Each pair consists of a local celebrity paired with a professional dance instructor.
Duncan Moore and Instructor Heather Stranks
Duncan is a father, a coach, a competitor, the President of Larch Hills Nordic Society, board member of the Salmon Arm Sockeyes Swim Club and yes this year a competitor in the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fund raiser. Duncan believes it is a great fundraiser and he thoroughly enjoyed the evening’s entertainment as a member of the audience last year. As President of L.H.N.S. he knows what a boost the $20,000 plus raised last year has been for the club’s project. This fund raiser made it possible to begin the Chalet expansion. He has high hopes for this year’s event and is pleased to contribute his efforts to a night of fun and entertainment.
Back in 1981 while studying at University, Duncan took one term of ballroom dancing so he may have an advantage over his fellow competitors. He enjoys Rock and Roll, Waltz and Country but he is ready for something new.
Cross country skiing is a family affair for the Moore family. Duncan, his wife Randy Ostby and their 3 children are all on the cross-country ski race team. They start training in the fall and are busy all winter with training and racing. Duncan is a volunteer coach for the junior race team and both he and Randi lead by example by racing themselves. He says he has no hobbies but loves to coach, hike, bike, ski “but most of my free time is spent driving my kids to their activities.”
Heather Stranks, as co-owner of City Dance, has been a huge contributor to the success of the Larch Hill’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars event. She agreed to be involved in this fund raiser to not only help raise money for Larch Hills but to also bring awareness of dance to the Shuswap. She has very much enjoyed her second year working with her celebrity dancers for this event. She would like to thank Igrid, Rob and Duncan for doing so amazingly well with their dances this year!
Heather has been dancing for over ten years and has been an instructor for the last eight years. She especially loves the challenge of choreography, and, in addition to all of the numbers that she creates for the dance studio, she has also been the choreographer for Vernon Music School’s Glee Club for two years. She has attended dance seminars in the US and Canada and recently competed in Las Vegas. Heather enjoys all styles of dance but has a special love for Ballroom and Argentine Tango.
Heather has been a figure skating coach for many years in Vernon and still works with her adult synchronized skating team who are the current champions of B.C. and Western Canada. When not dancing, she enjoys skating, skiing and spending time with her family. She has three grown sons and lives in Vernon with her husband Ed.
Rochelle Dale and Instructor Jens Goerner
Rochelle Dale was raised in Salmon Arm and is celebrating her twenty-fifth year as a successful local realtor. She is passionate about her community and has always been involved in volunteering her time including many years as an executive of the Minor Hockey Board and a three year term on the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union (SASCU) board of directors. Last year, Rochelle attended the inaugural Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fund raiser, and she absolutely loved the experience. She considers the Larch Hills a community treasure and said, “If I can help raise funds and learn some dance moves, I’m in.”
Rochelle has not taken formal dance lessons but she tried Hip Hop and Jazz classes at Just for Kicks dance studio when her daughter was dancing. It is no surprise that she would like to dance a routine that is upbeat, fun and has pizzazz. Rochelle has often spoken to large crowds of people and is not concerned about performing in front of a live audience. Rochelle is up for the adventure.
When Rochelle’s dance debut is complete, learning to dance will be one more activity to tick off her bucket list which has included skydiving and swimming with dolphins. Rochelle said she is busting at the seams with excitement to be involved in this wonderful event and to have her two biggest supporters, her children Jayden and Kennedy cheering her on.
Jens Goerner, co-owner of City Dance, was one of the instigators of Dancing with the Shuswap Stars because he would like to see more couples involved with ball room dancing in the Salmon Arm area. Jens and his wife Simone moved to the area eight years ago and they have been building a beautiful home, shop, greenhouse, goat barn, new pond, gardens and soon a swimming pool. They have two young sons as well as goats, cows, dogs and pigs that keep them extremely busy.
Jens has been dancing for 27 years and has been an instructor for the last 25 years. Before immigrating from Germany, Jens owned and operated many dance studios in the Munich area. He has taught, choreographed and performed in Germany and in Canada. For the past few years, City Dance has created wonderful dance shows at the performing arts centre in Vernon in which Jens was a major participant as choreographer, dancer and organizer. Jens has been teaching dance lessons in Deep Creek for the past six years.
When Jens isn’t building (he is a master carpenter) or dancing, then he likes to ski, bike and hike. We look forward to the samba performed by Jens and Rochelle Dale as well as the kizombachoreographed by Jens and performed by Ivan and Jamie Gracia.
