The dancers in the Couples Division are couples who have learned a dance from an instructor in eight to ten lessons.
Jim and Marcia Beckner
Jim and Marcia Beckner are long time members and enthusiastic supporters of the Larch Hills Ski Club having cross country skied, biked and hiked the many trails for over 38 years. They were members of the Salmon Arm Dance Club many years ago and this past spring have found themselves taking dance lessons. While their favourite style of dance is the jive they have decided to do something totally new for their performance â€“ the Lindy Hop.
Both Jim and Marcia enjoy singing â€“ Jim with the Shuswap Menâ€™s Chorus and Marcia with the Shuswap Singers. Both can also be found at the Shuswap Theater â€“ Marcia on stage singing or acting and Jim behind the scenes operating the lighting panel or looking after the sound board.
When not cycling, cross county skiing, playing tennis, canoeing or OCR paddling, they love spending time with their grandchildren. They can also be counted on to fill a need when volunteers are called for. When Jim sees a need for something like a sound booth in the Larch Hills stadium area, he takes it upon himself to phone a few friends and after sourcing out materials, he spends a few weeks constructing and improving a workable announcers booth which has become a fixture at the numerous cross country ski races held at Larch Hills.
Besides volunteering locally they have also volunteered in Mexico and Africa where Jim used his extensive knowledge as an optometrist to give needy locals the gift of clear sight.
In her day Marcia was one of Canadaâ€™s top speed skaters and competed in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France. Can she transfer those Olympic talents to the dance floor? Weâ€™ll find out on Nov. 18th.
Alan and Debbie Harrison
Alan and Debbie Harrison have been skiing at Larch Hills for many years and wanted to help raise funds for the new chalet. They agreed to dance as a couple even though neither of them have ever taken dance lessons or performed before a live audience. What a great pair!
Debbie and Alan have three boys, Ryan, Mark and David. They moved to the Shuswap twenty-eight years ago and have been very involved with sports such as tennis, hiking, golf, cross-country and alpine skiing as well as camping and enjoying the outdoors. They love to travel and discover new places, particularly the provincial and national parks.
Alan is the principal of Hillcrest Elementary School and Debbie is the secretary of the school. They work as a team which has made Hillcrest School one of the best in the district. Speaking of teamwork Alan and Debbie usually come out on top when they compete in tennis competitions. They are also both very involved with volunteer work in the community, and Alan is on City Council. We look forward to Alan and Debbieâ€™s inaugural Jive performance.
Jaci Metivier and Peter Grainger
Peter Grainger has lived in the Shuswap since the big fire of â€™98. He has two brilliant daughters as well as a dog and a cat. He likes to sail, cycle, hike and dance. If you happen to come across any of Peterâ€™s favourite swimming holes in the Shuswap, you may encounter a naked man!
By day, Peter is a massage therapist, but by night he is occasionally an enthusiastic dancer. Most recently, he studied Tango and years ago he studied Samba, African dancing and Contact Improv. Contact Improv is Peterâ€™s favourite style of dancing, but he thinks that he is getting a little too old for it, so he has settled for dancing at Lorenzos on a hot summer night to Latin Music. It appears that he and his wife are the couple to beat when the competition starts on Nov. 18th.
Jaci, too, likes Contact Improv and has performed many times before a live audience. (Maybe weâ€™ll be lucky enough to see some Contact Improv moves on the dance floor.) Jaci has always loved theatre since she was thirteen and has been a long time member of the arts council. She agreed to be part of this event because it brings together her loves â€“ dancing, performing, Larch Hills and of course her husband. Jaci teaches pilates and does laser therapy for work. She also is the coordinator for the Theatre on the Edge festival in July.
Ian and Kaitlyn Gray
Ian Gray agreed to be a part of this fundraiser because he thinks itâ€™s a worthwhile cause. Expanding the chalet will be great for users of the Larch Hills during cold snaps.
He has never been to the Larch Hills Ski area, but he has heard great things about Larch Hills. Instead he loves many other sports, especially hockey. You might see him riding his Harley to work or tooling around Shuswap Lake in his boat, which is his favourite activity. When heâ€™s not at the GM dealership on the hill east of town, he also has time for Rotary, downhill skiing and mountain biking.
He loves his three dogs and also loves spending time with his wife and his children. Heâ€™s looking forward to dancing with his daughter, Kaitlyn, and thinks it will be â€œa super fun way to spend timeâ€ with her.
Ian and his family have lived in the Shuswap for three years now and feel fortunate to have been able to buy in to Salmon Arm GM. While to most people GM stands for General Motors, he hopes it will also mean heâ€™ll learn some â€œGreat Movesâ€ on the dance floor. Recently he and his wife took a set of dance lessons, and by preparing for Dancing with the Shuswap Stars he hopes to perfect his dancing skills.
Kaitlyn Gray is fairly new to the Shuswap and is looking forward to the many opportunities available here. She stays active swimming, water skiing, snow shoeing, skating and running. She has never taken dance lessons, but as a youngster she competed in figure skating. When she was ten she won the Manitoba Provincials.
Besides spending time with her three dogs, Lilly, Charlie and Phil, she loves a perfect summer day on the lake with her mom and dad.
She stated, â€œI canâ€™t think of a more fun way to support a community project than getting to dance with my dad.â€
Kevin Flynn and Cathy Bartsch
The Dancing with the Shuswap Stars committee feels very grateful to have Kevin and Cathy come on board at the late date of early October. The other couples have been practicing since early September and before, but with a few extra lessons by their instructor, Orlando Robertson, they should find themselves two stepping with the best of them.
Kevin last took dance lessons back in high school and belonged to a university dance club. While he and Cathy have never performed in front of a live audience, they often draw an audience with their animated jive and jitterbug moves on the dance floor. A sports enthusiast, Kevin likes basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis and pickleball. For Cathy, fitness, soccer, volleyball and reading fill her spare time â€“ and of course, going to dances.
This is Cathyâ€™s first time taking dance lessons and dancing before an audience. Both she and Kevin see this fundraiser as a worthy cause, even though they donâ€™t cross country ski. Being one of the organizers for the Shuswap Trail Alliance, Cathy knows the hard work that goes into preparing for a fund raising event.
Even though they are very busy with their Salmon Arm Financial business, they also manage to find the time to get out on the lake in the summer and downhill ski in the winter. Holidays take them to Maui, Phoenix and Mexico. And if that isnâ€™t enough to keep him busy, Kevin has been a City Councillor for eleven years.