Favourite local dancer
1. Dancing Gabe
2. Ella Steele
3. Sophia Lee
If anyone is the embodiment of a Winnipeg legend, it’s Dancing Gabe.
Whether he’s in the crowd at the Grey Cup Festival or volunteering at the Canada Summer Games, Gabriel Langlois – better known to most Winnipeggers as Dancing Gabe – brings the moves. Since he began dancing over three decades ago, Gabe’s presence has become synonymous with nearly every major sporting event in the city.
"I started at Blue Bomber games in 1984, and seven years later, I became Dancing Gabe for the Winnipeg Jets,” Gabe says.
While the Jets may have left Winnipeg for a 15-year period, Gabe’s passion certainly did not. He continued to pump up the crowds at Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Winnipeg Goldeyes games, instantly recognizable by his number 91 jersey and animated dance moves.
Growing up as a St. Vital kid – the neighbourhood the dancer still calls home – Gabe’s spirit was the highlight of high-school pep rallies and sporting events. Whether in the halls of Glenlawn Collegiate Institute or at the YMCA-YWCA next door, Gabe’s friendly demeanour is felt by all those who cross paths with him.
When asked about his favourite part of dancing at games, Gabe says it’s “the electricity” and “the crowd” that keep him motivated.
More than a hallmark of major sporting events in Manitoba, Gabe is committed to being of service to his community as a regular volunteer. In February, he received an honourary diploma in community development from Red River College Polytech for his contributions.
“I’ve been to seven Grey Cups. I’ve been a volunteer for Pan-Am Games, the Western Canada Summer Games (and) the Canada Summer Games,” Gabe says.
After 37 years in the crowds, it’s safe to say that a sports game just ain’t the same without Dancing Gabe.
Published in Volume 76, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 2, 2021)