Louise Wallace Richmond and Instructor Nic Faucher
Louise Wallace Richmond
You may recognize Louise as one of our current city councillors, but perhaps you do not know that she has been a competitive figure skater. Louise is hopeful that her training will kick back in and she will be able to dance with a “quick and snappy style” – somewhat reflective of her personality. As a young person Louise spent many long hours at the rink perfecting dance moves on ice. Competitive figure skating taught her to enjoy performing and so she loves costumes and is looking forward to dressing up for the dancing competition.
Louise’s motivation for agreeing to participate in Dancing with the Shuswap Stars comes from a sense of commitment to community as she believes it is her responsibility as a citizen to find ways to engage and participate, thereby adding value for the community through this process. She also feels that the Larch Hills ski area is a wonderful recreational place for all ages and abilities and a gem for our community. Louise participated twice in the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet and actually enjoyed herself despite the hard work that was required to cross the finish line.
Louise enjoys living in Canoe with her husband Dave and their two teenaged sons. She has her own design firm and teaches business courses at our local college. In her spare time she loves to design, cook, ski and bicycle.
Instructor Nic Faucher
Nic moved to Vernon four years ago from Winnipeg for the Massage Therapy Program. He currently works as an RMT and as an instructor at the college. He has been Ukrainian dancing since he was four years old and has been teaching Ukrainian dancing as well as ballroom and swing for the last several years. He likes Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, West Coast Swing and Jive, with his favourite style of dance being Kizomba and Bachata . He has performed and competed in many events and has choreographed routines for City Dance performances. Dancing has been a passion for Nic and he feels that sharing it is the best way to show his appreciation for dancing.
For over a year now, Nic has been working in Salmon Arm two days a week as a massage therapist. He is located at Body Works, across from the CIBC.
Andrea Roberts and Instructor Orlando Robertson
Andréa, our local soprano extraordinaire, was raised in Richmond B.C. and moved to live in the Shuswap in 2003 which she now calls home. Andréa and her family all participate in the sport of Cross Country Skiing and all enjoy skiing at the Larch Hills where her son is on the Junior Race team and her daughter is in Jack Rabbits. Andréa says that, “This projected expansion will benefit not only my family, but hundreds of other future users of Larch Hills Trail System all year round.”
As to dance, Andréa, like most of our competitors, dabbled in lessons. When she was in her twenties, she tried West Coast Swing, but her favourite dance experience was as a child learning to waltz with her grandma in her grandma’s kitchen while they made Lasagna. We look forward to watching Andréa dance the alluring Night Club Two Step for this fund raiser.
Andréa has performed piano recitals, choral works, jazz combos and solo voice performances in front of live audiences since she was five years old. Andréa has shared her beautiful voice with our community in choral concerts and in solo performances. She received the appreciation and acclaim of our community for her wonderful performance as Mary Poppins which was performed at Shuswap Theatre last fall. Andréa has agreed to sing to a dance number performed as a showcase number by City Dance owners Jens and Heather at the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars event. Thank you, Andréa!
Andréa is a very busy young woman as she teaches Voice For All Ages from her music studio, is a conductor of the Shuswap Youth Choir, and works full time as a Certified Educational Assistant (CEA) for the local school district. If she has time, you can find her at the beach in the summer and at Larch Hills in the winter.
Orlando Robertson started dancing four years ago. He caught on very quickly and started dancing almost every night of the week. Orlando then studied dance instruction with Jens Goerner in an instructor’s course held in Vernon. Orlando has been helping with instruction at Deep Creek Hall and in Vernon at City Dance. He has competed in dance competitions for the last two years as well as performed in dance shows in Vernon at the Performing Arts Center. Orlando’s favourite styles of dancing include Country, Ballroom and Tango.
Orlando was born in the Shuswap, but does not have a favourite vacation spot as he doesn’t have time for a vacation. During the day, he works as a carpenter and as a beekeeper. In the winter he skis at Larch Hills. Then in the evenings, he dances.
Orlando choreographed the night club two step which he is dancing with Andrea Roberts. He also taught Dan Murray and Roxy Roth to dance the hustle, which has some very tricky timing where the basic step is different from other dances. Watch for the three beat step to music that has four beats to the measure.
David Askew and Instructor Simone Goerner
David’s roots go deep in our community as he is a member of the third generation of the Askew family to be involved in the running of Askew’s Foods. He is currently president of Askew’s Foods and has a busy life with work, family and community involvements. He is happy to donate his time and effort to participate in this year’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars in support of the Larch Hills Nordic Society chalet expansion.
