The Belfast Flying Shoes Contra Dance begins another year of First Friday dances Jan. 5; everyone is invited to join in at American Legion Post No. 43, 143 Church St.

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a Community Dance called by Chrissy 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.

Belfast’s own Fowler also will call the contra dance proper, which begins at 8 p.m. A founder and leading light of the Belfast Flying Shoes dance series, Fowler also spreads the joy of contra dancing at schools, community gatherings and private events. With wit and good cheer, she keeps things spicy enough for veteran dancers while making novices feel equally welcome.

Sharing the Flying Shoes stage with Fowler will be Steampacket. A trio of masterful Maine musicians, Steampacket generates the rhythmic energy and melodic sparkle that make contra dancing a magical journey. The trio features Tamora Goltz on fiddle, Glen Loper on mandolin and tenor banjo; and David Stimson on guitar.

Loper also will handle sound. Admission to the Community Dance is $2 for adults, $1 for children. Admission to the contra dance is $10; $8 for youth age 13 to 20 and adult All-Comers; and $5 for children. Those who bring along a window fan get a dollar off. For more information, call 338-0979; email; or visit and the Facebook page.

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