Northwest Dance Network fills several staff positions to make our various activities successful. Most of these are volunteer positions. Links are available below for contacting each person on the staff. General contact information is also available on our Contact page.
Dean Paton, Dance Manager
Dean Paton manages our bi-monthly dances. He abandoned the baseball diamond for the dance hall in 1994, and fell so hopelessly in love with waltz that he founded the Valse Café Orchestra, an ensemble committed to the art of playing music for dancers. When he teaches rotary waltz, Dean stresses mastering the core of the dance—turning left, turning right, transitioning between the two—then helps dancers use this foundation as a platform on which to build organic, graceful movement as well as a few elegant moves. Contact the Dance Manager.
Katherine Branigan, Dance Volunteer Coordinator
Katherine is a sought after dancer who enjoys most every kind of dance. She has been dancing and volunteering for Living Traditions and now with Northwest Dance. If volunteering at dances is something you are interested in, please feel free to contact her or introduce yourself at a dance. Each dance needs at least about 10 volunteers to make it a success, and there are many roles to fill. Contact the Dance Volunteer Coordinator.
Nancy Fry, Class Coordinator
Nancy Fry discovered her passion for dance in 1981 and has been dancing ever since. Over the years she has participated in a large variety of partner dances, and enjoys it all. She began teaching Lindy Hop and swing-related jazz movement classes in 1994 with Seattle’s Savoy Swing Club, for which she was a founding member. At the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships in 1999, she and her dance partner, Guy Caridi, placed in both events in which they competed.
Nancy’s joy on the dance floor is in connecting with her partner, and she believes that this connection is where the magic in partner dancing is to be found. Nancy began teaching swing and waltz with Northwest Dance in 2004, and is happy to be part of this great team. Her teaching focuses on that special connection between partners—helping her students develop the ability to communicate and move together, to lead and follow, while having fun.
Lilli Ann Carey, TA Coordinator
Lilli Ann Carey began partner dancing with Living Traditions in the 1990s and then went on to teach for them for several years before leaving to start her own company, Dance for Joy! Lilli Ann loves to dance almost anything, but focuses her teaching on waltz, West and East Coast swing, zydeco, foxtrot, one-step, blues, fusion, and a few vintage dance forms. Lilli Ann promotes dance through classes, workshops, and events through her company, Dance for Joy! and is excited to return to Northwest Dance this fall! She is known for producing larger scale events including the An Evening in Vienna Viennese Ball and also coordinates the highly successful Dancing ’til Dusk program for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Lilli Ann has taught in Vancouver BC, Juneau, Alaska, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, in the Bay area, and in Portland. Her creativity, love of the connected and playful dance, and innovation has brought her national recognition and an ongoing and excited student base. You’ll often find her teaching with her daughter Claire. Read more about our TA Program or contact our TA Coordinator.
Gayle McKool, DFA Coordinator
Gayle McKool coordinates our Dancing for the Ages outreach program, which brings social dance to elderly people living in group settings. Gayle has been an active volunteer her entire life and relishes the many volunteer opportunities our organization provides. She relocated from Texas six years ago and loves life here in the Northwest. She began her social dance experience with ‘Mrs. Smith’s Cotillion’ in junior high and after that awkward beginning didn’t partner dance for decades. She resumed partner dancing 11 years ago and has been joyfully pursuing many dance styles ever since. She particularly enjoys Cajun and zydeco, East Coast swing, waltz, two step and most recently, Carolina shag. Contact the DFA Coordinator.
Luann Ferguson, Accountant
Luann Ferguson has loved being a part of the Northwest Dance community since 2011 as a participant in dances and classes. She loves the people and spirit that she came in touch with at Seabeck Dance Camp in 2011. In 2015, she took a more active part by becoming the accountant for the organization. Accounting and dancing have been a big part of her life since she was a teenager; now she has a place to combine both talents. Luann is a CPA with her own practice and brings fresh ideas as well as experience. Her closing comment, “See you on the dance floor.” Contact the Accountant.
Don Morgan, Marketing Coordinator
Don coordinates our efforts to market our dances, classes, and other activities to our network of dancers and the larger public. His mum made him take dance lessons when he was a teenager and he’s been grateful ever since. Don has taught dance from Ballard to Belgium and was Executive Director of Northwest Dance from 2004 to 2009. His approach to dance emphasizes cooperation with and connection to his partner—as well as becoming as good as he can be and dancing as much as he can! Don loves slow waltz, zydeco, and clogging and is trying to learn Argentine tango. He also loves to encourage all ages to glide across the floor and feels that, above all, building community is what makes Northwest Dance special. Contact the Marketing Coordinator.
Office Manager, Registrar
This position is currently open.