Family contra dance, Winter Spiral

Dec 07, 2012
Henry Road Band

Belfast — Morning Glory Garden School invites families to an afternoon of fun, music and beauty of the season. A Family contra dance and Winter Spiral are set for Sunday, Dec. 16 beginning 3 p.m. at the Belfast Dance Studio, 109 High St.

The family contra dance will feature live music by the Henry Road Band of Whitefield, with musicians John Pranio, Jamie Oshima and Toki Oshima. This talented family band delights dancers across the state with its lively traditional tunes on fiddle, guitar, piano, bass, percussion and more.

Local Belfast dance caller Chrissy Fowler will lead the dancing. Fowler regularly calls for the Belfast Flying Shoes contra dance series and teaches traditional New England dancing in schools and at weddings, festivals and public dances. She gets everyone happily moving on the dance floor, from experienced dancers to first-timers of all ages.

Immediately following the family dance, the Morning Glory Garden School teachers will introduce the Winter Spiral, a compelling and beautiful seasonal tradition for younger children at Waldorf schools. Evergreen boughs are laid on the floor to create a spiral with a lit candle in the center; children walk into the spiral with an unlit candle and then bring forth The Light. Nothing formal is explained to the children; it is a lived experience that takes place within them at a level beyond words. Parents should note that during the Winter Spiral, long hair should be tied back and children should avoid wearing flowing sleeves or skirts. Those who wish to help with the lovely and simple craft of creating apple candleholders may arrive early at 2:30 p.m.

Harpist Phoebe McDonnell and flutist Jamie Oshima will provide musical accompaniment for the Winter Spiral. Phoebe McDonnell, a 15-year old home-schooled harpist from Bar Harbor, plays with the Odeon Chamber Orchestra in Rockport and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Multi-instrumentalist Jamie Oshima, a graduate of Ashwood Waldorf School, is in his first year at Camden Hills Regional High School, where he is active in music and drama.

Morning Glory Garden School is a home-based preschool and kindergarten program located in Swanville. Jes Anthonis founded the school in 2009 and in 2012, Toki Oshima of Whitefield joined the school as co-teacher. Both teachers also have bachelor’s degrees in art, and they bring this aesthetic of beauty to their teaching practice.

Reservations for the Family Dance and Winter Spiral are not required, but are encouraged; RSVP online via the Morning Glory Garden School page on Facebook; by calling (408) 903-3710; or Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children.

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

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