David has been skiing and biking in the Larch Hills every winter and summer since the mid 1970’s. One of his most memorable experiences while biking in the Larch Hills occurred when he observed a moose standing in a deep pool of water which came up to its shoulders. David loves how easy it is for him to access the outdoors and the lakes in order to enjoy the natural beauty of the Shuswap. Other involvements include the Salmon Arm Tennis Club and the Shuswap Food Action Co-op which is committed to promoting local food production and sustainability.
David lived away from Salmon Arm for a number of years in Toronto, Vancouver and Nelson. He has three adult children who include a son Peter who lives in Toronto, a daughter Hannah who lives in Vancouver and a daughter Claire who lives in Salmon Arm. Claire recently joined Askew’s Foods which makes her a fourth generation Askew to be involved in the business. David is also blessed with two grandchildren.
David has some dance experience as he once enjoyed learning Scottish Dancing and attended Scottish dances for a number of years. This time around, he is looking for a dance which can be learned easily when instructed by an expert. Well David, what could be better than learning the Polka from Simone, a German born dance expert!? At the end of the competition, David hopes that he has had fun, met some new people and supported a good cause.
Simone Goerner has been dancing since she was four years old and has been an instructor for seventeen years. She loves all styles of dancing, but particularly loves Hip Hop because it is such a high energy dance. Simone has been performing her whole life in festivals, concerts and shows in Munich, Germany; Vernon and Salmon Arm. She does all the choreography for her competitions and shows. The most recent were HipHop competitions in Mission – Synergy Dance, Kelowna – Thunderstruck and Vernon- Shine Festival. Simone teaches Hip Hop at City Dance in Vernon.
Simone is the mother of two young boys but also runs a small hobby farm consisting of dogs, cats, bees, cows, goats, pigs and a snake. As if that is not enough, she works as an Account and Property Manager in Salmon Arm.
Fred Green and Instructor Ingalise Abbott
Fred Green has lived in the Shuswap for twenty-five years. He is a business owner of Fabricland which he co-manages with his wife and he is also one of the friendly Salmon Arm bus drivers.
Fred loves to go up to the Larch Hills in the winter when the valley is fogged in order to enjoy the sunshine and clear skies. Fred’s children took part in the Jackrabbit program, which he describes as great family fun, and now when his daughters return home at Christmas they all head up to the Larch Hills for a ski. Fred says of the Larch Hills, “We have a special ski area and a great community of people I am more than happy to support.”
Live performance is old hat for Fred as he is involved in the Northern Lights Chamber Choir and has acted in numerous dramas and musicals at Shuswap Theatre. Recently, he performed in the Canada 150 Coast to Coast to Coast with Jake Jacobson and Friends. Committing to be a contestant in the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars chalet expansion fund raiser just seemed to be par for the course. He hopes that he has picked up some dance steps along the way so that he is not starting from scratch. His approach to the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars challenge is, “You face your fear, learn about yourself and have fun doing it.” Fred knows the rudiments of the Country Two Step but has his eye on learning something more exotic like the Tango. Well Fred, we hope that you will enjoy learning the Cha Cha with our expert Latin dance instructor, Ingalise.
Fred has enjoyed travel to Germany to visit his daughter and his favourite place to vacation is Victoria, B.C. When Fred has some spare time, he likes to read biographies or books about history. Fred has always “pitched in” and he is very pleased to be able to pitch in and help the Larch Hills Nordic Society in this fund raising effort.
Ingalise Abbott is performing as one of our professional dancers. Ingalise has been dancing for 11 years. She became involved with City Dance in Vernon 3 years ago taking lessons as well as assisting with classes in Salmon Arm and Deep Creek. Just over one year ago she started teaching group and private dance classes as an instructor for City dance. Ingalise loves the Latin dances such as Cha Cha Cha, Salsa, Bachata and Argentine Tango. She spent a month in Argentina in Nov 2015 where she danced all day and night, focusing only on Argentine Tango. It is by far the most challenging of all the dances, she has learned.
In the last ten years Ingalise has been competed in two pro-am competitions before a live audience in Vancouver and Calgary as well as two amateur competitions. She has performed in showcases at City Dance in Vernon and at Habitat in Kelowna.
Last year at the first Dancing with the Shuswap Stars, Ingalise choreographed and performed a Quickstep in the Pro-am division. This year she choreographed and instructed a Jive routine in the couples division and a Cha Cha Cha Routine in the Pro-Am Division.