We are going to have a super turn out on Monday for the start of the new classes; at least if everyone who has contacted me holds onto their determination to join us. I'm really excited to meet everyone and hopefully we'll start more people on a journey that might end in them dancing anywhere in the world. Unlikely though it might seem Scottish Country Dancing is flourishing in many countries. The obvious ones like Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. that saw mass immigration from Scotland over the last few hundred years, but also less obvious ones like Japan. One of the real benefits of learning Scottish Country Dancing, from a social point of view, is that even as a 'single' you can go to virtually any class or social dance (particularly the RSCDS ones) - without necessarily knowing a single person there, and never sit out a single dance! A shared enthusiasm is exactly that - and you don't have to speak the same language, or invest in much more than a pair of shoes. I know from my own experience, going to classes and dances, even week-long workshops, entirely alone, that whether extrovert or super shy, you can have a fabulous time without ever worrying about being bored or lonely (or at risk) and there aren't many activities that can supply that!
Now Burns Night is over for another year I've had time to turn my attention back to dancing. The wonderful Phoenix Club have agreed to let us use their premises for yet more dancing. This time on Monday afternoon between 2 - 4 pm, so that we can continue with our Monday beginners classes. We'll start next week on 30th January. I hope we'll get a reasonable 'turn out' because this is always a fun afternoon, but hard work if we don't have many people - no-one gets the chance to sit down, especially me!
If you've been thinking of giving it a go but the Tuesday social night dancing is a bit too much of a 'jump' for you, then Monday will be perfect since this is a much smaller class which adapts to everyone's needs and goes at the pace that suits us all. The real benefit is however, that rather than relying on the 'good' dancers to pull you through a dance you have to learn how to do it yourself. It can be a real challenge to do a dance when everyone is a beginner, but that is when you get the most mental benefits - and sense of achievement when you master it! Even if it takes a while ;-) I'm looking forward to it already.
A super Tuesday class (well done to everyone who managed Mairi's Wedding), a successful, but very tiring 'calling' commitment and one of the best Burn's Nights I can remember at the Elea.
Burn's Night is always a fun evening but this year was impressively good. As usual Irene's organization was superb - we had such a good turn out of helpers to decorate in the morning that we were tripping over ourselves, but it took a 1/3rd of the normal time to set up. Come the evening some of the Elea staff were new and perhaps not familiar with the ways of a Burns Night but they were well coached, attentive and efficient and, when necessary, quiet! Well done especially to all the speakers, every one of you surpassed yourselves with the quality of your presentation and speeches and the singing afterwards was the icing on the cake. The food was, mainly, as excellent as always but one dish was considered disappointing - but we do take notice of feedback and hopefully there won't be any repeat of the problem. What was unexceptional was the generosity of our sponsors, Blevins Franks and Frazer Terry Limited. Not only did guests enjoy welcome beverages of their choice, a prize draw, and whiskey supplied for the toasts but also Table Favours of Prosecco and 3 or 4 excellent bottles of wine per table! No wonder the evening went well :-) Well done to Sheena the winner of the draw and I look forward to seeing all the people who expressed an interest in the dancing either on Tuesday at the Social or on Monday next when I intend to restart the 'beginners' group. In the meantime I have uploaded all the pictures I took during the night and you can find them HERE or via the 'past events' tab. Enjoy reliving the night and I hope to see you soon.
It's a keeper. We might be feeling the cold now, but on Tuesday we were warm and comfortable and enjoying ourselves.
Everyone who I've talked to, since our first session at the Phoenix club last week, has said what a fun night they had, and what a really lovely, friendly, venue it is. Now that's not to say it's perfect - nothing ever is - we'd all like to be able to pick it up and plonk it somewhere a bit closer to wherever we live - in fact if we got much further away from some people we'd end up in the sea! But hopefully the effort of getting there will be worth it.
The night was somewhat chaotic, which is to be expected on a first night at a new place, but we'll learn where the light switches are and the best way to organise the room so it can only get better.
From now on we'll be back to an advertised dance programme, both on the website here and on the night. I'm curbing my enthusiasm for complicated or new stuff with the exception of one dance a week. This week it's going to be Mairi's Wedding - not new to many of the class of course, but a while since we've done it. My plan is to keep it on the programme until everyone is confident with it.
This Saturday, of course it's the Burns Night at Elea. Irene still hasn't had everyone's menu choices so if you haven't contacted her with your choices, make sure you do by tomorrow (Monday) or she'll just have to make a random choice for you and hope you like it! If by any chance you were missed on the Menu mail shot, it's on the Future Events page HERE. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday or Saturday or preferably both!
It's almost a new year, and as usual it seems unbelievable that 12 months has passed so quickly. It's been yet another year of change in so many ways, and much of it not good. However, not only is tomorrow "another day", but it's "another year", and we hope that at least some of the changes to our Group in 2023 will be good ones.
We have a new dancing venue! We are moving to the Phoenix Club for our 2023 dancing season (see directions & location HERE). Not only can we return to our regular Tuesday evening slot, but we will still have access to a bar. Though we'll be without the lovely Gilly, there'll initially be substitutes from the committee, and room for volunteers to take on the role, eventually.
A suggestion has been made that the 'beginners & improvers' session, previously held on Mondays, should be run immediately prior to the main dancing evening. We'll be doing some investigations to see if this is a viable option and if it would be a popular alternative to the previous arrangement. It would certainly mean we are only moving tables, and setting up speakers, once a week instead of twice, so it has Pete's vote!
