Blog

12th Birthday for BFS

What a joyous 12th anniversary celebration we had Dec. 1, 2017. Wow! We connected with our community, reflected on the last year of BFS dances and outreach, and whirled around the dance floor to the All-Comers Band and Dance Panther/John McIntire. Thanks for making BFS a part of your social lives!

 

Thursday Contras

Belfast Flying Shoes is sponsoring weekly dancing for all, 6 – 8:15pm, every Thursday at the Belfast Dance Studio, starting Jan 18. Reduced rate: Register for a nine-week session. Scholarships for teens. Check out the flyer, come one come all!

Cast Off: Steampacket Sails for the Belfast Flying Shoes Contra Dance Friday, January 5, 2018, with Caller Chrissy Fowler

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.

Chrissy Fowler

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 …

Glen Loper, Tamora Goltz, David Stimson (left to right)​

Steampacket

A trio of masterful Maine musicians, Steampacket generates the rhythmic energy and melodic sparkle that make contra dancing a magical journey. As they say on their webpage: “With soaring fiddle, bright mandolin, and David’s creative drop-D guitar playing, we get a rich, powerful sound that lifts the dancers and pleases listeners of all sorts.”

Tamora Goltz—fiddle
Glen Loper—mandolin & tenor banjo
David Stimson—guitar

Sound by Glen Loper

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 belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook too!

Belfast Flying Shoes Receives Grant To Boost Community Engagement In Contra Dancing

Belfast Flying Shoes has received a $3,500 grant from the ME Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to expand awareness of and engagement in traditional participatory dance and music in midcoast Maine. The organization will use the grant to fund three new outreach programs: a film series, including a focus group for local youth to share their experiences and perspectives on contra dance; a musical stage performance based on the life of famed New England contra dance caller and musician Dudley Laufman and featuring local dancers; and a rock-and-roll contra dance.

Belfast Flying Shoes Board President Lee Stover says, “A contra dance brings a room full of people aged 8 to 75 together for live music, dancing, and lots of fun for three hours. This grant will allow Belfast Flying Shoes to present programs on the history and tradition of contra dancing that also highlight its relevance in today’s world. We’re especially excited to involve local young people, both new dancers and those who’ve already made dancing an important part of their social lives.”

Founded in 2005, Belfast Flying Shoes is a nonprofit organization with the mission of bolstering the spirited dance community in midcoast Maine. In addition to its outreach programs in schools and the community, BFS produces monthly contra dances in Belfast for dancers and musicians of all ages and experience levels.

The Maine Community Foundation, through its offices in Ellsworth and Portland, works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.

Better by the Dozen! Flying Shoes Dance Series Celebrates Twelve Fantastic Years of Contra Dancing in Belfast, with Caller John McIntire and Music by Dance Panther

Friday, December 1, 2017 marks twelve joyful, grooving years of Belfast Flying Shoes dancing in Belfast! So along with the sublime music, spirited dancing, and warm community we enjoy every ​f​irst Friday, this month we’ll have an actual party, complete with edible treats, extra door prizes, and even more revelry than usual.

As always, the location is 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.

John McIntire (right)

This month’s caller is Maine-based John McIntire. John found his calling, as it were, back in the early 90s. Now he calls New England contra, square, and circle dances at venues around Maine. His crisp, steady voice and clear teaching style make every dance a pleasure for novice and expert alike. Joining John on the Flying Shoes stage will be …

Alden Robinson, Glen Loper, and Bethany Waickman (left to right)

Dance Panther

With all the great contra dance musicians roving the New England landscape, why do so many of the hottest bands include at least one of these guys? Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to balance, swing, and carry on.

Alden Robinson—fiddle
Glen Loper—mandolin & tenor banjo
Bethany Waickman
​​​—guitar & piano

Sound by Glen Loper

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, email us at belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook too!