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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, August 13, 2015

4 August 2015 - Summer Dance in New Haven

I taught:–

Mrs Stewart's Jig
The Palisades Mermaid  -  (32 R 3)  -  Price
Land of the Heather Hills  -  (32 S 4)  -  Priddey
Chatham Chase  -  (32 J 3)  -  Hanson

Flyping Out of Portland  -  (32 J 3)  -  Price
Asilomar Romantic  -  (32 S 3)  - Cuthbertson
Da Rain Dancin'  -  (32 R 3)  - Wallace


Mrs Stewart's Jig :– Standard Repertoire, good warm up. A favorite for good reason - I have danced/taught it often and it just seems to stay fresh.

The Palisades Mermaid :– A recent dance of my own,  in it's first dance trial, and I got a positive response. Not a Golden Ghillie, but "nice dance with good flow" - and that is good enough. I was aced to be sure to remind dancers (in the cribs) that the reels of 4 are full, 8 bar reels of 4. Really! There was a tendency for dancers to flip into "Mairi's Wedding Reels" mode and that got them into difficulty. Still editing and music selection to do so publication will be… Real Soon Now.
There really is something to be said for KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid!) - My first version went to 40 bars and worked but would clearly, from current perspective, not have been worth the effort.

Land of the Heather Hills :– OH MY! What a great dance this one is! When I saw the video it took me an hour to get my jaw off the ground.  It is just enough different that getting the pattern across to the dancers took a bit more effort than is usual. The Social Value way outweighs the energy expended to learn it. It will take a while but this is going on the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance program in a year or so. I'd give it four thumbs up … if I had four thumbs.

Chatham Chase :– A dance from my friend Lou Hanson, it did not receive rave reviews, but it wasn't given any thumbs down either. I like what she does here (A Book of Many Thanks), written while in grad school while being slight off her rocker - grad school does that to you - and writing this book of dances served as a sanity check for her. Worth looking into (MHO).

Flyping Out of Portland :– a sanity check for me after taking Unit 2 (dance exam) of the Teacher Candidate course at TAC, in Portland, in 2012. One of the young ladies from Texas, commenting on the last four bars of Miss Hadden's Reel (the casting progression) and our difficulty in briefing cleanly said

"It's a 'flipe'"
A What?
 A Flipe! It is the descriptive word for turning your socks or hose inside out when putting them on or taking them off. "

Ok… So flipe it became, and the class then wrote a book of "Flype" dances and because I wrote it  a bit later this one didn't make it in.

Note - My flight out of Portland was at 10pm - so my original title was The Red Eye Special.

Asilomar Romantic :–  One of my top 10 strathspeys - especially when danced to the recording made by Reel of Seven! Oh that oboe! Get their CDs - the music is magnificent.

Da Rain Dancin' :– Another of my favorites, written by one of my favorite teachers and just plain great guy, Ron Wallace. And I haven't met a recording for this dance that I haven't liked.

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