Thompson Valley Stars

Perhaps motivated by a desire to change the sedentary lives that many British Columbians lead, the provincial government has issued a Proclamation of Square and Round Dance Awareness Week, September 15 to 21. It was welcomed by the non-profit Kamloops Square Dancers  square and round dance club.

Publicity volunteer, Karen Olsen of Brocklehurst,  enthused “today’s style of square dancing is a great experience for people, benefitting their physical, mental and social health.” She
identified that the music is very modern and there are no complicated steps—you simply have to walk.

The Proclamation opened with the words “Whereas square and round dancing are relaxing and enjoyable forms of exercise that improve the physical and mental health of young and old alike,” and concluded “we do by these presents proclaim and declare (Awareness Week).”

Kamloops dancer Sarah Schmidt said “this type of dance is good for all ages—the music is so uplifting and the dancers are so friendly that they make me feel very comfortable—on top of that, I made new friends.” She explained “When I was a new square dancer—I took the two free lessons and I was hooked—I’m very pleased.”

Bob and Marilyn Puff, of Westsyde, recall their initial steps on the dance floor: “when we first started,” Marilyn said, “we found the moves rather challenging but, thanks to ‘angels’ (dance
assistants) and the patient caller, we learned them – they were very forgiving if we made errors.” They’re finding that their reaction to the square dance calls is becoming automatic, adding “we enjoy the experience and the camaraderie very much and will continue… the more we dance, the more we enjoy it.”

Olsen adds that “not to be forgotten is that many of us also enjoy round dancing, which is choreographed ballroom dancing set to a particular piece of music.” She explains “a ‘cuer’ guides you through each sequence with no need to memorize routines—nobody leads.”

The Kamloops Square Dance club extends an invitation to the general public to discover a great experience on the square dance floor. They host an Open House and a free 2-hour dance lesson Thurs.  September 12th at Desert Gardens Community Centre, 540 Seymour Street, 7:30 to 9:30 pm. One more free Thursday dance session will follow on September 19th at the same location, 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Attend one or both dates with no obligation, no commitment. Additional sessions will follow by registration.

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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