The Botha community enjoyed an early Valentine’s Day flavour as the band Black Velvet played foot-tapping and slow numbers bringing a Sunday afternoon of entertainment to the members and guests of the Botha Old Tyme Dance Club on Jan. 31.
Douglas Haustein, who has been president for four years now, said, “We have had a Valentine’s dance ever since the club’s inception in 1985.”
Haustein added that originally the dances were held on the second Friday of each month, having gradually evolved into being held on the last Sunday of the month.
“I like to celebrate before the featured date, instead of after,” continued Haustein. “That is why we had the dance and celebration today in January.”
Douglas’ wife Bernadette Haustein has been the secretary of the club since he became the president, although they have been involved with club activities since 1999.
“Bernadette does all the decorating in the hall,” said Haustein.
The dance, which started in the early afternoon, around half past one went on till evening at 5 p.m., and was followed by a potluck luncheon from all the attendees with a range of delicious fare, from ham to turkey buns and potato salads to Caesar.
“We encourage attendees to dress in red to go along with our theme ‘Wear Red’ for Valentine’s,” said Haustein as he stepped along to the music and danced with his wife Bernadette, dressed in a resplendent re dress.
The club members also raffled a white teddy bear at the event, besides 13 door prizes.
With 70 people in attendance from Botha and neighbouring communities, including four children, Haustein said, “This is a ‘family-friendly event’, so we are not licensed and children under 18 years of age are ‘free’ while being attended by a parent.”
The band Black Velvet played a wide variety of old time music, from waltzes, foxtrots, polkas, to old-pattern dance numbers such as, Lilly Marlane, Put your Little Foot, Heel and Toe Polka, The 7 Step, The Saskatchewan Barn Dance among others.
There are eight different bands hired throughout the year, and the club is operated through funds from the monthly dances only.
“Sometimes we break even and sometimes we lose a few dollars, but by the end of the year if we have a profit, we will donate to a good cause in the local community mostly,” added Haustein. “We have a theme for most dances with our club tagline being ‘Friendliest Little Dance Club on the Prairies’.”
According to Haustein, the Botha Old Tyme Dance Club loves to have members and guests from different towns belonging to different age groups.