On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2001, for the eighth year, Jamboree BC brought the Vancouver line dance community together, along with old and new friends from Vancouver Island, Washington, and California. This was the largest showing of dancers from outside the Lower Mainland in 6 years. We were 95% sold out, with 207 dancers and a few non-dancing friends and partners, continuing to be the largest line dance event in the Northwest.
Jamboree BC is an independent line dance event hosted by myself, Bill Bader, but I could not do it without the strong support of Grant Gadbois and the instructors of British Columbia. It is normally held the third Saturday in November at the Kinsmen Recreation Centre in Tsawwassen, Delta, BC, Canada.
Saturday morning began early with people starting to arrive at 8:20 and the registration desk was ready 10 minutes early, so no one had to wait outside (although we had beautiful, mild weather). Thanks to 90% of the dancers pre-registering, there was never a line-up at registration. Fay Son-Hing, Grant Gadbois, Steve Marsden, Bridget and Jen MacCallum, Susan Clark and Jean Bergal saw to that. Oh yes, and we cant forget to thank the decorators of the hall who did their thing Friday night: Grant Gadbois, Helga Bork, Liz and Jim Salikin.
I hosted the first part of the day, and introduced our feature instructor Carmel (@ The Hop) Hutchinson, who presented what we now call the "warm-up" workshop. Carmel taught her and Hutchs very popular dance "No Way Pedro". This was one of the best-received dances of the day, so thanks to Carmel for a great choice to kick off the day.
Then it was time to start the choreography competition. In our unique competition, new dances are taught and then judged on a scale of 1 to 10 by any of the dancers who wish to participate, usually 85%+. This means it is not necessary for everyone to take every single workshop because the ratings are averaged. This concept has produced winning dances that have swept the world, such as "Hey Bruce" (Michael Barr) and "Hustle Bustle" (Betty Clarke). The choreography workshops take place in the morning and afternoon, leaving the evening for general dancing, performances, and awards.
Darren Barabas, a Vancouver instructor, began the choreography workshops with his dance "World Of Heroes", a unique and challenging sequenced dance that proved difficult to absorb properly within the 35-minute workshop although the most experienced dancers got it.
All the remaining morning workshops also, by chance, happened to be by Vancouver instructors, so it was ironic that this portion of the day was hosted by Victoria instructor, Joe Archer, now back from months of cruising the high seas. The second choreography entry was "Dancers Concerto" choreographed and taught by Jenifer Reaume, choreographer of Celtic Slide, Texan In A Stetson, etc. The music, "Victory", was in the classical music vein, an inspiring instrumental piece. Jenifers dance, was an easy dance, but the 3 tags, while simple, take it up a notch. The syncopations added interest.
The next workshop came complete with ethnic costuming: Dee Cresdee and Ember Schira (the "E" in G*E*L) appeared in authentic-looking African costumes for their workshop of "Zulu" to the song "Nkalakatha". Dee taught the 64-count intermediate dance with African-style arm movements and original, fast and tricky footwork. (Last years winning dance "En Una Semana El Tango" was by these two.)
For variety in the morning, between the 3rd and 4th workshops, two Mini Teams (Duos) competed in the very entertaining style we have come to expect from these excellent dancers: Susan Clark and Bridget MacCallum came out dressed as little kids (Susans costume reminiscent of Baby Jane) and danced to three songs with the theme "Best Friends" (including that dance by the Hutchinsons). Len and Kirsten Person featured reversible vests and plastic canes which allowed the 2-part routine to change the themes from construction workers with brooms as props to Broadway hoofers complete with top hats and canes puttin on the ritz. All this was very entertaining in keeping with the theme of Jamboree BC "Entertainment". These routines were voted on by the attendees. Results below.
Lunch was catered by the centres staff, but of course some people danced their way through the break, featuring "golden oldies".
Lynda Taylor of North Vancouver, with classes everywhere, returned to Jamboree BC as hostess for the rest of the day. Choreography workshop #4 was taught by Christy Fox of Coquitlam, BC (choreographer of the recent hit "Coyote Cowgirl") with her new dance "Jammin", a 64 count energetic dance full of triples and turns, with a possible 8-count tag, depending on the music choice of course.
Grant Gadbois and Lisa Strong (the G and L in G*E*L) presented the next choreography workshop with their new dance "Couple On The Cake" to the brand new country song of the same name. Its a lively two-step song by Canadian singers and the dance has a lot of easy syncopations. The main challenges are two 3/4 unwinds.
