Pat McMonagle


Zwiefacher, Scandinavian Gammaldans, Family and Children's Dance

Pat McMonagle and the Banner of the Black Sheep



Marjorie Nugent and Pat McMonagle, 2009 Hurdy Gurdy Patrick "Pat" McMonagle began dancing with a German performing group at Roosevelt High School in Seattle in 1965. He began leading folkdance at the University of Washington in 1967, with two groups: People to People (International) from 1967 to 1974, and He'ari (Israeli) from 1967 to 1968. In 1969 he founded the Seattle Folkdance Festival and ran it through 1974. He was a leader in the first Northwest Folklife Festival (1972), and all but two since. Thus, he is near the top of the Folklife long serving volunteer list. Pat's regular teachers included Gordon Tracie, Atanas Kolarovski, Alice Nugent, Morley Leyton, and Sonny Newman.

Pat is married to Marjorie Nugent (daughter of Alice Nugent) and has hosted Hungarian Tanchauz events on his home floor.

His computer consulting career began with an assignment in New York from 1974 to 1975 where he taught a few dances at Columbia. He also attended clubs in Pittsburgh in 1975 at Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and at Arden in Wilmington, Delaware in 1975. He continued his career back in Seattle, wandering professionally rarely (except to British Columbia, Alaska, California, New York, Delaware, Oregon, Montana, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, anyway, but always for short terms.).

Pat McMonagle as Junction City volunteer with students, August 2013 Pat's past folkdance teaching efforts include being an international dance teacher at Mountaineers, Seattle from 1986 to 1988 and 1992 to 1995, Everett from 1996 to 1998, Tacoma from 2001 to 2004 and occasionally still in Kirkland, Washington.

Pat re-released Gordon Tracie's "Skandia" LPs on CD in 1997. At the New England Folk Festival Pat was Zwiefacher teacher in 2009 and 2011, hambo teacher in 2018, and miscellaneous teacher for other years. Pat taught Bourrées at the Over the Water Hurdy-Gurdy Festival from 2002 to 2010. (Pat is no French dance expert, his skill was teaching the dances in less time than it takes an unplayed Hurdy-Gurdy to go of tune in a warm humid dance hall.) He also choreographed that awful Grasshopper Humppa or "Heinäsirkka, Heinäsirkka, tanssi tääällä humppaa."

Currently, Pat is the leader of folkdances at the Swedish Club in Seattle. He is a member of the Skandia Folkdance Society, teacher at the Junction City, Oregon Scandinavian Festival, and Community Leader at the Northwest Folklife Festival (Polka and Zwiefacher). He is welcomed at the local Greek restaurant, especially when the patrons assume the music is just for listening. He gets people dancing immediately. He maintains a personal index of folkdance music, started on punch cards in 1967. It holds 59,000 database entries as of February 2019.

Pat has taught Zwiefacher online throughout the Corona virus epidemic. Details of the class in "The Zwiefacher Paper Partner," a free download at"

This Zwiefacher on YouTube was filmed in Pat and Marjorie's house:

His favorite question, "Why don't dogs dance?"
His favorite answer, "Because dogs have two left feet."

Pat generally prefers the Scandinavian Gammaldans, Zwiefache, and the Bourrée plus a basic 1970s international repertoire.