I was so keen to get back to dancing that the heart overcame the head... I was definitely not in the best shape for doing so, physically or mentally - blood sugar levels have a lot to answer for; having said that, it was still an excellent night, in fact it was so good I think I need to go away more often - everyone danced brilliantly - having to move furniture so we can get 4 sets up, yet again, well Wow!. We learnt / revised the poussette and then danced The Linton Ploughman in full 4 couple set form, which meant everyone got probably slightly more poussette practice than they were expecting... but by the end, even those who weren't quite perfect in performance had a good idea of how it was supposed to go, and that was the whole point. Well done! I'm still enthused by the committee meeting held today - I resist all requests to become a committee member but nevertheless I am regularly invited to attend in my capacity of dancing sorter outerer, web presence creator and designer of sundry posters, tickets etc. There are so many exciting things coming up, organization is ongoing for future events stretching as far ahead as this time next year, or happening a near as 3 weeks away - check out the Future Events page for information and dates for your diary, I'll be adding lots of updates as soon as I have time to put them up, hopefully some time over the weekend, so keep checking it out. See you next week
with a bump; having managed the whole of my time in the UK without a single cough or sneeze or any serious aches and pains I have finally succumbed to the results of not taking care of my diet and I'm now feeling pretty grotty: but hopefully it will be over quickly because I am looking forward to dancing back home again. I've heard that everything went well while I've been away and there's lots to look forward too. No time to be ill.
This is the night of the final Ball at Blair Atholl Castle. Pete and I have just finished a 'walk through' of the lesser known dances and are looking forward to a special festive meal before the ball. We've had a fabulous time attending the RSCDS Winter School based in the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry (Scotland). It is the second time I have been to the 'School' but although I try to describe it, the warmth, atmosphere, excitement, sheer joy that you can feel doing this type of thing is impossible to really understand until you've experienced it. Not everyone here is a brilliant dancer, not everyone is even a competent dancer, everyone is an enthusiastic dancer however; the classes are taken seriously, the teachers are amazing and the musicians even more so but it's as much about fun as footwork and formations. The hotel is amazing, there is a great spa - free to guests and it's great resting weary limbs in the steam room or jacuzzi - superb food, lovely staff and that special highland flavour of log fires and leather sofa's. The evening dances - again it is difficult to describe the feeling of being one of 100 + on the floor, all flying to the music - we've done brand new dances and very old dances, very easy dances and slightly tricky dances, even several 'round the room' dances which were amazing with so many people. Above the ankles we wish we could do it all over again right now, below the ankles we're glad there's about 6 months before there's even a remote chance of doing it all again!
Next week Pete & I are students ourselves at the RSCDS Winter School in Pitlochry, Scotland. I am reaaaaalllly looking forward to it. Preparing to leave however has been strangely stressful, giving thought to 3 weeks of dance programmes, (yesterday's + the 2 weeks we are away) preparing the music, allocating 'dance leaders' (so hopefully, everyone still gets a decent chance to dance as well as 'teach'), creating guide sheets for setting up the computer, speaker & an easier to use mic, printing the programmes and whittling down the class 'stuff' to the bare essentials took far longer than expected and wasn't particularly pleasant because it made me realize, yet again, how much we enjoy Tuesday evenings and I don't want to miss any of them! Last night we again had 37 at class - not exactly the same 37 as the week before however and an even larger proportion of 'newer' dancers; this meant that the programme, which actually only contained one 'new' dance - (in fact a very well known 'easy' dance but new to the majority of our class) became a definite challenge - it's very tricky teaching a new dance in the short time we have available, and especially tricky when we have 3 sets up to learn it! Everyone did amazingly well (luckily we still had some great visiting dancers to assist) - next week hopefully everyone will give it another go and it will quickly become a class staple like all the others on the next couple of week's programmes. We also tried having a break half way through the evening, as suggested at the AGM - this seems a good idea although it became over extended by the number of notices I gave out and we ended up having to cut out several dances, in future I'll set a timer so we (i.e. I ) don't get carried away again! I'll be updating this next week from Scotland. :-)
An excellent meeting and Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Committee - those returning for another stint and to our new joint treasurers. The business was completed with good humour and constructive comments and the food was all we hoped for - delicious! Pictures are available HERE of the meeting, but nothing of the meal... I was too busy eating!
