Dancing in the rain in Halifax

Braedon Clark
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Under dreary skies, about 20 people hopped, skipped and danced their way around a Halifax park June 14, drawing curious onlookers and even drawing in a few passersby.

METRO HALIFAX

Sometimes people just want to dance.

That was the lesson you’d have learned if you walked by the Hali Dance Train at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.

Under dreary skies, about 20 people hopped, skipped and danced their way around the park, drawing curious onlookers and even drawing in a few passersby.

Organized by a group called Start With a Smile, the Hali Dance Train was designed to make people have at least a little bit of fun, all without worrying about how ridiculous they may have looked.

“It’s all about the power of a smile,” said Lorelei Phillips, one of the event organizers. “If we can make people’s days just a bit better, we’re doing something right.”

In the past, Start With a Smile has organized a crosswalk dance party and flash mob events. Phillips said there was more in store for the summer, including plans for something that she would only call “The Awesomer”.

The afternoon began with a choreographed number by Gerard Murphy, a modern line dance instructor. As Murphy put his charges through their paces, more and more people began to line the park, wondering what in the world was going on. While most stood on the sidelines and watched, a few brave souls hopped right in and danced along, and not always well.

“I met up with Lorelei on Twitter,” Murphy said when explaining his involvement. “She asked if I wanted to help out with this, and of course I said yes.”

After going through Murphy’s routine, the dancers moved into the park and broke into two lines. With music blasting (including, appropriately, Pharrell’s hit song, Happy), one person from each line would dance down the middle in whatever way they saw fit. Some were old, some were young – a baby in a stroller was pushed down the line at one point – but everyone seemed to be having a good time.

“Dancing is great,” one of the participants said. “It keeps you healthy and happy.”

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