FOOTMAD to host old-fashioned hoedown and comfort food fest
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you're thrilled that spring has sprung, you might just want to kick up your heels at an old-fashioned hoedown to benefit the Kanawha Valley Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance, better known as FOOTMAD, a non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is to promote traditional music and dance in Charleston and the Greater Kanawha Valley.
Thanks to FOOTMAD and the Bluegrass Kitchen, you won't need to travel far to attend such an event. Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 28, at the Women's Club of Charleston, 1600 Virginia St. E., Bluegrass Kitchen is serving up a "big comfort food buffet supper," said Keeley Steele of Bluegrass. A beer and wine cash bar will be available.
"It will be a really great thing for people to come out and get out of the house and be able to bring their kids with them. This is very family friendly with a kids activities room," she added.
FOOTMAD will be selling raffle tickets at the event for a Martin D-16 guitar, to be given away on April 12, their last concert of the current season. Gift certificates will also be raffled off from Bluegrass Kitchen, Tricky Fish, and Frütcake restaurants, as well as tickets to upcoming FOOTMAD Concerts.
At 6:30 p.m., dance lessons begin. Square dancing, contras, two-steps and waltzes will be taught. Beginners and children are welcome, and partners are not required. Participants are encouraged to wear soft-soled shoes and to dress casually.
At 7 p.m., the music and dancing starts. The live, old-time country music will be provided by John Lilly and the Cheatin' Hearts with Cincinnati fiddler Buddy Griffin, John Thornton on bass, and Matt Hiser playing banjo. Lilly is an award winning songwriter. FOOTMAD's David Mould and Martha and Steve Ballman will provide gender-free calling.
Admission is $25 if purchased in advance at the Bluegrass Kitchen, 1600 Washington St., East, or $30 at the Women's Club door. Children under 13 will be admitted for $10 a ticket. Tables set up for dining include four premium tables, which are available for groups of eight people for $250, reserved in advance.
In contra dancing, a caller guides new and experienced dancers through a variety of dances. A dancer and his or her partner dance a series of moves with each other and with another couple for a short time. They then repeat the same figures with another couple, and so on. The figures are combined in different ways for each different dance. The caller teaches each dance before it is actually done to the music. This gives everyone an idea of what to expect so the movements can be easily executed.
FOOTMAD has contra dances on the second weekend of each month, alternate Saturdays or Sundays through June. Travelers are cautioned to check FOODMAD's website, www.footmad.weebly.com or to call 304-415-3668 before driving any distance to the dances.
The dances are held at the Columbia Gas Transmission Auditorium, 1700 MacCorkle Ave., SE. Suggested donation is $5 with youth under age 13 and AmeriCorps/VISTA workers admitted free.
For more information, call 304-415-3668 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Judy E. Hamilton at email@example.com or 304-348-1230.