Thursday June 29, 2017 




Time for a little Cha Cha

Fraser Valley's big swing fest

Brian Elmer,Square Dance BC/Photos Brian Elmer


Participants at a past provincial Festival danced outside for awareness.


tarting July 6, close to 400 dancers will converge on buildings at the Cloverdale Rodeo Grounds for 3 days of dancing at Festival 2017. The Festival is a biennial event of the non-profit British Columbia Square & Round Dance Federation.

It’s both for learning and for fun and they’ll be enjoying today’s style of square dancing as well as round dancing, which is choreographed ballroom steps directed by live cues. This is a “Mini-Festival” whereas larger ones incorporate other dance forms like clogging and contra dancing.

The Festival will be a living kaleidoscope to watch because, whether it’s square dancing or round dancing, the dancers all move in unison.

Moves like Jagger.

The modern form of these dance styles has evolved from more simplistic, memorized routines to interesting choreography with endless combinations.

Now you learn the moves then the caller or cuer directs you through the sequences.

The Cloverdale Recreation Centre will house the round dancing while the nearby Shannon Hall and Alice McKay building will be bouncing to square dancing with rounds interspersed at times.

The doors will be open to spectators for only $2 to attend any or all days.

Dancing is scheduled with meal breaks in select halls morning through night starting Thursday afternoon, July 6. It’s suggested that evenings from 7:30 to 10:00 are the best times when most dancers will be on the floor enjoying both square and round dancing in two of the three halls.

Those wanting to see only round dancing can do so daily from 3:45 to 4:45 at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre plus 11 to noon Saturday morning, July 8, in Shannon Hall. 14 different “programmed rounds” will be featured during those hours on each occasion. Rhythms will include two-step, waltz, cha cha, rumba, jive and tango, to name a few.

Coast region dancers perform at a closing ceremony in promotion of their Vancouver Convention the next year.

The dancers have pre-registered from all parts of B.C. and others are coming from nearby provinces and states.

Assured they’re ready, co-chair of the Festival, Wendy Krueger of Abbotsford, says confidently “our committee has done a fabulous job from promoting to programming as well as arranging hotel and RV accommodations, decorating, ceremonies and more… let the fun begin.”

Programming three days of dancing with multiple entertainers is a big task that has involved three different coordinators. A total of 43 presenters will entertain; 18 round dance cuers and 25 square dance callers of who 6 also cue rounds. Brent Mawdsley of Surrey, coordinating the square dance program, enthuses ”we’re very pleased to have so many caller/teacher/entertainers from B.C., Alberta, Washington and Idaho ready to put on a dynamite dance.”

Two regional organizations are hosting: Fraser Valley Square & Round Dance Assn. and the Vancouver & District Caller Teachers Assn. The event moves around the province and the last Festival in the Fraser Valley was held at Abbotsford in 2005. Salmon Arm will host the 2019 celebration.

For those interested, new dancer sessions are slated to begin this Fall throughout B.C. with coastal and valley lessons in the planning for Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

General information about square and round dancing can be found online at and or via e-mail here directed to or toll-free at: 1-800-335-9433.

Although created for the dance community, you’ll find details online about the Festival, including dance schedules, photos of the entertainers and a map showing the venues at:



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