Well that's it, done and dusted. The final class of the spring season boasted the respectable number of 23 dancers and guests gathering to enjoy a glass of wine and a few nibbles, and dance of course, prior to dispersing for the summer. We missed a few people, especially David who is one of our stalwarts - please get well soon David, though we are impressed with your timing, hopefully you'll be well on the mend long before the classes restart :-) . Others were missed due to their hosting responsibilities, this being the season for visitors but it was very nice to have a few guests join us too. In addition to the general party atmosphere we also received a follow up visit from our new musician friends - for which we were very grateful. I now have my work cut out for me regarding preparation of the dance programme and music for the St Andrew's Ball so that they have time to practice. The Ball is to be held this year on Friday 24th November. It might seem a long way away but there is a huge amount that goes into preparing for this signature event and it all takes time because we really do want to get it right. There is a lot more news to come about other exciting eventualities but that must wait for now. In the meantime keep cool and enjoy the summer. Jx
I've just been told some of the links to the Picnic in the Park photographs are not working. I have now updated them - hopefully they are now active, but be aware that the 'blether' link will work from within the St Andrew Society website, but probably not from the Facebook page ( I will eventually post them directly there) Let me know if there are any pictures you would like me to send you.
Our spring season is almost over with only one more class to go, and our final event was a fitting success to end one of the most remarkable seasons I've experienced here so far. As usual there are things I personally wish I'd done differently, but the evening itself was blessed with wonderful weather, the decorations and layout of the venue - although not quite what we intended - worked out beautifully and everyone seemed to have a really good time. I have to congratulate all the non-dancers who got up and tried a bit of the dancing, they all did really, really well, especially since not every dance turned out to be as easy as I thought it would be! The food seemed to meet with everyone's approval and the service was outstanding. If anyone wants to send me photos of the night for the website they will be gratefully received - in the meantime my own shots are HERE (or they can accessed via 'PAST EVENTS' above). Yesterday I spent virtually all day sorting out the decorations into the 'decorations box' and washing the sashes etc. and I almost forgot that I hadn't done these blethers yet - partly because I'd updated the dance programme for next week's final dance night already so the 'website' box in my brain was already ticked :-) I've kept the Elephant's Stampede on the programme because we all did so well last week, but otherwise it's a nice easy, familiar programme which I hope will carry us over the summer! I'm not sure this is making sense since it's late and I'm tired - one thing I did want to mention is that we topped 300 weekly visitors to the site this week, with more than 2,100 page views - it never ceases to amaze me how many people access this site all over the world, these numbers are nothing if you compare them to big businesses etc but for a tiny society of less than 50 active members we are doing rather well.To all those unknown people who visit us online every week, hello. and all the rest of you I hope to see on Tuesday.
For once I was right and the anticipated reduction of numbers occurred - though we still managed 2 sets easily. The program was intended to challenge but also proved great fun though it was a steep learning curve for one lovely newcomer, she managed really well so hopefully we haven't put her off! The Elephant's Stampede was tackled well, even the set where most of the dancers hadn't done Schehallion reels before would have conquered the dance if we'd had more time to repeat it - which is why I've put it onto the program again next week - despite all the other dances being very well known or easy as befits the 'end of term' class.
Tomorrow night we are holding our 'Picnic in the Park' at the Elea Golf club; as usual there has been lots of preparation going on behind the scenes and it should be a magical night - if you want to help us decorate please come along to the Elea at 10 a.m. otherwise make sure you are there prompt at 7 pm so you can get the maximum out of a lovely night - I hope to see you there. BTW, the dances are all very easy ones so everyone can do them, but if you really want to know, the list of dancesis HERE (just scroll down to the Picnic in the Park) there are no links attached to them, but if you just google the dance name then the videos will come up if there are any.
