because next season we will be dancing at a different venue... unless of course the new building owner wants us back again! We'll let you know by e-mail, or keep an eye on this website. Anyway our last dance night was great fun, we had lots of our new dancers and visitor too so although there was only enough people for 2 sets and often there was only 1 set going there was plenty of energy and enthusiasm as we tackled the likes of Gyspy Thread, The Bridge of Athlone and Virginia Reel. The food as always was plentiful and varied though the extreme heat outside led to a few culinary surprises we were all nice and cool in the air conditioning and a good time was had by all. We are restarting on 3rd September at a venue yet to be announced but in the meantime I will be working on the tickets for the Tattoo night in October and the dance programme for the St Andrew's ball in November - see details (where available) for future events via Events tab above.
12 attendees last week, so this week the program was perhaps a little more challenging than it might have otherwise been because when numbers drop it's a great time introduce more 'interesting' dances, fewer numbers means you can teach more easily and it keeps it interesting... and then this week, there's 19 of us including some brand new absolute beginners as well as many more of our newer dancers! I should know by now that this will always happen, however everyone did really well with 2 sets up for virtually every dance and the Monday class excelled themselves by getting up to dance Mairi's wedding, which we had covered the day before - and keeping it going all the way through even when the inevitable blank moments hit.
Next week is our last class so I hope everyone is planning to come along and enjoy some easy peasy dances and lots of food. Entrance is free as long as you bring a plate of food... family and guests also welcome. Restart date is 3rd September, no doubt is will descend very quickly. We wont be restarting in the same venue but we'll inform people where that will be in the next week or so.
I'm not sure what happened but I appear to have missed a week, very strange because there has been lots to report but it's probably because there has also been lots to do. The Picnic on the Patio was a great success, despite discouraging weather forecasts the temperature was perfect with a slight breeze and no suspicion of rain and certainly none of the thunder storms that were threatened over the weekend. The patio was 'arranged' in a slightly different way from the last time we used it and it worked really well, keeping all the tables to one side of the 'dance floor' meant no-one was too isolated if they found themselves sitting out a dance, but everyone still had a good view. Pictures of the event can be found under EVENTS -> PAST EVENTS -> then click on the relevant poster or click HERE . One of the lovely things about the night was that many people joined us who we haven't seen for a long time - even years in some cases - others, who are new members, experienced the fun and real magic of this particular evening for the first time - many still haven't stopped saying how lovely it was - and it reminds those of us who have done it all before of how lucky we are to be part of it. The most special thing for me though is creating moments such as when our little 4 year old guest was dancing 'Borrowdale Exchange' in the same set as a lady 80 years older than her, - both of them loving every minute, laughing and galloping around with their partners ... how many other activities can claim to be so much fun and so inclusive of all ages and abilities! And the moon really did shine over it all!
After the 'Picnic' there was the inevitable cleaning and repacking of all our decorations, editing of the pictures and various changes to the website to be done which is presumably why the weekly blethering didn't happen. Since then we've had 2 excellent Monday 'beginners' classes and 2 Tuesday sessions however with the usual gradually diminishing numbers we get at this time of year, (despite the very welcome inclusion of family and guests) - partly because of the heat (though ironically the AC's kept us cooler than we are at home) this week the Tuesday session only saw 12 dancers who really did have to work very hard :-) however it was a really good night of dancing so they have to be congratulated. We've got 2 more weeks to go, don't forget that on 9th July we are running the class as an American Supper and ceilidh - it is always a good night and the more the merrier. The 9th will also, probably, be the last class we hold at our current venue since the the PCFi have been told that the buildings' condition requires them to leave... everyone will be informed soon of the venue for next seasons 'Tuesday Class' - although we are still open to more suggestions if anyone knows of somewhere that is easily accessible / locatable (preferably on a bus route for visitors) and with similar facilities to those we currently enjoy.
Right that should more than make up for missing last week. Hopefully I will see you next week or the week after before we 'break up' and if not, enjoy your summer. BTW click on Future Events to see the dates for the restart of dancing in September, the Tattoo Night in October and St Andrew Society Ball in November and put them in your diaries.
