Dance club offers healthy, fun opportunity to learn

There once was a square and round dance club right in Sicamous.

  • Oct. 30, 2013 9:00 a.m.

Sharon Boggs of Moses Lake

There once was a square and round dance club right in Sicamous.

Known as the Belles & Buoys, they were very active and even hosted a couple of the Okanagan’s annual Spring Fling dance events in the gym at Eagle River Secondary, attracting hundreds of dancers. Local restaurants and motels were busy. Semi-professional square dance callers were featured and the seasonally-themed decorations were always extraordinary.

Despite Sicamous’ loss of its dance club, square dancing has endured elsewhere, and active dance clubs can be found in most of the larger, and some of the smaller cities. Salmon Arm and Blind Bay have clubs and, just down the road, Enderby boasts its very own group. Now, the Enderby club is expanding and welcomes new and former square dancers to join in the fun.

The Enderby River Dancers open their doors at 6 p.m. for new square dancer sessions at the Seniors Centre hall, 1101 Highway 97A.

“Newcomers to today’s style of square dancing are in for a great experience,” says club president Bob Byrne of Vernon. He explained that the modernized dance form presents uplifting music ranging from pop to country, and show tunes to golden oldies. It’s casual attire and all ages, singles, families are welcome.

About the ease of learning to square dance, caller-teacher, Allan Peterson of Salmon Arm, says, “You simply have to walk to the beat of the music. There are no complicated steps.”

Peterson says his prime goal is to make the sessions lots of fun, but he also strives to make his dancers feel successful.

“Through patience, clarity of instruction and lots of review, I can help everyone master the calls,” he said.

The square dance calls come from an internationally-standardized list that’s taught in English worldwide. Peterson enthuses, “A square dancer can attend dances in countries like Japan or Germany and participate quite comfortably”

“The benefits of learning to square dance are many,” says Byrne. “For starters, we price it economically, yet you get a premium value in terms of a mild aerobic activity that also exercises the mind and brings new friends.”

The dance club equally enjoys another dance form called ‘round dancing,’ for which lessons are also offered. It is choreographed ballroom dancing including two-steps and waltzes, set to a particular piece of music, where couples take direction from a ‘cuer.’ Nobody leads and there are no routines to memorize. The dancers progress in a large circle around the dance floor to each sequence that the cuer announces over the mike. Cueing round dances is the specialty of Peterson’s wife, Laura, who is anxious that newcomers also consider round dance instruction at the same location on the same night.

The River Dancers have already planned a graduation bash for April, where not only their newly-accomplished square dancers can attend, but also newcomers from throughout the Shuswap and Okanagan.

Extending a warm welcome to the upcoming new sessions, Byrne concluded, “Coffee’s always on.”

For more information, contact Dianne Peters at 250-838-9445, or by email at


Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP seeking car involved in hit and run

Small blue car struck a young man near Okanagan Avenue and 20 Street Monday

Shuswap homing pigeon in need of new abode

Carrier pigeon wearing outdated identification band takes up residence in Yankee Flats

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Fears that speculation tax, if imposed, could kill Shuswap tourism

Regional district directors wrestle with concern of seasonal residents leaving the area

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read