Thompson Valley Stars

There were grass-skirted men performing traditional native dances, flower-crowned ladies beating out Polynesian rhythms with sticks, tropical foods featuring fresh fruits and visual surroundings that tricked the eye into believing this was Polynesia. In actual fact, it was a square and round dance  weekend not to be missed by Merv and Sandy Meyer of Kamloops.

The Meyers even travelled to the Williams Lake event,  called the “Polynesian Paradise Mainstream Jamboree,” with other dancers in a big passenger van that originated in the Central Okanagan. Merv Meyer said: “It was likened to how the early Polynesians, ancestors of today’s Hawaiians, explored the high seas in large, double-hulled voyaging canoes.” Meyer enjoyed the tropical spirit of his fellow dancer-voyagers, all wearing leis and some sporting straw hats.

The Dance Jamboree is a long-running annual event in Williams Lake and it always has a theme. The Meyers have been before. A total of five dance occasions, May 24 to 26, starting Friday night and closing Sunday morning, kept the dancers hopping. A hot roast beef dinner was served up on the Saturday night in a school gymnasium temporarily re-named the “Outrigger Cafe.” Over 80 dancers attended from throughout B.C.’s north, central and southern interior and some came from as far away as Victoria.

Sandy Meyer beamed “we did our best to represent the Kamloops area and to fit the theme of the dance, from Hawaiian-style clothing to leis, flower wrist bracelets and Hibiscus flower hair clips.” She continued “it was amazing how extensively the theme permeated the weekend, from the fabulous decorations to the entertainment and the great square and round dancing, much of it to
Hawaiian-style music.”

Not only did the Meyers dance but they also led some of the dancing. Merv is a square dance caller and Sandy is a round dance cuer. Round dancing is choreographed ballroom that is “cued” as it
progresses. The main program at the event featured a 21 year old square dance caller from the Okanagan who kept things fun and entertaining.

Of the square dance activity, Merv Meyer enthused “you can’t beat it–you get a moderate physical workout, move to modern music, have loads of fun and there are many opportunities to travel to
enjoyable dances.” After participating in most all the dancing at the five events, when their voyage ended back in Kamloops the Meyers were ready to climb into their hammocks for a well-deserved rest.

For more information, including new dancer sessions starting in the Fall, call 250-376-5636, or email: meyerdance@telus.net.

The benefits of the recreation can be explored at:

http://www.thompsonvalleystars.squaredance.bc.ca.html

or: www.TakeMeDancing.squaredance.bc.ca

Also, see the online video: www.DancingKeepsYouYoung.ca

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