I never really like going away and missing any of the classes - it's fine once I'm away, but all the arrangements needed before I go sometimes makes it seem more trouble than it's worth. This time it has been made even harder by greeting some newcomers to the classes just as I'm about to go. It was lovely to see how much they enjoyed the atmosphere and the dances they tried and how welcoming the class was to beginners. Remember there are no Monday classes while I'm away but the Tuesday sessions are carrying on without me of course, because they aren't just about me! We've a volunteer leader for the sessions and the programme has just been updated with some great dances that he wants to try that we haven't done for a while, as well as familiar ones that won't tax the brain cells quite as much - I wish I was there - but I'm back in a couple of weeks. I will post pictures of the Ball I'm attending and look forward to catching up with everything that's been happening while I'm away - no doubt it will go quickly.
It's been a fortnight since I added to these blethers, of course there's been lots to say during those weeks, but no time to record it. Last week both the Monday and Tuesday classes were packed, and great fun, as people did their last minute 'cramming' for the ball. Irene was working incredibly hard in the background performing the final negotiations with the venue and ensuring that we could have access the club in the morning to do our pre-ball decorating. I was changing hats from minute to minute as I put together the seating plan poster - ready for Irene's sending the guest names - finalised the music, dug out my photo gear, as well as the decorations from storage and more. I belatedly realised that on the night the notice boards should be advertising our next events not the one we were at - cue searching for Christmas fonts for a Christmas Ceilidh poster, as well remembering to do the normal updates on the website for this week's regular dance classes.
Both dancers and non-dancers seemed to enjoy the ball. It was great fun from my point of view and with only a few exceptions the dancing went well with 2 sets up for most of the dances. Initially managing even one set seemed amazing after such an excellent meal - I'd personally like to commend the chef on his superb mushroom soup! As expected we didn't dance every dance on the programme, but after completing the first half we 'cherry picked' our favourites so we didn't run out of steam before the end. Well done everyone for keeping going until then and thank-you all those who whisked down the decorations so we didn't have to go back on Sunday. Memories and photographs of the ball can be found via the Past Events tab above. There are still some pictures to be posted so the page isn't quite complete but the initial shots are already there. The 'portraits' taken on the night will not be posted on the site, but will be sent to people individually once I've got them ready.
This week it was very difficult to predict how busy the normal classes would be and it wasn't a great surprise to have fewer numbers - though still a respectable turn out. On Tuesday we had a small hiccup when the lights fused soon after we arrived - but it was sorted by the time the class started - phew. It was also lovely to be able to add a few 'new' dances to the programme and even better when they were danced well and enjoyed. We are now looking forward to the Christmas Ceilidh which we hold on the last Tuesday session before Christmas i.e. 19th December. If anyone has a 'party piece' they'd like to contribute contact me and I'll add it to the programme. The dances on the night will be to 'seasonal favourites' and very very easy to keep us jolly! But there's a few weeks to go before then so in the meantime, see you next week.
What brilliant time was had at both classes this week. Monday and Tuesday sessions were really well attended - by both visitors and regulars - as usually happens close to the ball - but more importantly they were fabulous fun. Whether we dance well on Saturday 11th, or not, everyone seems to be enjoying the process of learning enormously. Everyone is telling me how they are checking out the videos of the dances and doing their best to learn them, it's certainly being reflected by the number of visitors to the website. Of course it's much better to learn a dance by dancing it, however, done properly, the videos can be really useful too - here are a few tips to using them...