There are multiple new ideas in the pipeline - from name badges at the dance classes to a new venue for the St Andrew Ball (we have quite a few ideas for modifications in that direction), but the most important thing to mention at the moment is Burns Night at The Elea, it's on Saturday 21st January - tickets will be on sale at the classes or by ringing Irene on 96 48 4500, or email email@example.com. The price is €25 only - heavily subsidised by the St Andrew Group - and as well as your wonderful traditional entertainment the evening will also include a welcome drink and prize draw - sponsored by Blevins Franks, as well as wine with your meal sponsored by Fraser Terry limited - a great evening guaranteed! Happy New Year and I hope to see you soon.
It's been weeks since I've had a chance, the equipment, or to be honest, the inclination to sit down and blether and it's come as a bit of a surprise to be told that people have missed me. That's nice, sorry to be so long away, (not that I had much choice in the matter) and now... I'm back! Hopefully, I'll be able to stay put for a while too.
Thanks to everyone who has tried so hard to keep things going while I've been in the UK - even I hadn't realised how much I did, and how hard it would be to keep contact and keep everything up to speed. One problem was that I didn't have access to the same computer systems in the UK - my niece very kindly leant me one of her machines for a while, but as a full time student that wasn't always convenient for her. The UKCA closing down was also a big issue since it wasn't a point when I could delay updates to their website or skip issues of the Flipbook I prepared weekly for them - that limited even more the computer time I had for blethering, hey ho... (excuses, excuses ;-)). And now it's Christmas! When did that happen? My internal calendar is still registering October Ahhh.
At least I did have a weekend in Scotland, before heading back home to Cyprus, which has firmly recharged my dancing soul. When you have had too long a break it's easy to forget how much joy dancing can bring you; yes, it can be hard work, your feet can hurt, legs get cramp and your brain can reel with fear and trepidation as you go completely blank when it's your turn to lead... but, WOW the buzz you get makes it all worth while, hot, flustered and high as a kite as you finish, you've done it, spun through the turns, weaved through the reels, flown round the circles and all of it with friends new and old - to amazing music - absolute magic.
We are now on the hunt for a new venue where we can continue our Tuesday night sessions, it's too close to Christmas for anything to be organised properly before the New Year but I plan to start next season with a fun Ceilidh - super easy dances, traditional or otherwise - to shake off the post Christmas blues and get us all back into the swing of things. Have a great Christmas, and we'll be in touch with dates, venues and anything new, soon Jxx
Tomorrow we dance - then we don't, for a while, then we will again... but the exact dates can't be predicted. That basically sums it up! We'll be in touch to let you know. :-)
Every time I sit down at the computer it seems that something happens 'off stage' and I have to get up and sort it out. Hence it's been weeks since I've had time to blether - and even now it's bit's and pieces put together in snatched moments. Like now.... see you in a minute.... anyway, I remember the UK as being damp, cold and (to be honest) pretty boring, but although it's definitely still a bit damp, it's not very cold and certainly not boring. A bit like Cyprus at the moment by the sound of things.
Meanwhile I've seen more of hospitals in the last 3 weeks than I have for years, accompanying others rather than attending myself, I hasten to add, and very impressive they all have been. In the meantime I've been kept up to date with Group happenings back in Cyprus. And as I predicted, it sounds like things have been ticking along without me - okay, it will have been different - but hopefully just as much fun. Either way 'times are achanging' as the song goes - rather more than ever before - so at all levels we have to just adapt, do our bestest to help and stay flexible! As far as plans go I hope to be back in Cyprus on Dec 9th, but we shall see what the weeks bring. Fingers crossed. Oh, must go.....
Lots to do... every time I think I've finished something, we need more, something changes or hoped for scenarios become less likely, planning, printing, practicing, and trying to think of all the things to be in place in case I'm not here - blethering takes a back seat - but it shouldn't entirely because it's still worth recording the excellent turn out for the dance classes. People are working hard and having a lot of fun while they do it. Both on Mondays and Tuesdays. The dances that are harder work are bringing the class together in a way that the simple ones don't, so well done to everyone trying to master 'The Bee's. ' it's the next level up from most of our programme so I'm more than happy you want to try, even if it takes a few more weeks work, and even if you don't get it sorted out in time for the ball, because there's nothing like a challenging dance to make the others seem simple! And we will still be dancing after the ball, it's a super one to have added to our repertoire for just the weekly dance nights, never mind a 'posh do'. Next week is the 'third Tuesday' so our usual UKCA venue isn't available, instead we move to a Wednesday slot at the PCFi hall - check the location HERE . Don't forget to let Irene know if you've 'made up' a table and therefore want to sit together - especially if people have bought their tickets separately. (Tables are max 10 - but if you would like more then she'll make sure 2 smaller tables are placed close together)
7 people had sent their apologies so I was well prepared with a couple of alternative dances to the published programme, in case we couldn't muster up enough dancers for a 4 couple set. Then who should walk in but some of our favourite 'swallows', hitting our shores well in advance of the ball so they can get a bit of decent practice in. It was great to see them. Then we welcomed several of our newer dancers who we don't see every week, as well as a couple of 'old time' regulars who can't always get to us either - and rather than struggling to make up one set we ended up with two for almost every dance. So yet again we had a great night, lots of fun but with a completely unexpected mix of people. I will never, ever get bored of this!
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.
All Images on this site are copyright Janine Scott unless otherwise stated.