May 2024 – Candidates for the June 2024 PCDC Board Election


By Kathy Story, PCDC Board President

The election of new Portland Country Dance Community board members will take place around June 1st. David Macemon (PCDC Board member at large) and Sara Munz (English Country Dance Committee rep) have reached their term limits and will be retiring from the board. Thanks to David and Sara for six years of dedicated service to our dance and music community!

Here is an introduction to the new and renewing candidates that PCDC members will vote for electronically in the upcoming election. Don’t forget to vote around June 1st!

Ash Goren 

Member at large

I was introduced to contra dancing at Quaker gatherings, but it wasn’t until moving to Portland a decade ago that I found dance community and truly fell in love with it. It brings me so much joy to be part of a community that is so friendly and welcoming, and I’m passionate about continuing to work to make it an even better experience for newcomers. I also enjoy doing some of the behind-the-scenes tech projects to support our community. 

(p.s. We’re looking for folks to help out on a tech working group—is that you? Talk to me!)

Bill Tomczak 

ECD Representative

I went to my first international folk dance (IFD) in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1979. In short order, I was dancing eight times a week—IFD, Scottish (including the RSCDS demo team), contra, English, Morris, and sword. Then I began playing music regularly for dances.

I formed the first band in the Boston area to play weekly for the Folk Arts Center of New England’s IFD dances. For many years, I was in the band BLT, which appeared regularly at local dances and around the country. BLT was the band of choice for Richard Powers and the annual Cincinnati Vintage Week, where we played society music from the 19th century up through early ragtime balls. During this time, I was also playing for weekly Scottish and Morris classes, and was even (briefly) the team musician for an all-women’s rapper sword team! I also played with the Sophia Bilides Greek Folk Music Ensemble for several years and for small band versions of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. And for many years, I regularly played for several different CDSS camps at Pinewood as well as camps all over the U.S., Denmark, England, and Czechoslovakia.

I was deeply involved with the Folk Arts Center of New England, where I helped organize many concerts and events centered around folk dance and music. During this period, I created the Dance Musicians’ Development Fund for the education of local dance musicians; The Boston Swing Dance Network, a weekly dance featuring live music and food; and Caravanserai, a weekly folk dance coffeehouse featuring different local bands for everything from West African dance to Swedish couples dance, and lots in between. When I moved to the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts (Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield), I started a monthly swing dance at the Greenfield grange, as well as a monthly contra dance. Around this time, I and others co-founded Friends of the Grange to support the activities at the Grange. I eventually retired from all this, other than to continue playing with The Latter Day Lizards.

After moving to Portland in 2012, I started playing local dances with Campaign For Reel Time (C4RT) and Fine Companions. Since joining Megaband and agreeing to serve on the ECD committee and ECD music subcommittee, I have been volunteering more of my time to promoting the health and vitality of the Portland dance and music scene.

Lindsey Grayzel 

Member at large

I learned to contra dance when I was a college student in Maine in the early ‘90s. After college, family and professional obligations kept me from dancing for many years, but I found my way back to contra dance in 2013 and have been twirling enthusiastically ever since. I’ve explored a number of different partner dance styles in the last decade, but I keep returning to contra dance. There is no other place I’ve found where the pure joy of dance is simply contagious. I value the welcoming, inclusive vibe and the diversity of age and life experiences that make up our community. I have served on the contra committee in the past, and most recently as an at large board member. My work on the board is motivated by a desire to help shape policies that are inclusive, build musical and dance skills, and strengthen the resilience of our community. 

Rick Kimball

Raindance Representative

I became a member of PCDC in 1996, when I found contra dancing through Scandinavian dance lessons. PCDC was a vibrant and welcoming community in 1996 and has remained so for the past 28 years. I hope to contribute to our community’s vibrant and welcoming environment by continuing with my current work as PCDC Board Treasurer and with the policy work I engage in with the PCDC Board. Thank you for your support.

Victor Fiore 

Hillsboro Contra Representative

I started contra dancing during my first year of college. A friend of mine didn’t have a car at the time and needed a ride to the dance. He seemed somewhat surprised that I continued attending, even when he no longer needed me as a chauffeur. That was back in 2004, in Pennsylvania, at the Lehigh Valley Contra Dance. Since then, contra dancing has been an important part of my life. I’ve attended dance festivals all over the country and have made many long-lasting friendships both hither and yon. I enjoy both dancing and playing music. I am a fiddle player and currently play in the contra dance band Coriolis.