this millennium. Skansen celebrated this event with an extensive programme, lasting the night through.

Goodtimers opened with music from the 50's at Galejan, and they did it excellent. It was a lot of visitors, and those (like me) enjoying dance with movement could get problems finding space.

This first part of the dance ended all too soon, at 11 p.m. At midnight however, the dance was resumed with "logdans" in the barn, and with dance instructions of polska at Bollnästorget. In the barn it was tight with space. When we started our retreat at 2 a.m. the activity at Bollnästorget, the barn and the outdoors dance floor was still going strong.

June 30 and July 1, 1999

Streaplers at Galejan (Skansen)

June 30, 1999

Before the pause Streaplers played traditional modern dance. The orchestra then promised that the best part of the evening still was to come, something we by then did not understand the full meaning of.

After the pause we understood better. By then a concert with dance opened, with many hits created by Streaplers during the last decades. When all musicians had made their entrance, we counted 13 persons at the stage. The show was very good, with a stirring sound. Mixed with all the hits, they had also a medley with evergreens. This concert made the evening and the dance.

Lill-Stickans at Bollnästorget

July 1, 1999

As Ludgo-Pelle had done previously, Lill-Stickans showed that they were very happy to bee there playing gammaldans, and spread the joy they felt to us that were dancing.

The evening was very enjoyable.


Apr 4, 1999

Björn Ståbi, Bengan and Gunnel had a release concert with dance at Nybrokajen 11. The event occurred at the same time as Stockholms spelmanslag had a dance in the Music Museum nearby. The audience was mostly new to us, with younger people compared to most other dances we visit.

The concert was very nice. With these musicians playing, that is probably needless to say.

After a small pause there was dance at the café. It is not much space for dance there, despite this it was some dancing, mainly polskor.


Sep 11, 1999

Wermdö Durspelare visited Örjansringen in september. Outside it was still summer, a summer that this year seemed willing to stay for ever.

Conny - one of the musicians - told us that the last time he visited Alvik, that was as a member of Ransäterspöjkera, around 1985.

The dance floor was excellent, and Wermdö Durspelare plays very nice gammaldans. As always at the events with Örjansringen, the evening contained a lot of dance and was very nice.

Neon Folk Music Festival

Sep 24, 1999

RFoD arranged a folk music festival - Neon - at the Stockholm Cultural house.

The following musicians and groups participated:

In the lecture hall (with dance floor):

  • Eter
  • Väsen
  • Sanna Kurki-Sounio
  • Fire Feler
  • Rotvälta
  • Norrlåtar

In the café (with dance floor):

  • Puma Hedlund
  • Jeanette Jansson
  • Curt Tallroth/Olov Johansson
  • Öyonn Groven Myhren
  • Ellika Frisell

The audience was similar as at the Nåra event (see above), and was rather numerous. As it was a dance event at the same time at Skeppis, probably some of the polska dancers were there. The music was mostly modern folk music, which seems to appeal to a youth audience. Ellika and I find in many cases the more traditional folk music at least as inspiring for dance purposes. At this event our impression was that it was mainly the traditional music that enticed the public to dance. It is not possible to give a complete description of the evening, as there was dance on several floors at the same time.

We danced mostly to Puma, Fire Feler, Ellika Frisell and Norrlåtar. The other musicians we did only listen and dance to occasionally, basically because we are not that used to Norwegian dances. Puma and Ellika Frisell are very nice musicians. Our highlight for the evening occurred at the last event for the evening, but it was without any doubt worth waiting for it. Norrlåtar had a very much acclaimed concert with dance. The audience showed loudly that they would prefer to hear more when the dance ended at 1 a.m.

Boda Spelmanslag at Sollentuna Library

Oct 2, 1999

This day in October was still very mild. A dance event was announced in Sollentuna, with dance in the evening at the Amorina room in the Sollentuna Library. It was the first time we visited this place. The north exit from the local railway station took us straight to the event.

