South Cariboo couples swing the night away

Joe Vallee and his wife Brenda Vallee swing dance together after mastering the basics at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Joe Vallee and his wife Brenda Vallee swing dance together after mastering the basics at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Joe Vallee and his wife Brenda swing dance together after mastering the basics at a class at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Joe Vallee and his wife Brenda swing dance together after mastering the basics at a class at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Joe Vallee swings his partner Kathryn Ross as they learn the basics of swing dancing last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Joe Vallee swings his partner Kathryn Ross as they learn the basics of swing dancing last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jessica Thomas uses Kathryn Ross to demonstrate how to ‘throw’ your partner while swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jessica Thomas uses Kathryn Ross to demonstrate how to ‘throw’ your partner while swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Travis Hockersmith dances with Kari Stevenson at a swing dance class held at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Travis Hockersmith dances with Kari Stevenson at a swing dance class held at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Travis Hockersmith laughs with Kari Stevenson at a swing dance class held at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Travis Hockersmith laughs with Kari Stevenson at a swing dance class held at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kathryn Ross and Sean Ross are new to the South Cariboo and chose to get to know the community through attended a swing dancing class. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kathryn Ross and Sean Ross are new to the South Cariboo and chose to get to know the community through attended a swing dancing class. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maria Hockersmith and Travis Hockersmith share a laugh as they learn the basic footwork of swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maria Hockersmith and Travis Hockersmith share a laugh as they learn the basic footwork of swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Sean Ross practices throwing his wife Kathryn Ross while swing dancing at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Sean Ross practices throwing his wife Kathryn Ross while swing dancing at the South Cariboo Business Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maria Hockersmith and Travis Hockersmith share a laugh as they learn the basic footwork of swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maria Hockersmith and Travis Hockersmith share a laugh as they learn the basic footwork of swing dancing. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Step, step, rock step. Step, step, rock step.

That is the foundation upon which swing dance is built. It echoed out at the South Cariboo Business Centre last week as Jessica Thomas introduced her students to the upbeat form of bodily expression.

The classes, run by the South Cariboo Rec Centre, saw several couples attend including Travis Hockersmith and his wife Maria.

“We just wanted to do something different and have a good time,” Hockersmith said. “We’ve never swing danced before but I found it fun. Learning something outside of your comfort zone is always challenging and fun.”

Throughout his first class, Hockersmith frequently broke into laughter whenever he or his partner missed a step. He said it took him a while to realize that, even though he was leading, he didn’t need to manage both his and his partner’s footwork at the same time. Still, he’s confident with practice he’ll get it and remarked “whether I’m screwing it up or not, it’s still a good time.”

Kathryn Ross, meanwhile, used the class as both a fun night out with her husband Sean and as a chance to get to know the community. The couple moved to 100 Mile House from Langley in early May and wanted to meet some new friends.

She admitted ruefully that taking the class seemed like a great idea when they signed up but seemed like a terrible idea just before they went. Much like the Hockersmiths, neither Ross nor Sean had tried swing dancing before. Ross said that by the end of the class, however, she was back to thinking it was a great idea.

“It was fun. Lots of laughs, at myself, but it was good,” Ross said. “It was very relaxing and lighthearted, I heard a lot of people laughing at themselves.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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