About Our Club…
Except for a Summer break, the Westside Youth Square Dance Club meets weekly to dance on Friday nights from October to the end of April. We gather starting at 7:15 p.m. at the Mount Boucherie Hall on Kelowna's Westside in British Columbia's Central Okanagan Valley. See a map showing the location of the Mount Boucherie Hall on this web site.
The "second edition" of our group was established on February 28, 2003. Our caller-couple is Glen and Anne Bailie of Peachland. We teach modern square dancing to pre-teens (aged 8 and over) and teens. Parents are welcome to come learn to square dance with their kids too. If enough teens express interest in the club, the Friday night dances can be extended for a teens-only portion.
Dance instruction at the club is concentrating on the 69 calls in the Mainstream program of modern square dancing. Once the dancers are proficient in that program, it is expected that instruction will extend to the Plus program. The Mainstream program, Plus program and additional programs known as Advanced and Challenge are recognized internationally and the calls are presented globally in the English language.
The initiative to establish a youth square dance club grew from student requests after instruction in modern square dancing was given at nine different elementary schools in the Central and South Okanagan. Our square dance caller-teacher, Glen Bailie, assisted by adult dancer volunteers and occasionally by some youth club dancers, has been presenting modern square dancing at the schools as a program offering of our club.
The in-class square dance instruction has taught the students social graces and the values that go along with them including courtesy, respect and tolerance. The students learn that square dancing is only successful through co-operation and teamwork. They're attracted to the recreation by the fun, the music, the challenge of the dance and the opportunity to make new friends. Teachers have appreciated how the dance instruction has improved listening skills, cognitive skills, laterality and general socialization in their students.
In British Columbia, youth square dance clubs currently operate in the cities of:
Burnaby (Wesburn Wranglers)
Delta (Delta Sundancers)
Kamloops (City Slickers)
and Prince George (Teen Twisters).
There are also youth square dance clubs for our American neighbours in the States and Washington and Oregon.
Organizers of the Westside Youth Square Dance Club are callers and dance leaders from the provincial and regional square dance communities, including the B.C. Square and Round Dance Federation, the Okanagan Square and Round Dance Association, the Okanagan Callers and Cuers Association and the Westsyde Squares. The club’s key leaders have all submitted to criminal record checks which are a requirement to volunteer and work with children in the school system.
There are many opportunities for our young dancers to participate in modern square dances outside of our weekly dances. Specifically for youth, there's a huge Christmas square dance party at Delta every year. A Burnaby youth club holds a dance marathon every year. An annual youth competition takes place in the Spring known as the Pacific Northwest Teen Square Dance Festival, attracting hundreds of dancers.
In the Okanagan Valley there is generally a Saturday “Party Night”square dance every week, October through May. In the Summer, there's square and round dancing in the park in June and July in Vernon and in July in Penticton. Close to home in Penticton, four days of dance fun takes place during the week in August beginning with B.C. Day during the Peachfest Square Dance Festival. The event features nightly dancing inside the air-conditioned Penticton Trade and Convention Centre for hundreds of dancers. Other attractions include a weekday morning casual "street dance" inside the Convention Centre, a teen square dance on the Friday afternoon, a Saturday morning parade known as the Penticton Peach Festival Parade where square dancing kids march down the street together, and a chance to get an "Aquaduck" fun badge by square dancing in the lake on Saturday afternoon.
For more information about our club, call Brian and Rosalyn at (250) 768-2694
or e-mail: Brian Click Here