This past weekend's "Winter Assembly," sponsored by Salt Water Connections, brought together leaders from various coastal North Carolina communities. The gathering included presentations about the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, storytelling, catching and growing local foods, planning successful projects, school partnerships, and much more.
Friday, after a full day of presentations and meetings, the 80+ participants met at the Ocracoke Community Center for a home-cooked seafood dinner of shrimp, fish stew, potato salad, and corn bread. Several dozen islanders joined the gathering, in eager anticipation of the traditional Ocracoke square dance which was scheduled for 7:30.
After listening to a brief history of the dance, and an explanation of the primary figures, 20 or more couples joined hands in a circle as the band struck up a lively tune.
"Couples on the floor...and honor your partner," signaled the beginning of the dance.
"All join hands and circle left...halfway 'round, and halfway back."
In no time at all dancers were promenading, "wringing their dishrags," dancing the star, diving for the oyster & digging for the clam, winding the clock, and falling in line for the march and London Bridge.
The enthusiasm was contagious, as workshop participants, islanders, teenagers, and seniors swung their partners, joined hands, danced with abandon, smiled broadly and made eye contact as they danced the night away.
A grand time was had by all.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of windmills on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012113.htm.