Meeting the Challenge
Well done to everyone who turned up last Tuesday and enjoyed what was almost certainly the most challenging dance programme of the year. There are always dances that are slightly more challenging than others on the Tuesday night programme, but they are usually balanced by easier or more well known ones. This week however, it was the last chance to practice the less familiar Ball dances and every single one of them would probably be classed, for one reason or another, as challenging by most of the class. It didn't surprise me that we didn't complete the programme but everyone seemed to have an excellent time and people got up and managed things that they possibly wouldn't have attempted if there'd been easier options available! However the dancing goes on Saturday there will be a lot of fun on the dance floor!
Next week we will be relaxing the reins slightly with the return of some old favourites, but the dances we've learnt for the ball will be kept in our repertoire. Ian Robertson who will be playing the music for the ball arrived on the island last night and most of the final arrangements are close to being completed - and if anyone is worried about the route to the Kamares Club -now that the main road from Tala is closed - there is a button to download instructions of the route vie Kioli , either from Paphos or Peyia/Polis direction, on the Future Events page under the Ball poster. See you there.
Manic, no, Magic moments
Numbers were back up to normal for the weeks before the ball - and the noise level demonstrated how well everyone in the class get on, which is brilliant, but definitely creates a challenge when teaching! However when a bit of 'ush was achieved everyone concentrated wonderfully and we managed a busy but successful class. Unusually, but usefully, we had two sets worth of people arrive even before the class was officially ready to go ... so, anticipating that we might not complete the programme we danced Mairi's Wedding early, with more time to teach than we would have at the end of the evening. A challenging dance for beginners but deserving of it's reputation as one of the most popular dances ever - and it's amazing what people can do when they give it a try.
The rest of the evening passed in something of a blur - with so many sets up at one time it was tough to give everyone equal attention - just as well many of the sets were capable of looking after themselves. It was super to welcome back potential dancers - and impressive that they look like returning for more of such organised chaos! A couple of the Strathspey's caused serious head scratching but this close to the ball the class programme is really concentrating on the more difficult dances, the people who struggled have to remember that there are plenty of easier dances on the ball programme too, we just don't need to practice those ones! On the whole the dances that were giving us the most problems at earlier sessions were danced well i.e. Goat Fell Gallop, and Christmas at the Heath and with one more week to go, quite a few people are coming to the Monday afternoon session at the UKCA as well as the Tuesday night class to get a bit of extra practice in, so we will all alright on the night! See you next week Jx
'Last week we were struggling for space so, anticipating even greater numbers, chairs were pushed back, and space optimised and... loads of people didn't come! :-) Well, actually quite a few people did come, as well as some who weren't there last week, several visitors and one intrepid gentleman who joined us for the first time - It's a tough time of year to be starting and he did really well and seemed to enjoy it. But it was definitely a night defined by those who didn't join us. Its unusual for numbers to be down so close to the ball. The strange weather may have been partly to blame because, literally out of the blue, the first real storms of the season hit during the day - they weren't very heavy in our area but by the sound of the thunder in the distance some people were being hit more severely than us. However at one level fewer numbers are a bonus because it is much easier to teach. The dances themselves went well, although we didn't get through the whole programme we did manage the most important ones and nobody was finding them too much of a struggle even when they were unfamiliar. Tickets for the ball are going very well and we are even welcoming back most of the non dancing guests from last year who enjoyed it enough to want to join us again. 2 more Tuesday classes to go, and unfortunately only one more Monday class (we have to cancel next week's) but let's not panic - don't forget the whole programme with video's (I've reinstated the Ring of Brodgar Video) can be found via EVENTS -> FUTURE EVENTS and scroll to the link, or HERE; and if you really can't make it for the Ball, there are still the Panto visit and the Xmas Ceilidh to go - Irene will be delighted if you can let her know if you are coming to them because having an early idea of numbers makes her planning very much easier. See you next week. Jx
Squeezing them in!
For the first time this season our numbers topped 30 and the noise level increased accordingly! We welcomed back many more people, it was great to see them (though we still miss the people who haven't returned to us yet) and we had no difficulty getting multiple sets onto the floor, but it was virtually impossible, in the melee, to get around everyone and welcome them properly - so I was very glad that people came up to say hello at the end. The dancing itself went incredibly well especially considering the lack of space and the number of people who were learning dances new to them - the level of concentration was palpable, but had results, and those wonderful moments when people get to the end of a dance successfully and spontaneously laugh & cheer happened over and over again. It was great. One thing that I find impressive is the way people can now rotate their sets, to optimise the space, and not loose their way- it shows that people are correctly orientated to their set and not to directions in the room. When we get to the ball this will be a very valuable skill because obviously all the physical 'landmarks' that you might have got into the habit of using in the class wont be there. There are 3 more weeks to go, and we are practising the dances from the programme both on Mondays and Tuesdays so if you want to optimise your practice opportunities you can give both of them a go. If there is enough interest I am happy to run a couple of morning dances too to add to the experience of latecomers or beginners - but that will wait until we are a bit closer. See you soon. Jx.
If I'm absolutely honest... (and I usually am) I found last week's class quite hard work. It was one of those nights when I wasn't quite firing on all cylinders and technology wasn't on my side either, I can usually cope with one or the other but both together was challenging, still, these things happen and P assures me that everyone enjoyed themselves despite the occasional moments of uncertainty.
It was great to welcome more friends back from their summer back home, and we had yet another new member joining the society which is very encouraging, but it was the first time many dancers had really attempted some of the newer dances on the programme and it was a bit of a shock to the system! We have 4 weeks until the ball however, and both the Monday and Tuesday classes to learn the dances so we'll have cracked them all by then - given that most of our new dancers still managed most of the programme I don't really have too many worries - we have to start somewhere and with 4 sets up at one time then it's bound to be chaotic! The Tattoo Night is this Saturday at the UKCA, (always a good night) then next week the ball tickets will be available. We already have many names down for tickets, but we are hoping to increase the numbers from last year; many of the people with names down for tickets aren't intending to dance but for both dancers and non-dancers as it is a very entertaining night and excellent value even for guests, so if you know of anyone who you think might enjoy it why don't you ask them to come along?
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, Sudoku, God, my husband & my cats (not necessarily in that order). Hates - cooking, housework, TV, corrupt politicians, cruelty and greed of any kind.
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