The afternoon was broken up with a series of breaks designed for fun and to allow the dancers to not be on their feet all day. The first afternoon break was supplied by the multi-talented team Western Spirit, with the kind of precision performance we have come to expect from them. Excellent!
Choreography workshop #6 was a dance by Bev Sutherland of Saltspring Island and Victoria, but due to recent back surgery, Bev could not make it and partner Joe Archer did the teaching of her dance "Cest La Vie". This was a fairly easy 32-count dance to a terrific song by Bob Seger.
The next break was totally crazy: I asked for volunteers but because I wanted the contest to be a surprise, I could not tell people what they were in for, so I ended up recruiting dancers, about half instructors, to fill the 12 spots. This was, to my knowledge, the first "Bag Dancing Contest". The innocent recruits were asked to put large grocery bags over their heads and given the following instructions: they will be given the name of a popular (or formerly popular) dance by British Columbian choreographers, but no count-ins. They will get points for starting a dance properly at the right point and on the correct foot, for doing the first 8 counts, for finishing the pattern, and, failing any of that, for the most creative footwork. The dances were chosen randomly from some of the better known BC dances like Boot Scootin Boogie, Smokey Places, Hustle Bustle, 2001 The BC Coaster, etc. Contestants had bags over their heads so they could not see the others and all the bags, for scoring purposes, were numbered starting with #2. Unknown to them the winner would be given the title of "#1 Bag", along with the #1 grocery bag as a "trophy". Of course there was a huge gift basket of goodies in the bag. In fact it was slightly too big to fit in the bag. Susan Clark of New Westminster and Duo fame, was the (lucky?) winner and graciously accepted the very first title of "BCs Number One Bag". Happily, people did not stop giggling about the bag dancing for the rest of the day. But no one requested a bag to dance in.
After the contest there was lots of time left for afternoon break dancing.
Choreography workshop #7 was presented by Ernie (Hutch) Hutchinson of Novato, California (near San Francisco). His latest dance "Thingsll Be All Right" is a nicely flowing "cowboy cha cha" (my term for a line dance with timing of 1, 2, 3&4 ), solid intermediate level. The song "Tequila Tells", according to Hutch, has not been used before; surprising because it is such a nice song.
Prior to the last workshop there was a break to showcase recent linedances. First came the new ones by local choreographers for dances not being taught in the competition: Irene Groundwater demoed her new dance "Memory" and Michele Perron demoed two new ones: "M.J.Moves" and "The Night Of I Wanna". Both choreographers were joined by other dancers to help demo. Then Sara Raymond demoed her dance, "Boom Cha Cha". The next section of demos were dances that have either just recently been introduced to this area or dances that one or two instructors wanted to encourage others to teach: "Angel Eyes" by Paul Dornstedt, "Hot Potato" by John Robinson, and "Hold Your Horses" by Kinson & Mickers.
The last choreography workshop was taught by Victorias Betty Clarke with her new dance, "Saucy Steppin". This fairly easy celtic-type dance is done to a unique song which totally changes in the middle, "The Rose In The Heather", a very cool choice of music and the dancers really got into the music.
The last of $200 worth of restaurant gift certificates was given out and then, suddenly, it was time for the dinner break. We had two options: Dancers could take a two-hour dinner break for a nice leisurely dinner at the myriad of restaurants within walking distance, or they could order in food (or they could have brought it) for dinner and then be treated to some quick line dance lessons by Ember Schira who breezed everybody through some of our favorite line dances so that everyone would know them for the general dancing later: "Mad For It", "Mind It", "Chips And Salsa", "Best Friends", and I taught "Hey Bruce", the winning dance from the first Jamboree BC choreography competition.
The "Late Part Day" began at 7:00 with general dancing, but right away there was more entertainment. I taught a dance of mine called "Bump And Grind" (and, no fooling, its about as bumpy and grindy as you can get) to a song called "Fried Chicken". Then we had 4 judges pick three men and the three women for a run-off final to see who could best personify the feel of "Bump And Grind". The winning woman, Sandra Coen, comes from the small town of Sequim, Washington and did she ever surprise us all, including her fellow dancers from Sequim! The mens division was close; the winner had a good run for his money by Harvey Cameron of Quincy, Washington (must be the water in Washington!). But the winner was Vancouvers own Grant Gadbois, who looked like he was born to do this dance. Appropriately, his last name rhymes with badboys.