And that was just me... and as usual, the numbers were practically the same... but many of the people were different - so what's new! It was lovely to see some of our rarer visitors dropping in to pick up tickets for the Picnic on the Patio - and staying to dance - I'm not sure if they regretted it though because they definitely plunged in at the deep end for some of the dances. It was brilliant fun however and amazing that we had 2 sets up for most of the more challenging dances, not everything worked but everyone tried and doing the tricky ones can suddenly make the, only slightly, easier ones seem simple. I finally had the chance to dance Ramadan-ce myself - albeit as a man, but I was chuffed to manage it practically unscathed - though my brain cells were definitely addled earlier in the evening and the condition was catching as quite a few people went through the dreaded 'blank moments' during the evening.
Now we are all steam ahead for the Elea event on Saturday. For those who are interested, the dance programme for Saturday is now available on the FUTURE EVENTS page with links to YouTube videos available when you click on the dance name. I am looking forward to a lovely evening, but since it is still getting chilly in the evenings make sure you bring a wrap or jacket - see you there if you are coming - and if not because you are heading home, have a safe trip and we look forward to seeing you after the summer Jx
It felt an odd sort of night... the weather continues very warm but completely overcast giving a prolonged 'storm on the horizon' feeling and a definite feeling of gloom -the previous week the lights only went on at half time, this week the lights were needed immediately, but so were the A.C's. For the first time ever poor Pete is suffering from severe 'hayfever' most likely due to the Olive tree pollen rather than grasses (so he is hoping it wont drag on too long),; It is making him feel very miserable however he did manage to drag himself around a few dances and the fact that he thought them all excellent was therefore an even better tribute than it would normally have been.
It was a very challenging programme, even compared to the previous week, because a number of dances had been requested as practice sessions - but time to do them had run out. As often happens here, although numbers were approximately the same only half the class had been at last weeks session when we learnt some of the dances with a bit more time allocated, so the fact that even the very tricky Ramadan-ce and the equally challenging Quarries Jig were attempted with enthusiasm and were mainly successful was really satisfying; Our first attempt at The Saltire Society Reel even though it was at the end of the night was also very successful our more experienced dancers finding it 'different' but still within their scope and pronounced it a 'keeper' - apologies went out to the new dancers who didn't get their usual quota of dances it will be back to whatever 'normal' is next week - hopefully they'll be back too!
We arrived to a reception committee of the church people who had been frantically cleaning up for us after a final ceiling fix - and very good it looked too. It was a programme full of challenges but everyone rose to them brilliantly- I suspect they may have even surprised themselves; the occasional chaos was expected and partly due to my own inexperience in teaching certain challenging dances - it certainly wasn't, necessarily, a reflection of the ability of the dancers. Ramadan-ce was flown through, well done to everyone who attempted it, I think it was the first time we've ever finished it in such good order and managed the change overs at the repeats so consistently well; the brand new dances, Missing Turn and Quarries Jig were equally well done, even though they were late in the programme, always an extra challenge since the brain cells are often exhausted even if the body isn't (I'm talking from experience here!). The evenings are getting longer and it is always more noticeable on Tuesdays because the lights don't go on at the same time in the programme, this week the fans were switched on independent of the lights for the first time and it wasn't until half time that the gloom got to me and a tall person was required to click them on, the A.C. kept us lovely and cool however so role on the rest of the summer - and don't forget the Picnic on the Patio at the Elea the most lovely night of the year is still to come!
It was lovely to welcome back more than half a dozen members who for one reason or another have been absent from class fora little while. They returned to a program of dances that included quite a few they hadn't danced before, including one (the strangely named 'Missing Turn) that was brand new to the rest of the class too - however it was a really good night of dancing, and, although we didn't quite manage the whole program all the dances that were attempted worked well and were pronounced 'good':-)
The hall is undergoing repair work and when we arrived the first thing to do was sweep and mop the floor and throw open the windows to air the place, however the weather is now warm enough for the floor to dry out in less than 5 minutes and we soon closed all the windows again because the Air Conditioners were needed as well as the fans, it wasn't quite the first time we've used the AC's this year, but definitely the first time we've had them on before the class even started. Summer is definitely around the corner.
