Club Night Monday 9 March 2020

Tutor’s Notes
This week we quickly recapped on promenades and moved onto Allemandes.
Allemandes are a progressive formation which can be danced by 2 or 3 couples.
The Allemande hold is similar to the promenade but the man then lifts his right hand to behind his partners shoulders. He then guides his partner with the left hand and never treats her as a public leaning post.

You can see some useful vidoes of allemandes below.
2 couple allemande:

3 couple allemande:

Dances we did with promenade and allemandes were:

It Should be Fun (Jig with 3 couple Promenade)
The Findlay’s Jig (Jig with 3 couple Allemande)
Lady Catherine Bruce’s Reel (Jig with 2 couple Allemande)
The Cabrach (Strathspey, 3 couple Allemande)

We also had a look at the setting step used for quick time dances (i.e. Jigs and Reels) This step is called
Pas de Basque. We practiced this to reel time music which has 3 even beats. It was great to see that our newer dancers were able to quickly get the rhythm of this step, often this is tricky for some.
We then danced Espie McNabb using this step. This dance has set and cross, and set and cast in it.

For those dancers that have been dancing a bit longer we danced two more challenging dancers.
Minister on the Loch (Strathspey)

Mairi’s Wedding (Reel)

Club Night Monday 2 March 2020

Tutor’s notes
Well, week one of club and nice to see members returning for the year and some new dancers continuing on from the beginners classes.

To start of the year and mix dancers up a little we started off with a round the room dance. The Bramble Circle. This introduced the promenade hold to our new dancers. Having done that we then looked at both 2 couple and 3 couple Promenades. The promenade is a follow the leader type of formation. All couples involved start in promenade hold (right hand in right and left in left) in the middle of the dance. Key points to remember are

  • In a 2 couple promenade the 1st couple has 3 steps to curve across the top and face down the ladies side
  • In a 3 couple promenade the 1st couple has 2 steps to curve across the top and face down the ladies side
  • The curve at the top should be contained so the first step is a small one diagonal out to the right then the 1st man effectively pivots to draw his partner across the top of the set.

We danced two dances with Promenades.
There Cam’ a Young Man – (Jig) – using a 2 couple promenade
New Caledonia Jig – (Jig) – using a 3 couple promenade

We also practiced our strathspey travelling step and dance The Oban Reel (Strathspey) using this.
For the not so new dancers we danced two dances:
The Lass of Richmond Hill (Reel)

and Joie de Vivre (Jig)

It was a good first night for the year and we hope to see you all again next week.

Beginners classes February 2020

Beginners classes are starting soon, commencing 3 February 2020, from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. They are especially for people who have never danced before, or who danced a long time ago and need a refresher. You don’t need to be Scottish to enjoy Scottish Country Dancing!
The cost for the four lessons is just $25.

As dancing gets you moving, you will warm up quickly, so wear cool clothing. To start with you can wear soft soled shoes – the thinner the better.

A regular dance partner is not required for Scottish Country Dancing as it is customary to dance with a different partner for each dance, making it a very social form of dancing. Dances are usually danced in a set of eight people – 4 men and 4 women arranged either in two lines (men facing women) or in a square, and they work together to dance a sequence of formations.

There are several basic steps and about a dozen figures which will get you through quite a number of dances. There is also more emphasis on “steps” than in, say, ceilidh dancing, but the basic technique can be learned through a couple of months’ worth of practice evenings once a week at Club nights.

Club nights, schools, balls and social dances are held in places all over New Zealand and the world. Once you know the basics, you can join in anywhere in New Zealand or around the world.