Thompson Valley Stars

November 11, 2019
Editorial submitted by Gloria Mertens
A Rejuvenating Experience
I want to take this opportunity to thank a very special couple for the patience and support they
extend towards my husband and me on our journey to health and wellness, as well as to plug
their passion and dedication to square dancing.
I retired from teaching a year ago having no masterplan for my newfound freedom and time,
although I maintained a commitment to lifelong learning. It was with some trepidation mixed
with excitement that I convinced my husband to register for six weeks of square dance
lessons, an activity about which we both knew nothing. At times, it was trying as he
accompanied me begrudgingly, claiming it was my ‘thing’ and not his. After our lessons ended
and his attitude didn’t seem to ameliorate, with exasperation, I retorted that I would free him of
any obligation he felt to drive me, but to my surprise he responded that he liked square
dancing and wanted to continue. Since then, I have heard few words of discontentment and
we have now put many kilometres on the odometer to attend dances throughout BC, Alberta
and Washington in order to gain more expertise.
It was thanks to Sandy and Merv Meyer’s teaching style that we persevered. Sandy and Merv
call and cue in Kamloops at Desert Gardens Senior Centre and at their home studio for the
Thompson Valley Stars, the square dance club we joined last October. For over a dozen years
together, they have spearheaded keeping square dancing alive in the Kamloops area by
offering lessons to interested new dancers like us or to those coming back into the fold after a
period of absence. They always greet members with a smile and ‘yellow rock’, a warm
welcoming hug that many square dancers eventually appropriate. They are able to connect
personally with every club member and keep fastidious records, including surveys that help
them determine the most effective ways to promote square dancing. Sandy and Merv have
been recognized for their outstanding service to the square dance community and we are so
fortunate that we are members of their club.
We knew nothing about square dancing when we first started and only realized its benefits as
we grew to embrace it. Square dancing compels participants to think, to move, to socialize.
Both couples and singles can participate and there is no longer any mandated dress code.
Sandy and Merv’s music selections are modern and upbeat. If you are looking for an
experience that rejuvenates, where you make new friends, feel great and have a lot of fun, I
strongly recommend that you give square dancing a go.
Another set of new dancer lessons will be starting up on January 9, 2020. Call 250-376-5636,
or email Sandy and Merv Meyer at

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