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Reluctant Dancers Wanted

Salsa the winter blues away with new dance classes

Interested in adding a little spice to this grey winter? Dance classes for both jive and salsa are starting up here in the village on January 29 to bring a little heat to these short winter days.

Late last year, organizer Leslie Nolin struggled to find dance classes on the North Shore for she and her partner, "There are plenty of dance schools for kids, but few for adults," she says. "I had asked around the community in late December to see who might be interested. The response was quite positive, and a couple of dozen people reached out. So this has all taken shape since then. It's been a bit of a whirlwind really."

The number of respondents who replied to Leslie's inquiry who said they'd be bringing a 'reluctant' partner led her to a name for this new endeavour: 'Sea to Sky Dance (for the reluctant dancer).

Nolin's own dance experience means she knows the considerable commitment involved in terms of class planning time, plus driving, parking and gas costs. "It just gets quite expensive for a social learning opportunity," she remembers thinking at the time. "I wondered if it would be feasible to start an adult learning program out here, to serve the whole Sea to Sky corridor."

She's been impressed by the response, hearing from interested local residents, as well as fielding inquiries from potential participants in Horseshoe Bay and Squamish.

Nolin has thrown herself into the project, with the help of local dance instructor Michele Perron. The program now has an online presence, and the two women have been hard at work getting the word out on social media. Lessons will be taught at Broughton Hall and they are hoping to attract interested learners from all along the Sea to Sky.

"Jive is a Level One couple's dance, easier for the beginner," says Nolin. "Salsa has little more complexity to it, but is certainly one all of us beginners can learn. The music is a bit more fast paced. So these two dance styles felt like the ones to start with."

Singles and couples are invited to join, and in March, the new dance school plans to add Line Dancing into the mix. Classes will run evenings but also in mornings after school drop-offs, with a plan for after-school classes for interested teens. Drop-ins are available, but as a rule the lessons are being offered as a series rather than singly.

Nolin says she is keeping the price as low as possible. "Our costs are about 40% of the city programs: $75-$90 for a single participant for a series of dance classes and $120-$150 plus GST for a couple registering together. Drop in is $25 per class for salsa and $20 for jive."

Classes for the five-week series of Jazz Fundamentals begin Monday January 29, at 6:15 p.m. at Broughton Hall. Salsa classes follow in the same space at 7:30 p.m., with a six-week series on offer. More information is available on the Reluctant Dancer website HERE, and questions can be directed to

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