The room has an odd shape, and can be described as a hexagon that has been squashed so it has become oblong. Along one of the sides the stage is located, while the opposite side is a control booth (for film showing?). At the side of this booth there is platform, with a ramp on one side. The floor was acceptable, however a little stiff.

Boda Spelmanslag plays wonderful dance music. We are not alone to think so, the room become soon full, crowded and hot. The ventilation was not dimensioned for all these dancers, and the limited space made the dancing difficult.

During the pause another group played gammaldans. It was then slightly more space. After the pause it was also a little more space to dance. Boda Spelmanslag plays bodapolskor better than anyone else, nicely varied with other dances. When we walked back to the railway station it was nice to be cooled by the mild October breeze.

Nalen, DansFolk99

Oct 16, 1999

We joined the event when Leif-Billyz started playing, at 8 pm. In the entrance we faced a swarm of people, probably many of them had attended the previous items of the programme. The dance floor in the big hall was used for dance only. This was the first time at our visits to Nalen when not parts of the floor was used for serving and tables.

Despite this, it was fairly crowded during the dance. The public was mixed, with both old acquaintances and unknown persons, and also youth dancers. The dance contained mainly gammaldans, with some polskor included.

There was also dance shows and some instructed joint dances, as a greeting dance, engelska danced to a more modern music style, and Landskronakadrilj.

I liked the dance a lot, and not least that it was a great number of dancers with different backgrounds.

I did however afterwards get a few comments from others that were not that enthusiastic - possibly because the dance sometimes was a little messy, caused by the crush.

Hallunda Folkets Hus

Oct 18, 1999

Occasionally we visit the dance on Tuesdays in Hallunda. This Tuesday we went to there because Slagsta Gille would also play.

The dance was well attended, but the usual mixture of 2g/1m before the pause, and 3g/1m after, was now replaced with only modern dance music. Probably this was because Slagsta Gille plays gammaldans only.

The gammaldans was played during two half hours.

When only modern dance music is played, I sometimes feel it is too little variation . However this opinion seemed not to be shared among all dancers.

As we could finish the evening with gammaldans, the overall feeling was however that it had been a nice evening.

Folk Music Festival in Nacka

Nov 13, 1999

For the fourth time we visited the yearly dance event at Nacka Forum. It was more difficult to choose which event to join this time, because Söderringen had a dance jubilee at the same time at Bagarmossens FH.

It was plenty of space on the dance floor, as has been the case at this event for the previous years.

The floor was very well prepared. Klintetten opened the dance. They played a very nice mixture of gammaldans and polskor. They played for one hour, and my feeling was that was too short.

In the middle of evening it was half an hour with joint dances, e.g. engelska and finish family schottishe. The latter was in my opinion played with too high pace.

Among other musicians, Arne Modén, Monika Söderberg and Svartlösa Spelmän can be mentioned. It is not often we have the chance to dance to Svartlösa, every time we have done so it has been highly appreciated.

It was a nice evening, with nice dance floor, enough with space and good dance music.


Dec 30, 1999

Örjansringen arranged traditionally a dance event the day before the New Year's Eve, with Leif-Billyz playing. The group sometimes call themselves 'the only gammaldans orchestra in Sweden', something that probably many other groups and dancers do not agree with. They have however the skills to play many types of music, which they showed by sometimes mix with some nice polskor.

The physical exercise of the dance was apparent. Possibly there could have been a few more men at the dance, because besides a quick 'fika' at the beginning of the dancing games I danced all dances but one.

Also the family waltz and family schottishe at the end of the dancing games (two rings) were more demanding than usual. The evening contained many nice dances with varying partners.

Among the dances worth remembering was a rather slow schottishe, where Ellika and I for the first and probably only time had success dancing all variants we learned during the most advanced standard Lindy course organized by Swedish Swing Society, in one go without any interrupts or mistakes.