Belfast Flying Shoes and the Belfast Free Library’s Contra Connections, a four-part series of documentaries related to contra dancing, continues Wednesday, Feb. 28, with “Paid To Eat Ice Cream: Bob McQuillen and New England Contra Dancing” (2001, USA).  The screening starts 6 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

The documentary chronicles the musical career of an icon in the contra dance community. Winner of the prestigious National Folk Heritage award and renowned for his "boom-chuck" piano style, not to mention his tattooed arms, McQuillen was known locally as a piano and accordion teacher at Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville. He wrote more that 1,500 tunes, recorded several albums and regularly used his booming voice to impart spicy commentary from the stage.

The dance documentary series will continue with “The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley” (2007, USA) March 28; and “What’s Not To Like? A Community Contra Dance” (2002, USA) May 2. Belfast Flying Shoes has donated the series’ four films, as well as three other documentaries connected to traditional New England social dancing, to Belfast Free Library's media collection.

Contra Connections is an outreach program of Belfast Flying Shoes, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the first Friday community and contra dances in Belfast. Additional support provided by the Belfast Free Library and a grant from the Maine Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. For more information, visit or email

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