The Rotary Clubs of White Rock and South Surrey launched their 48th annual New Year community dip for 2018. The contestants, dressed in usual swimming or non-swimming attire, were judged on originality and by audience enthusiasm.
Luckily for the swimmers, the weather Monday was sunny and clear. The balmy day's sunshine encouraged a record turnout of of an estimated 4500 people to view and cheer on a group of ten percenter's (10%) who enthusiastically entered the (water)for the race to the bell. It was a great splash with many achieving their annual goal while others turned back being satisfied they started describing the water as "sensationally cold" at 6 degrees Celsius.
Contestants were required to race to the the bell, mounted on a buoy 300 "chilly wet" meters from shore. The winners being the first person to reach and ring the bell. In this case all who rang the bell really were winners - Just ask them.
The annual event Security and safety was provided by the Surrey/White Rock Search & Rescue as well as supporting first responders. Following the polar plunge, the dedicated and not-so-dedicated took to local restaurants such as "Charlie Don't Surf" for a hearty breakfast. The stories and laughter celebrated another New Year and a great way to warn up.
Glen Echo's Spanish Ballroom "dominates the local swing scene." We couldn't agree more. Add the contra scene, the waltz scene, the blues dancing scene .... well, you get the idea, it sets an example to other North American communities to follow.
Glen Echo Park offers regular social dance events and classes in waltz, swing, contra, salsa, and more. Dances take place in the historic Spanish Ballroom, the Bumper Car Pavilion, and the recently-renovated, climate-controlled Ballroom Back Room. The renovation of the Spanish Ballroom in 2003 brought it back to its original splendor, and it remains the premiere site for dancing in the Washington DC area.
All social dances are open to the public, for all ages, with no prior experience or partner required. All dances offer an introductory lesson before the dance begins and most include live music. Tickets are $5 - $20, depending on the dance, and are sold at the door. Tickets generally cannot be purchased in advance. Alcohol is prohibited on park grounds, and smoking is prohibited in all buildings. Dress is casual, and layers are recommended, because the dance halls (with the exception of the Ballroom Back Room) are neither heated nor air-conditioned. A thousand bodies will do the job.
Social Dance Presenters
• Occasional Sunday afternoon ballroom dances are presented by Mike's Ballroom Blast, featuring live music by Mike Surratt & The ECB.
• Once a month Balboa Dance to DJ music presented by American Swing.
• Weekly Thursday night Blues DJ dances and various special Blues weekends are produced by Capitol Blues Band.
• A variety of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dances with live music are presented by Dancing by the Bayou.
Contra & Square Dance
• Weekly Friday night Contra & Square dances are produced by Friday Night Dancers.
• Weekly Sunday night Contra & Square dances are produced by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.
• During the summer, a monthly Sunday afternoon Family Dance is produced by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.
• Weekly Sunday evening Milongas are produced by Tango Brillante DC, usually in the Ballroom Annex, and occasionally in the Spanish Ballroom. Check out Tango Brillante DC on Facebook.
• An annual Salsa Showcase and monthly Friday night Salsa DJ dances are produced by High Energy Productions.
• The following organizations produce Swing dances on Saturday evenings and occasionally on other days and nights:
DC Lindy Exchange
Flying Feet Enterprises
The Jam Cellar
Tom Cunningham Orchestra
• Twice a month Sunday afternoon Waltz dances and the Annual Viennese Waltz Ball are produced by Waltz Time.
Conservationist Robert Hancock of the Hancock Wild Life Foundation was on hand with local resident Yong-ai and O.W.L Voluteer Judy Williamson, for release of one of the combatants at Kiwanis Park in Surrey BC.