What a brilliant start! If everyone who turned up enjoyed this afternoon even half as much as I did, then we are onto a winner. Well done to everyone for working so hard and managing to look like you were enjoying yourself at least some of the time. It wasn't the largest class I've ever taught, but definitely the largest 'first time' beginner's class here in Paphos. Initial classes are always a little harder than subsequent ones - for both attendees and teachers, there's such a lot of basics to be established it's a challenge to keep things interesting without making it too complicated. I was lucky to have great helpers, Pete & Jo with the dancing and, most unexpected but incredibly valuable, Wendy and David with everything to do with the Phoenix club - from where to put the tables, to how to cash up the money.
Next week we'll be a little more settled in and I'll introduce 2 more steps - the slower ones - and then we'll be able to balance the sessions a bit more so people can catch their breath if they need too. If people have missed this session not to worry though, we'll recap everything we've done lots of times so people either catch up with what they've missed or consolidate what they've learnt. I'm already looking forward to next week!
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!
Originated in Manchester, England: Worked almost 20 yrs in the United Arab Emirates: Lives in Cyprus. Teaches Scottish Country Dancing (RSCDS qualified 2015) -just the average life! Also loves Photography & Photoshop, Gardening, Music, Sewing, Design, Reading, computers, God, my husband & my cat (not necessarily in that order). Hates - crowds, hypocrisy, 'Reality' TV, corrupt politicians, cruelty and greed of any kind.
All Images on this site are copyright Janine Scott unless otherwise stated.