Each pair will consist of a local celebrity paired with a professional dance instructor.
Stephen Hiscock and Instructor Ingalise Abbott
When he was a teenager Stephen was undecided about which direction his life should take. He said to his mother, “I’d like to be a surgeon, but I’d also really like to be an actor.” His mother said, “Well, Stephen, if you become a surgeon, you can be an actor in your spare time. But, if you become an actor, I don’t think it would be possible for you to do surgery in your spare time.” He made the right decision and many of us in the Shuswap have benefited from both his talents.
With six children and the demands of family and work it’s a wonder Stephen has time for other activities. At one point he had four children involved in Jack Rabbits at Larch Hills. But, he says, being part of this fund raiser for the Larch Hills Chalet Expansion “sounded like too much fun”. When not performing on stage at Shuswap Theater, he can be found running, swimming and enjoying outdoor activities with his family in the Shuswap.
Come November he’ll be delighting audiences once again, as he quick-steps his way across the dance stage competing in the Pro-Am Division of the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fundraiser. Although it’s been twenty-five years since he last took dance lessons, he once again finds himself learning a new step via dance lessons from Instructor Ingalise Abbott.
Ingalise Abbott is performing as one of our professional dancers. Ingalise has been dancing for about ten years, and though she is not a dance instructor, she helps with dance classes in Salmon Arm and in Deep Creek. Ingalise loves the Latin dances such as Rumba, Cha Cha, Salsa and Bachata. She spent a month in Argentina in early 2016 where she danced all day and night. Ingalise thinks that the waltz is the most challenging of all dances that she has learned. This is because maintaining the proper ballroom frame (how you hold your body) while trying to appear smooth and effortless is very difficult.
Ingalise has been competing in recent competitions before a live audience. She performed in two pro-am competitions 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. At Christmas, Ingalise choreographed a Jive routine for a Christmas show.
Ingalise is very excited to choreograph and perform a Quick-Step routine for this fund raiser.
Tracy Hughes and Instructor Orlando Robertson
Tracy Hughes, the beloved editor of our local paper, the Salmon Arm Observer, needs very little introduction as we already know a lot about her through reading her weekly editorial comments.
But, wait a minute, who knew that Tracy feels a bit uncontrolled and clumsy on the dance floor? And, already she’s shaking in her boots at the prospect of performing in front of hundreds of people come Nov. 18th. Perhaps she should have kept up with those ballet lessons as a teen.
She isn’t afraid to try new things, though, considering that at the age of forty she took up soccer. She joined the Women’s Recreational Soccer League and now plays indoor in the winter and outdoor in the summer. More recently she started running and is training for a 10km race.
By taking part in Dancing with the Shuswap Stars, Tracy has taken a big step out of her comfort zone. Encouraged to do this by one of the organizers at her gym, starting in September she’ll be well on her way to feeling confident and skilled as she perfects her moves doing the Cha Cha with her instructor, Orlando Robertson.
Orlando Robertson started dancing three 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 Bee Keeper. In the winter he skis at Larch Hills. Then in the evenings, he dances.
Thank you, Orlando, for volunteering to choreograph and dance the cha-cha with Tracy Hughes in this fund raiser for the expansion of the Larch Hills Chalet.
John Thielman and Instructor Simone Goerner
John Thielman is well known at the Larch Hills Ski area since he lives at the bottom of ski-out, owns John’s Ski Shack, has coached the Larch Hills Junior Racers for many years and has also organized many race events. John says that other than his family of three children, Melissa, Clayton and Katie and his wife Tammy (for 22 great years), Nordic skiing is his life. John is also self employed with his sawmill and logging construction business, JET Contracting.
When John is not involved with skiing, he likes to fish and mountain and road bike. A favourite vacation spot is Tatlayoko. John is a member of the Enderby Lions Club as well as the LHNS (Larch Hills Nordic Society).
John agreed to be a star in this event to help the LHNS. He has no idea about any styles of dance, let alone a favourite, and the last time he danced was when he took Ballroom lessons in Physical Education class in grade 12. Thanks, John, for volunteering to dance, we look forward to your Salsa routine!
Simone Goerner has been dancing since she was four years old and has been an instructor for sixteen 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.
Nancy Cooper and Instructor Jens Goerner
Nancy Cooper, the mayor of Salmon Arm, graciously agreed to be a part of the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fundraiser because she feels that the Larch Hills ski area is a community resource that contributes to the overall physical and mental wellness of the community as well as being a lot of fun. She has skied and snowshoed in the Larch Hills Ski area with her husband, Harry, as well as with friends. She also enjoys outdoor activities in the Shuswap such as walking, hiking, golf, boating, swimming and horseback riding.
Nancy and Harry have five grown children and are soon expecting their seventh grandchild. Nancy has two dogs, a small nine year old shih zhu/bichon named Sasha and a tall thoroughbred gelding named Cysco. She loves to “hang out” with family and friends. She enjoys photography and creates books for her grandchildren, known to them as the “Young Adventurer” series. Nancy admires and is inspired by the young people in the Shuswap.
Other than giving speeches, this will be Nancy’s first time performing in an artistic capacity before a live audience. She is pleased to be performing a waltz, because even though she likes all dances, she particularly admires the graceful ballroom dances. She and Harry tried taking dance lessons a number of years ago, but they found that their schedules were too busy to continue. So, this really is a first for Nancy and we thank her for being so willing to be one of our stars.