Tickets are now available for the Picnic on the Patio at the Elea - it will be a really lovely night so if you can make it, don't miss it.
See you next week.
The numbers were about the same but 50% of the people at the last Tuesday session were different from the previous one, I can never predict how many or exactly who will be there with any accuracy, people head for home but others return. We were delighted to welcome a new dancer to the class who did doubly well to manage dances that were new to virtually everyone and not just to him, in fact the whole class did extremely well since although none of the dances were desperately difficult virtually all the second half were new to the class. The 'new' dances had been requested by members who are lucky enough to be attending a dance in the UK when they return - and since they are all excellent dances for the class it is good to use them to ring the changes.
Plans are on full speed for the 'Picnic on the Patio' - there are still several weeks to go but lots to do and hopefully although many people will unfortunately be heading home around that time others will be here to join us, it should be a really beautiful night. In the meantime life is frantically busy so there is no more time to blether. Jx
We were few in numbers but it was a super night... nothing to do with the missing folk I assure you :-) , but with just about enough people to manage 2 sets people were joining in when they may otherwise have sat out. Nice To See You was one dance that didn't really work properly with the limited number of dancers but the resulting effort was far more fun than the original dance - at least for me!! This was the first evening this year when we were warm enough to open doors and windows in addition to the fans, the hall now has a full fire evacuation plan but we would have had no problem last night ... ironically it also rained later which cooled things down again but at least we are now all enjoying fresher air after the recent dust clouds.
Last Sunday I held an 'advanced class' and very challenging it was too thanks to the request to cover "The Reel of the Puffins" - however it turned out to be a really fun class and everyone who attended wanted to practice what they had learnt, so we had a little 'demo' at the start of last night's session; it still wasn't quite the dance as written but everyone obviously got a high from the attempt and the improvement was visible. This week I've had three classes in a run, one after another, all of them different but all of them fun; as well as the Sunday session, on Monday the 'beginners' session at the UKCA was a very good afternoon. We welcomed 3 new dancers who all appeared to enjoy themselves, I have high hopes that they will eventually join us on Tuesdays too because they seemed to quickly grasp and enjoy the idea of the dance formations and that Scottish Country Dancing is more than just dancing with your partner - you are dancing with the whole group. I am already looking forward to next week . Jx
After so many weeks of colder, wetter, weather than normal we were finally dancing with the fans on, though we didn't quite get warm enough to resort to the air conditioners. Numbers are still fairly low for this time of the year, partly because so many people are unfortunately suffering from nasty bugs and various ailments but we were yet again lucky in welcoming a visitor who, with very limited dancing experience, managed to join in and enjoy some quite tricky dances. For the numbers and skill mix the program was again quite challenging so it was quite surprising that we managed to dance all the dances on the program. The brand new (to us) Strathspey 'Cashmere Shawl' was very much enjoyed and considered a 'keeper', other items on the program took a while to sort out and it was hard for me to tell if people enjoyed them or not... though I've been assured later that they did, however it is still difficult to decide whether to 'build on the experience' or 'write it off to experience'! ;-) I am also trying to decide on the programme for this year's St Andrew's Ball - despite it being so far off, time is going so quickly and the number of classes before the earlier date is limited - so if I don't have some idea of what we will be doing I waste the opportunity to get people as familiar as possible with the dances. Of course long before the Ball we will be holding the Picnic on the Patio at the Elea - on June 15th it is a full moon which will lend extra magic to an evening which is always magical. The dancing that night (for which I am also in the process of deciding the exact programme) will be suitable and fun for everyone from children to 'two left feet' granddad's who normally would refuse to dance, so we hope everyone will be bringing along their family and friends - more details are on the Future Events page. Bookings are now open - no money needed as yet. See you next week. 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