Finally, just a note to congratulate our junior visitors on Tuesday, brilliant dancers the pair of them, they really smashed 'Postie's Jig' I hope they enjoyed it enough to join us again sometime, and maybe find a class back home? - and also - well done to our volunteer bar staff both of whom joined in with a dance during the night - it shows that just watching can be enough if done often enough and with attention! See you all next week Jx
What a great atmosphere! We welcomed back even more visitors and managed two sets up for several dances. Both the Monday and Tuesday classes were well attended and although Tuesday, especially, became a little chaotic, and the programme was nowhere near completed, the sessions were great fun. Now that the ball is so close it is obvious that many people have been practicing so that their favourite dances will be 'all right on the night' - an excellent thing to do, and I truly appreciate the effort they are going to. Notwithstanding the practicing however, we did get into a bit of a tangle with an otherwise straight forward dance - but never mind, better to work out the problems now rather than later, we'll get it cracked next week. Dance card/programmes/cribs for the ball were given out to everyone at the class who had bought tickets, and they are now available to anyone who comes to the Monday or Tuesday classes so they can make their own notes on the dances or book a partner in advance. They will also be available on the night of course - 2 weeks & counting! See you soon.
We are very lucky to be joined so often by old friends back to visit us, and also by holidaying visitors - such as the lovely lady who joined us last Tuesday. Like most experienced dancers she was more than willing to help others around the set, and it showed how 'classic' our current programme is that she was familiar with every single one of the dances set for the night. It was just as well that our visitors were all such keen dancers - without them we may have struggled to fill every set - for all sorts of reasons numbers were down this week, but even so it was a fun evening and culminated with getting one of our 'bar ladies' to join the final dance - and she did it straight off - not just a pretty face, fairly fancy feet too! 3 more weeks before the ball - so I hope to see you all next week, there's definitely more work to be done to crack some of our trickier dances - but we've got time - so don't panic just come to the classes, and don't forget the Monday classes are also covering the Ball dances so they are a great place to get a bit more practice. See you next week. Jx
It seems impossible that between 2 Tuesday classes I managed to feel seriously ill, get admitted to hospital, endure a weekend of treatment and then be discharged in time for the next class - unfortunately not quite in time for Monday class, but definitely on my feet by Tuesday. That was a week ago, and I confess I was rather tired, even if I was pain-free, so writing this blether was a bit more than I could do last week, however I'm gradually regaining my energy and our dance sessions this week have been so much fun they must be recorded. We had an excellent Monday beginners session - no less than Wind on Loch Fyne, Duke of Perth and Mairi's Wedding were covered - pretty good going for 'beginner's'. Tuesday we had one of the best turn outs of the year, and was also an excellent session, not least because David - managing to stagger through another year - was kind enough to bring us all cake to help us celebrate (well it was Janet really, but in honour of David). Despite stopping for an excellent cake break (and thanks for the thoughtful GF cookies too) we managed to dance every dance on the programme for the first time this year. Less and less coaching is being needed and in general people are becoming more confident. Don't forget that Ball tickets are now on sale - see Future Events for more- and if you want to dance at the ball you need to come along and practice beforehand; I will call the dances at the ball if absolutely necessary but it's better for the overall atmosphere if I don't have to ... not to mention you enjoy yourself more if you know what you are doing. I look forward to seeing you all next week.
The temperature is still a bit on the warmish side for most of us but it didn't stop us enjoying a super night's dancing and the excellent company. We welcomed friends who are back with us for just a couple of weeks before they fly on to even more exotic climes, and it lifted us all so that we got through virtually every dance on the programme with time left over. It was good to have our bar team back to full strength too, and we definitely need to provide them with some score cards!
We've now only 6 weeks to go until the ball so it was reassuring to manage some of our more challenging dances so well - and that includes those who were not in any way perfect, but managed to keep going through momentary confusions, drop to the bottom and then support the rest of the set during their time at the top - real team work! Next week the Tuesday class programme changes more than it would usually to cover much of the rest of our potential ball dance programme. On the night of the Ball we rarely complete the all the dances we have practiced in class - we run out of time - but having a good selection to choose from means we can maximize the fun of the evening for everyone so from now on I'll be ringing the changes a little more frequently - and don't forget the dances are being covered, one by one, with a lot more thoroughness on Mondays at the 'beginners and improvers' sessions.
