Category Archives: News

Club Night Monday 23 September

Tutor’s Notes
We had a smaller turn out than normal on Monday night with just one 5 couple set on the floor. Due to Peter being sick we also had recorded music which meant we could not stretch the music to 10 times through but we struggled on.

We danced a couple of dances from Wanganui’s program (it is their dance this Saturday).
The dances were The Captain’s House and Ladies Fancy. The Captain’s House is also on Carterton’s dance program on the 3 November. Ladies Fancy has a quick time poussette in it so we practiced that before we did the dance. It was great to see that everyone managed to keep this a nice square.

We also looked at our strathspey poussette before using it in the dance Bill Little’s Strathspey which is on the New Dancers’ Celebration program. Keeping the diamond shape for the strathspey poussette is a bit trickier but after a few repetitions it was looking good.

The next dance was V and J’s Maggot which is from a book I was given by Lydia Hedge, a lady who lived in NZ for a while but now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I chose this dance partly because of the name. Apparently what we call an ear worm (a tune that gets stuck in your head) is called a maggot in Canada. It is not such a nice thought really! Anyway this dance is a three couple jig danced 6 times through. The first 3 times the first couple only dance the track they would for cross over reels on your opposite side and then on your own side. The last three times through all three couples dance the reels which proved more interesting. The transition between the set and the rotate at the end of the dance and the reels to start proved rather more difficult than I thought.

We finished the night off early with the Reel of the Royal Scots, also on the New Dancer’s Celebration program and then were rewarded with a lovely supper with plenty to spare given the low numbers. Thanks to those who provided the food and kitchen duties.

Club Night Monday 17 September

Tutor’s Notes
We didn’t have much time for dancing since it was the AGM of the club on Monday night but we managed four dances in the hour we had.

We danced a couple of the dancers from the New Dancers’ Celebration. These were Catch the Wind and The Hunting Horn, both popular dances on many programs. We also learned Triple Happiness.

This is a 3 couple strathspey from the latest RSCDS book. It has a corner pass and turn formation with a slight variation in that the corners turn with two hands rather than one. This dance is on both Wanganui’s dance program at the end of September and Carterton’s dance program in early November.

You can see this danced in Japanese style at

We then finished off by dancing Shiftin’ Bobbins another popular dance.

Club Night Monday 10 September

Tutor’s Notes
It was great to get two full sets at club on Monday. It always makes things easier for the teacher.

We danced two more dances from Tawa’s programme. John of Bon Accord (a reel) and The Gentleman (a Strathspey). The thing to remember (teacher included) is that both of these dances have half reels.

We also danced two Jigs from the New Dancers Celebration program. The Hollin Buss and Autumn Tidings. You danced Autumn Tidings earlier with Philippa. This is a little unusual because the reels on the side start with the 1st and 3rd couples casting into them and the double figure of eight is only a 3/4 double figure of 8. This dance was devised by Iain Matchem who played for our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party earlier in the year.

The last two dances for the night were newer ones, Holyrood Strathspey from book 51 and Trip to Timber Ridge (A reel) from the recently published Book 52. Both of these dances have corner pass and turn in them. This formation went well but it is really important for the corners to remember they turn quickly on bar 2 of the phrase and then dance out on 3 and 4 to make way for the dancing couple.

You can see videos for these dances at:
Holyrood Hourse
Trip to Timber Ridge (This one is a variation on the basic dance in a 5 couple set which looks great. The corners really need to stay awake here)

Club Night Monday 18 June

Tutor’s Notes

It was a wet night on Monday so great to see that many of you braved the weather.

We continued looking at the dancers from our Dance Programme

We started with Joie de Vivre – a simple Jig with a 3 couple allemande. The key to making this dance look good is to maintain straight lines both in the Allemande and for the back to back.

The second dance of the night was Hooper’s Jig. A lively number requiring synchronised claps which were achieved well. Although this is a popular dance there were several people who were unfamiliar with it and it is slightly trickier than it appears on first glance. We will repeat this one next week.

Here is the youtube clip for watching as homework. Hooper’s Jig

Remember everyone is moving on the 2 bars before the rights and lefts. 1st man casts to 2nd place, 1st woman and 3rd man give left hand so the 3rd man can guide the 1st woman into 2nd place while he returns to his own place. At the same time the 2s move up.

For your education the word hooper is an archaic English term for a person who aided a cooper in the building of barrels by creating the hoop for the barrel.
The wooden parts that make up a barrel are called staves, while the rings that hold them together are called hoops.

The step practice for the night was Strathspey Setting. This is step close (behind in 3rd) step hop bringing the foot up behind the leg, where the stocking seam would be with the foot pointed to the floor.

We then looked at the Strathspey Pousette. This is at times referred to as the Diamond Pousette or the All Round Pousette, this is because it is diamond in shape and you dance the full way around the diamond so you return to where you started. (i.e. non progressive). This is different to the Pousette in jig or reel time which is square and progressive.

We danced the Compliment which has the Strathspey Pousette, and repeated Auld Year’s Nicht with a pousette in reel time.

We also repeated The Water of Leith a strathspey for 4 couples
And finished the evening with the always popular Shiftin’ Bobbins.

Next week we will start looking at the most difficult dance on our dance program Culla Bay. This has been on our dance programs before but it is definitely one for the more experienced in the club. Even they might want to do some preparation and look at the video.