Meeting with approval.
As I've said before, it's especially nice to overhear approving comments from dancers who have just struggled through a new dance - this week's class included a fair few dances that were both new, and appeared to meet with approval, along with several which were new the previous week and were on their first repeat; Thank-you, I'm glad you liked them... but to be honest we have to thank the International Branch because the dances are from their dance programmes, I wouldn't have come across most of them otherwise.
It is incredible that it is already a month since P & I returned from the 'Winter School' in Pitlochry. It's been so busy since we returned we have only just managed to sort out the pictures (even though there weren't many) however it's not too late to include some of them here and hopefully give a taste of the event.
At a slightly different level don't forget that next week instead of our normal class we are holding a Barn Dance at the Green Olive restaurant in Paphos - the Green Olive is situated off the Tomb of the Kings road - from Coral Bay end, keep driving past Lidls, across the little roundabout and after passing O'Neil's Irish Bar take the next road left - The Green Olive is a few hundred meters on the left. From the Mall end... you'll have to keep going past Fat Mamma's up to the little roundabout, do a U-turn and come back to reach the road. There are still tickets available if anyone wants to join in with us.. use the links on the contact page to order them - everyone is welcome - more information can be seen via the Future Events page above
Barn Dance - tickets going fast
I've just got back from a committee meeting; I always go intending to keep my mouth shut (after all I'm not actually on the committee, I just have a standing invitation to attend as an 'expert adviser' ) but my resolve to keep quiet usually lasts about 30 seconds... my only consolation is that I'm not the only one. In my humble (not) opinion the function of a committee is to communicate, much more than to make decisions; in many ways the decisions should make themselves, if everyone knows their function - or is allocated a job, they do the job to the best of their ability and then report back; the decisions are made by considering what we are trying to achieve -giving our members a fun time with a Scottish twist; of course you can re-phrase that to sound much more highfalutin but that is basically it!
Over the next few months we have lots of chances to enjoy ourselves, good food, good company and lots of chances to dance for those who wish too... and all of it subsidised (or even free) for members. On the 'Future Events' tab above, check out lots of exciting stuff coming up; I am adding the menu to the Barn Dance information for those more interested in the food than dancing; we've already 51 tickets sold but there is room for more - BTW as a break from our currently challenging Tuesday classes, the barn dance programme will be easy-peasy stuff - perfect for bringing non-confident friends to; Re the International Branch's visit; I have added a downloadable 'class selection form' - if you haven't received an e-mail with the details of this event (which are different for local dancers) - let us know via the contact page; finally there is an update on our June event the 'picnic in the park' at the Elea; it's all very exciting! Before I finish; it was lovely to see an old friend at class this week, and also to welcome a lovely visitor; I found a notebook detailing classes in 2011 - the average numbers were 10 - 15 per class, so of course they were a lot less chaotic and it was far less challenging to teach and learn; last week we had 35 dancers, a not unusual number nowadays but despite the hubbub we are dancing a far more varied programme with great enthusiasm and laughter... and when people are not up and dancing the friendliness of the group is a pleasure to see. Well done, and thanks to everyone for the continuing positive feedback it's really great to have Jx
Stretching the brain cells again
I learnt a long time ago that it's not necessary to provide too much variety at the Tuesday class; in fact most people are quite happy dancing familiar dances over and over again - so I am well aware how hard most people are working at the moment - many of the dances we are currently doing are unfamiliar and some are just plain confusing to the less experienced dancer.
I was going to apologise, because of course, the reason for all this hard work is the impending visit of the RSCDS International Branch, and not everyone is interested in being involved in that; but this week really proved how 'up for it' most of our dancers are, and although I know it slows things down I am also convinced of the importance of learning new things to maintaining our mental health - just doing stuff we know is great fun but we can so quickly loose the ability (if we had it in the first place) to concentrate and take in new information - it's also good for us all to go wrong every now and again - sorting ourselves out requires even more co-operation and team work than just going through the prescribed formations and ending at the bottom of the set, at the right time, with the right partner (i.e. the one you started with) - although that is pretty nice too!
I'd also like to say, because I know a new dance is a challenge, that it is extra nice for me to hear people coming of the floor saying what a lovely dance they've just done, if I know people enjoy them I can confidently include them on future programs, plus the more we widen our repertoire to include currently popular dances, the more we will gain from visiting dancers, and the easier it is for people here to enjoy dancing in the UK if they find a group local to themselves. See you next Tuesday Jx
Stretching the brain cells
I was welcomed back at the class by a beautifully laid out room courtesy of L & I, I was early but they were even earlier, however by the time we'd all caught up with news I was running late as usual. The programme hadn't changed much for several weeks so it was time to ring the changes; especially since the visit by the International Branch promises 2 big dance nights
Three 'new' dances from their programmes were introduced last week (though we have actually done two of them before I didn't expect anyone to remember them); Grassmarket Reel and Cramond Bridge both went very well, but the unusual reels in The Duchess Tree; combined with the large number of dancers made it a challenge, however it was coming together by the end and it's a very pretty dance so in a couple of weeks we'll have it safely under our belts. This week coming I have added a few more from the IB dance programmes, though most are dances we've done before we've not danced them recently; it's actually good to have a reason to bring them back on board. One completely new to us dance is 'Starter for Ten' - a beginner's 5 couple dance which is a bit of a rarity - in the past we wouldn't have been able to guarantee enough people to do this - but it's entirely possible we'll manage 3 sets - despite having to say a temporary farewell to some of our regular dancers - hopefully they all got home safely and we'll look forward to seeing them again soon.
See you soon Jx
So much in so little time....
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
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.
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