Special House Concert with The Faux Paws Monday, October 7


7:30 p.m. ‘til 9:30 p.m.

20 bucks suggested donation goes straight to the musicians

Above Heritage Seaweed at 61 India Street, Portland, Maine


With instrumentation that includes saxophone, banjo, fiddles, mandolin, foot percussion, guitar, and voices, the Faux Paws (Noah VanNorstrand, Andrew VanNorstrand, and Chris Miller) pack a vast amount of music and heart into a small package. A typical set shifts from intricately arranged compositions to completely spontaneous bursts of improvisation, but the music is always infectious, taking the audience along for a wild ride.


This concert will be at the home of Dugan Murphy and Dela Murphy above Heritage Seaweed at 61 India Street. For directions, use Google Maps. Find the door with signage about the concert. Metered parking in the area is free after 6PM.


Dance Outside Friday, September 13

Free dance for regulars and walk-ups.

Photo by Emma Hindall

Photo by Emma Hindall


This is your opportunity to spring contra dancing on your unsuspecting friends and relatives. Just walk by and join in!

This event is a collaboration with Friends of Congress Square Park. The dancing will be on Friday, September 13 from 6 'til 8 PM in Congress Square Park, located on the corner of Congress and High Streets downtown.



We have an awesome lineup of talented folks:

Katy Heine calling with Lake Effect

Lake Effect (Chuck Abell, Matt Sloboda, and Rowan Wolf) from Rochester, NY will be performing, joined by caller Katy Heine from Ithaca, NY. They'll also be performing for us for our regular Thursday-night contra dance on September 12.See you in the park!


Bob Isaacs Caller Workshop Scheduled July 27


For all the newer and more experienced contra dance callers in our local area, as well as interested folks from further afar, PICD is bringing contra calling mentor mastermind, Bob Isaacs, to town to teach us some intermediate-to-advanced skills.

Are you a caller interested in improving your skill?


Saturday, July 27, 2019


Hosted at the Event Barn at Turkey Hill Farm, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

$35 advance registration required

Limited to 12 participants

Click here for more information and to register.

The Pic'd Up Orchestra Rides Again April 25

The Pic'd Up Orchestra 12/20/18

The Pic'd Up Orchestra 12/20/18


The last open band night on December 20, 2018 was so awesome that we wanted to schedule the next one soon. The open band is everyone’s opportunity to play music for live contra dancers on stage. It’s the warmest, fuzziest thing we’ve ever done.


Next open band night: Thursday, April 25, 2019

Piano - Neil Pearlman

Fiddle - Clara Stickney

Fearless Leader - Emily Troll

Other Instruments - YOU!


In an open band, everyone is welcome!


The goal is simply to have fun together playing music for dancers. There is room for new, intermediate, and experienced musicians alike. Fearless Leader, Emily Troll, makes the group work for everybody.

Invite folks who play instruments that you don’t normally see at contra dances. Invite folks who haven’t been to a contra dance before.

Fearless Leader, Emily Troll, along with the lead rhythm player, Neil Pearlman, and lead melody player, Clara Stickney, will host a practice party about a week or so ahead of the dance. Attending this party is not required for participating in the open band on April 25, but it is recommended. 

To find out about the date and location of the practice party, email Emily at etroll@wesleyan.edu


PICD Winter Ball 12/20/18. Music by the Pic'd Up Orchestra (Emily Troll conducting, Clara Stickney lead fiddle, Neil Pearlman lead piano, and 28 volunteer musicians). Calling by Dugan Murphy.


Go Ice Skating With Us!

Ice Skating Banner

Our dance floor is being refinished on Thursday, February 21, 2019, so let’s go ice skating instead! Meet us at The Rink at Thompson’s Point (10 Thompsons Point) in Portland.

Admission is $8 for ages 6 and up ($5 for ages 5 and below), plus $3 if you got to rent skates. Drop in anytime between 7:00 and 9:00PM. The rink closes at 9.

FMI about The Rink at Thompson’s Point: www.therinkatthompsonspoint.com

Your Help Needed to Keep Joy Emanating!


To dance is to live.

To donate is to make dance possible.

Tax-deductible donations from loving folks like you make our dance community the best thing ever.

Admissions collected at the door pay the rent and the performers, but we rely on financial support from donors like you to:

  • Keep dancers secure with liability insurance

  • Spread the news with high-quality promotions

  • Adorn your shirts with those cute buttons

  • Create special things for special events

  • Maintain sound gear, air circulators, and other equipment

  • Contribute to venue repairs to protect dancer experience

  • &c. &c. &c.

We'd love to send you a letter (for your tax records) thanking you for your generosity. Everyone likes getting mail!

You can also mail a check made out to "Portland Intown Contra Dance" to PO Box 784, Portland, ME 04104. 

PICD Check

This heartfelt request comes from the PICD Board of Directors.

Can't wait for another year of revelry and connection.

The Pic'd Up Orchestra's Next Gig in December

Fearless Leader, Emily Troll, conducting The Pic'd Up Orchestra 12/14/17

Fearless Leader, Emily Troll, conducting The Pic'd Up Orchestra 12/14/17


Have you heard of or seen the open band at Portland Intown Contra Dance? Have you thought maybe that you’d like to play your instrument for dancers, but weren’t sure how to get a place on the stage?

Here’s your chance to get involved.


Open Band Night - December 20, 2018

Piano - Neil Pearlman

Fiddle - Clara Stickney

Fearless Leader - Emily Troll

Other Instruments - YOU!


In an open band, everyone is welcome!


The goal is simply to have fun playing together for dancers. If you’ve been playing fiddle for two days, come and saw away on your D string. If you’re a more experienced player, come share your music with the community. A good time is guaranteed for all. 

A great open band has a diverse array of instruments. Fearless Leader, Emily Troll, would especially love to recruit some trombone and trumpet players, so please spread the word, even to your friends who don’t dance yet. Think outside the box.

And for those folks wanting a little preparation, we will have a practice party to get ready on December 8, 10AM-12PM. 

So are you in? If so, please email Emily at etroll@wesleyan.edu for more information about the location of the rehearsal and about joining the band. 


New Words for Dance Roles

Drawing by  Angela DeCarlis

Drawing by Angela DeCarlis

On Thursday, June 14, PICD will celebrate the two-year (two years already!) anniversary of our growing, vibrant dance community with the second open band night.  We are also taking the opportunity to switch the role terms we use from "jets" and "rubies" to "larks" and "ravens."  Larks (replacing jets) start the dance on the left of their partner; ravens (replacing rubies) start on the right.

What's up with these new terms, you ask?

  • Larks = Left and Ravens = Right makes a lot of sense, especially if you're learning.

  • A lot of people say that "jets" and "rubies" have masculine and feminine connotations that incorrectly imply that the two roles are attached to gender. "Larks" and "ravens" have less connection to gender.

  • Over the last two years, pretty much all the contra dance communities around the country that use gender-free roles have switched to using these words, so now we're aligned with them.

  • Because we're aligning with all these other dances, it will be easier for callers who travel to other dance communities. (There's a lot of mechanical stuff for callers that goes into choosing role terms. These factors are summarized well in this graphic analysis by Ron Blechner from Massachusetts, if you're curious.)

Anyway, it's just dancing.  See you soon!