Dance club offers free workshops

Learn everything from Highland to swing dancing as Red Deer’s Country Pride Dance Club celebrates its 25th anniversary with free community workshops this month.

Learn everything from Highland to swing dancing as Red Deer’s Country Pride Dance Club celebrates its 25th anniversary with free community workshops this month.

More than 15 local dance groups will be involved in the club’s Celebration of Dance, as part of Alberta Culture Days activities.

The Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 special event at the Cenovus Centre in Red Deer College’s Four Centres building will feature all kinds of workshops — beyond just the Country and Western dance styles the club is known for.

Adults and children can learn the basics of tap, jazz, hip-hop, square- and belly-dancing, salsa, ballet, various ballroom styles — as well as cheer-leading and ethnic dancing, such as Ukrainian and Scandinavian. Corey Barron, one of the event’s promoters, noted his club invited all Red Deer dance studios, and most are taking part.

Red Deer’s Country Pride Dance Club was started in 1991 by four couples who wanted a chance to have fun and meet other dancers. By 1993, Barron said, it was one of Alberta’ fastest growing clubs, with 300 members and chapters in Ponoka, Rocky Mountain House and Stettler.

A few of the club’s annual Red Hot Dance Festivals drew 1,500 people, he added.

When interest in country dancing began tapering off, president, Rob Ironside, reintroduced a Country Pride dance team in 2010 that performs at various events — including Canada Day at Bower Ponds. The club also holds regular family dances and now has about 100 members.

The free workshops will begin from 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by a dance stage show will start at 8 p.m. and offer audience participation.

A social dance will be held from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are $10 at the door.

On Oct. 1, dance workshops will start at 10 a.m. “It’s all pretty much free,” said Barron — except for swing dance workshops offered by Western Swing champions Myles and Tessa Monroe, of Vancouver, on Saturday and Sunday. (Please see www.countrypridedanceclub.ca. for scheduling, registration and ticket information).

A dancing competition in the two-step and west coast swing styles will be held Saturday at noon. Barron said a $5 per person, per dance charge will apply. Information about a 6 p.m. Saturday night dinner dance and entertainment program is available from the club’s website.

On Oct. 2, workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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