It's been a very successful trip home. The main event, Winter School, was another amazing experience culminating in the ball at Blair Atholl Castle; this was my fourth visit and it was even better than previous times, I learnt so much from the morning classes, the afternoon activities (though the Highland session almost crippled me) and the other dancers, more than I have ever done before … it has also resulted in the booking of a marvellous musician for our own St Andrew's Ball in November, and even interest from people thinking of visiting Cyprus, who are now trying to sync their visit to some of our events! All this has been enhanced by glorious weather - it's been hotter in February than in June in some places - lucky us.
Back 'home' (where I've heard it's been a tad damp) I hope everyone enjoyed the last class with Ginevra in the driving seat; ringing the changes for just a couple of weeks gives everyone a bit of break, and experiencing different styles of teaching can be a very useful experience however I'm back in harness next week so don't get too used to it :-) Most of the programme will be familiar but one or two dances will be a 'discovery' from Winter School - there were so many great dances (many of them very simple) and it will be a shame to not bring them to people's attention now that I have them in my repertoire. I hope to see you next week, it's been a great trip but I'm looking forward to getting home. Jx
Sitting in Scotland.... at this moment lots of people are doing exactly that, watching TV, reading a book, playing on the computer - I am sitting listening to the happy chattering of happy, already exhausted people, who are ceilidh dancing in the atmospheric foyer of the Atholl Palace hotel (doing the Virginia Reel actually which I know was on our program this week). The fires are roaring, the music lilting and there is laughter everywhere. We have already danced for hours to the most amazing musicians (one of which I hope will be joining us in Cyprus for the ball) and we should be too tired for anything more - but no-one can stop.... This is what it is all about - Unfortunately poor Pete is having trouble with his knee and so didn't dance this evening (though he has managed the two previous nights). I went to the dance alone. I didn't know any of the dances well, I didn't have any dances 'booked' … but it didn't matter, I danced every dance - and not every one worked perfectly, but every single dancer enjoyed themselves. There are people here from all over the world, there are absolute beginners, there are 90 yr olds who've danced since childhood (& who wrote some of the dances we've been dancing for years), the teachers are dancing in amongst everyone else and there is music that lifts you when your feet are hurting and you couldn't move another inch. And the food's pretty good too :-)
Okay enough of that, back in the real world I know that everyone will have had a great class and hope they are looking forward to next week which will be a completely different programme with dances that are promised to be great fun. I don't know what they will be so I can't put up a programme but you will see when you get there, enjoy.
With a few more in the session we managed to have great fun with a very varied programme, and even more varied dancers - only about half the class were the same people as danced with us last week, the other half were either off home to the UK or otherwise engaged, but in their place it was great to welcome back various returnee's, both recent joiners to the society and old friends.
We had to revise Trinity Tensome again but with enough numbers to make up 2 sets for this great 5 couple dance it was an opportunity to drag onto the floor some of our brilliant beginners, for whom it was definitely a steep learning curve but ... didn't they do well! Of course, at times it was a slight variation on the dance as written but everyone really enjoyed themselves and that's the whole point of the class.
Christmas at the Heath (7 couples) was also introduced to our returning dancers who had as much fun with it as everyone else has so far - people flying around all over the place but they all ended up in the right order with the right partner and big smiles on their faces.
Carol is going to lead the next Tuesday class as I'm having a couple of week's break, (Jo and Arnie are covering the 'beginner's bit). It is great fun programme of very popular dances, and there's a promise of chocolates for anyone taking ownership of a particular dance to help her! I've a feeling it's going to be a popular class :-) The programme is posted on the Tuesday class page as normal - have fun!
Many thanks to all the members and friends who expressed their sadness and sent their condolences to Annelise and her family.
Alison wished for a very quiet, private service and this was held last Monday (11th February) in the presence of her family and a few friends.
The Society sent this wreath on behalf of all members, and friends who knew her and who will continue to value the memory of Alison and all she achieved.
FYI -The wreath, in the shape of St Andrew Cross, was prepared on behalf of the Society by Catherine Whyteside, a former member and a qualified florist.
As visitors to the website will hopefully have seen; on the home page is posted the notice of the passing of a lovely lady and one of the most influential members of our little Society ... although she will have touched many peoples lives, both here in Cyprus and during a distinguished career in the UK ... she was a major reason the Society is in existence, not only was she a founder member when the decision was taken to form a Society separate from the Caledonian Society, (which at that time was based in Limassol), but she was also the first dance teacher, starting the tradition of dancing on Tuesday nights which to a great extent holds the society together. Approximately 10 years ago when the Society foundered slightly, and there were moves to dissolve it, she stepped in and took on the chairmanship to successfully steer it back into the fun, friendly and distinctly thriving entity it is now. She was witty, articulate and kind and a huge authority on Scotland and Burns. Despite being ill and not very active during the last few years she was a stalwart supporter of all the Society did; Alison will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her and all our sympathy goes to her family.
Our dance class this week was a very small one, purely by coincidence many people were away, ill or otherwise engaged so visitors were a great addition to the class, especially two ladies who were such lovely generous dancers. Coincidentally we had two dances on the programme which were often used by Alison on her Tuesday night programmes - MacDonald of the Isles, which we have been working on for the last few weeks and Trinity Tensome (Alison used to write it 'Trinity 10'some) which had been requested by a dancer the previous week (unfortunately one of the people who didn't make the class) but it was a great fun dance which everyone enjoyed so it's going to be a 'keeper' for a while.
Next week the class runs normally but in 2 weeks time the session will be led by Carol and the week following by Ginevra (who has a great programme lined up for the class) before P and I return from our break, all refreshed and spring like - we hope. In the meantime I hope to see you next week Jx
An excellent AGM, concise, convivial and well attended by members old and new - well done to all who contributed and congratulations to the re-elected Committee.
Chairman - Doris Willis
Secretary - Annelise Grimason
Joint Treasurers - Peter Scott & Lex Craigie
Ordinary Members - Don Nova, Doug Craig, David Tupper, Irene Nova (Events Organiser).
We would also like to thank the staff at the UKCA, Gilly the ever cheerful face behind the bar and of course the brilliant kitchen staff, Debbie, Jackie and Di - assisted by Ron - who supplied their usual generous lunch - all of it good, but the steak pies stood out especially according to those who had them!
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.