Dancing has been a part of Shirley Brewer’s life since she was a young girl.
“I mostly do social dancing, which is your waltzes, and two steps, and pattern dancing,” she said.
Brewer said the dancing community has been her favourite part about the get-togethers.
“I enjoy the exercise, seeing our friends – we’ve made many friends through the dances – and everyone is very happy to see each other. And they’re all such nice people,” she shared.
Her husband, Dennis, hadn’t grown up with dancing, but Brewer quickly made a dancer out of him on a trip to Kelowna some decades ago.
“He got dragged into it, and he loves it as much as I do now,” she joked.
Now at 80, Brewer can reflect on how dancing has changed in the city and suburbs as Western culture evolved.
“We came from the East Kootenays and this was how people, farmers especially, got together with other people during the week,” she recalled.
Brewer regularly attends the Old-Time Dance Club in Aldergrove, making the commute from Maple Ridge each Saturday with her husband.
“Most of the people who come to the dance in Aldergrove, I’m sure are from the Prairies originally, because that’s what they would have done in the Prairies on a Saturday night,” she said.
Brewer square-danced for 38 years with her husband, and said the traditional practice of dance is just barely holding together.
“I think the 12-hour shifts, two people working, they have to get their kids out – we did too, but it’s just a different world now,” she explained.
She speculates that people attending the Aldergrove dances are all 70 years old or older.
“I encourage young people to attend the dances. You get to meet many nice people, plus the music is excellent. We make everyone feel very welcome,” Brewer said.
It was hard to pinpoint a single fond memory for the couple.
“They’re all fond memories. We just enjoy it so much,” she said.
Mary Hildrum, organizer of Old-Time Dance Club in Aldergrove, said the dances have been going since 2012 and run by volunteers.
“We have the most wonderful crowd… dancing is a very enjoyable form of exercise, very social, and everyone needs that human touch,” she said.
Hildrum agreed with Brewer in that many friendships are formed through the dances, and everyone cares about each other.
“If someone doesn’t come and we haven’t heard from them, someone always calls to see if they are all right,” she said.
Live music is always organized for the dances, often featuring the Ukrainion Prairie Band, Hazelmere Heritage Fiddlers, or Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers.
Dances are held every Saturday until December from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Hall, located at 3015 273rd St. in Aldergrove. Admission is $10, and snacks and beverages are provided.
Anyone with questions is asked to call Mary Hildrum at 604-534-4802.
IN OTHER NEWS: Aldergrove Fair will go ahead