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Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Sarah Stefanski and Jenny Evans, both local artists.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Elmsford - 4 January 2012

A lovely evening, with two sets and a bit. Nothing esoteric on the program so we were able to get through 8 dances.

The dances were:
     Trip to Gatlinburg  (32 J 3) Shengzhang Tang
     Meyer Lemon Strathspey  (32 S 2) Houston 30th
     Scotland's Gardens  (32 R 3)  R. Goldring
     Gypsy Weaver  (32 S 3) D. Peet
     The Captain  (32 R 3)  Russ King
     The Nurseryman  (32 J 3)  37/7
     Strathglass House  (32 S 3)  13/9
     Flowers of Edinburgh  (32 R 3)

**********

Trip to Gatlinburgh:- A simple, jig with a variant weave making it progressive. Very good at warming up the dancers but otherwise a bit on the light side. Fun occasionally.

Meyer Lemon Strathspey:- Introduced to me by Ralph Stoddard who was teaching at the Nutmeg Workshop held in Middletown, CT., this past fall. Good dancer he, also good teacher and all round good person. Dance is somewhat simplistic but that means you must dance it clean because any error is most obvious.

While simple the dance is good enough that it is going one the shortlist for the next program I devise (at the suggestion of Miss Wendy).

Scotland's Gardens:- From the pen of Roy Goldring, a lovely dance in MHO, and except for the awkward end effect, would give The Highland Rambler a run for the money.

Gypsy Weaver:- The music, by Liz Donaldson, is simply divine and the dance ain't bad either. It's all about eye contact but please don't over play it. Keep it respectful and the dance is worth doing again. Camp it up and it is only funny once because the dance doesn't go there and big googly eyes simply don't fit. Play is fun when not overdone.

The Captain:- Yet another round of applause. 1M gets a great kilt moment and considering what I am seeing now I eagerly await the evening when all the men are wearing their kilts. Even the ladies dancing as men are getting into the swing of the moment.

The Nurseryman:- One of the top 10 jigs IMHO. The transition out of the LHA into lines of three across advancing is one of the great moments in Scottish dancing. The secret is to drop hands about half way round and spiral out into the lines across and then the dancers can surge toward the other line. If dancers hold their hands too long forming the lines is problematic and there is no momentum, and tonight, finally, the class began to get it. Oh yeah!

Strathglass House:- The music makes the dance and calls for good strong steps, and when that is there...

Flowers of Edinburgh:- One of the standards for good reason. I've done it lots and it is still good fun and went really nicely to an old recording - George Stirrat and his Band ca. 1960. It is really something when you can hear the band having fun.

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