The mission of Belfast Flying Shoes (BFS) is to bolster the spirited dance community in midcoast Maine. Our nonprofit exists because we–BFS dancers, musicians, founders, and board members–love contra dancing. We want to do it, we want to make it happen, and we want to share it with others.
We are thrilled that contra dancing has become a normal part of our local culture, and that so many people have heard of contra dancing, even if they’ve never done it themselves. BFS cultivates this culture of traditional music and dance through our monthly community and contra dances … and through a variety of outreach efforts.
Since 2008, BFS has provided partial funding for contra dance residencies in local schools. This year, thanks to generous funding from an anonymous donor, we expanded our educational outreach—and we want to celebrate! In 2016, BFS outreach funds helped support:
- Period dance workshops, set in the 18th century, for the Penobscot Expedition (the Game Loft’s Coming of Age Program)
- A weeklong residency in dancing, music, and local history on the island of Monhegan
- Multi-visit music, movement, and contra dance residencies in several Waldo County schools and preschools
Monhegan elder Sherm Stanley described dancing in his youth this way: “We had a lot of grand times. Everybody danced.” In this season of giving thanks, we are grateful for the positive energy and joy generated as “everybody danced” in the programs supported by our 2016 outreach funds.
We’re extremely excited to continue this outreach in 2017!
The BFS Board of Directors