Josh and Joanna Bickle’s dance moves won over judges and the audience alike at the 2019 Dancing with the Shuswap Stars. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Josh and Joanna Bickle’s dance moves won over judges and the audience alike at the 2019 Dancing with the Shuswap Stars. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Organizers of Dancing with the Shuswap Stars preparing for 2021 comeback

November live-streamed event will include new junior dance category

After a one-year hiatus, organizers of Dancing with the Shuswap Stars are getting back into the swing of things in preparation for the event’s return.

The region’s premier dance competition and fundraiser for the Shuswap Hospice Society returns on November 19, 2021. However, with lingering uncertainty around COVID-19 pandemic, the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars committee had to change things up to make this happen.

The biggest change is that instead of hosting a gala event at Salmon Arm’s rec centre, this year’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars (DWTSS) will be live-streamed from Song Sparrow Hall (formerly the Living Waters Church), the city’s newest live entertainment venue.

To add to the experience, says committee member, past DWTSS competitor and judge Tracy Hughes, a variety of special take-out food packages will be available, “so you can enjoy some of the Shuswap’s excellent restaurant cuisine while watching the show.”

“Our organizers know that many local food establishments have had a difficult time during the pandemic, so purchasing a meal package is a way to support both Shuswap Hospice and the food-service community.”

Another change for 2021 is the addition of a junior dance category. Dancers under the age of 18 can submit a dance video before the July 30 deadline, which will be posted for viewing on the DWTSS website. The public votes for their favourite video performance by purchasing stars for a $5 donation to Shuswap Hospice. Hughes stressed this is a people’s choice category, determined by voters, not by DWTSS judges. Entry to the junior dance competition is free.

“Dancers do not have to be taking lessons,” said Hughes. “It can be any video of kids dancing. They can make up their own dance or get a group of friends to do a flash mob. They just have to send in the video with the completed entry form.”

Junior performances will be tallied by the number of votes, and the three performances with the most votes will be featured as part of the live-streamed show, during which viewers will again be able to purchase votes for their preferred performance. The performance with the most votes between the pre-show and the live show will be the winner.

Read more: Dancing with the Shuswap Stars raises $50,000 for hospice

Read more: In Photos: Shuswap stars shine on the dance floor

What can viewers of the show expect? Hughes explained it will be modelled after the Dancing with the Stars television show, with the same excitement (and nerves) of the participant dancers, witty comments from the judges and audience members voting for their favourite dance couple through the purchase of stars.

“It will be a snappy, fun event available for anyone who purchases access to the streaming link. The winner will be the couple who generates the most star-votes,” said Hughes.

Instructors from City Dance will once again be contributing their time and talents to choreographing and training competing dancers.

All proceeds from the event will support Shuswap Hospice programs in the area.

For rules, entry forms and more, visit shuswapstars.ca.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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