We've been, and I'm back... P is still in the UK doing the 'granddad' bit, but I'm back to enforce order at the class - I've heard that it was great fun last week, which I'm glad of (I suppose) and it is only fair because we were having great fun in Scotland too. It has been suggested by members of my beginner's class that we get a group together to attend the R.S.C.D.S. Winter school next year... it is certainly a thought worth considering, I honestly think anyone in the class would enjoy it; both 'singles' and 'couples', but it is especially good for singles; As far as technical ability required, there is an 'intermediate class' that would be really easy for most people compared to our normal Tuesday night romp, and most of our more experienced dancers would cope happily with the Advanced level too ... however nearly 4 hours of compulsory classes every morning and 2 hours of dancing every night makes it a strenuous week and there is no sitting out during the morning sessions just because bits of you hurt! on the other hand you are staying at a spa hotel so you can spend the afternoon in the pool and the jacuzzi if necessary plus the food, facilities and atmosphere are great so it's worth any aches & pains you may get on the way. I've included a couple of pictures - the fabulous view from our window at the Atholl Palace Hotel and a shot from the ceilidh that was held on Sunday night. If you'd like more details please see me later. One additional surprise during the last days of my trip was to discover a Scottish Dancing group in Culcheth near my brother's new house - they were dancing some pretty advanced stuff but were extremely welcoming even of my 10 year old niece, who, of course, put us all to shame by the speed in which she picked things up; Not many people can claim to have danced Mongomerie's Rant as their first ever dance! I've great hopes of dancing with them again and also of seeing some of them over here in Cyprus now they know we exist - See you tomorrow I hope... Jx
I am late updating the Tuesday Dance Programme this week but the huge numbers at class calmed down briefly and seemed to take in the fact that this week's programme is the same as last week's programme so hopefully no-one has really been waiting for it. Next week is a DIY night with intrepid amateur leaders trying to keep control while P & I are dancing our socks of at Winter School in Pitlochry, Scotland. Typing this from the comfort of the hotel foyer, all leather sofa's, brocade curtains and oak panelling it is very hard to imagine myself back at last week's class; after a quite night on Valentine's day we had half the island descend on us (that's what it felt like). It was a great night with 3 or 4 sets up for most dances, some very promising newcomers joined us and hopefully managed to make sense of some of it, and there were excellent attempts at even the more complicated dances. Sugar Candie proved a challenge initially - I'd forgotten how long it was since we'd last danced it... and it didn't help that I initially confussing it with another dance - bad marks for teacher but this weeki J & A will be teaching it and they are experts so I know you will be fine.
Over here in Scotland we are having a brilliant but very busy time so I have to stop now and get on with it! More news later .... Jx
I knew we would be a little down in numbers at the Tuesday class this week, because of Valentine's day, but we still had enough people to manage 2 sets, in fact at one point we even managed 3, and everyone danced even the 'brand new' dances very well, which was gratifying for all of us. I had a bit of a disaster over the weekend when my Sunday 'advanced' class found themselves locked out of our normal super studio resulting in a rather chilly session held on our patio; it will have been memorable for our visitors from the East Midland's group however, at least they got to see a bit of a Cypriot mountain village which they wouldn't have done otherwise. There is a silver lining to that embarrassing event because it has at least convinced the studio owner to part with the key a little earlier so - though on investigation it wasn't actually her fault - it won't happen again. I've not got any more time to write because our practice session for Saturday is on tonight, lots to do - see everyone soon I hope Jx
The hard act to follow was, of course, last week's class... but we had a pretty good try; spontaneous hilarity can never be recreated but we made up for it with massive senses of achievement when both 'the Valentine' and 'Glasgow Highlanders' were performed almost perfectly by most people - except me - but that's par for the course :-) !
