All ages square dance a big hit with visitors and locals.
When Donna and Norman Short planned their retirement holiday, there was no doubt as to the destination.
On Thursday, the retirees from rural Manitoba found themselves at the All Ages Family Square Dance, a Celtic Colours event at Cape Breton University.
And with renowned musicians Howie MacDonald and Mary Beth Carty keeping things lively, the Shorts danced and swirled along with the almost 100 other participants who attended the afternoon event.
“We came for Celtic Colours and the beautiful scenery,” declared Donna, who worked in the field of nuclear medicine, while her farmer husband Norman made his living in a different kind of field altogether.
“We drove a motorhome all the way here, we’ve been around the island and we just want to take in as much as possible.”
The Shorts weren’t the only visitors who turned out to try their hand at Cape Breton style square dancing. A number of participants showed up wearing “From Saskatchewan to Cape Breton” attire, while in one part of the dance floor a group of youngsters, including a pair of brothers from British Columbia, held hands and did their own version of square dancing as they twirled round and round.
With the caller late to arrive, event organizer Heather Sparling, a CBU music professor, took to the microphone to guide the dancers through the opening “Sydney set.” Another set was called the “Inverness set.”
“This is the first time we’ve had an event like this here and it looks really successful, so hopefully it will be back on again next year,” said Sparling.
Adult square dances are set for tonight in Boisdale and South West Margaree, while an all ages event is scheduled for West Mabou on Saturday evening. A square dancing workshop is also set for Saturday at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre at 2 p.m.
The grand finale of the 2017 Celtic Colours International Festival takes place in Port Hawkesbury on Saturday evening. The civic centre show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Donna and Norman Short, visiting from Manitoba, had themselves a swirling good time at the All Ages Family Square Dance at Cape Breton University. The Thursday afternoon Celtic Colours event attracted about 100 participants who spent a couple of hours dancing to the music of fiddler Howie MacDonald and guitarist Mary Beth Carty.
The Celtic Colours inaugural All Ages Family Square Dance attracted young and old alike to Cape Breton University. From left are Jacoby Mercer, 3, of Westmount, Griffin Grant, 3, of Langley, B.C., Jacoby’s sister Brooklyn Mercer, 5, and Griffin’s brother Lincoln Grant, 5.