Beauty & the Beats play contra dance

"Brigget Wenger and Steve Blum-Anderson of Beauty and the Beats, playing for the contra dance on Saturday. Not pictured is Mark Danielson, who plays the concertina.The Bellingham contra band Beauty and the Beats will provide the live music for contra dance at Bayview Hall on Saturday, Nov. 18. Laura Me Smith, a contra dance caller from Seattle, will teach a 7:30 p.m. workshop and then lead the evening of dancing, starting at 8. Beauty and the Beats plays an energetic style of French Canadian and New England contra dance music. Performing together for 15 years, Brigget Wenger on piano and Steve on fiddle originally formed the group. About five years ago Mark Danielson, playing a concertina style reminiscent of what would have been heard on whaling ships, joined the pair. During an evening of dancing the trio is likely to add little touches of creativity, like Mark's penny whistle or some clogging by Brigget. This is a band that loves what they do and plays for the sheer joy of the music and dancing, Blum-Anderson said.Laura Me Smith has been calling for some 20 years and is widely known in the Puget Sound area. She is particularly adept at calling for a mixed crowd, able to teach new dancers quickly and integrate them with the more experienced. Cost for this event, sponsored by South Whidbey Parks and Recreation, is $6 for adults; $3 for children, 5-12. Partners are not necessary (at recent dances there has been a shortage of males). Call 321-1950 for more information. "

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