It's hip to dance square

Buckaroos should be shining their shoes at the 51st year of square dancing in Dawson Creek kicks off this week.

The Mile 0 Grand Squares host the weekly square dancing event on Mondays at the Sudeten Hall in the Walter Wright Pioneer Village.

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The dancers are led in part by Bernie Smith, who acts as the caller. He gives out cues and instructions as to which steps the dancers should take during the square dance.

He has been doing it for a dozen years, since 2000, along with his wife Jean.

She said that the event has grown since then, noting that when they first began they could barely hold up a square of eight people. Now an average night is comprised of four squares of eight people, with people ranging in age from children to seniors.

The dancers boot-scoot at the Pioneer Village, which attempts to recreate times in Dawson Creek from the early pioneer days, when square dancing was more prevalent than it is now.

For Jean, the event has been such a long-standing tradition within the Dawson Creek community because it's "a good family outing.

"There's no drinking it's good clean fun," she said. "It gives people a chance to exercise and socialize."

Square dancing also offers a mental challenge, since participants have to keep track of over 50 different types of steps.

The square dancing also offers round dancing between two people rather than eight.

"It's just a different type of dance," Smith said. "People can take a break and watch the round dancers."

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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