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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.

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


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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