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Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Jenny Evans and Amy Beshara.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elmsford - 21 December 2011

Another good evening with two dances that needed thorough teaching. Forget Me Knot, a repeat from last week, and Peggy Spouse M.B.E.. The latter was a surprise because I was sure it had been taught here by one of the other teachers.

The evening's dances were:

     Ann Arbor  (32 J 3) Bob Gregg
     Forget Me Knot  (32 S 3 set)  Brian Youngman
     The Captain  (32 R 3) Russ King
     Balgeddie Reel  (32 R 5) Mary S. Brandon
     Gary Scott's Jig  (32 J 3)  Tim Wilson
     Peggy Spouse M.B.E.  (32 S 3)  46/1
     The Kilt Maker  (32 R 4) P. Burrage


Ann Arbor:-  Another good opening jig from New Haven's Bob Gregg. A trick I learned from this dance was how to get a set to assume the proper width - have them walk an advance and retire. They will retire to the proper width even if they had begun with too narrow a set.

Forget Me Knot:- I got bogged down yet again. I did not pick one teaching method but was hung up trying to teach the dance two differing ways. In hindsight this dance should be taught in pure Society method. I walk it, they walk it; I dance it, they dance it - for each eight bar phrase.

The key to this dance is phrasing - it needs to be precise because good dancing is rewarded and sloppy dancing is punished. The hooks on which this dance succeeds (or fails) are the turns which transition into the two half reels.

DanceData has the crib  and the links to both the full instruction set and the paper music for this dance.

The Captain:- A simple dance and well received... yet again. Seems to becoming a regular thing too. I suspect the music has a lot to do with it. I have been using the Dave Wiesler/Mara Shea recording for Sleepwalking off their Heather Hills Cd. Hot stuff & recommended.

Balgeddie Reel:- Another dance that ended with cheers and clapping and a cry for 'once-and-to-the-bottom!'
There is definitely a place for simple but fun dances and this one qualifies. Dancer's Choice Award.

Gary Scott's Jig:-  It has its moments but tonight, for the first time, the setting (10 bars worth) was a burden and not a joy. Hmmm.

Peggy Spouse M.B.E.:-  I remember listening in on a long involved discussion concerning the transition into the half strathspey poussette the crux of which was the adjustment necessary for the 1st man and 2nd woman. We did not have a problem. Both couples were able to give hands with no more than a slight stepping in by supporting partners. There is a reason and it is the fact of how close the dancers in this area (tristate area certainly) stand and form sets. The uTube videos of British  dancers show a much wider set. Look up the Society's summer school demos in Younger Hall. Astonishing.

The Kilt Maker:- Describes, in dance, the measuring, weaving, pleating, sewing and showing off of a kilt. Two thumbs up!

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