Jessica Thomas is getting ready to swing into dance in 100 Mile House this spring.
The Cariboo Artist Guild member and avid swing dancer has agreed to teach a swing dance class, starting May 26, after being approached by the South Cariboo Rec Centre last month.
“I feel things opening up and I think it’s time (to do this),” Thomas said. “It was such a source of joy, fun and friendship for me I felt that if I could bring that into somebody’s life (here), that’d be really awesome.”
Classes will start at 7 p.m. and run every Thursday for six weeks at the South Cariboo Business Centre. The classes, at $75 per person, are open to everyone regardless of age or skill level. She added that participants can sign up with a partner or individually.
Thomas said she fell in love with dancing while attending the University of Victoria. She was looking for something to do and decided to give swing dancing a try, which ended up being “the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“It was just so joyful and I wanted to be part of it,” Thomas said. “I love that it’s so playful. There’s a lot of dance types where form and technique are really important but with swing dance, it’s more goofy, fun and full of personality.”
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Thomas has always found excuses to share her love of dance wherever she goes – from Vancouver to Montreal. She sees dance as a language of its own that everyone can speak and pick up easily.
One of the most important lessons she intends to teach her students is that there is no wrong way to swing dance. Instead, there are a million right ways for dancers to discover and explore, she said.
“I’m excited to meet new people who also like having fun and I’m excited to dance again because it’s been so long since I’ve danced.”
Anyone looking to sign up for the class is asked to call the rec centre at 250-395-1353 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Community programs manager Shelly Morton said there is a waitlist due to a high level of interest from the community.
Dance time in Clinton
Clinton residents are also getting ready to put a groove in their step this spring.
Melissa Painter, president of the Clinton Minor Sports Association, has brought in Ashcroft’s Krush Dance Company to run classes for Clinton youth and adults, starting May 5 at the Clinton Memorial Hall.
Classes will start in the afternoon for children, who will be introduced to a variety of different fun dance styles, while the adults can participate in a dance-fit class in the style of a “90s aerobic, high-intensity dance class” in the evening, said Krush owner Kelly Mykyt.
“I like meeting everyone where they’re at. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, I think we can all learn from each other and improve,” Mykyt said. “I love getting people on stage and getting them more confident.”
Anyone interested in signing up for a class can reach Mykyt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-391-1148.