Yet again we have to thank the tireless Jean for supporting our group above & beyond her duty calling. Thanks to her stepping in at the last minute the bar was open and our night of tripping the light fantastic was enhanced by beverages. Alcohol is not necessary for a great night of dancing, in fact it is often contraindicated but on warm evenings fluids of any sort are definitely required. Although officially autumn nobody has told the Cyprus weather and we are still being blessed by 'comfortable' temperatures - fabulous for almost everything else but energetic dancing.
However who are we to complain when we have fans and an overworked AC available (and if we move fast enough we can create our own breeze!).
We welcome back a dancer who has been unable to join us recently due to surgery - she was intending to take it easy but still managed plenty of dances, so despite some challenges- several absences due to unfortunate events beyond anyone's control, and teacher having a headache and being less than her best self, we still had enough dancers in the session for 'a set & some over' and yet again the evening passed super quickly and everyone left with a smile and, hopefully the intention to return next week!
I've been told that no-one would suspect how nervous I get before the dance classes. That's good of course - but doesn't stop me being nervous! Once everything is off and running I'm fine however. Tonight was an excellent example - I even resorted to Rescue Remedy beforehand, but once everyone was there it was brilliant. We had a respectable turn out for a first session and as a opening season treat (not to mention an incentive for people to come, and to renew their P3A memberships) the group sponsored a 'baps & chips meal' as well as a free drink per person. The baps were excellent - well done, and thanks, to Jean who did a sterling job in the kitchens as well as Marie who bobbed out from the bar to help - and the atmosphere both on and off the dance floor was relaxed and cheerful. We tried out a new room layout which should make the non-dancers much more comfortable, but still give dancers a respectable dancing area. It took several goes to work out the optimal direction for the 'top' of the room - but it worked well in the end. I look forward to seeing everyone again next week, at either the Monday or the Tuesday class and we should also have some returnees to swell the ranks which will be great.
If you are on our mailing list you should have seen all I've written below via an email, but just in case I've missed you, or perhaps you haven't joined us yet, you can find my message below :-
Summer has flown by, and it's time to restart dancing!
Classes restart next week at 6pm, Tuesday 12th September at the Phoenix Club. Wahaay!
We are making it a special evening - both Monday and Tuesday dancers / potential dancers are welcome.
Register when you arrive to get a drink token. Use it at the bar for a soft drink, beer or a glass of wine. For this first night the kitchen will be open as well as the bar.
I hope as many people as possible can come along - if you are considering joining / re-joining the Monday beginners' sessions, (we are restarting 2 pm, Monday, Sept 18th) you are also very welcome to join us this Tuesday. No-one will be dragged up to dance who doesn't wish to, but the programme includes all levels of dances and even if you don't feel ready to try, you can check what you are letting yourself in for! Singles are welcome, we are a friendly bunch.
There will be a few minor changes from last season :-
Layout - please enter through the 'Main' door - i.e. facing the bar.
Charges (for both Tuesdays and Mondays)- This is to cover new performance rights fees.
Phoenix Club memberships have been due since June - see the bar ladies for help in joining / re-joining - Phoenix club membership is not mandatory but will save you the weekly additional €2 temp membership fee if you come regularly.
P3A memberships - now due - if you haven't re-joined / joined forms will be available at the door - or download them from the P3A site HERE. P3A membership (and subsequent membership of the St Andrew Group) gives you discounts at St Andrew Group events plus P3A membership is a requirement if attending classes regularly.
St Andrew Group Ball - Change of date and venue. Now being held at the Kamares Club on Saturday 11th November. Tickets will be available from 12th Sept:-
P3A / St Andrew Group members - €20
Non-members/guests - €25 (tickets only via Irene / class attendees)
I hope you can make it next week, but if not I look forward to seeing you whenever you can join us. All the best
Janine (You'll find more information throughout the website, please take time to browse)
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.