Over an hour of floor-filling line dance hits followed, then it was time for a serious moment, courtesy of the 4-woman team led by Christy Fox, local instructor. Christy started by reciting a touching tribute to the heroism and strength of character of the US people in response to the horrible acts of September 11. The presentation came complete with a solemn presentation of the US and Canadian flags carried out onto the floor by all the US instructors and most Canadian instructors present. The team danced in a darkened auditorium with just our little white decoration lights as a backdrop and glow sticks carried by the participants. Very effective, very pertinent, very moving. A heartfelt Thanks to Christy and her team, the "Coyote Cowgirls", formerly known as "Mustang Sally and The Funky Bunch".
Next, brightening our spirits, the large team "Western Spirit" performed what I think was their most inventive routine yet. Straight out of a jazz cabaret, the women of Spirit strutted and pranced and jazz-handed their way into our hearts. The routine included props a line of chairs and the dancers interacted with the chairs, including a simultaneous walk-over of the chairs that was very impressive.
The awards were next, but Ill save those for last in this report.
General dancing went on until 11pm but there were more treats. Hutch and Carmel, along with the other Bay area instructors in attendance, Rich and Melody Beard, and Bob and Darlene Clark), demoed their recent waltz, "Rolling Mist". And we had a showcase performance by the ever-improving teenager Sara Raymond of Nanaimo who we have watched grow up over the seven years of this event.
Awards: There were two Mini Teams that competed. For awards purposes we could not have a winner, because we would then have a loser and Jamboree BC does not have "losers"! So it was a tie: the winners were all 4 dancers who competed and they were given a total of $100 worth of awards in the form of free all day passes to next years event: Susan Clark, Bridget MacCallum, Kirsten Person and Len Person.
That left the main order of the day, the choreography competition results, to be announced. As explained, the scores given by all the workshop participants were averaged (thanks to Jeff Wingen and a computer program he wrote just for us). The third and fourth place dances were so amazingly close, considering there were almost 200 scores submitted, that they were announced as a tie:
1st place: " Saucy Steppin " Betty Clarke
2nd place: " Zulu " Dee Cresdee and Ember Schira
3rd place (tie): " Thingsll Be All Right " - Ernie ("Hutch") Hutchinson
3rd place (tie): " Dancers Concerto " Jenifer Reaume
Award winners were presented with $30 for third place, $60 for second place; and the choreographer of the favorite dance received $100 plus a signed West Coast Native Indian wood carving as a trophy. A brass plaque will follow to be attached to the trophy to personalize it for Betty.
Congratulations to ALL our choreographers for presenting some very good dances this year. And thank you so much, everyone, especially the volunteers, for helping make this one of our best events yet. Particular thanks to all the instructors who supported this event so well.
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Click here for PHOTOS of Jamboree BC
http://www.hdcameron.com - Harvey & Diana Camerons website
For STEP SHEETS if you had trouble downloading the above, check directly with the choreographers:
Darren Barabas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Betty Clarke: email@example.com
Christy Fox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmel and Ernie Hutchinson: CARMELH@aol.com
Jenifer Reaume: email@example.com
Ember Schira: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Strong: email@example.com
Here's what some people wrote about
Just wanted to tell you how much we
enjoyed ourselves at Jamboree BC. We especially like the way you break things
up so it's not one workshop after the other but a little bit of this and a
little bit of that :-) Everyone was so friendly to us, and made us feel right
at home, and we appreciate that very much. The tribute was especially moving.
Thanks again to you and Grant for being such generous and gracious hosts. We
hope to come back next year.
I just want to say that your event
on Saturday was so fun. I learned a lot of awesome dances, and thank you for
being so kind to me. All of the Vancouver dancers are so nice. Your event is my
favorite to got to, it was my seventh year. I am going to school now so have a
Thanks for the day..It was the best
you've done so far. I had a ball..and was so nice to see so many there..Your
ideas for the day were ingenious. I look forward to next year. When you need
help next year, please put me on your volunteer list. Well, this was just a
short note to say THANK YOU. Try to relax today, you deserve it.
Just a note to thank you and your
crew for another great Jamboree. Everybody is talking about what a great time
they had. They all like the open dance concept when they grab a snack and the
rest of us go out for dinner! I hate missing that because it's a chance to
share some of the dances we're all doing, but this year I didn't make it. We
made a note of the "floor filling dances" that were done so we can be sure to
include them at Cowichan this year.
We had a wonderful, fun time at Jamboree BC. We intend on putting this on our lets do it again list. Thanks again, Harvey and Diane Cameron [Washington]
|Jamboree BC memories...
This page was updated October, 2005.
Webpage designed by Bill Bader.
Photos courtesy of Cam Schira and Lisa Strong.
© Bill Bader 2002 - 2005. Photos are not public domain.
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