One of the timeless traditions of Botha community has been the Old Tyme Dance Club, where dancers of all ages come together on the last Sunday of the month to have a good time.
Douglas Haustein, who has been president of the club now for five years is a dance enthusiast and believes in having a good time.
Sometimes the dances are themed and hosted for a particular occasion, such as the Valentine’s Day.
“We have had a Valentine’s dance ever since the club’s inception in 1985,” Haustein said.
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,” Haustein stated. “That is why we have the dance and celebration 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.
This year too, the Valentine’s Day dance was no different as the Botha Community Hall donned a swirling colourful throng of reds and pinks with people from all over central Alberta.
The theme for the Sunday, Jan. 29 dance was Valentine’s Day, since the next dance would take place after the holiday had passed.
The hall was decorated with signs of love, with red, white and pink hearts prominently hung and taped, as dancers of all ages enjoyed the old-fashioned country tunes performed by the band Black Velvet.
The last dance in January has always been the dance club’s Valentine’s Day dance ever since the club formed more than three decades ago, according to Haustein.
The dance started at 1 p.m. at the hall, and went on into the evening and featured a potluck dinner for all those present. The event was alcohol-free, open to all ages.
“We encourage attendees to dress in red to go along with our theme ‘Wear Red’ for Valentine’s,” Haustein said.
As a great many of the dancers came dressed up in red, the dance floor had a rather heavily red hue to it.
With about 70 people in attendance, numbers that are average for the dances of late, the dance floor and the raised seating area was kept full of people dancing or visiting with each other.
On stage, Black Velvet played guitars and accordion music, featuring several different types of dances to keep people jiving and moving. From slower, romantic waltzes to quicker polkas, it was never quiet in the hall.
At every dance there’s a few door prizes as well, with the entry fee covering the cost of the band, Haustein said. Sometimes the club does better at making a profit, which helps hedge against the dances that don’t break even, he noted.