Valerie Halme is passionate about dance and her greatest pleasure is seeing that passion develop in her students. "Dance can awaken an inner joy you never knew existed". Passing that on is the greatest gift she can give.
Val graduated as a school teacher from the University of Victoria with a specialty in Language Arts and P.E. After enjoying two years of teaching in Victoria her path led her back to her love of dance. She answered a newspaper ad to audition as a ballroom dance instructor at Arthur Murray's Dance Studio. With years of ballet training behind her, Val thought this would be a great way to spend her summers, she was accepted and immediately began her teacher training. She was hooked from the start and what began as a carefree summer job turned into an exciting career of more than 40 years.
Valerie became the protege of Lola Valair, internationally noted judge and professional Latin competitor and one of the most highly respected people in the dance industry in North America at that time. Ms. Valair was also franchisee of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Victoria and Vancouver. As a young instructor Valerie was honoured for being the Top Specialist Teacher in the Pacific Northwest.
Val and her professional dance partner left Arthur Murray's to perform, compete and to teach independently. She has danced in movies, competed successfully in pro-am competitions with her students and taught on cruise ships but now she is doing what she loves best, helping beginners take their first steps into the exciting world of Ballroom dancing. She has stayed connected with children and teens by going into the schools in Victoria and in the Comox Valley to introduce young people to the joys of social dancing and offers teen classes in her sessions. She is always pleased to see how much they enjoy it and loves to dispel the myths that Ballroom dancing is dull. "It's only fear of the unknown that prevents people from taking dance lessons. Men especially are pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is and how much easier it is to learn than they expected. With the popularity of so many dance movies recently and several dance reality shows on TV, the non-dancing public is now flocking to their local dance studios. Once you try it you'll be hooked too."
Val Halme shares her passion for dance five nights a week at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay from Sept. to May and does summer workshops and mini-sessions in June and July. Valerie teaches the North American social style of Ballroom, Latin and Swing dancing.