Annapolis Valley woman celebrates 105th birthday with square dance party

While Esther Chute's birthday isn't until April, members of the Fundy Squares dance troupe performed for her Saturday afternoon at the Evergreen Home for Special Care in Kentville, N.S.

'I loved the dancing, I wish I could have been up there myself,' says Esther Chute

Esther Chute turns 105 in April, but got a head start on celebrations with a square dance performance Saturday afternoon. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

Men and women wearing blue, white and black do-si-doed and twirled to a packed room at the Evergreen Home for Special Care in Kentville, N.S., as part of an early birthday present to Esther Chute — who turns 105 in April.

"I loved the dancing, I wish I could have been up there myself," Chute said.

Chute wore her black and white square dancing dress to watch the the performance by the Fundy Squares. In 2014, she was honoured by the United Square Dancers of America for being the oldest active dancer in Continental America.

"I went across Canada years ago ... and square danced on platforms along the way," she said.

Ken Pringle, who also lives at Evergreen, is a former dance partner of Chute. 

"I know Esther from way back. I went to work in Berwick in 1963 and Esther came to me and asked me if I cared to join square dance," said Pringle.

Pringle said he and Esther danced their way across Canada together.

Esther Chute with the Fundy Squares dancers. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

"I had so much fun," said Pringle. "I love her dearly. She's a sweet, sweet lady." 

Kathie Brown, Chute's niece, said her aunt was still dancing up until two years ago. She said she stopped dancing after she fell and injured her hip.

"If it wasn't for that, this lady would be up there dancing right now," said Brown. "She's a real trooper and a real sweet heart."

Even though Chute doesn't dance anymore,  she thinks more people should try it.

"It's good exercise," Chute said. 

Still moving her feet

Paul Wood, the director of recreation and volunteers at Evergreen, said Chute has wanted to bring dancers to the home for a long time.

"We thought it was a tremendous success. It was great to have a lot of the residents involved here. Esther, this was one of her goals to have a group of square dancers," said Wood.

Wood said he could tell how much Chute enjoyed the performance.

"Just watching her moving her feet, keeping time to the music certainly brought memories back, fond memories," he said.

About the Author

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.