NEW ENGLAND GOAN CHRISTMAS DANCE By Tony Barros

Whether it was strictly ballroom, swing, Latino, "line" dancing or even our Goan rich "lancet" or "dekhni", some 120 people had a great "ball" at the Third New England Christmas Dance in Massachusetts.

Held at the St. James Church in Wellesley, in mid-December, the revelers danced to the sounds of the Toronto-based band - the "Moonlighters", accompanied by Louis Pereira, a popular Toronto based saxophonist.

Later in the night, as the pace quickened, a local saxophonist, Nicholas belted away some popular swing numbers with the group. Colin Franco had the grueling task of being the Master of Ceremonies.

During the break, the teenagers and young adults did their "stuff " to taped and CD music; while earlier in the night, the kids had their share of the festivities, when 17 year old Ryan Fernandes, as Santa Claus, distributed candy and gifts to them.

Food was catered by the Mother India Restaurant. But, as Goan adage goes: "No Goan party is complete without "sorpatel" So, the organizers provided the diners with the luxury of tasting this popular Goan dish, which was prepared by Mrs. Queenie Pereira.

Although, the dance was mainly attended by residents from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, there were guests from Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Canada, Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) and Kenya -- thanks to the numerous Goan web sites on the Internet.

Professor Victor D'Costa from the University of Nairobi, in Kenya, thanked the organizers for a great job and added nostalgia to the event by leading a group in singing Goan folklore songs: "mandos".