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 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.
It was a shame that so many of our “regulars” were not able to make it due to other commitments but we had 2 sets with our visitors. The programme was made up of requests – favourites of some and not necessarily others!
As I said, Ann and I have really enjoyed out tutoring this year and particularly impressed of how well our new dancers have done. Thanks to all our Club members who made our new people feel so welcome and the help they have given.
For the record the dances we did on Monday were:
• Maxwell’s Rant
• The Compleat Gardener
• City of Belfast
• Shiftin” Bobbins
• The Hunting Horn
• Triple Happiness
• Capering Scarecriws
• Pelorus Jack
• Linden Diamond
• The Reel of the 51st Division
Have a great break and enjoy the summer. See you all in February for the beginners’ classes.
You will be pleased to have a break from the New Dancer’s Celebration dances this week. I was really pleased to hear how much everyone had enjoyed the dance and that you felt well prepared. I was sorry to miss it as it is my favourite dance for the year.
The Auld Grey Cat – an easy warm up dance written by Wellington tutor Iain Boyd
Yan, Tan, Tethera (1,2,3 in Gaelic) – Corner chain. This is one of my favoutie formations. A good dance for lots of eye contact as you change your corners in and turn your partner.
Wisp of Thistle – This dance was written for the Queen Mother who after watching a Scottish Country Dancing display in Canada commented that the dancers looked like wisps of thistle. Good practice for petronella turns and half reels of 4
Capering Scarecrow. This is a new dance written by the Carterton tutor. It was quite tricky but you all did really well with it despite the tutor with the foggy brain.. Thanks to Graeme for easily working out why the corners were still on opposite sides when we finished the dance!!
The Moudiewort (Jvilles final night programme) As discussed a Moudiewort is a mole. Lots of jokes about mole like activity.
Thanks for the requests for our final night. I will put together a programe that incorporates most of these.
See you all for our final night of dancing for 2019.