Summer's here. It's warm, humid and makes you lazy. And it's lovely.
Our last two classes of the season are now over. They were both of them friendly, fun, and involving cake. Truly excellent carrot cake. To be honest I intended it for the beginner's only, because on Tuesdays we have the bar to keep us going, but the cake was so delicious I didn't need much persuading to buy another for our Tuesday attendees. We did dance as well of course. At our Monday session there were again only 6 of us. I had been requested to cover Mairi's Wedding and in less than 1/2 the session everyone was dancing it with confidence and a clear idea of position and timing. Well done us :-) Byron Strathspey provided a chance to catch our breath and revise more formations and then we finished with Duke of Perth - which provided a great example of how a formation/skills learnt for one dance can then be used in a completely different one.
Tuesday's programme included all the dances we'd learnt on Monday, and the opportunity to practice was take advantage of with great success. Despite the inevitable delay for eating cake & washing up (and also a rendition of Happy Birthday to an almost older dancer i.e. her birthday was actually the next day) we managed all but one of the dances on the programme and left on a high.
Other news:- We've had excellent feedback from many attendees of the June Jamboree. Prior to the event I had been vaguely wondering if we'd want to repeat it next year or not - but there seems no doubt that it's worth doing - a truly special evening.
Negotiations are ongoing regarding the Ball costings - as always we want to get the best value without compromising on the quality of the event - harder to achieve in the present climate but we are getting there.
And finally - our application to become an Affiliate of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) has been approved and we are now mentioned in their list of overseas dance classes. On the day we were added our websites' traffic increased approx. x8 times! Inevitable that this should be just as we take our summer break, however hopefully it will make a difference once we are back in September too. Can't wait! Enjoy summer, and I'll see you in September if not before
The June Jamboree is over, but what a lovely night. We were blessed with the most marvellous weather for a dancing evening - warm with a cooling breeze when needed. A slight change in location, still on the patio but in a more restricted area - while initially worrying - turned out to be advantageous. The area was the perfect size for the number of guests, the food was laid out attractively close by and the dancing area was equally close and just large enough for the numbers wanting to dance.
Thanks has to be given to the amazing helpers who worked so hard decorating the area in the morning - the lights, bunting and flowers all combined to enhance the lovely atmosphere created by the location and friendly Elea staff. The food was promptly served and more than satisfactory in amount and variety, as well as attentive waiting staff for those more thirsty than hungry.
Finally, well done to all the dancers, a selection of suggestions was published on the programme fans and we danced -
A Highland Welcome, Waratah Weaver, Gay Gordons, St Bernard's Waltz, Dashing White Sergeant, Circassian (big) Circle, and Cumberland Reel - in addition we danced several requests; De'il Amang the Tailors, Butterscotch & Honey and The Dream Catcher.
The evening ended with a traditional rendition of Auld Lang Syne and all the final folk helping to take down the decorations - including intrepid, and successful attempts to retrieve all the bunting - which made us even more impressed with the guys who put it up. A fabulous night all round and a fitting end to our spring dance season (but don't forget there are still classes this week - I hope to see you there) Photographs of the evening can be found HERE or via 'Past Events'.
I am really not complaining, definitely not, not a bit, but ... how come it's always when we've finally decided to stop for the summer, because numbers are down and things are getting 'tired', that we end up having such a fabulous night? Tuesday was great. We welcomed old friends who had made the trip to the class - mainly to get their tickets for Friday's June Jamboree - but who stayed and danced most of the night - and did very well too. We had a great chatty group of 'non-dancers', who are always welcome, contributing to the friendly atmosphere and cheering the dancers on! Marie, behind the bar, was kept busier than she has been for weeks but seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself, as usual, as we charged through our programme with varying degrees of success and hilarity.
This Friday it's our June Jamboree - we've had an excellent take up for tickets - and despite some completely unexpected, and unavoidable (by us) hiccups at the venue it looks like it's going to be a fabulous night yet again - well, I would say that wouldn't I- but the level of enthusiasm is palpable, the forecast is good and even with the slight changes we've had to accept it's still a fabulous venue.
And next week we have our final Monday and Tuesday classes of the season - hopefully I'll see you at one of these 3 events and if not, put Tuesday 12th September in your diaries as the restart of our dancing sessions and I'll look forward to seeing you then.
Have I mentioned before that time seems to be going past so fast I can't keep up with it? Yes, I thought so - it's certainly seem to have shot by since January when we started our first beginner's class at the Phoenix Club. Of the 21 people who attended that first class, 12 are still dancing with us - as circumstances and injuries allow, which is an excellent proportion as these things go. And since that first class we have also been joined by several visiting dancers who have since headed home and four new dancers who are all keen and talented.
However, despite the undoubted facts above, we only had a class of 6 for this week's Monday class - and only two could be really classed as beginners. Not that it mattered, we still enjoyed an excellent class - slightly confused at times due to a distracted teacher (me :-( )- but luckily everyone else was on the ball and compensated. We successfully danced Shiftin' Bobbins; J B Milne; Margaret Parker's Strathspey & my 3 couple adaptation of Lady Lucy Ramsey - taking advantage of the class make up to aim high!
Next week we have our last classes before the summer break but in the meantime I hope to see you at the class tomorrow, if you can make it, and even better at the June Jamboree on Friday (it's a slightly different layout to previous years so look for the signs). Luckily all the rain is forecast for the beginning of this week and not the end!
It's partly the time of year, and partly just the law of ... but so many of our regular Tuesday dancers will be missing next week - for all sorts of good reasons -that I've made the difficult decision to cancel the session. Our Monday afternoon class will still be running though, so that will keep the dancing candle burning until next week, when hopefully everyone is back- and it gives me just a little more time to prepare for the June Jamboree. I can't believe it's less than 2 weeks away... so much to do! ahhhh (but it will be worth it ) :-)
Another excellent set of lessons. Learning to set, with the 2 types of setting steps, Strathspey and Pas de Basque, in 2 types of sets, longwise & square on Monday, we were well set up for setting in various different sorts of sets on Tuesday.
I'm not sure why the Scots use the word 'set' in so many settings, when they have so many excellent words for other things; it's confusing to teach, but our learners seemed to manage well.
Despite the inevitable drop in numbers drop at this time of year on Monday we managed 4 couples - the ideal number for many dances and formations. I took the opportunity to teach the two wonderfully named dances - Johnnie Walker (Yes, named after the whisky) and Butterscotch & Honey both of which need 4 couples to dance - but are very different otherwise, and it was a great fun class. More than half the Monday class then came to the Tuesday session so that gave us another chance to practice and the teaching certainly paid off. Well done to all of them. Well done, in fact, to everyone, since it was a seriously warm night and our reducing numbers means we all have to dance most of the dances - but it's fun!
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.