Cambridge, MN-Scandinavian tunes for dancing the schottische, waltz, and polka will be included in the mix when the Ole Olssons Old Time Orkester performs a concert with dancing at the Isanti County Historical Society (ICHS) on September 4, at 7 p.m. Art Bjorngjeld, Paul Wilson, Mary Abendroth, and Char Bostrom will also include music to dance the polska, snoa, mazurka, and hambo. Joining the musicians is dance teacher Elise Peters, who will intersperse basic Scandinavian dance instruction throughout the evening. The location is at the northwest section of the fairgrounds, at 33525 Flanders St. NE in Cambridge, about two miles east of town on Hwy 95.
On Thursday, September 5, Bostrom and Bjorngjeld return to the ICHS to give instrumental folk music workshops from 10 a.m. noon with a specific focus on Scandinavian dance tunes. Donations are cheerfully accepted for both the evening event and the morning classes. The intent of these activities is to support the development of a Scandinavian music and dance community and provide instruction for dancers and musicians in a fun environment. The ICHS premiers its new building as a venue for concerts with dancing through this project.
According to the 2000 Census Cambridge took first place for having the largest percentage of people with Swedish heritage in the category of cities over 5000 people. Its no surprise than that there is an interest in Scandinavian travel, Swedish festivals, and Nordic cultural events such as art shows and concerts. It is a little surprising that the notion of Scandinavian dancing takes such a modest role in region. Cambridge resident Marilyn McGriff set out to change that two years ago by bringing together musicians to form the Spirit River Scandiband, with the specific purpose to learn music for traditional dance tunes. These events will provide area residents with opportunities to listen to Scandinavian music, to learn dances, and to take music workshops specifically focused on tunes for dancing.

These activities are sponsored by the ICHS and the Spirit River Scandiband, and made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
For more information call 763-689-4229 or, see


By Kathy McCully, and Valorie Arrowsmith