Thompson Valley Stars

On Father’s Day weekend 2015, a very exciting event took place at a small town 50 km East of Kamloops.

Early Friday afternoon, the Chase Community Hall was just a bustling with volunteers from different dance clubs in the area. Some were up on ladders putting up strings of lights; bouquets of flowers were strategically placed, dancing silhouettes were tacked on the walls, & rainbow (the colour scheme) streamers decorated the stage and food areas. There was even a ‘Memory Arch’ in one corner of the dance hall where you could get your photo taken by photographer and dancer Barb Shellop.

Friday evening started with pre-rounds at 7:30 -8:00 followed by mainstream dancing. Friday’s dance was put on by a ‘panel’ of callers & cuers from various clubs in the area. At 10 pm when the dance ended, large colourful platters of assorted vegetables, fruits and homemade cookies were made available to deserving dancers.

In the parking area next to the hall, 32 RV’s were ‘dry camped’. The weather was cooperating at a cool 17 degrees, perfect for dancing!

Saturday morning started at 9:30 with Round dancing. Mariann Sanford, (accompanied by Norm Dobbs as her partner) did a half hour review of moves such as ‘Susie Q’, ‘Whaletail’, ‘Side-stair-8’, ‘Tamaras’, & ‘Spin Turn with a Box Finish’. The remaining time was split with Sandy Meyer, each of them cueing 40 minutes of round dances that featured these reviewed moves.

This left only 1 hour before the 2-hour Mainstream dance in the afternoon. Steve Edlund of Surrey was the featured caller for ALL the square dancing on Saturday. Steve, (and his lovely wife Lynnette who also attended the ‘Chase The Fun’ jamboree), calls for many clubs in the Lower Mainland. Two hours of ‘Plus’ square dancing followed the Mainstream dance (with Round dancing between tips), with 13 squares of dancers having a whale of a time on the floor.  There were lots of smiles, and plenty of laughter.

Most of the dancers had registered for the catered dinner which took place in the hall at 5:30 after volunteers set up tables & chairs for over 100 people. Brent Olsen, President for ‘Kamloops Square Dancers’ gave a nice ‘Grace’ before dinner and the buffet consisted of chicken, beef, vegetable medley, potatoes and rolls. Dessert of strawberries & whipped cream on cake was served to all the dancers.

Pre-rounds (by Sandy) started at 7:30, followed by mainstream dancing, with Mariann cueing round dancing between tips. This time there were 15 squares on the floor, a wonderful turnout, having a delightful time to Steve’s interesting and joke-telling entertaining calling, which ended at 10 pm. To the amazement of Steve, Sandy & Mariann, they were presented with a huge beautiful basket of fresh fruit and a certificate each, stating “This Certificate Is Awarded To so and so, “A Featured ‘caller or cuer’ at the First Annual ‘Chase The Fun’ Square & Round Dance Weekend In The Thompson-Shuswap”.  What a lovely gesture that was a total surprise.

To finish off a wonderful evening of fun, 4 varieties of Laura Peterson’s fabulous homemade pies were set out on long tables. Ice-cream topping was an option available. There was also an abundance of homemade cookies, fruit, tea and coffee. Square dancers never go hungry!

To conclude the weekend, Sunday morning started with a breakfast of pancakes, ham, sausages, bacon, strawberries & whipped cream, tea, coffee & juice, put on by the Rotary Club. To work off this delicious breakfast, dancing started once again at 9:00 until 11:30 with a panel of 6 callers & 7 cuers, with 7 squares dancing.

Jean Wood, Webmaster for the TSS & RDA was the chairperson for this wonderful event.  She tirelessly pulled together the various committees consisting of many volunteers who ALL did a wonderful job to make this event a great success, especially with the many different types of advertising that took place.

Square dancing is so much fun and so good for your health. Try it.  Dance for the Health of it!

For more information, including new dancer sessions starting in the Fall, call
250-376-5636, or email:

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