Maine-based trio Riptide will play the next Belfast Flying Shoes Friday, Nov. 6, at American Legion Post No. 43, 143 Church St. Chrissy Fowler will call.

The evening will begin 6:30 p.m. with a community dance led by Fowler with music by the All-Comers Band; all musicians are welcome to sit in. Fun and simple dances will be taught, giving beginners the opportunity to learn new skills and offering experienced dancers a chance to brush up on their steps. The contra dance will run from 8 to about 11 p.m.

For anyone who has not noticed, this is a golden age of contra dance bands. The current generation of New England dance musicians are gifted enough to captivate concert hall audiences, yet they bring the same musicianship, tradition-rootedness and contemporary zing to small-town dances like the Flying Shoes.

Riptide is a perfect case in point. Featuring local favorites, Riptide serves up the Franco-Celtic-American repertoire with a combination of sweetness and energy that is eminently listenable  … but really must be danced to. The band features Alden Robinson on fiddle; Glen Loper on mandolin, tenor banjo and foot percussion (also handling sound); and Owen Marshall on guitar and harmonium.

Fowler is a founder and leading light of the Belfast Flying Shoes, spreading the joy of contra dancing at schools, community gatherings and private events. With wit and good cheer, Fowler keeps things spicy enough for veteran dancers while making novices feel equally welcome.

Admission for the community dance is $2 for adults and $1 for children. For the contra dance, the price is $10 for those older than 20; $7 age 13 to 20, as well as adult All-Comers; and $4 for children. Those who bring along a window fan get $1 off. For more information, call 338-0979; email; or visit and the series Facebook page.

Belfast Flying Shoes is an affiliate of the Country Dance & Song Society and an official destination in the CDSS Passport to Joy program; dancers should bring their CDSS passports to the dance for a Flying Shoes stamp.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or