Pulling dress after dress out of her closet, Marion Roberts relives her square dancing days.
As each garment passes her fingers, Marion’s eyes light up.
“You just go to the beat of the music,” she says. Slipping into song, “da, ta, da da,” the 92-year-old quickly shuffles her feet to the tune.
She danced for decades and spent significant time behind the sewing machine creating co-ordinated costumes for her and husband Donald.
“I loved it. … When that caller comes out with the microphone your feet start to move,” she said stepping her feet and singing some more.
Sifting through the closet is bittersweet for Marion who gave up square dancing about five years ago after her husband suffered a stroke and couldn’t participate any longer.
Now she’d like to find other square dancers in town who could make use of her costumes instead of having the reminders in a closet.
Fittingly the couple met at a YMCA dance in Victoria. Marion was attending the dance with some co-workers hoping to meet some navy men. Donald fit the bill, and the pair were inseparable until he had to go back to Alberta.
They exchanged letters for a few months and the next time they met, he gave her a ring.
The couple lived in Alberta for “29 months,” Marion said adding, “I missed the Pacific Coast and the salt in the air so we came back here.”
The couple married in 1943 and soon after they began square dancing.
A board filled with ribbons, buttons and memories of the decades of dancing they did together is a testament to the Colwood couple’s years spent travelling across Canada and the United States for square dancing festivals, national conventions and camp outs.
“I just loved it and the social aspect,” said Donald. “We went to Los Angeles, Nebraska and Hawaii, everyone was so friendly everywhere we went.”
For more information on the square dancing costumes call 250-474-5514.