SURREY — April is almost over, and ends as it began – with a celebration of dance. The Surrey Festival of Dance winds down its month-long occupation of Surrey Arts Centre, and thousands of dancers from age five to 90 had an opportunity to perform and put their best foot forward. The festival celebrated its 50th year and I can only say congratulations. This festival has a major economic impact in Surrey and does highlight and showcase this art form.
This year, I totally enjoyed myself at the festival, and found a friendly and accommodating bevy of volunteers keeping track of everything. The atmosphere was great, and was fun! Carol Girardi, longtime festival organizer and president of the Arts Council of Surrey, learned a new skill: Twittering. She snapped photos like crazy and hash-tagged with zeal. Judging from my Facebook account Monday morning, about 40 people received the photos I was in. Wow. Maybe there is something in this Twitter thing – and maybe more dance groups will participate next year. There are a lot of dance competitions out there. This one is local. I want to see you all there next year – the more the merrier. And thank you, Carol, and festival people for making this year’s experience fun and friendly.
One local studio participating in the adult section this year was XBa DanceCo, with Nela Hallwas (pictured), who is bringing us a celebration of International Dance Day on April 29. XBa has hosted IDD in Surrey and White Rock for the last five years. For the 2016 season, the Diskordanse company is taking over event production and hosting. Dance performances will include works from XBa along with an eclectic blend of other dance styles. “Blueprint for a Better Place” is the name of celebration, on Friday, April 29 at Surrey Arts Centre. What a great way to wrap up a month of dance. Get tickets via the box office, 604-501-5566, or click here.
Elsewhere, The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC has a new program in Surrey called Dance Without Limits, designed for children and youth with various disabilities to have fun while exploring dance, creative movement and games. This is a free, inclusive program, at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107th Ave., Surrey) on Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m.; drop-ins, parents and caregivers are welcome at these classes, which run until June 16. To learn more, visit Bccerebralpalsy.com/programs/dance-without-limits. Yes, we can dance. Every one of us. There are no limits.