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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.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

9 March 2016 - Westchester

Well, the first ball is over and done with. And a great weekend it was too. The band was Dave Wiesler, David Knight and Dan Emory. Fabulous!

The New Haven Highland Ball WeekendAt Westchester this w programs are here.

Only three more to go. Westchester has been added to the list even though we don't have a program yet and we have less than 60 days to go. Real Soon Now!!! Please?

At Westchester this week we taught the following:-

As a warmup...
The Ferryboat  -  (32 J ncircle)  - Let's All Dance (Hunt)
The Captain's House  -  (32 R 3)  - H. Boyd
Richard the Third  -  (32 S 3)  - Glasspool- 7 Year Itch
Orpington Caledonian  -  (32 R 3)  - Bk 49/2

The Rerr Terr Jig  -  (40 J 3)  - Trinkaus-Randall
Linea's Strathspey  -  (32 S 3)  - Bk 47 (Wilson)
Da Rain Dancin'  -  (32 R 3)  - Wallace

The Pawling Mermaid  -  (32 J 3)  - Price (unpublished)


The Ferryboat:- A very nice, simple, warm up dance, also good for audience participation, new dancers and whatever else you want. In my hip pocket for just hat reason.

The Captain's House:- I like it - Give it about a 92 :-)  Didn't know what to think of it when first it appeared on a NY Branch ball program but danced it once and fell for it. And, just to add to the fun, it was devised by Holly Boyd (Montreal) who was with Deborah and me in Portland at the TAC candidate class.

Richard the Third:-I have been teaching this dance to The Loch Leven Dancers as a performance dance. They are coming around and beginning to really enjoy it. I have also taught it to my class at the New Haven Friends Meeting. They gave it a Golden Ghillie award.  Now the Westchester club has been exposed to it and have also given it a positive response.

With that many good reviews you too should take a look at it.

Be aware that Terry is doing whatever he can to mess with your mind.

First he changes the timing of a standard figure of eight just a bit. It needs to end in the middle ready to give LH to partner, not on the sidelines. That LH turn is ALL the way around - not half- and is on the zesty side.

Secondly the right hands across, man up with 2C and lady down with 3C end with 1C closely back to back and the corners back out to place; then the circles of 3 go"back" to the right! and open up with 1M drawing 2C down onto the men's side and 1L drawing 3C up onto the ladies' side.

Thirdly he has a R&L for 3 couples. 2C and 3C change on the diagonal RH, ALL cross over LH; right diagonals cross RH, ALL cross LH. The key here- cross all the way onto the side lines every time. A wonderfully satisfying pulse develops when that happens and IMHO is the heart of the dance. Note that at the end of this last crossing 1C (making it a turn) is facing 3rd corner position!

Now comes the hardest part - half reels of four on the diagonal with a very zesty Left shoulder dance rounds to face 4th corner. Corners can not be slow! They need to be out of the way so 1C can start the second half reel only a half bar late - on time is almost impossible but worth striving for. The way I like to end the dance is with a second L shoulder dance round ending in the center but shoulder to shoulder and facing out own sides, from where you can cast in parallel with the new couple starting at the top.

I love this one!

Orpington Caledonians:- Reads nice and easy. In actuality, 'A Little Stinker" to steal a the words  from the  mouth of the great New England contra caller Ralph Page.

Control! You need to be aware and in control. Big Thumbs UP.

The Rerr Terr Jig:- Won in a raffle. A wee bit more of a challenge for beginners then we wished. Not bad. It won't make my top 50 list but it will be in the back of my mind for...

Linnea's Strathspey:-Another one for which I can say "I love this one".

Da Rain Dancin':- It is part of my standard repertoire. Another "I love this one!" IMHO the RSCDS need to publish this one and claim it as their own. It is better than most, and the music makes it!

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