MELANIE MINTY: Surrey folk dancers plan fall retreat, restart lessons at local school

Also: Semiahmoo Arts stitches together a Fibre Arts Market on Oct. 22-23

Members of Surrey International Folk Dancing Society in costume following a dance demo in 2015 at Suncreek Village Care Home in Surrey.

SURREY — Are you watching the Olympic Games? Cheering on Canada’s athletes sure is fun. You know it isn’t easy to reach that level of skill, and these young athletes do sacrifice what the rest of us would call a “normal” lifestyle. For these achievers, the sacrifice is worth it, even if they don’t bring home a medal. It is the achievement that is golden – a life experience that is actually priceless.

Training to be a professional dancer, singer or actor also requires a dedicated training schedule. You do have to make a lot of personal sacrifices to make a living in the arts. Talent is a given, and there are thousands of talented people all around you. Those who succeed are usually the ones putting in the extra time and effort.

So, good for them. But there are a lot more of us out there who like to participate, but on a more limited time frame. The biggest hurdle of getting involved in an art form is the start button. No, that is wrong – there is no easy start button. You do have to make some initial effort and find something enjoyable as well as recreational. Be creative.

Surrey International Folk Dancing Society might just be the place for you. The group offers folk dancing to ethnic music from around the world in a very relaxed and friendly environment. Beginners are always welcomed to the weekly “lessons” held every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. at Walnut Road Elementary School (16152 82 Ave., Surrey), resuming on Sept. 8 after a summer break. You will learn dances step by step, and develop a repertoire. You know, folk dancing has been a large part of every culture for centuries. A history of the culture is preserved, and provides social recreation. It’s sort of like getting together for a scratch football game, only it’s dancing.

This relatively new society is holding its inaugural Folk Dance in the Forest retreat from Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2. And folk dancing is not the only recreation being offered, with swimming, kayaking and archery also scheduled. Sports and dance – great combo.

Teachers for the dance sections are all local talent. Dale Adamson is most enthusiastic about this retreat and the opportunity it provides for even more people to get involved in folk dancing. “It changed my life,” she says as her face lights up. The retreat is at Zajac Ranch in Mission. Interested? Check the group’s great website at Surreyfolkdance.org, which has an easy “register” button. Go ahead. Push the button.

Visual artists are found as frequently as the performing artists. Semiahmoo Arts has declared October as fibre arts month. They are now accepting exhibitors for its Fibre Arts Market, to be held on Oct. 22 and 23 at South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre (14601 20th Ave., Surrey). Artists must exhibit handmade items/artwork/craftwork that incorporates fibre arts; textiles, stitchery, weaving, fashion design, felting, knitting, fabric dying, lace-making are all welcome! So this is an opportunity to sell your handwork.

Fibre arts are often relegated to “craft” rather than art. But it is art, and the resulting works are created by artists.

Exhibitor tables are five feet by 2.5 feet, and there are 15 of them available. Table sharing is OK. The fee is $25 per table, or $20 per artist for shared tables. The market hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, and takedown is on the Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. CLICK HERE for more details.

To register, send an email to info@semiahmooarts.com with “Fibre Arts Market” in the subject line. Applicants should include a website with samples of work, or attach some photos with the email. Also include word about whether you need access to electricity at your table. The deadline to register is Sept. 5, so don’t delay. Go create, then share with the rest of us. We are all creative, and we all have a gift. And just like making it to the Olympics, there really isn’t any “easy” button. But somewhere along the way, we do find that we are having the time of our lives. Honest.

melminty@telus.net

 

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