And I thought last week was good! I've had 3 days of dance classes - Advanced on Sunday at our new venue, Thompson's Dance Studio; Beginners on Monday at the UKCA which is taking off brilliantly and was so much fun I didn't think it could be bettered, but last night's Tuesday class was, in modern parlance, 'Awesome' :-) We had 37 at class, and I keep on remembering little snap shot moments - more arriving when we already had 3 sets up for Butterscotch & Honey so they had to wait for everyone to cast up the dance before they could get through the door; welcoming more friends back to class; being told that one of our visiting couples, all of them dancers (lovely to see all of you), had travelled an hour or more from Limassol to be with us, and they enjoyed it so much they'll be back next week; pushing tables and chairs back and back again so a 4th set could be accommodated, the whoop at the end of 'Postie's Jig' when everybody got to the end, in the right place, at the right time, with the right partner (he, he) - the frustration of Monica's way.... we will get it end honest! And the fun of the 'Chorus' in Clutha as we finished a truly brilliant night. Thank you everybody... I can't wait 'till next week!
For the first time this year class numbers topped 30+ and like last week at least half of the class were beginners or less confident dancers; that would often mean a lot of people sitting out - enjoying the evening with a good chat to friends but not getting the chance to dance as much as other evenings when the proportions were different. Not last night, last night everyone danced to the extent that on a chilly evening with only one heater available we all warmed up so much that the room was festooned with discarded cardigans and jumpers - most of the time there were at least 2 sets on the floor, 4 dances were done with 3 sets up - and not all of them were simple dances. A very very well done to everyone for contributing to such a fun night - the only down side was that we completely forgot to mention any of the exciting events planned for the rest of the Spring season, an Edinburgh Tattoo night, a Weekend Workshop, and an end of Season Dance at the Elea - and first of course our AGM on the 13th of this month at the UKCA - we'll definitely have lots to talk about. See you next week.
Whenever you do anything that involves a number of people, especially if the numbers and mix of people change on a weekly basis, life becomes more interesting! More often than not our proportion of 'confident' dancers can out way our less experienced/confident dancers by 2:1 but not last week; Last Tuesday's class mix was closer to 50/50 - this meant that a programme of dances that ordinarily would seem very simple became much more of a challenge - and it is all the more admirable that we managed every single dance, and even did an encore. with two sets up for almost all of the dances when we had enough people to do them. We had some more newcomers and returnees and it was great to see them, in fact it was great to see everybody because it was such a freezing cold night (at our house literally freezing since there had been ice in the water troughs all day) that we wouldn't have been surprised if nobody had turned up, instead we had an excellent - if initially very well wrapped up - turn out who kept themselves warm in one of the best ways you can ... dancing the night away. See you next week, in February, already!
It was a sell out and well worth it! I confess that in the past I would happily skip a traditional Burns Night because half of it would be in a language I couldn't understand and the other half would involve drinking too much ... something I can enjoy to a degree, especially if it's good whisky, but not to the degree a true Scot brought up in the tradition considers worthy - however when the language is as brilliantly and funnily used as it was last night, and the food and company as good I again realize exactly why this is such a well loved occasion and I'm sure we weren't the only people who's guests departed with "can you book us tickets for next year"! The Elea staff were brilliant - coping with a very large number with virtually no room to move - there were the inevitable delays between courses but they managed it all with calm friendliness and few problems. Once more Blevins Franks provided very generous gifts for their prize draw, the shortbread on the tables as well as the welcome drinks, and we are truly blessed to have great speakers amongst our Society members - Doug, Ken and Alison were all wonderful, funny and fascinating; Irene continued tirelessly sorting out problems (despite being injured), John MacDonald yet again provided us with the required pipe performances, he gets better & better and Don finished the night with a true Burns song. We are on the whole a 'dancing society' and this is one of our few events that doesn't include a 'skip change' or two but it shows that the fun and friendliness we have in our classes continues out of that setting and that's what the Society is all about. See you on Tuesday.
The dip in Tuesday class numbers last week is now forgotten and probably unlikely to be repeated as our regular migratory members are starting to drift back. It's great to see them, although the noise levels are now rising as everyone tries to pack several months of news into the few minutes between dances - it's nice to hear the chatter too - it's the fact that everyone talks to each other, as well as dances with each other, that makes the class such a friendly and fun night. This was the first week that we really needed the heaters on, luckily a few minutes of step practice during the 'beginner's bit' warmed me up nicely but for so many people to turn up on such a damp and dismal day was brilliant - it did take a few minutes for the coats and scarves to come off, but most people managed a healthy glow eventually. The next few days are going to be taken up with preparation for our 'Burn's Night Celebration' at the Elea on Saturday - anyone who wants to help us decorate the restaurant on Saturday morning is very welcome to join us at 10 a.m. otherwise I look forward to seeing all you lucky souls who've managed to get tickets on Saturday Night, then on either Monday or Tuesday for dancing- or if I'm very lucky both!
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