Dance companies in Maine, schools where everything from tap, jazz, ballet and more steps are learned.
The joy of dancing is an extension of the music.
Feeling the groove, catching the vibe and letting loose. For kids, it sure beats sitting on the couch, eating a bowl of cheese puffs killing time on a device. Get up, start moving, being part of a dance routine with classes to advance the 5,6,7,8. Dance in Maine, there is a lot going on in that department.
Dance In Maine, What Type We Talking? All Types.
It matters not if you are located in Portland, Lewiston, Bangor or the small handful of cities or a rural community. Maine has a sparse population. Vactionland is pretty far flung in the well spaced dots on the map. In the small towns of Millinocket and Houlton, a shared dance company thrives. Check out what thirty years of dance classes has done to the program at Houlton School of Dance. Three videos of past Maine dance recital performances below.
Starting with the littlest of dancers, helped by the older more experienced ones.
The tiniest dancers not all moving as one dance group. The low to the ground, not all stepping to the same drummer beat are the cutest. Whether they are reindeer, snow flakes, blue birds, daisies, cowboys or whatever synchronized dance routine theme. They are collectively dressed as brand new dancers.. They are precious.
In the rows of seats watching the dance performance up on stage, you can not help but pick out the ones that will advance rapidly and being shedding tear with their instructor at the end of their high school dance career. Our local treasure. Tomorrow’s hope and today’s live and local entertainment. That’s what the dance groups of all ages and talent levels represent.
It makes a family atmosphere when it is all ages and the love of dance is the driving beat. Pretty darn sad to see the seniors move on but to create the space for the next group to step up and shine brightly.
Maine fine arts, dance is just one avenue, one element of the local entertainment that greatly enriches an area.
Up on stage, as you sit in the audience you recognize some of the youth from other recreational, church, school events. Hard not to know many of the local youth population in a small Maine town because some of them are relatives.
Watching our greatest asset grow tall and strong. To develop into the future population that runs the show. Dance is more than exercise and staying in shape. It is a routine, discipline, an accomplishment. In my area, the Houlton School of Dance starts in September and runs through mid May. Like other youth activities, dance and sports and music programs pretty much run year round the deeper you get immersed and advance into the various program levels.
Dance in Maine.
It’s been around a long time. My grandmother on my Dad’s side made sure all four kids took tap dancing. It was to improve balance, develop poise and help cure whatever ailed a kid pigeon toed, knock kneed or whatever the things just don’t look right condition is.
Maybe it’s too much horse riding and bowl legged like a cowboy appearance? Not sure how you fix that big space between the knees that don’t ever get close. Dance for poise and conditioning can not hurt the situation.
(At the same time, my same grandmother, an RN who pushed her kids into the dance steps, thought better yank those tonsils early. Before they cause problems later on. Not the norm now. The public consensus today is leave them be unless you absolutely have to issue an eviction notice. And open wide to say ahhhh… Come on. Out you go.)
But back to dance.
Gimme a beat. My parents before television has dance fever. Just like American Bandstand, they were dancing on a regular basis. My dad met my mom at a dance at Nickerson Lake’s Pavilion. Bob Callnan matched them up and look how that turned out. Four boys later looking back, music and dance were encouraged. Part of the household and the joy of both was exposed, not repressed.
Dancing around, and not because you are a kid needing to visit the bathroom kind. My dad played clarinet in a band to be the entertainment for the paired up dancers down in front of the stage. Rod Palmer was the band leader who later was my accountant until dying at 96. He also played in the local 100 person McGillicuddy’s Band that entertains through out the summer on Thursday nights at Monument Park in Houlton Maine.
Growing up I would hear lots of stories about all the public dances with live bands.
Everyone traveled over home into Canada, up into Aroostook county. Or venturing down into upper Penobscot and Washington and Piscataquis counties, wherever there was a band playing and people assembling to fill the dance floor. To kick up their heels, to let off some energy and laugh, socialize and for a few hours, put life on hold.
My brother Stephen played in lots of dance bands on the side.
His most memorable and best polished one was named “Bootleg”. He played piano, sang lead vocals and it was so much fun to be in the audience. He would entertain but also remind the dance and music patrons to tip your waitress well.
And Steve would also let those in attendance, who had showed up this particular night at the local bar or bottle club. In whatever snow sled or Elks Club or whatever the venue that the band realized something. The performers all knew that some in the audience tonight have been struggling with a burden or two.
Recent loss of a loved one, trouble at work, wrestling with a failed marriage or celebrating a promotion, new grand child. Good, bad or ugly, for the next few hours, park it at the door. Take a break from all that and let’s dance. Let’s listen to a latest hit, do an original, play a cover or revive an oldie goldie that brings back a flood of memories.
When is the last time you went out dancing?
Do you crank the radio or XM or Spotify at home? Did your Mom play hymns on the ivories? Was there music and dance filling your home? Everyone benefits if is was. I know I know, no one renting wants to hear Nine Inch Nails or Metallica blaring at 2 AM when the party should have ended hours ago. Those kind of loud parties with carousing causing blue lights and police scanner chatter are not the healthy kind. Do you dance like these limber folks shimmy and shake, move and groove.
Ever told you were a lousy dancer? Never do the boot scoot and boogie or electric slide because of it? Don’t listen to them. Get up, move around, let’s dance as David Bowie suggested. The kids in the dance videos above get it! So do the ones in this last dance video that have all kinds of original moves that might require the services of a chiropractor tomorrow.
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