Thompson Valley Stars

It was a beautiful sunny weekend on May 30th – June 1stfor the 28th Annual ‘Rally-in-the-Valley’ dance, presented by the Chilliwack Rhythm  Reelers Square & Round Dance Club. The theme this year was ‘A Tribute to Minter Gardens’. Minter Gardens, located at the Agassiz turn-off near  Chilliwack, was created by Brian & Faye Minter & family in the early ’80’s. After 30 years of operation, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world has recently closed its doors to the public.

‘Rally-in-the-Valley’ took place at the Atchelitz Hall in Chilliwack. The hall was decorated with beautiful large bright yellow daffodils and ceiling decorations of red, white and blue ‘carnations’. There were also several hanging baskets of Verbena & ‘Million Bells’. Dancers from all over BC, Alberta & the States were dressed in flower-themed dresses, some even adding flowers to their  attire. As a welcoming gift, each dancer was presented with a water bottle adorned with a pretty coloured flower.

The fun & laughter started Friday night at a ‘Trail-in-Dance’ with 120 dancers in attendance. Diane Tucker of Penticton, who has been dancing just over a year, was practically bouncing up and down she was so excited. She said “this is the first ‘weekend’ dance I’ve ever been to. I am having so much fun and I can’t believe all the RV’s that are parked outside the hall.” (There were 43,
compared to 33 last year).

It was especially pleasing to see a young, very pregnant lady, Danielle and her partner Peter, first year graduates from the Abbotsford Grand Squares Club. They were enthusiastic and bubbly and obviously having a great time. It was so inspiring to watch them with all their energy.

At 9 a.m. the next morning, after a continental breakfast, there was a ‘Flower Child’ (Square) Dance, where some of the dancers were truly ‘decorated’ in flowers (see photo). This was followed
by a Round Dance workshop. (Round dancing is choreographed ballroom dancing). The workshop was especially fun as the dancers learned an upbeat round dance to the song ‘Mambo No. 5’. This was instructed by the featured cuer of the weekend, Anita Adams, and assisted by her husband Dan, both of the Chilliwack Rhythm Reelers Club. To everyone’s delight, this fun filled energetic dance, which included ‘Scallops’ (a mambo move), was cued again at the evening dance.

Early afternoon presented a ‘Plus’ level workshop where standard ‘Plus’ moves were danced from various different positions. ‘Plus’ is a level of modern square dancing where dancers can enjoy  ore challenging moves which combine a few moves of mainstream dancing. ‘Teacup Chain’, ‘Spin Chain The Gears’, and ‘All 8 Spin The Top’ are just a few of these fun calls.

Murray Few (& his wife Barb), of Edmonton was the featured caller for the entire weekend. Murray began his calling careerat age 15 when he was hired to call for the Edmonton Swinging  Singles. He is also a member and current President of the Edmtn. & Dist. Callers & Instructor’s Assoc., as well being a member of the AlbertaSquare & Round Dance Instructors’ Assoc. &  Callerlab.

Around 5 p.m. a marvelous potluck dinner was next on the agenda. Salads galore, fresh fruits, and casseroles of countless varieties, were spread out on a long table in the lower level of the  Atchelitz Hall. Everyone had a chance to have a nice visit while enjoying the scrumptious food.

After dinner, and after an hour of various levels of round dancing (cha cha, rumba, waltzes, fox trot & two-step), 160 dancers gathered for the sensational Grand March & Opening Ceremonies,  some of them carrying their club banners. Then, after another stimulating fun filled 2 hours of square & round dancing, yet more entertainment was offered——- some very amusing skits, followed by homemade pie, ice-cream and coffee.

Jean & Bill Wood, webmaster for Region 9 and publishers of ‘The Well Rounded Square’ local magazine also attended the ‘Rally’ for their first time. They said they will be back next year for

Carol Bacon, one of the dozen dancers from Kamloops expressed how well organized the entire weekend was and how much she enjoyed seeing all the familiar faces once again. She went on to say “I LOVED the pot luck dinner….it was outstanding and I couldn’t believe how much food was available.”

Merv & Sandy Meyer, also of Kamloops, were asked to participate in the Sunday morning program. Merv, with 15 years of experience, calls & teaches in Kamloops & Chase for the Thompson
Valley Stars. Sandy is the cuer for Thompson Valley Stars and for Kamloops Square Dancers. She not only cued a ‘cha cha’ round dance but surprised the dancers with two yodeling singing calls, a newly found hobby that she loves.

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

The benefits of the recreation can be explored at:


Also, see the online video:

star Photo Albums


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