Thanks to J & A for the use of their back yard for dance practice (and for the coffee afterwards) - we were all there prompt at 9:00 a.m. and keen to hone our demo skills! The dances themselves we knew fairly well but the little touches like progressing onto the floor, moving from square to long-wise set positions and a very neat system of 'dropping down' to the bottom of the set in Mairi's Wedding made all the difference to how polished we felt. Of course once we were at the UKCA the usual problems of sound systems (we should have known and just brought our own) and space reared their ugly heads but it's all useful experience and the basic criteria of looking like we were enjoying ourselves must have been met because, from the limited number who actually watched us, at least half a dozen were sufficiently interested to ask for more information on classes - who knows they may even be there on Tuesday!
Oh Boy.... it was hot, did I say anything about the temperatures cooling down last week? If I did, I apologize. It was uncomfortably warm for dancing last night - so well done to the 23 folk who joined us last night and literally danced till they dropped - well they certainly danced 'till they dripped. (Sorry if you are reading this while you are eating!) We had a lot of fun with a old favorites and new stuff alike, but it was hot. Dare I say that it should be cooler next week?
We are getting a scratch team up to dance at the UKCA's Autumn Fair this Saturday, only 3 dances (at least that is the plan) but at 2pm in the afternoon that will seem a lot - never mind it will be fun
Well I would say that wouldn't I! But it certainly felt fantastic to me and I hope everyone else felt the same. We had 25 people turn up which is the best number ever for a return class and despite it being uncomfortably hot and humid for dancing, virtually everyone was up for virtually every dance. All dances at classes from now on will be on the ball programme so it was doubly satisfying for me to see people tackling the new ones with slight trepidation and then pronouncing afterwards how much they enjoyed them and what good dances they were. The whole class got up to practice 1/2 diamond poussettes - which are needed for Neidpath Castle, you could see lots of people thinkin "ooh eck, why can't she keep it simple" (or the Scottish equivalent) and then - good for them - we got 3 sets up for the dance itself and the same people came off the dance floor with big grins on their faces mentally punching the air "we did it". There is lots of time to hone all our skills so it all bodes well for the big day. Da Da Da DaDa Da Daaaa. Right, enough of dancing - I've now got to change my hats and go and critique photographs, I wonder if I can do it to music?
Tomorrow the Tuesday classes restart and for the last couple of days I've been working entirely on 'dance' stuff, with flurries of e-mails flying around me - I thought I had everything under control but revising the dances, printing cribs, printing notices, updating the register, revising the Ball programme, designing the Ball tickets, checking the music, and dusting off the speakers etc has proved me wrong, and there is still more to do. I was intending to update this website early this morning but time has shot by - but better late than never - though I've realized I've still got a problem with the Ball programme so back to the drawing board yet again. I hope to see lots of people at class - then it'll all be worth it... role on tomorrow.
Although resisting any attempts to get me on the committee officially I am often invited to meetings when the business to be addressed impacts the dancing classes or the website or when an event is approaching that involves dancing. Because the new dancing season is starting next week (hurray) and the St Andrew's Ball organization is already in it's final phase and advertising and ticket printing is the next order of the day, I got to attend. It is always interesting seeing a committee in action - the ones that work best, in my opinion (and this is just my opinion of course), are ones where every member has their own specific role, does their job with minimum interference and fuss - and just uses the committee to report back on the result - it was interesting to see how much our very active and effective committee members followed that mold. An enormous amount of work has been done over the summer - discussions were friendly, profitable and to the point - and if it went on a very long time it was because they were enjoying themselves (and not because one person was pontificating for ever.... we've all been there haven't we, and horrifyingly sometimes it was me !! ;-) ) So the upshot is I was impressed, and I'm sure everyone else will be when they see the results - there are interesting things on the horizon, but my lips are sealed!
Today was the last session of the little 6 week course I've been running at the UKCA and, ironically, the first time it was a reasonable temperature for dancing; we only managed one set all the way through but it was a valuable exercise for me and hopefully equally valuable for the dancers, giving them a chance to think about steps and technique rather than just having to do the best they can in the hurly burly of a dance night. Everyone went away keen for the Tuesday classes to restart so they can put into practice what they have learnt. Before I left we had a request for a demo team at the UKCA autumn fayre - so we can't have looked too bad. I now have to write up all the lessons and send them off to the RSCDS for assessment and hopefully I can then go onto the final Unit 5 in 2015.
There are few places that can beat the Bona Mare for a wonderful setting to watch the sun go down and nearly 20 members gathered to swap summer news and enjoy a meal and drinks at the Bona Mare's usual excellent prices - always good for brownie points with a Scottish Society!
It was great to see such a good turn out - D & A even travelling down from Limassol to touch base before the dance classes restart, it was a very enjoyable night, my only regret being that I forgot to take any photographs - not like me at all.
Very few of our 'Swallows' have returned to the island as yet so it was especially reassuring see so many people and to hear how much they are looking forward to getting back to the classes, we definitely aren't going to be struggling to make up sets this year. Luckily the excessive heat has now abated, almost as if a switch was thrown on 1st September so we should be able to enjoy ourselves without too much fluid loss or swooning in the heat!
Although it might seem that everything is very quiet during the summer break there is a fair amount of energy and ideas bubbling around under the surface and negotiations have been going on to bring a sponsor on board for the two biggest events of our calender the St Andrew's Ball in November and, of course, Burns' Night in January. We'd like to welcome a new and very generous sponsor in the shape of Blevins Franks the International Tax & Wealth Management company. Blevins Franks have branches here in Paphos as well as an impressive number of areas in Europe - you can check out their website at http://www.blevinsfranks.com/ if you want to see what they do. With all this interest and hard work going on around me it has made me knuckle down and complete the dance program for the St Andrew's Ball; there are so many lovely dances it is never difficult to find dances to do, the difficulty is deciding what not to do. The dance program will be posted on the St Andrew's Ball page, found under Events by the end of the week.
Over half way through the summer dance course and we've now got the Tuesday Class restart date on the horizon. People are e-mailing with suggestions, requests or just to touch base and say they are here (or when they will be here) and to make sure all is well for the start. The committee have organized a pre-season get together (details on the Events page) and there is a bit of a buzz in the air despite it still being so hot that you think twice about walking outside for more than 5 minutes.
It's great to see the level of anticipation. Life is very busy, birthday's, photography/Photoshop work, family visiting, computer tutorials, and lots and lots of gardening etc are all taking up time but dancing is always there in the background.
After a hectic few weeks with Kerry & her family my first 'beginner's' class at the UKCA seems to have arrived really quickly - it's August already! Unbelievable! Although, as usually happens, we didn't have many of the folk who had initially seemed enthusiastic we did manage to get a set together and as a learning experience it was very useful - more breaks when it's this hot seems to be the most important one! I know that we are going to have a greater number of dancers next week because several people are back from holiday so I am quite happy to have had a 'slow' initial class, role on next week.
Originated in Manchester, England: Worked almost 20 yrs in the Emirates: Lives in Cyprus, Teaches Scottish Country Dancing (RSCDS qualified 2015) -just the average life. Also loves Photography & Photoshop, Gardening, Music, Sewing, Design, Reading, Sudoku, God, my husband & my cats (not necessarily in that order). Hates - cooking, housework, TV, politicians, cruelty and greed of any kind