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!
I'm sitting next to a nice warm radiator with a nice warm cat on my knee and another at my back, lovely but not conducive to sharp wits; I spent the first few minutes after opening this blog looking for the missing one... before realizing that nothing was missing, and that last week was only the first Tuesday class after Christmas, and last night just the second... for Pete and myself however, it was actually the fifth class of one sort or another, and with practising our Winter School dances almost every day too it's almost impossible to realize it's only just over a week since we restarted the dancing. The class was down to just under 20 for the first time for months and it felt a little odd having so much room to dance but to balance the missing many we were happy to welcome back a regular visitor. The dance programme seemed to be enjoyed by everyone so there are very few changes for next week, though coincidentally, the two dances swapped in are both ones where we have contributed our own videos - for those who don't know - the ladies from Bournemouth, who visited last year, found us because they used our video of 'The Ring of Brodgar' to help them learn the dance. They noticed that the video was filmed in Paphos, searched, found this website and because they were coming here on holiday, e-mailed to ask if they could come and dance with us - the lovely letter they sent afterwards is on display at class. On another subject, Burns Night is definitely fully booked and a waiting list is operational, see 'future events' if you need any information on that - the Society AGM is also coming up, the AGM is always well attended, very friendly with a great meal to follow, worth coming to even if you aren't usually an enthusiastic meeting attendee. In the meantime I hope I'll see you next week
We were certainly lucky with the weather for our first Spring Season Tuesday dance night because it's been pretty wild since. We managed 'pretty wild' ourselves during the class and that was enough! I knew that people were very keen to get back dancing but even so it was a good turn out and we welcomed some more new faces to the beginners contingent - which is a great way to start the year. It's rejoining time for the Society so we had a break half way through to make sure the money takers had their minds on the job - but we got going again quickly enough to keep ourselves warm. The dancing was amazing fun - the fact that everyone leaves at the end of the night with huge smiles on their faces is all we need to know that we are doing it right! The Monday beginners class starts again next week - I'm running it at as a Mairi's Wedding 'masterclass' which is great fun to do - as anyone can join in whatever level they are at - and by the end we'll all be dancing it, I've then got Mairi's Wedding on next week's programme so hopefully we'll have more confident dancers to join - a great bonus to the Tuesday class.
Finally a big thanks to Annette for the gift to the society of a very appropriate box!
Best wishes to everyone who reads this blog, lets all hope for a healthy, wealthy and happy 2016 ... and good news for anyone out there who thought they'd missed out on Burn's Night tickets, we've had a few cancellations - get in fast if you're interested though, they are likely to get snapped up again quickly.
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.