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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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

8 March 2017 – Westchester

The class had a late afternoon/early evening demo for the town council so it was a  very slow starting evening.

My planned opening /warm up dance - Out the window! well, sort of. See dance #2.

The evening's dances:-

This One's Four Isobel  –  (32 S 4some)  –  Glasspool
Driving Through Eutaw  –  (32 J 3)  –  Leary
The Music Makars  –  (32 R 3)  –  Bk 33/1 (Goldring)
Ann of Scotia  –  (32 S – World Wide Weavings (Ronald)

The Glowerin' Coo  –  (32 J 3)  –  Drewry
Swirling Snow  –  (32 S 3/3L)  –  Martello Twr 7 (Taylor)
Da Rain Dancin'  –  (32 R 3)  –  Whiteadder (Wallace)

***   ***   ***      ***   ***   ***

This One's Four Isobel:-  Terry wrote a small collection of foursomes in a variety of formations. He hasn't published them. They are in, oh lets call it, beta testing format. That is- in note form for workshops with the advisory that the instructions could change at any time.

We are still waiting. We are not amused.

This dance is one of the nicest pieces of choreography I have ever experienced. It isn't a nightmare in which various unrelated modifications of standard pieces happen at random times in random order and all happening across musical phrases. I do acknowledge that it isn't a Drewy tour de force either where, once you start moving, the next piece is self evident from the flow. It takes some effort to learn but the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  This one gets two thumbs up and a loud YES!

A diagram would be a very nice adjunct to the crib but what is really needed is publication! [quiet whisper from off stage - "psssst, give me a call privately!}

Driving Through Eutaw:- I like it. I am also prejudiced. Deborah (my partner) wrote it. and she broke the box, well maybe not broke it but she certainly bent it out of shape. The dance is asymmetric and that just plain messes with some people's heads.

1-8      Set, set advancing; lead down the middle for 4.

9-16    California Twirl to change places with partner (and face up),
         lead up for 4, cast off 1 place.


Music:- Ye Banks and Braes by Marian Anderson's from her Robert Burns CD.

There are good cribs and a diagram [here].

The Music Makars:-  A Roy Goldring production. It has a certain flair. It's nice, easy to dance too. I give it about a 78. There just isn't anything there that grasps my heart. "It's OK" is about all I can say. A dance saved by the music.

Ann of Scotia:-  This one is a tour de force, especially since I know the lady and she has always enjoyed a good dance flirt. Chris and Sue Ronald also know the lady and wrote the dance to fit. And very successfully. [here]

The music should be Highland Cathedral, the tune to which she made here way to the altar.  At least two thumbs up.

The Glowerin' Coo:-  A Drewry. Some nice flip moments if I do say so myself. We all have our 'go to' dances, or 'kinda-sort of' favorites that we come back to every so often. Dances that just don't leave us alone. This is one  of those for Fergie who has been Westchester's head teacher for decades. He has just retired from teaching and has passed on the mantle.

Since I am now preparing the program for the Westchester Ball, this one kinda sorta :-))  came to mind. It didn't work out for that ball but I have taken it under long term consideration too, as it were.

Da Rain Dancin':- Magnificent. [here] – I consider it the next Mongomeries' Rant and like Montgomeries' Rant it is a great dance because of the music. Ron Wallace, Muriel Johnstone - thank you.

But it has an issue: Dancers don't know how to listen - they hear what they want to or expect to . If a move is outside their box they force it to fit their box.  The interrupted  Hello-Goodbye setting is that move.
The instructions don't say it but he did. He insisted that the 1s 'set' to 1st corner (pas de basque right) and 'set' to partner (pdb left) moving left, towards the gap (between your corners), but not squarely into that space, being sure to point right shoulders toward partner. The taking of hands should be easy - you just raise them and you are, magically, pointed in the correct direction for the turn - no decision (which hand?) to slow you down.

I learned the dance from him at a Pinewoods Camp Scottish Session several… (gasp) decades ago.


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