Rays of Sunshine – December 2023

We’re thinking a lot about human connection these days, as an example of goodness in the world.

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At the recent First Friday Dance Series, such bonds were obvious.

  • Parents danced with their children (from babies to teens)
  • Hands and hearts reached out with encouraging smiles… and with belly laughs when things went a little rogue
  • A longtime dancer linked the current celebration with its past traditions, urging us to highlight how fun it is to wear one of the silly hats for the BFS Birthday Party
  • Folks commented on the colored flags honoring each of the 37 musicians who played in the All Comers Band for the first time during the past year

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Virtual linkages are compelling too.

We love to hear when folks are jazzed about BFS programs, and in November, travelers from North Carolina shared how much they appreciate the weekly Flying Shoes Radio Hour on WBFY. They love hearing contra dance music over the airwaves and connecting with BFS from afar!  (The Radio Hour also gets kudos from neighbors, dancers, musicians, and other WBFY deejays.)

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We value partnerships with other organizations, such Bagaduce Music.

Check out the full palette of Scandinavian music, dance & song programs coming up this weekend with Swedish “folk-appella” group, Kongero

Click poster for info

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Some folks “connect the dots” between BFS and things they encounter in their daily lives.

To wit, 5 different people sent us this article! (What’s more, their various identities represent a full spectrum of BFS involvement: committee member, musician, dancer, board member, teaching artist, donor, volunteer, program partner, mentor, and supporter.  Talk about affinity!)

Check out Why Don’t We Dance More? (from the New York Times)  or follow this link to a PDF.

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BFS programs are part of the continuum, as the past flows through the present into the future.

Related to this circle of life is the news we received about two longtime dancers:

Percy Norton would like the Eastern Maine contra dance community to know that Kim Morris passed on November 8 with complications of an infection in her blood. Kim was well known in wildlife management circles, by virtue of her position as Maine’s moose biologist up until she retired in 2007 with MS. Dancing and listening to the music were central to Kim’s and Percy’s lifestyle and enjoyment of life.

Percy and Kim were a pleasure to see on the dance floor, whether at the Blue Hill Town Hall, the Orono dance, or beyond. The couple had awe-inspiring skill and grace as dancers, but also had zesty energy, a wicked sense of humor, and a directness that was delightful (both on and off the dance floor.) In the larger world, Kim’s prominence as a woman biologist in Maine helped break the glass ceiling in that field. We who knew Kim can be grateful to have shared joyful times with her; she was a true gem. Email [email protected] for Percy’s mailing address if you wish to send a card.
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And speaking of couples, Cindy Larock & Don Cunningham met at a contra dance. After being in a relationship for more than two decades, they got married just moments before the December dances! And the wedding couple and their two attendants stayed for the First Friday festivities. Cindy (a pillar of the Maine folk scene) called a Quebecois dance, Don played in the All Comers Band alongside his son-in-law (who played for dancing for the first time ever!), and all four of them waltzed while the All Comers Band played Amelia. Congratulations, Cindy & Don! We wish you deep joy.