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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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

13 + 20 November 2013 - Westchester

!3 November 2013

2nd session of the series and a good one. We manage 8 dances over the evening, warming up with Kent Smith's Chicago Loop and then dancing City of Belfast without a talk through. 


There is not a lot of story around the dances this week so 

This night's dances were:

Chicago Loop  (32 R 3) Kent Smith - Chicago Collection
City of Belfast  (32 S 3 set)  Mulholland - Belfast Jubilee
The Hazel Tree  (32 J 3)  Drewry - Brodie Book
The Docent's Tour  (32 S 3)  T. Wilson - Measures of Pleasure
Jessie's Hornpipe  (32 R 3)  Bk 8/9
Waverley  (48 J 3)  Bk 15/12
All for One  (32 S 3 set)  McMurtry - Dragonfly Book
The Punchbowl  (32 R 3)  Bk 5/5


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20 November 2013

The basics class was larger: last weeks beginners were back along with a couple who started last year but have been *very* busy this fall. Things are looking up here, 'cause a group without beginners is a dying group. 

And that is my fear for Westchester. When I started teaching this group I could pull anything, and I do mean anything, out of my little box and they would handle it. Even a John Drewry piece of spaghetti choreography. I can't do that now. I now have to be careful what I choose and with teaching Shinkansen, in a bit of a time constraint ,was a mistake.

3rd session of the current series.

Warm up dance:
The Findlays' Jig  (32 J 3)   Goldring - 14 Social Dances 2000

The No Talk Through:
The Hazel Tree  (32 J 3)  Drewry - Brodie Book

Intermediate Class:
The Fountain Strathspey  (32 S 3 set) Rbt. Gregg
Miss Hadden's Reel  (32 J 3)  Bk 23/5

Social hour:
The Silver Tassie  (32 S 3)  Drewry - L1
Blue Bonnets  (32 J 2)  
Shinkansen  (32 R 3)  A. Dix - Reel Friends 3

**********

The Findlays' Jig –  It is basic and different. A hard combination to achieve. And I like cuddle casts if the dancers do more than 'make the motions' and actually acknowledge on another.

The Hazel Tree – I like the Espagnole! It isn't hard - it is simple!. So why all the panic stricken faces? It is only a half double fig. Eight… in a different orientation. Last weeks teaching actually took. They did a beautiful job of it.

The Fountain Strathspey – This one took more time than I anticipated. The opening figure took a lot more teaching than I planned. I need to re-think how and what I say cause what I did worked but not well. When done well a keeper!

Miss Hadden's Reel – An eye opener for me. Inverting a line of three should not be a mind twisting concept. But it was this day. Another "re-think the process" dance. 

The Silver Tassie – Taught to the beginners downstairs, and opening the social dance period. Rondel is not my favourite figure. I do it well but very few others do. It is all about timing.

Blue Bonnets – good music but even that doesn't carry the dance. Good for beginners, otherwise tedious, in the extreme. (IMHO, of course)

Shinkansen – Again I misjudged. The meanwhile figure is the same as in Mrs Hamilton of Wishaw.
1C sets and dances an 6 bar track; 2C sets and dances a 4 bar track; 3C sets and dances a 2 bar track. 
Even five years ago this would not have been a problem for this group. It is now. Sigh. 

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