Last week I was confidently predicting a reduction in numbers but I obviously spoke too soon and we were still getting 3 sets onto the floor for almost every dance this week; we also did every dance on the programme. Even the 'Glasgow Highlanders' which the class definitely has a love/hate relationship with was performed with a certain amount of gusto - not everything went right, but recovery was spontaneous and done with a certain amount of flair! However we said yet more good-byes, and I received apologies in advance for absences next week so maybe next week we will be a smaller class. In anticipation of fewer numbers and therefore in theory at least, an easier class to teach I am putting a couple of interesting dances on the programme - this time the Elephant's Stampede will be earlier so we will definitely get a chance to dance it and we'll give the 6 couple medley Iona Cross another try - we used to be rather good at it, but it's a while since we've had it on the programme. The other point to having a few more challenging dances is that now the weather is hotting up the necessity of extensive walk-throughs gives us a chance to cool down between dances. It should be an interesting class, but we'll see - oh and of course we don't know who will be in the UK government by then either, but there's no point speculating. See you next week Jx
Numbers at class are starting their summer decline as we say goodbye to more and more swallows; this it the time of year when we have our most magical evenings so it seems such a shame that many people don't get a chance to experience them for long. I confess to getting occasionally tired after 8 months of classes but it's so lovely to be dancing with all the windows open and a fresh breeze blowing through. It's strange to think that there are only 3 more classes before the summer break (two more before the 'Picnic in the Park' then the final class is 20th June) but I remember feeling exactly the same last year and although we are still managing 3 sets up for most of the dances and the temperature is so comfortable it's difficult to imagine anything else I know that very soon it'll be different and we'll be sweating and staggering in the heat. Not quite yet though, and I know that this week's programme met with everyone's approval so I hope next week's will be just as much fun. See you there Jx (PS In case you need to know, the Autumn season starts on the 12th September)
The most surprising things can form links - Scottish dancing and photography aren't natural companions - it's hard to dance holding a camera, and to be honest it's extremely hard to get good pictures in most of the places we dance, but that doesn't mean one can't contribute to the other. Last February P & I went to Winter School and a lovely couple we'd met there before told us that they were coming to Cyprus for a wedding. The conversation then led to photography - which it often does when weddings are mentioned. It turned out that a close relation of theirs was an award winning photographer and he would also be at the wedding. Fast forward 3 months. Last week the award winning photographer very kindly gave a fantastic lecture to the camera club we belong to at the UKCA - not only did he come to see us, but so did our friends from Winter School - it was so lovely to meet up with them and it really demonstrated how dancing can create contacts that would never be formed otherwise - if you allow them to happen. Unfortunately they will have left by the time the Picnic in the Park is on - since so many people have already left we may have to change the area at the Elea in which we hold it - but since this is even prettier than our original location it's not actually a problem - in fact I almost hope we don't sell too many tickets, but on the other hand it should be such a lovely night I don't want anyone to miss it!
Well, I seem to have survived so far and the most challenging of this week's activities are now over with, including giving a talk on Scottish Country Dancing - it's amazing how much information you can gather over the years- hopefully my audience found at least some of the subject interesting; I actually enjoyed both putting it together and presenting it which just shows what a glutton for punishment I am... or maybe I just like to have an excuse to avoid the ironing, which is now threatening to resemble the mountain in 'Close Encounters'.
Last week's class was quieter than usual as other activities, as well as the dreadful cold virus that is going around took at least 10 regulars away from the class, however with the assistance of 2 very welcome visitors we still managed 3 sets for most of the dances and it was amazingly quiet making it much easier to teach!! After a intense 'teach-in' for Pelorus Jack during the 'beginner's bit' there were some intrepid, and on the whole, very successful attempts at the dance itself, we've got it on the programme again for next week so we can hopefully consolidate our knowledge. Other dances on the programme are ones that we've been doing over the last month or two, all of which were pronounced fun dances, but were previously unfamiliar so I am hoping that getting them back on the programme fairly quickly will stop them being forgotten - especially the lovely Rose of the North with 3 couple rights and lefts. See you on Tuesday Jx
This week's class seems ages ago, so much has happened since and so much is happening it's a bit overwhelming, in fact very overwhelming... however I never signed up for a quiet life. P & I have just returned from a lovely few days in the North to film the Orphean Singers performing in Bellapais Abbey - a really lovely experience with opportunities to meet interesting people too, and everything is linked, so from that experience we've hopefully got more people interested in coming to the Picnic in the Park; a choir member has also stepped forward to try and help the little cat who attracted the attention of one of the IB dancers from America - and by the way, when hopefully we've located this lucky kitty, (and if she's not interested) if anyone is interested in being a cat companion on a flight to California the offer is available to have a paid for trip and (depending on the timing of the trip) dancing holiday - certainly an unusual offer, but sincere. Other events coming up are the Barn Dance at the UKCA tomorrow night - not a Society event but in aid of the Cancer Patient's Support Group, a very worthy cause, so hopefully many people are planning to join in and attend, next Saturday there is also a Charity fair at the UKCA which I confess has crept up on me, I'd hoped we might do a demo but it may be too late to organise, especially since I have something on everyday this week - all of which need some form of preparation; if anyone out there fancies organising something for it however feel free, I'm available to turn up and dance, just have no time to spare for getting people together - talking of time, I better get off and get some sleep in - 3 different activities tomorrow, 3 more on Sunday and so it goes on - I'll hopefully see you tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday and if not then definitely on Tuesday! Jx
In my last blether I hoped that some of the remaining IB members might join us for our Tuesday class night at the Avanti. I didn't really expect that they all would come! We also had a reasonably good attendance from our own class, despite several people, especially people living further away sending apologies. It is a very rough approximation but there were about 30 of us, and perhaps 60+ of them which was at least 70 more than Fred was expecting and had planned for! The atmosphere was fantastic... For a few people the occasion was a bit overwhelming and they retired early but graciously, however most thoroughly enjoyed themselves and yet again our visiting dancers were incredibly generous with their skills meaning that as many people as wanted to dance got through the dances whatever their skill level. I noted several of our people becoming miraculously capable once they were in this slightly more challenging environment requiring concentration and slightly less talking!! :-) With so many people in the room there was a real need for discipline but Fred controlled the masses with ease - a very impressive achievement. Overall the evening was a great success, but it is going to nice to get back to normal too so I hope no-one will be disappointed that it's just me this week :-) and our normal, slightly chaotic but friendly fun night. See you there. Jx
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