First an apology - as we set up for the class yesterday I was greeted by the news that last week I hadn't updated the class programme's video links on this website - I am sorry, however I am also delighted that so many people noticed! Given the work that goes into the website it's great to know that it is used and valued by the people it's intended for - I'm delighted that it's used by anyone of course, the weekly visitor numbers shows that literally hundreds of people out there visit us regularly - but seeing the benefit within our own group is gratifying.
As expected we had a pretty full class this week - lovely to have dancing guests join us for the night especially as they are also coming to the Ball; We also welcomed familiar faces to the session who we haven't seen for a while. Surprisingly, although we had one of the biggest turn outs of the year we were still missing many regulars, hopefully not for long because we do miss you folks!
During the night we trialled several different orientations to fit in 4 sets - it highlighted that we are slightly cramped once we get to these numbers but we managed - though I couldn't necessarily reach every set without disrupting others - most of the time that wasn't an issue but once or twice I do realise that I might have assisted more ... the lesson has been taken on board and if we have the same situation then I'll move the relevant sets to a more accessible position.
I'm not sure how many people noticed but it was the first week that we've not used the Air Conditioning - and, mainly due to the hour changing, we arrived when it was already fully dark so it's finally feeling like the Autumn season is here - so Happy Halloween (is that really a correct thing to say?) where has the year gone?!
See you at the ball - don't forget it's a very early start 6:00 for 6:30 ... and earlier is definitely better, and if you aren't 'ball-ing' hopefully I'll see you next week and finally I can ring the changes a little from the dances on the ball programme. BTW Next up is the Christmas Ceilidh - never a dull moment! Jx
Last Tuesday was yet another wild night of dancing what, for many, was a pretty challenging program - especially for the 3 brave souls who joined us for the first time - wow didn't they do well. One of the challenges was that we lacked many of our more confident dancers due to injury, unexpected visitors or other events so, with the numbers skewed towards the less experienced the class did doubly well. We've got one more class (two, if you are a Monday afternoon dancer too) to go before the ball so it's a challenging time to join us; inevitably we are covering the more unfamiliar dances on the ball program to give those who are attending the ball a chance to practice the trickiest ones as much as possible. We'll be back to normal (whatever that is) soon however so don't panic and inevitably class numbers will also start to drop as our 'swallows' head home for Christmas, making the classes, not less fun, but a lot easier to use as a learning experience - rather than just 'what an experience!' - for those of us who are left. In the meantime the visitor numbers to the website have jumped by just over a hundred in a week, quite incredible - I hope it's everyone checking the Ball program so that they are as familiar as possible with the dances so they can surprise us on the night - even if they can't make the classes! See you next week those of you who can however. Jx ... I almost forgot to say - we were sold out but there are now 3 ball tickets available as some people have had to unfortunately cancel - contact Irene (or Annelise) using the contact details on the Contact page if you are interested in joining us, it's going to be a fabulous night - even for those who haven't the slightest intention of dancing!
So exactly what is unprecedented and most gratifying? The fact that for the first time since I've been involved in the St Andrew's Ball I've been asked to print more tickets - because we are about to run out! Now, admittedly, I didn't start off with a run of hundreds but we now have over 60 people booked which is a respectable number for the Kamares club to accommodate - not to mention for our little Society to attract - and as I've said before we've got a higher number of dancers due to the earlier date. Both the Monday and Tuesday dance 'classes' are doing really well with even more people joining us and returnee's arriving - not everyone of course intends to join us for the ball - please remember that the ball isn't just about the dancing, though obviously if you love dancing then it's understandable that you would want to be confident enough to join in, but plenty of people attend because it's a well organised night with great food and music and the dancing provides them with plenty of slightly different entertainment even though they've no intention of joining in themselves.
See you next week Jx
It's difficult to cope with how fast time is passing and that it is now almost a week since the Tattoo Night. The evening was a simple one of good food and watching a video but everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely and it gave us the chance to catch up with members who don't regularly dance. For the people who do come to the dance classes it was an opportunity to actually talk for more than a few minutes rather than just whizz past each other - in hopefully the correct direction - however enjoyable that is, (and the number of people now regularly attending the classes shows that it really is very enjoyable) it's not the way you really get to know each other. Once the meal was over (as usual at the UKCA Debbie's food was excellent and the helpings, HUGE) we settled down to watch the video. Although it hardly competes with actually being there, seeing it on a big screen is very impressive and it certainly kept everyone's attention despite being over an hour and a half long. It was possibly just a tad warmer than sitting outside in Edinburgh for a couple of hours too (not to mention a good deal cheaper, getting a good view of everything that was going on and being a bit closer to the loos!).
Following the Tattoo night we had another brilliant Tuesday night - more returnee's swelled the ranks as well as some very welcome visitors and although we couldn't quite get through the whole programme we did indeed get the predicted 4 sets onto the floor; we might have managed to fit in that extra dance too, if everyone hadn't chatted so much during the break (Okay, so I was as guilty of that as everyone else). Everyone definitely left on a high, including us - though I was pretty exhausted it was for the best reasons. Ball tickets are already going well, not everyone who is coming intends to dance, quite a few want to just experience an evening of good Scottish music and excellent food, but it's really nice that we will have so many dancers there this year too. Since the Tuesday dance programmes are now exclusively made up of the dances on the Ball programme it certainly bodes well that they are enjoyed so much on Tuesdays - please note that the Dance programme is on the back of all the Ball Tickets and - if you decide you want to use it as a 'dance card' - includes a small space next to the dance description in which you can note the initials of your partner for that dance, it's worth keeping at least one or two dances free until the night however, because there are often people at the ball who can't necessarily make it to all the previous classes who you might like to partner on the night.
Advice over ... See you next week I hope Jx
We very nearly managed 4 sets, we had enough people to get to that landmark moment but with a few injuries it was wiser to wait until next week when I'm sure we'll easily achieve it. Amazingly enough despite yet again getting more than 30 people there were several regulars missing who hopefully will be back with us by then. After the first couple of dances the number of people milling around meant the dreaded microphone had to be put into play - however it did make a difference and we whizzed through the whole programme with notable success - none of the dances are new to the class but some haven't been on the programme for a while so there was a level of concentration required, hence a few high fives were exchanged when they were successfully completed ... not quite RSCDS style but well in keeping with the fun and energy of the evening. We have only 4 more Tuesday classes to go before the ball and all the Tuesday programmes until then will only contain dances from the Ball programme ... If you want to see the full ball programme, with YouTube links to examples of all the dances, you can click HERE or check on the Future Events page for the link to the programme. Don't forget that the Monday class at the UKCA (now only €3) is also covering all the Ball Dances but at a much easier pace - everyone is welcome to come to either, or both sessions, they are very different types of class and although both work in isolation they also compliment each other well - many people now go to both.
In the meantime we still have the excellent 'Tattoo Night' to come, I hope I will see you at the UKCA on Saturday and if not I'll see you next week. Jx
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.