The Sand Dollars Square Dance Club will host its annual June Bug Jamboree June 9 to 11. Here, dancers take a turn on the floor during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Sand Dollars Square Dance Club Friday at Bradley Centre in Coombs in 2015. — File

Square dancers gear up for annual jamboree in Coombs

Club members from Island, mainland to take part in three day event

The Sand Dollars Square Dance Club is preparing to welcome more than 100 dancers to Coombs, including far less experienced dancers for the first evening of their June Bug Jamboree Weekend.

The club has held this event since 2007, though the first few years took place in Fanny Bay, said Sand Dollars club member and caller Ray Schmidt.

The event is one of the major square dances every season, and attracts dancers from clubs all across the Island, as well as the mainland, he said. About 150 people take part every year. The Coombs dance is unique because it offers Old Time Square dancing on Friday night, which allows for more people to take part.

“If you have a basic knowledge of (moves)like a dosado or arm turns and stuff like that, you could pretty well come out to this dance and dance it, because I teach you on the fly for the Friday night dance,” said Schmidt. The event also includes round dancing on Friday and Saturday, like the waltz and the two-step.

Saturday is when the more experienced square dancers do their thing.

“In modern square dancing as they call it now, there’s like 68 moves and in those 68 moves there is a whole lot more… and then the caller will put it in all kinds of combinations for you to dance,” said Schmidt. “It sounds like a lot of moves, but really it’s not,” he added. Schmidt will be one of the callers, calling out the combinations of moves for the dancers to do. It’s an activity he quite enjoys, he said, along with square dancing with his wife and cuer, Debbie Schmidt. They’ve danced all across Canada and the U.S. he said. “You meet so many people, and they are all really happy. Oh man, they are so friendly it’s unbelievable and that’s everywhere I’ve been. I’ve never met anybody unhappy about square dancing,” he said with a laugh.

The June Bug Jamboree Weekend takes place from Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11 at the Bradley Centre in Coombs.

The Friday night starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, there is a pancake breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. a crib tournament at 10 a.m., a free plus dance at 1 p.m. and a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. with dancing to follow.

Sunday morning includes another pancake breakfast and a morning to noon dance.

For more information, call Schmidt at 250-248-4900 or by email at ray_deb@telus.net.

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