‘Just Shoes’ art sought for spring exhibit in Newton

I love my shoes. In particular, I love my dance shoes. A beautiful, comfortable shoe is a gift. When you find the perfect shoe to enhance your dancing, that is a lifechanging gift. OK, so I have a lot of shoes. Why not? If your feet are happy, it is guaranteed that the rest of your body will be happy too. So, shoes. A necessary commodity, or a fashion statement? Or art? The Arts Council of Surrey is holding a juried art exhibition from April 3 to 30 at Newton Cultural Centre. The subject is “Just Shoes.” They are inviting entries. I was thinking of making a collage of different dance shoes, or maybe a collection of single shoes (often found on the side of the highway). I am sure the subject matter will lend itself to many ideas. How about shoes through history? OK, I am not giving away any more of my concepts. Make your own entry. Shoe lovers unite! Deadline for entry is Saturday, March 15. Forms and info at artscouncilofsurrey.ca.

It is a difficult choice to say which dance shoes I love the most. Maybe my tap shoes. Yes, I have to say my tap shoes, especially as I have been on the board of West Coast Tap Dance Collective for quite a few years now. This umbrella organization is dedicated to the promotion of the art of tap dancing. It is not a school, just a group of likeminded individuals. The Canadian government does not recognize tap dancing as an art form (one of the things the collective lobbies for), so getting grants to promote this art form are not available.

West Coast Tap Dance Collective’s annual general meeting is at 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, March 2 at De Dutch in New Westminster (1035 Columbia St.). A tap jam is scheduled to follow the AGM with music, tappers and food. I know Surrey is full of talented tappers who love their tap shoes. Consider coming to the meeting, joining the WCTDC and meeting people of all tap dancing levels. The collective also gives out scholarships, hosts workshops and celebrates International Tap Day – a big presentation of tap dancing featuring professionals and local dance teams.

Honestly, more people from Surrey are needed. Think about coming to the tap jam, at least. It starts at 5:30 p.m., after the AGM. All ages welcome. Bring your tap shoes. Yes, I know De Dutch is an odd place for a tap jam, but the space is generously donated and there is a sprung floor. Eat first, though. The collective is just providing snacks as the restaurant is actually closed in the afternoons after the lunch crowd. I can’t tell you

exactly what happens at a tap jam, it is always a bit different. Improv, soloists and sometimes a teacher volunteers to teach a combo. You can just watch, but show no fear. You have tap shoes.

Gordon Roberts is the current president of the collective. This very busy actor/musician has fit in board meetings for the collective in between his touring performances. You may have seen Gordon at Surrey Arts Centre when he played The Big Bopper in The Buddy Holly Story. Didn’t see him in that? No matter; Gordon Roberts

and his buddy Damon Calderwood are bringing their popular show, Holmes and Watson Save the Empire, to Surrey Arts Centre for a one-day-only performance on Saturday, March 8, starting at 8 p.m. Although there is no tap dancing involved, this familyfriendly,

award-winning musical comedy is sure to be a hit with fans of the Sherlock Holmes character – or fans of Gordon Roberts. I am a fan of both, so I am booking my tickets right now, today. I will be wearing shoes.

melminty@telus.net

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