Join us for contra dancing at American Legion Post #43, 143 Church Street in Belfast! The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a Community Dance called by Chrissy Fowler and with music by the All-Comers Band. All musicians are welcome to sit in. Fun and simple dances will be taught, giving beginners the opportunity to learn new skills and offering experienced dancers a chance to brush up on their steps. The Contra Dance begins at 8:00 pm.
This month’s caller is Belfast’s own Chrissy Fowler. A founder and leading light of the Belfast Flying Shoes dance series, Chrissy spreads the joy of contra dancing also at schools, community gatherings, and private events. With wit and good cheer, Chrissy keeps things spicy enough for veteran dancers while making novices feel equally welcome. Sharing the Flying Shoes stage with Chrissy will be …
This super-talented, super-energetic young quartet is tearing through the Maine contra dance circuit, leaving a trail of happily exhausted dancers in its wake. The forecast is for powerful and sustained grooves, irresistably driving rhythms, and flashes of melodic inspiration. We can’t wait!
Sound by Eric Weest Johnson
Admission to the Community Dance is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Admission to the Contra Dance is $10 for adults, $8 for ages 13 to 20 and adult All-Comers, and $5 for children. Bring along a window fan and get $1 off. For more information: call 338-0979, or email us at email@example.com. Find us on Facebook too!
Opera House Arts (OHA) recently invited Belfast Flying Shoes (BFS) to co-sponsor a week of contra dance residencies on Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula—an exciting first for BFS!
At the core of the collaborative outreach project, dance leader Chrissy Fowler and OHA education director Joshua McCarey visited four schools: Deer Isle – Stonington Elementary School (DISES), The Bay School, Explorations Learning Center, and Brooklin Elementary School. Over five days, 190+ amazing K-8 students, educators, and community members experienced the magic of traditional New England social dance; at the end of the week, the Stonington Opera House rang with the music of Sassafras Stomp and the dance floor was full of children and adults swinging and stamping in celebration.
The project also helped connect Chrissy with Audrey Means, a music teacher at Blue Hill Consolidated School who attended a CDSS teacher training this summer and has been dancing with her students ever since.
Below is video documentation of our collaboration with OHA. (Thanks to Morgan and Tom at WABI for visiting DISES, and to Brooklin Elementary School staff for sharing via facebook.) BFS outreach programs are funded through a grant from an anonymous foundation and tax-deductible contributions from individuals.
Our monthly Community Dance is a treasure. Last month, the contra performers were especially gobsmacked by the joy emanating from the All-Comers Band and the dancers of all ages. BFS board members are on a listserv for dance organizers and a recent exchange focused on family & community dances around North America. Check out this inspiring radio interview with a father and daughter (both callers!) about the family-oriented dance series at the Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis. Seems like they’ve got the all-ages joy flowing too!
Our Lost & Found bin is overflowing with stuff–shirts, jackets, water bottles, shoes, hats, socks… Wow! Guess it’s time for our annual clearance! Everything Must Go on November 3 for cash donations to benefit local non-profit The Game Loft, whose youth programs have overlapped with BFS in the past (see blog post from Nov 2016.)
Remember, Lost & Found can be reclaimed from the BFS Lost/Found bin whenever the American Legion is open–Legion club # is 338-1202. (Check the black bin on the red/black metal cabinet in the back corner of the Legion’s dance hall.)