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Friday Night Fever

There’s not a lot of floor space, so the packed dancers have to be pretty nimble on their feet. And they are – because most of them have been doing their moves since the 1950s.

“We have the best dance floor in the province,” says Charlie Baldock, a member of the Holmfield Town and Country Club’s dance committee. “It makes it easy on the knees, and easy to dance on. We use proper dance wax on it too. We get it from Home Hardware.”

The club has been hosting the popular Friday night dances for a decade in the small town, and the event always draws a crowd. Sometimes there’s so many dancers that they can’t all fit on the floor at one time. The money the committee raises from the $10 ticket sales helps to maintain the Centennial Hall, where the dances are held, and sometimes it is used to help various charitable causes.

“For 10 years we have been holding the dances,” said committee member Peggy Giesbrecht. “In the 1940s they used to do the same thing. We have them on the last Friday of every month, except for the sum mertime. We serve a lunch at 10 p. m., with coffee, sandwiches and cake, and then everyone is back on the dance floor.”

Baldock books the bands, and recently featured Silver Wings, a traditional country band with members from Brandon, Wawanesa and Baldur. With a lineup of fiddle, bass, drums and guitar, the band played old-time waltzes, polkas, two-steps and a seven-step, and sang lots of old favourites. Couples moved in a circular wave around the hall – old and young, some ladies together, and parents and children. When the littlest ones got tired, they went to sleep under the coat rack.

“I used to do that when I was a kid,” said Baldock, pointing to a small sleeping boy in a crisp white shirt. “But the coats weren’t as fancy then.”

The eight dance committee members love to shimmy themselves, and enjoy putting the event together for the pleasure it brings to others. People drive in from Boissevain, Crystal City, Killarney, Mather and La Riviere. A few of them just have to cross the street.

“Sometimes we have a caller for a square dance,” said dance committee member Heather Sabad, who just couldn’t stop moving to “Mountain of Love.” “We do it just for the good time the people have at it. Even when we are working, we like it.”

– Kim Langen writes from

Holmfield, Manitoba

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