Round dancers on the floor at the Penticton Drop-In Centre at a May, 2017 mini-reunion event for the Penticton Squares square and round dance club. Submitted photo

Unique dance style introduced at open house

Free open house round dancing session in Penticton

There’s a rather unique and perhaps little known dance style being introduced in Penticton.

Regine Anderson is helping people alleviate their concerns about having two left feet at a free open house at the Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre to introduce round-dancing.

“The concern about two left feet is really about feeling self-conscious upon making mistakes in front of others and possibly looking silly. That’s easily resolved by the fact that round dance instruction is slow and easy with lots of review and everyone learns at the same time,” she said.

In the round dance, nobody leads and all the couples move together to modern music in a counter-clockwise direction. They do ballroom steps under the guidance of a person at the microphone known as a cuer. Those cues are given for the man’s perspective and the lady simply dances the opposite. Anders on said some men might call it a “no-brainer.”

The two hour introduction to round dancing during the 1 to 3 p.m. open house on Sept. 24 will present the steps that match rhythms such as two-step and waltz.

“I always try to keep the sessions fun and easy” said Anderson. “And, we retain the very social atmosphere that’s a trademark of the dance form.”

Anderson said she began teaching round dancing with her partner in 1986. In 1995, upon her partner’s passing, she started learning to cue round dances in order to continue the commitment to entertain at two valley round dance clubs. Now, with lots of experience behind her, she cues the round dancing for a West Kelowna club, the Penticton Squares square and round dance club and her own club, the R &R Rounders.

Singles are welcome and, for couples, Anderson points out that round dancing can provide “precious together-time outside the home in which partners can have a common interest and enjoy equally.”

Comfortable, soft-soled shoes are recommended and comfortable dressy-casual attire in which you can easily move. Much later, the traditional, full dance wear is an option for those interested.

Following the open house, Sunday sessions will continue for newcomers from 3 to 4:30 p.m. starting Oct. 1. The open house and the subsequent weekly sessions take place at the Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre, 2965 South Main St. After the free open house, the weekly fee is an economical $6 per session at the door with a discount for registering for 11 sessions.

There’s a long list of special dance events at which Anderson has cued the round dancing. Those include U.S. and Canadian National Conventions and state and provincial festivals. She was on the program at the three-day festival 2017 in Surrey this past July that attracted over 400 dancers.

A provincial web page largely about square dancing also presents details on the round dance open house. Go to www.SquareDanceFun.info, select the “I’m sold on the fun” box, then locate and click on Penticton, then round dance.

For more information, contact Anderson at 250-493-4248 or email reanderson@shaw.ca.

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