This has been an amazing week with music, meals and parties with friends and now Easter is upon us with more celebrations. I confess that it has left me with little time or energy for blethering so this is just a short message to those of you who I know are recovering from one ailment or another (or simply suffering from the dreadful dust we've had in the atmosphere for most of this week) - get well soon, we all miss you; A welcome back to those of you who have just arrived back on the island I look forward to seeing you soon: And a thanks to our wonderful friends whose generous hospitality has partly contributed to my present dopey condition. Best to stop now and sleep!
See you next week.
Strangely enough although our numbers were up at this weeks class, the number of available dancers hadn't increased. Several people were either not dancing at all, or taking it easy for one reason or another - or - on occasion, just enjoying the company so much they didn't realise sets were being made up. The people who did dance however tackled everything with their usual gusto. It was lovely to have a few of our regulars back with us, and this is also the moment to say 'get well soon' to some other of our regulars who are suffering at the moment, we hope you are all fit and healthy and back with us before too long.
'Sally's Fancy' was a new strathspey on the programme, very simple to dance, but it did noticeably challenge people's technique. We will repeat it for a few weeks now because, in contrast with our more challenging dances, (such as Rose of the North with it's 3 couple rights & lefts - which, by the way, everyone did very well ) there is time to think about steps, timing and perhaps even your partner! This week we learnt the geography, but we need to make some effort towards dancing 'nicely' too so we will work on this over the next few weeks - even though, (oh horror) there is no convenient YouTube video to guide us... but then if we can dance it well enough there's no reason why we can't film ourselves and plug that particular gap for our own benefit as well as others.
Finally, please keep checking the future events page over the next few weeks because our committee is hard at work putting a future programme together, both of dancing and non-dancing events. Some dates are fixed already, others are still tentative but will be available soon so it's worth keeping an eye out, especially if you can't get to the classes.
And chaos reigned! Sometimes I stand back and watch the game attempts of the class to get through a dance that needs far more teaching than time allows. I wonder at my own ambitions as well as the amazing tenacity of some of our dancers who keep going, and smiling, against all the odds... the dance collapses around them, bodies fly around in all directions and lone, lost and bemused newcomers stand momentarily paralysed in the middle of a set as the lucky onlookers collapse in relieved hilarity on the sidelines and then, somehow, we get there ... by almost a miracle everyone finishes in the right place, with the right partner at the right time! And they'll all get up to give it a go again next time... because that moment of achievement, whether it's linked to a successful attempt or just to everyone suffering together and surviving :-) is part of what makes the class work. I do realise that I challenge a lot of the class with the dances I teach, but I truly believe in the mental benefits of this form of dancing, the need to concentrate to learn new formations or new variations of familiar ones means it stays mentally beneficial for not just the newcomers. Having said that, I also realise that there is a limit to the number of challenges most people can cope with in one evening, so don't worry, there will always be many more familiar or 'easier' dances on our programmes than tricky ones. And if it really gets too confusing don't forget the Monday afternoon beginners and improvers class at the UKCA is taken at a much less challenging pace, but is still great fun.
We-ell.... it's been far too long since I've blethered - in writing I mean - though there are plenty of people out there who know I've done my share of verbal blethering over the last few weeks! The problem - there has been just so much to say, and not enough time to sit down and type it.
P and I had a wonderful trip to Winter School, the Royal Scottish Dance Society's annual week of classes and dancing based at the lovely Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry, which culminates in a ball at the incredibly atmospheric Blair Castle. While we were there we met up with dancing friends from all over the world, enjoyed the music of first class musicians and attended classes given by expert teachers. It's my 4th year of attending and it's a truly memorable experience. We were very lucky with the weather which held off until the actual day we left, we boarded the plane in a blizzard, but apart from a very long wait while they thoroughly de-iced the plane (which we were more than happy to put up with ;-) ) we had a very smooth trip home.
Meanwhile, back at base, the class was lead by excellent volunteers. They turned out to be very small classes due to many people also being away (or more unfortunately, poorly) but this meant that everyone who did attend got a really good chance to learn and dance in a far less chaotic atmosphere than our normal hurly-burly!
This week the Tuesday class numbers were back up in the 20's and as well as a brand new couple, we saw many of our newer dancers back, as well as the welcome return of an old friend. Inevitably with so many new people we had a hilarious night as people gamely attempted dances that were completely new to them, but even thinking about it brings a smile to my face since we all had such a lot of fun... and given the degree of challenge involved people really did well. See you next week. 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.
All Images on this site are copyright Janine Scott unless otherwise stated.