Next week I am expecting a smaller class than we've been having recently; to be honest I hadn't realised we would be clashing with St Valentine's day itself; if I had realised I may have set a costume theme for the night, but never mind - I'll blame P for not reminding me. I have introduced a few new (to us) dances because a smaller class is always easier and quicker to teach and therefore it's the ideal time to try out new dances - 2 are very easy. 1 is more challenging but is a Strathspey; there are also 2 dances that may be unfamiliar to some people because we haven't done them recently.
Cranberry Tart, Singing Sands and the Best Set in the Hall which are on the 2nd half of the programme all appear on the Dance programme for Sat 18th Feb - this is the night that members of our Society have been very kindly invited to join with dancers from the East Midlands who are coming out to Paphos to enjoy a dancing holiday based at the Athena Beach Hotel. Anybody who would like to attend please e-mail me and let me know (if you haven't already told me) - as the organisers would like to know approximate numbers.
The dance programme is a super but challenging selection and consists of ... The Falls of Rogie; The Bonnie Lass of Bon Accord; the first Rain of Spring; The Fireworks Reel; Linnea's Strathspey; The Best Set in the Hall; Maureen & Paddy; the Byron Strathspey; The Cranberry Tart; The Singing Sands; Father Connelly's Jig, plus, Midnight Oil; Mr Ian Stuart Robertson and Neidpath Castle... virtually all of them have a video example if you look on YouTube - remember not to panic but just look at one dancer and work out what they are doing!
See you next week if not before
I'm pretty sure that 90% of the people that managed to survive tonight will be as shattered as I am, in fact more so because I hardly danced at all. A massive well done to everyone who got up and giggled their way through the more challenging dances - way out of their comfort zone for most people but brilliantly tackled all the same - and we all have to start somewhere - If we start at 'disaster' level, then the only way we can go now up !!! :-) At one point we had 4 full sets up, that's pretty amazing when we only had 35 attendees. It was lovely as always to welcome visitors and yet again I have to thank the class for making visitors so very welcome, irrespective of whether they can dance or not.
It looks like I resurrected the Glasgow Highlanders just in time, it wasn't done perfectly but the very fact that when everything went pear shaped people got themselves back together and managed to carry on shows that the class hasn't forgotten much and the 'shape' of the dance is still fresh. The other 'new' dance was the Strathspey 'The Valentine' - which demonstrated quite clearly that just because a dance is slower, it doesn't mean it is easy.... I confess I had forgotten how very challenging this dance could be; so more congratulations to the set who managed to complete it and equal congratulations to the 2 other sets who made such wonderful and entertaining attempts, and managed to keep their sense of humour throughout - that is the true challenge and the reason we continue to have such excellent evenings together, it there any other way you can exercise and laugh so much too.
See you next week I hope for another scintillating evening :-)
Well, I'm back... as usual straight into the swing of things; the Burns Night at Elea Golf Club was, as always, a great success - thanks as usual to all the staff at the Elea and to the brilliant sponsors 'Blevins Franks' who always do us proud both with treats on the night and wonderful draw prizes. If anyone has any photographs I would love to be able to include them on this site so please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (thanks already to Liz and Irene). Anyone looking for pictures and other memories of previous society events can usually find lots to interest them by clicking Events -> Past Events (on the tabs above) then clicking on the appropriate poster - for example there are now a few little video clips of the last St Andrew's Ball that can be found by clicking on the 2016 Ball poster on the Past Events page.
The 30 people who joined us for the class on Tuesday evening, despite the pretty chilly weather, kept themselves warm with a great night of dancing; especially well done to the newer dancers in the class who joined in valiantly despite so much that was new ... and managed brilliantly. The 'new to us' dance Red House was tackled well and shouldn't provide any difficulty now that the class has got the first attempt under it's belt, I think it might turn out to be a 'keeper'.
