Rays of Sunshine February 12

Starting this weekend, enjoy a host of community-building options from folks throughout the participatory dance and music diaspora. Here are some gems that arrived in our inbox in recent days:

BFS is a Country Dance & Song Society affiliate, and many BFS folks are individual CDSS members. They’re offering an online gathering, with host Abby Ladin and a talented staff of musicians and dance leaders. Sunday 2/14 join three youth workshops led by Martha Owen, Sue Hulsether, and Ellie Grace. Workshop content will be geared toward specific age groups (see workshop details), but all household members/friends are welcome to participate. Sliding scale registration.

Flurry ’21 – Feb 12-14

Many BFS folks dance and/or perform at the epic annual Flurry festival in Saratoga Springs NY. This weekend, they’re “Dancing in the Cloud” but they are just as epic as ever. Their schedule is mind-blowing in its variety and its playfulness. Tech tutorials, games, dance and music sessions with renowned artists from all genres and cultures, and more.  Truly something for everyone. Some ticket price levels give you six months of access to the archives, which you might need!

Image of bears playing instruments and dancing "in the cloud"

Mainewoods – Feb 13

BFS folks also attend and/or are on staff at Mainewoods, the annual summer camp that’s dedicated to preserving and promoting international folk dance and cultures from around the world. They won’t be dancing at their usual Saco River site (among other things, it’s too cold in February!) but they’ve put together a “day at camp“, with dancing, music, culture corner, singing, socializing and food (BYO!) No charge for the day, but donations support featured guests.

Step Afrika! and Portland Ovations – Feb 12 – 21 with special LIVE event Feb 13

Portland Ovations is all about inspiring a curious and imaginative community where the experience of the performing arts is a vital part of everyday life, and they’re presenting “Five Days with Step Afrika!”, five on demand viewable episodes of a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. The participatory nature addresses the challenges so many of us are facing–whether as virtual learners, virtual workers, or both. Yeah!

Free on Zoom – Saturday Feb 13 at 10:00am. LIVE virtual step dance class. During this FREE and LIVE session with Step Afrika!, discover what stepping is, learn some of the basics of a step routine, and ask the dancers a few questions. Great for all ages, and geared toward kids.


Virtual (Winter) Maine Fiddle Camp – Feb 19-20

Countless BFS folks attend and/or are on staff at MFC each summer. The cast and crew at Fiddle Camp have organized another weekend of workshops, concerts, special surprise guests and more! Virtual MFC replicates the offerings of “real” Maine Fiddle Camp in a pandemic-friendly virtual format. Check out their YouTube channel for  promo videos, including silly ones of fiddlers in the snow, and get into the spirit of it all.