FILE - Circle Chase Rounds Dance Club is offering dance lessons starting in January at Northside Community Centre YMCA. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

FILE - Circle Chase Rounds Dance Club is offering dance lessons starting in January at Northside Community Centre YMCA. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

Cued choreographed ballroom dancing comes to Red Deer

Circle Chase Rounds Dance Club hosts dance lessons

Circle Chase Rounds Dance Club arrived in Red Deer last fall, but it’s not the type of dancing the name implies.

Instructor Cliff Dunn said cued choreographed ballroom dancing has nothing to do with Indigenous round dancing or square dancing from which it originated years ago.

“Because ballroom dance is done in a circle, it was called round dancing,” said Dunn, of Lacombe.

“It’s had various names over the years. Round dancing is its traditional name. I like to call it cued social dance.”

He said dance partners do the usual ballroom dances — fox trot, cha-cha, rhumba, two-step — but the dances are choreographed and a cuer announces the steps every few seconds to pop or country music.

“It’s cue and do. They’re coming at you thick and fast.”

After dancers learn the steps, they just follow the cues so they don’t have to memorize dance sequences.

“We all do the same thing at the same time. Well, that’s the plan,” he chuckled. “Most people get it.”

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He said cued dancing is actually more informal and relaxed than regular ballroom dance. Dancers don’t dress up, and special shoes are not required.

“We ask people to come in something comfortable.”

Dunn said he hadn’t danced much before taking up cued dancing with his wife Jane McKee and enjoyed the challenge of mastering something new.

“I just get enjoyment out of it. You spend three hours dancing and the time flies. You’re in the moment. Can’t be worrying about tomorrow.”

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Club treasurer Irene Mykytyshyn said the club danced in Innisfail for several years before moving to Red Deer where most members lived.

“One thing I really like about round dancing is the bond you form with the group of people you’re dancing with. We just have lots of fun doing it and we’re constantly learning new moves to keep it interesting,” Mykytyshyn said.

She said 18 people attended the club’s dance lessons held last fall at the Northside Community Centre YMCA.

“It’s coming along. Probably in January we should get a few more people out,” she said about the lessons that will include the ballroom two-step.

The club will hold another session of dance lessons starting Jan. 20 for 14 weeks. Pre-registration required.

For more information visit Circle Chase Rounds Dance Club on Facebook.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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