Square dancers show their moves at the three-day provincial “Festival 2019” last summer in Salmon Arm. The event attracted around 500 participants. A new square dance club has now been formed in the Fraser Valley.

New square dance club offers free lessons in February

Valley Promenaders serve Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Langley

A new square dance club has been formed in the Fraser Valley and is offering free sessions throughout February.

The Valley Promenaders Square and Round Dance Club serves Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Langley, and meets Thursdays at 1 p.m. at the OAP Hall at 3015 273 St. in Aldergrove.

A free introductory period runs throughout the month, but after that, there will be a fee to attend the weekly sessions.

Caller/teacher Wendy Krueger of Abbotsford encourages newcomers to join, saying the activity is “friendship set to music.”

“You meet so many nice people of the kind you want to invite to your home or to church or to watch a movie together,” she said.

Krueger said the afternoon sessions accommodate retirees, night workers, shift workers, those on a day off or people who don’t like to drive at night.

She said they can also be an activity for home-schooled children, teaching them both dance and social skills.

There’s no pre-registration; simply drop in at the start time. Krueger recommends wearing comfortable clothing and well-fitted low-heel shoes. Singles, couples and families of all ages are welcome.

She said that there’s no fancy footwork in square dancing – just a walking step to the beat of the music.

Today’s form of the square dance is one where the instructor or “caller” teaches individual moves. Once the music starts, that caller presents the various calls in random order, resulting in an endless variety of patterns.

“Today’s style of square dancing differs greatly from the traditional form of the dance,” says Krueger.

“The stereotypical image of the barn dance is now replaced by the reality of smiling dancers having fun in modern facilities. The music is current and the attire casual.”

She said, besides the fitness element, square dancing can provide a mental workout that helps to retain and improve cognitive skills and a “high level of socialization.”

“For couples, (it’s) the chance to enjoy quality time outside the home – it’s together time, sharing an interest.”

The calls are standardized in English worldwide, creating opportunities to travel near and far.

Close to home, Surrey is hosting the Canadian National Square and Round Convention – known as “Festival 2020” – from July 29 to Aug. 1 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

For more information, visit squaredancefun.info, email wkrueger@shaw.ca or call 778-878-4244.

RELATED: Bobcat square dancing at Abbotsford’s Pacific Agriculture Show

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