Okanagan dancers kick up heels for spring

Okanagan dancers kick up heels for spring

PHOTOS: Spring Fling sees more than 60 converge in Vernon from as far as Okanagan Falls and Salmon Arm

Despite the snow still on the ground in parts of the North Okanagan, square and round dancers from the Okanagan and Shuswap regions were determined to welcome spring March 9 at their Spring Fling daytime dance.

Presented by an assembly of clubs under the Okanagan Square & Round Dance Association, the event attracted more than 60 dancers to the event at Knox Presbyterian in Vernon.

Association President and Chairperson, Bill Morey of Penticton, welcomed all the colourfully-clad dancers, attending from points as far south as Okanagan Falls, north to Salmon Arm and west to Kamloops.

The main dance was the Blossom Ball in the afternoon, complete with swirling overhead mobiles in the hall depicting resplendent blossoms. Free food and non-alcoholic drink throughout that event was an extra bonus for the dancers. A special dance in the morning gave participants accomplished in the more challenging “Plus Program” of square dancing a chance to strut their stuff.

See also: Vernon’s Star Country Square Dancing open for seniors

Notable were the two young entertainers in the form of Dustin McGifford of Kelowna, who did the square dance calling, and Laura Peterson of Salmon Arm who “cued” the round dancing. The round dance is a companion to the square dance and it consists of couples in a circle moving in unison counterclockwise around the hall to live, ballroom-style dance cues.

Vernon benefits from having two square dance clubs, the main one being Star Country Squares (StarCountrySquares.squaredance.bc.ca), the Rhythm Rounds round dance club (VernonRoundDanceFun.info) and a clog dance club (VernonClogDanceFun.info).

“Our Valley dance community is gearing up to hold an event in July that will be substantially larger than our Spring Fling dance,” said Brian Elmer of West Kelowna, the association’s communications and marketing volunteer.

Elmer states that the Okanagan Association has teamed up with the Thompson-Shuswap Square & Round Dance Association to host a large three-day festival/convention at Salmon Arm in July, sponsored by the B.C. Square & Round Dance Federation.

The B.C. Festival 2019 event (BCFestival2019.com), taking place at the Shaw Centre Complex July 11 to 13, will feature five dance forms, including square, round, clog, contra and line dancing.

See: Square dancing can be fun for all ages

He identifies that more than 50 entertainers are pre-registered at this point and it’s expected to draw between 500 and 1,000 dancers with over 300 already committed. Furthermore, special welcome and farewell dances are slated for the day before and day after, essentially becoming a five-day run.

“The public’s invited to come see the dance spectacle,” says Elmer, continuing enthusiastically, “and they’ll be able to sample each dance form of interest on designated dance floors.” A nominal fee for spectator admission will apply.

B.C. Festival 2019 in Salmon Arm is now appealing for volunteers from the North Okanagan and Shuswap to support the event. See details online at: BCFestival2019.com/volunteers.

Businesses and community groups are engaging in sponsorships, including an on-going silent auction. That component is explained at: BCFestival2019.com/sponsorship.

Any questions about dancing or the Festival can be directed by e-mail to: dancinglikethestars@gmail.com or toll-free: 1-800-335-9433.


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