Rays of Sunshine in May 2023

With spring in full bloom, all sorts of enlivening things are waving in the air – including our hands and our spirits!

Flying Shoes Community Dance & Contras Fri 6/2

We’ve been having a great time on first Fridays, and the June 2 dances should be really sweet! (The All Comers Band, Benjamin, Willy, Lisa & Chrissy are on tap for the Community Dance and the contras feature Hannah Chamberlain, Alden Robinson, Benjamin Foss, Bennett Konesni, & Alex Hennings.)

We’d love your help!

To volunteer for setup, greeting at either dance, or cleanup, please email [email protected] or fill out this volunteer form. (In gratitude for your advance commitment, BFS will offer you free admission to the dances!)

The First Friday team is bringing their energy to sustaining and improving the Belfast Flying Shoes Community Dance and Contra Dance. Let us know ([email protected]) if you have suggestions for ways we can make the monthly party even better for all concerned!

Other community organizers in our area are also cultivating new and familiar opportunities to dance. Here are some more dance-themed rays of sunshine!  (We tried to send this last week, but something went awry, so we’re including some **past happenings among the rays of sunshine.)

Square Dance at Simonton Corner Sun. 6/11:

Once a hub of contra dancing in the region, the Simonton Corner Community Hall in Rockport will again be full of swinging & stomping and hooting & hollering on Sunday, June 11. Caller Will Mentor is coming to Maine for a Square Dance Party, with music by Emily Jeffries and Baron Collins-Hill. Dancing from 4:00-6:00 pm followed by a potluck and jam session for those who want to stick around a bit longer.  More on the DEFFA listing or contact Emily at 205-789-7907 or [email protected]

Dancing at the Library in Searsmont Sat. 6/10:

Come on out for a *free* Community Contra Dance on the lawn near the Searsmont Town Library at 37 Main St S in Searsmont. This program is part of the STL’s “Live at the Library” series, made possible with support of Belfast Flying Shoes and a grant from the Onion Foundation. Saturday, June 10, starting at 4:00pm. Music by the All Comers Band, led by John Pranio, Toki Oshima & Benjamin Foss, with calling by Chrissy Fowler. BYO picnic to enjoy afterward. More on the STL website, the BFS calendar or DEFFA.org.

Maine Dances Galore – Contras & More!

DownEast Friends of the Folk Arts (DEFFA) is our statewide music & dance organization. Their website has lots of cool stuff – oral histories from influential dance leaders in Maine, performer directory, and scores of listings at DEFFA.org/events, including these regular dances:

  • English Country Dance at 317 Main in North Yarmouth- Every Thursday
  • English Country Dance in Brunswick – every other Wed in May, then Tuesdays for the summer
  • Belfast Flying Shoes Community Dance & Contras – 1st Fridays
  • Surry Community Dance & Contra Dance – 2nd Saturdays
  • Orono Contras – 2nd Saturdays
  • Brooks Contra Dance – 2nd Fridays (beginning 5/19, no dance in June)
  • Dover-Foxcroft Contra Dance – 2nd Fridays
  • Cherryfield Contras – now on 3rd Sat (beginning on 5/20)
  • Common Floor Contra Dance in Portland – mostly on 3rd Sundays
  • Otisfield Community Contra – 3rd Sundays
  • Kennebec Contras in Hallowell – 4th Saturdays

Well, that’s lots of sunshine to inspire you. Get out there and frolic like the lambs and kids, gamboling around to kick up your heels in joy!

**And below are the two offerings you may have missed but can catch the next time!

West African Dance & Drumming happened 5/22:

The Belfast Dance Studio & Center for Embodiment at 109 High St in Belfast is flourishing! Shana Bloomstein is now managing the studio with support from others, including studio founder, Lisa Newcomb (one of the BFS community dance callers!)  One exciting workshop happened on Monday, May 22. A full studio reveled in the community-building dance traditions of Guinea in West Africa, with beautiful teacher, singer, dancer extraordinaire, Nafi Domani Diabate and Portland-based drummer, Namory Keita, who was joined by local drummers Jeff Densmore & Jeff Wolovitz! Email Shana to find out about more opportunities at the studio!  [email protected]

New Contra Series in Brooks launched 5/19:

On Friday, May 19, another awesome Maine contra dance series kicked off, with dancing and music at the historic Union Hall (now known as the Marsh River Theater) in Brooks. John McIntire called with Alden Robinson & Benjamin Foss. Good times were had! Contact Benjamin for info about the series [email protected] or see the DEFFA listing.