YARMOUTH – Everything from jitterbugging to waltzing to old-time barn dancing is on the program this Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Wescustogo Hall.

The dance extravaganza will begin at 4 p.m. with an hourlong workshop in swing dancing. An intermediate waltz workshop will follow at 5 p.m.

Attendees are invited to bring a potluck dish to share (or a $5 contribution) for supper. The program will resume at 7 p.m. with two hours of old-fashioned New England contra dancing.

Teaching the contras, as well as an occasional square or circle dance, will be caller Chrissy Fowler, backed by the musical trio Old Grey Goose on fiddle, accordion, guitar, piano and percussion. At 9:30 p.m., there will be a half-hour swing dance party, then at 10 p.m. the band Frigate (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and percussion) will take over for more contra dancing with caller Lisa Sieverts.

Organizers are urging attendees to get into the Halloween spirit by donning (or bringing) a costume to wear for a colorful mid-evening costume parade, for which there will be prizes awarded in several categories, including Most Frightening, Most Magical, Best Historical and Most Outrageous.

No prior dance experience is necessary to participate in the event, emphasized organizer Lynn Plumb, and people may attend with or without partners. The tradition in Maine contra dancing – which has its roots in the old-time barn dances – is to socialize and mix freely, with newcomers learning as they go along.

“It’s all about having fun while listening to some terrific live music,” says Plumb. All proceeds will help support the annual DownEast Country Dance Festival, set for March 11 and 12 at the Mount Ararat Middle School in Topsham.

Admission to Saturday’s benefit event is $5 for the workshops only, $12 for just the evening contra and swing dancing, or $15 for both. The Wescustogo Hall is on Route 115 in North Yarmouth.

More information is available via the Web site www.starleft.org/decdf or through Plumb, 563-8953.


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