My earliest memory of dancing was in a Ukrainian church basement during a recital. I was probably around five years old and dressed in traditional Ukrainian garb, which included puffy blue sharovary pants (this was pre-MC Hammer, mind you). The rest of the boys in the dance group were performing the pidsichka (the coffee grinder), a move similar in breakdancing where you squat and spin one leg around and around. I was never able to perform this, so I just stood there and stared at the audience. When my grandmother asked afterwards why I wasn’t dancing with the rest of the group, I tried to convince her they were doing the wrong routine. Well nowadays, I still can’t do the pidsichka, but I do like to dance occasionally. And chances are—be it on a stage, studio, club, or in the privacy of your own home—you dance as well, because Thunder Bay has over 24 different dance groups in the city catering to different dance styles and ethnic backgrounds.
So with this in mind, our May issue is all about dance. From pow wow to ballet to pole to swing, and everything in between, we profile various dance groups and associations in the city as well as dancers who have made a mark in the community and beyond. As part of our theme, Michael Sobota gives his recommendations for dance in movies, Pamela Cain explores the history behind the Chippewa Dance Pavilion, and our sommelier Jeannie Dubois dances with the green fairy—absinthe, that is.
Also this month, Tonya Muchano previews Cambrian Player’s take of Arthur Miller’s classic play Death of a Salesman, Robin Moss talks to multidisciplinary artist Shayne Ehman about his new spoken word album, Stuff We Like features some fantastic ideas for the Victoria Day weekend, and we present a new column, Dear Wally, where we invite people to write to our advice columnist Wally about problems they might be experiencing that are unique to Northwestern Ontario.
So now that the weather is finally reflecting the season, I hope this issue puts some spring in your step (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and gets you in the mood for dancing. I might just go get some sharovary pants and try the pidsichka myself.