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VIDEO: Old-time dancers return to Aldergrove Heritage Hall

Club resumes regular Saturday event after lengthy pandemic shutdown

When Tilda Bourget spotted Lloyd Longeway watching the dance from the foyer of the Aldergrove Heritage Hall, she approached him and smiled.

“Are you just going to stand there, or dance?,” Bourget asked.

Longeway smiled back, and took her hand.

He had come all the way from South Burnaby for the Old Time Dance Club, which is back at the Aldergrove hall following a lengthy shutdown during the pandemic. Bourget had come in from Abbotsford.

On this particular day, Jan. 28, there were 48 people dancing to the music of the Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers, 15 musicians who donated their time and talent.

A delighted Gordon Ussher and Alice Malkoske, who drove in from Pitt Meadows, were laughing as they followed the line of dance around the floor.

Ussher, 92, estimated he’s been dancing “at least” 50 years, while Malkoske said she’s been dancing “since I was three.”

Aldergrove resident Dorothy Peterson, who was just a few days away from turning 99, explained the appeal of dance as “the people, and the music, keeping my feet going.”

Daughter Lisa Peterson said it was something her her mother and late father had in common.

“They met at a dance back in Saskatchewan,” Lisa told the Langley Advance Times.

A member of the 15-member Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers Old Time Dance Club performed on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Aldergrove Heritage Hall. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
A member of the 15-member Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers Old Time Dance Club performed on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Aldergrove Heritage Hall. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Dorothy’s impending birthday was celebrated that day with a cake, and a special performance by the band, which had learned how to play a French minuet for the occasion.

The band also played happy birthday, and everybody sang.

Like her mom, Lisa is a fan of dance.

“I’ve danced all my life,” Lisa said. “I love it.”

READ ALSO: New name for Aldergrove’s OAP hall

Volunteers Angie Rahberger, from Abbotsford, and Cathy Potts, from Murrayville, were enjoying themselves.

“Live bands! Fiddlers,” Rahberger remarked.

Potts explained that the dance was revived by Mary Hildrum, also from Murrayville, and herself.

“The two of us started the dance back in April, just to try and get it going.” Potts explained..

On Saturday, Hildrum who has been sidelined by a foot injury, was taking tickets and chatting with visitors while she recovers from surgery that keeps her off the floor.

“I miss it,” Hildrum said.

“[As soon as] I was able to walk, I came back”

Hildrum said in addition to Aldergrove and Langley, members of the club also hail from Maple Ridge, Chilliwack and Surrey.

“Everybody loves it,” Hildrum commented.

READ ALSO: Ceilidhs return to Aldergrove Heritage Hall

In February, three more dances are planned at the Heritage Hall, at 3015 – 273rd Street, running from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m on Saturdays.

Saturday, Feb. 4 will feature the Hazelmere Heritage Fiddlers, Feb. 11, the Ukrainian Prairie Band and Feb 18, the Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers return.

Feb. 25 had to be cancelled, but after that, dances will resume every Saturday until the end of June.

Admission is $8, and membership fee of $15 is required per person for the season (January to December 31, 2023). There is coffee, and snacks.

Call Angie at 778-836-0270 or Mary at 604-534-4802 for more information and to confirm dates.

More photos can be found online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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