We have just over 2 weeks until the Society's AGM at the UKCA, hopefully all our members will be able to attend because it's always a very pleasant morning with excellent camaraderie and Debbie's food is, of course, consistently delicious, contact Irene in the usual ways if you want to be added to the list for the meal. See you on Tuesday Jx
I am typing this from the UK having just heard from P that he's survived the dance class and hopefully so has everyone else. I'm sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and thanks as usual to all the people who have helped with the beginner's bit and keeping P on track. I am back next week and will try and get on line again to update the programme - in the meantime I hope everyone who is going to the Burns Night has a great time.
Happy New Year to anyone I haven't already greeted, it seemed a really big gap from finishing the dancing last year to our restart this week - but now it's as though we've never been away. It was great to have such a good number at class, including some excellent newcomers, despite the cold and stormy weather; there was so much lightening during the dance session that I was expecting the electricity to fail at any moment but we survived it all and had an excellent nights dancing dispite the chaos that always accompanies the first class of the new year. Membership renewals are now due, despite the ever increasing benefits of being a member the membership fee is still only €15, the same as it's been for at least the last 8 years - excellent value; you easily get your money back and more over a year of dancing and events. Burns Night tickets are now available for any purchaser and are, as predicted, in high demand so get your now if you want them. I'm running out of time here so have to cut it short. I hope to see you next week if not before.
This will probably be my last blether of 2016 - it's been an amazing year, there have been sad moments, we don't forget the friends we lost this year, but there have also been many happy memories; The committee has organized and hosted their usual collection of fabulous events, some of them 'firsts', at least in my lifetime at the society; we've gained many new friends and will be regaining several again next year, who for one reason or another hadn't made it back to us during 2016.
The constant thread throughout has been the Tuesday class & social - we are now at the stage when we have to restrict the number of tables put out to accomodate more sets, and to be told over and over again by people coming to the class (whether they are dancers or not) that it is the highlight of their week (as it is for me too) is both immensely gratifying and a terrifying responsibility! :-) .
I have just been preparing new registration lists, new membership forms (they are now downloadable from the membership page HERE), I'm doing the dance programme for our first 2017 class and also the tickets for our Burns Night at the Elea which will be the usual sell out by the looks of things. Members have first shout for tickets but guests can book from Tuesday 10th at our first 2017 dance class or by e-mailing Irene (see the contact page). There are lots more things to say - next year we have the International Branch visiting Paphos - their website is HERE if you are interested - and some lovely events planned so 2017 is going to be an exciting year for us all so I hope everyone has a lovely time in what is left of 2016 and I look forward to seeing you all soon. Jx
It's taken a few days to recover from it, but that's not surprising - well done to everyone who contributed to our 'new' style of Christmas Ceilidh; the food was excellent & plentiful; the wine flowed in judicious but appreciated amounts, as did the apple juice for those of us who needed super clear heads; the entertainers (thanks to you all) provided an excellent combination of party pieces all of it entertaining; thankfully the piano worked and we had a spare battery for the mic. the missing kilt was gallently replaced by the gamest lady in the class and we had a superb and surprisingly large turn out of 46 people - more than double the number for any previous class at this time of year and they weren't all here for the beer because we had to accomodate 5 sets for Borrowdale Exchange - that's 30 people and there were more who wanted to dance but we were running out of room! I must also thank everyone who helped to decorate and then to clear up so well - the place was cleaner when we left than when we arrived. There are many things that we learnt from the event... so we'll do it even better next time, but everyone enjoyed it and it was great to see lots of faces we haven't seen for a while - many intend to rejoin us again next year - please do, it'll be great to have you back.
On a slightly different note, remember that Members only can now put their names down with Irene for Burn's Night tickets - Non-Members can't book until next year; we always have high demand for our Burns Night event so let Irene know now if you'll want a ticket. Also a reminder that our first Tuesday class of 2017 will be on January 10th and memberships will then be due - but we still have one more class of this season to go so I hope I'll see you there.
OH - and I almost forgot.... a beige jacket and some gillie type dance shoes were left behind last Tuesday - we'll bring them on Tuesday if they are not claimed before hand but please check your shoe bags and make sure that they are not yours.
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