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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, February 9, 2017

8 February 2017 - Westchester

'Tis the season for Ball Prep so that was most of last night's program. The New Haven Highland Ball Coming up Real Soon, then New Jersey's Rerr Terr, the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance and New York's Pawling Weekend. Sometimes I actually remember it is not all on my shoulders.

The Dances:-

Waltzing to Iowa  -  (32 W circle)  -  Schneider
EH3 7AF  –  (32 J 3)  – Bk 40 (Goldring)
The Johnsonville Diamond  –  (32 S 2)  –  Downey
On the Wings of a Skorie  –  (32 R 3)  – Herbold
The Wishing Well  –  (32 S 2)  – Bk 44 (Bänninger)

John Cass  –  (32 J 5)  –  Bk 49 (Avery)
Singing Sands  –  (32 S 3/3L)  –  Priddey
The Black Leather Jig  –  (32 R 3)  – DelValSilver (Selling)

** ** ** ** **

Waltzing to Iowa:- I picked this dance up from the conversation on Strathspey. I had to. My mother was from Iowa, my sister lives in Iowa, my partner's late husband was from Iowa. Too many connections. Then there is the fact that it is a very nice dance with many interactions with partners past and present.

EH3 7AF:- One of the standards.

The Johnsonville Diamond:- Two thumbs up, and if I had a third hand it would get three.
The opening 8 bars has gotten mixed reviews. Several dancers have shrugged and several others have huge grins and love the "spurning" aspect should you choose to go there.

The next eight bars is a figure of eight - which some dancers have embroidered by turning it into a double figure.

The third figure is a very modified Spiral progression. And it is lovely. Worth every bit of trouble teaching - it is a meanwhile, with a high 'piece' count, needs a lot of words and demonstrating. Take your time teaching it, stress the covering and enjoy it.

Final piece - poussette.

Rod Downey's four books are available for download here.

On the Wings of a Skorie:- Oh my. Just a little over the top. Bruce plays with a standard set and link and the dancers were standing bemused when they needed to move. The flow of the dance dictated the reversal of roles. Me, I had no problem but I am considered a dance monster. I think that with familiarity the dance will become easier. I love the very different down the middle and up.

The Wishing Well:-  The theme of the night - The Spiral (modified for strathspey) and Poussette Right Round.  A pleasant solid repertoire dance.and a good dance with which to teach the Spiral.

John Cass:-  Why are five couple dances so much fun? This dance isn't exactly hard, but a reel of three with three shadows and dolphin lead changes by each twosome apparently takes some getting used to. I give it a thumbs up. Worth all the effort.

The Singing Sands:-  I have never understood why so many dancers have so much difficulty with half diagonal Right&Lefts. Obviously I am missing something.

The dance is by the late Barry Priddey so I am prejudiced in its favour. It is actually simpler than many other of his dances if you consider his Tourbillon to be simple. Around here it is being done enough that dancers are becoming familiar, even comfortable, with it. I find the final progression delightful. It is one of those mystery things where, at the end, you look around and say "how did I get here?" It is the double diagonal half rights and lefts leaves people shaking their heads in confusion and, sometimes, the set in breakdown despite the many times it has been taught.

Bottom line - leaves me smiling.

The Black Leather Jig:- which is a reel   :-)  ** Recommended **

I urge you to find a source for the CD Thistle House Live - by said band. The musician are Dave Wiesler, David Knight and Dan Emory. The music is spectacular! This set (also appropriate for Sleepy Maggie) is dynamite!

And the dance is pretty good too.

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