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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, June 27, 2017

24 April 2017 – Scotia

First Hour:-

Scotch Mixer  -  (32 R 1 RtR)  -  unknown
Jubilee Jig  -  (32 J 3)  -  RSCDS Leaflets
Davy Nick Nack  -  (32 R 3)  -  Campbell

Second Hour:-

Deborah's Request  -  (32 R 3)  - Price
Les Remparts de Séville  -  (32 J 3)  -  Bk 50 (Latour)
Surprising Hannah  -  (32 S 3 set)  -  Collin
More Bees A-Dancing  -  (32 R 3)  -  Goldring
John Cass  -  (32 J 5)  -  Bk 49 (Avery)
Reel of the 51st Division  -  (32 R 3)  - Bk 13

***   ***   ***   ** * **   ***   ***   ***

Still in April, still approaching The Kilts and Ghillies' Tea Dance, and still doing ball prep.

I wrote Deborah's Request at her request - kind of. There was a plaintive cry "I can't find any easy dances with plain four bar turns". So I wrote one for her. It is nothing special but it is a beginner friendly opening type dance.

Les Remparts de Séville is, in my opinion, just lovely. It has one moment that needs concentration - where you start Set to Corner-Partner on bar 3 of the phrase. Muscle memory definitely steers some dancers astray but I like those moments where the mind has to be engaged and you can't just coast.

Surprising Hannah is one of those wonderful simple dances that shines when the dancers are strong and enjoy technique. Note: In my humble opinion simple dances NEED great technique because doing something simple beautifully isn't easy. [video]

I love this one, and I can not decide if it is because the dance is so good or if I am simply in love with dancers who are so good that they impress without having to dress up. Probably both.

More Bees A-Dancin' by Roy Goldring, is beginner friendly - you are paired with your partner through most of the dance and for dancers not comfortable with reels that is rather helpful. The hardest part of the dance is the first phrase - Goldring is very specific, you lead down the middle and up with RH joined - you don't join hands in promenade hold until bar 9. I see too many dancers leading up in promenade hold no matter how strongly I word the directions.

And here is a lovely stinker of a dance - John Cass.  The formations are not individually difficult but the sum of the formations has some dancers dumbstruck. This is an example of a Deborah teaching point -- "staying in the dance" - being constantly aware of where you are and when you are involved.  Tandem reels no problem if you are with your partner. Big problem if you and a neighbor are starting the formation together and the two of you have not been otherwise involved. A cold start as it were.

The two points that seemed to help dancers the most;

1) 1st couple is facing the men's SIDE, not a corner, at the beginning of each reel.
2) In both reels the corner women begin their reels by dancing up or down the sideline. It really helps smooth out the timing.


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