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 seven years ago and they have been building a beautiful home, shop, greenhouse and gardens. They have two young sons as well as goats, cows, dogs and pigs that keep them extremely busy.
Jens has been dancing for 26 years and has been an instructor for the last 24 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 waltz performed by Jens and Mayor Nancy Cooper as well as the Night Club 2 Step choreographed by Jens and performed by Ian and Kaitie Gray.
Ruth Brighouse and Instructor Nic Faucher
Ruth Brighouse was born and raised in Salmon Arm. She returned after university to work as a family physician and to raise a family. Ruth has one son who will turn 20 this year. Ruth has focused her medical practice on Women’s Reproductive Health and primarily provides prenatal and delivery care to pregnant women. She is also very involved in the community as she sings with the Shuswap Singers and is on the board of SARP (Shuswap Association for Rowing and Paddling). Ruth would like you to know that SARP provides a wonderful and affordable opportunity to get on Shuswap Lake either rowing or paddling and that new members are always welcome.
Ruth is thrilled to help support this fund raising event for the Larch Hills Chalet Expansion as she has been skiing at the Larch Hills since the 1970’s. She has fond memories of a snowmobile pulling a tracker for a single lane track and still loves the cozy single lane trails best. Ruth is an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, sailing, swimming and diving. Ruth stated, “Here in the Shuswap, we have an all season playground that really is a piece of paradise.” Ruth also likes to travel the world and experience different languages, cultures and cuisine.
Ruth has performed before a live audience, singing, playing musical instruments and dancing. She studied ballet as a young girl, then international folk dancing, jazz, and modern dancing. She loves Latin dancing and her favourite style of dance is the Argentine Tango. When asked why she agreed to be involved in this fund raiser she stated: “I want to help support the Larch Hills Ski Club which has been a source of recreation for me for 45 years. I LOVE to dance so this event is a perfect way for me to participate in a fund raiser.”
Nic moved to Vernon three years ago from Winnipeg for the Massage Therapy Program. He currently works as an RMT and as a supervisor at the college. During the last two years he has had roles in “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Rocky Horror” and recently in “Beauty and the Beast”. He also has done Ukrainian dancing since he was four and has been teaching it as well as ballroom and swing for the last several years. Although he likes salsa, bachata, west coast swing, and jive, his favourite is cha cha which he finds to be a very sharp aggressive dance.
He has performed multiple times and has been in many dance competitions. He has done dance choreography and has seen his dances performed at City Dance. Dancing has been quite a passion for him and he feels that sharing it is the best way to show his appreciation for dancing. He is looking forward to participating in Dancing with the Shuswap Stars.
Rich Daniels and Instructor Heather Stranks
Rich is one of Salmon Arm’s noted EZ Rock radio hosts – normally on the air from 2 to 7 Monday through Friday. He’s known for playing fabulous music and sharing lots of information about artists. He also keeps his listeners up to date about what’s happening locally and around the world. He’s a big movie buff and has an extensive collection. During football season – Hey, that’s right now! – you might recognize him by his Edmonton Eskimos jersey. While the Eskies are Rich’s favourite team, he cheers for the Lions (When not playing the Green and Gold & during the Grey Cup; whichever Western team is playing. He has jerseys for every CFL team except the Ti-cats and Redblacks. Did I mention that Rich loves everything CFL (Oh, really? What about Ottawa and the Ti-Cats?)
Back in the 70’s, Rich took dance lessons in junior high. From this he loves to watch Argentine Tango but admits his style is actually The White Man Shuffle. He’s not the only one who enjoys dancing, as one of his two surrogate children, Richelle performed at the Salmon Arm Fall Fair. Perhaps a future dance team could come out of this – Rich and Rich Dance Duo.
Rich’s other interests are reading all kinds of genres, watching live plays and listening to music of all kinds. He’s a member of the Masonic Lodge #52, Shuswap Theater and the Shuswap Minor Football Association (Go Chargers!). Rich also supports Relay for Life and the Salvation Army Food Drive. We are fortunate that Rich is with us to participate in Dancing with the Shuswap Stars, because one of these days he hopes to travel the world with his first destination being Japan where he has family. Meanwhile he loves local happenings like Roots and Blues, W.O.W. and the Jazz Café …and, of course, dancing in support of the Larch Hills Chalet Expansion.
Because he avoids the outdoors he has never been to Larch Hills, but he is very enthusiastic about Dancing with the Shuswap Stars as a fundraiser for the Larch Hills Ski Chalet Expansion.
Heather Stranks, as co-owner of City Dance, has been a huge contributor to the success of the Larch Hills Dancing with the Stars event. Not only is Heather a dancer and choreographer in the event, she is also our “behind the scenes” expert and a willing volunteer for whatever needs to be done. Heather agreed to be involved in this fund raiser to not only help raise funds for the Larch Hills but to also bring awareness of dance to the Shuswap.
Heather was a figure skating coach for 35 years in Vernon. She has been dancing for over ten years and has been an instructor for the last seven years. Some of her dance and choreographic work include “Melina Moore’s Christmas”, the Big Apple production of “Beauty and the Beast”, dance seminars in Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as three huge dance shows at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre put on by City Dance: “The Evolution”, “Global Fusion” and “The Magic”. Heather particularly enjoys performing Ballroom styles of dance as well as the Argentine Tango.
When not dancing, Heather enjoys skating and skiing. She has three grown sons and lives in Vernon with her husband Ed and their two dogs.