Wednesday, January 25, 2017

24 January 2017 - New Haven

Last night was a workout. Two absolutely brand new dancers (and boy does New Haven need them).

First dance was Saw Ye My Wee Thing from the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance program and it has IMHO the single most difficult figure in Scottish dancing - Rights and Lefts - which they mostly got.
Gold stars were given out.

The next dance was Campbell's Frolic. a poor choice. The formations weren't difficult but the piece count was fast and furious and too much to ask for from newbies.

Set, Right Hands Across, cast off.
Set Left Hands Across, cast off.
(a lot of new concepts and quick movements - a bit much for beginners)
Set, lead up, cast off

Getting the cast out of the Hands Across  was the hardest part, remembering which hand was also a problem but that got better.

These two dances took more than hour. I got bogged down and didn't see that more demonstrating and less talking …

In the second 'hour' we did three dances, the one we included the beginners in was More Bees A-Dancin'. They coped with the Reels of 3.  Actually really well considering it was their first or second  night.

The other two dances were 'specials' that I found as videos and just had to give a try. They called to me. Really they did.

The evening's dances were:-

Saw Ye My Wee Thing  –  (32 J 2)  –  25/9
Campbell's Frolic  –  (32 J 3)  –  15/3

Born to Dance  –  (32 J 3)  –  Gaye Collin
More Bees A-Dancin'  –  (32 R 3)  –  Goldring
Surprising Hannah  –  (32 S 3)  – Gaye Collin


Born to Dance: This one bent my mind into a pretzel the few times I watched the video. this is my second teaching of the dance and I found the tricky piece not so tricky this time. The important piece, out of the half hands across, is to impress on the dancers that the chase ends in lines of three across, men down, ladies up.

It received a solid round of applause, two thumbs up from several dancers, and is right on the edge of getting a Golden Ghillie Award. It shines!

More Bees A-Dancin':- "Good dance". This from the floor! And it is a good dance. It is simple and enjoyable.

Surprising Hannah:-Another very good dance from Gaye Collin. This has no convoluted spaghetti choreography. All it has are simple pieces that require GOOD technique: strong steps, timing, handing and all covered. And dancing it with mastery is the joy. Two thumbs up from the floor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance - Band

We have found a fiddler!

We are proud to announce that

Dave Wiesler and Katie McNally

will be the band for 

The Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance

to be held on Sunday April 30th 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

15 January 2016 - Loch Leven

G'day y'all,

It was supposed to be a rehearsal this afternoon but with only three couples it became more of a 'reminder' session. We are supposedly prepping for a video taping session. The four dances we are working on are Pinewoods Reel (there is no, I am sorry to say, decent video of it that I have found), Zytglogge; The Shores of Solway and The Abbot of Unreason.

It is not, however, working out the way we planned! I intended to hand out the dance instructions for the new set when we finished the taping of the previous set,  come in the next week ready to learn the geography and come in on week three ready to refine and do the taping. Basically working on a two to three week cycle. So far three… months and counting. I really, really, want to be done with  this set and through the next two sets and have them published before the Kilts and Ghilllies Tea Dance. (April 30th).

We ran through the dances 3 times each (once and to the bottom for each couple0 and then moved on to the fun stuff.

Zytglogge  –  (32 R 3)  –  Blackburn
The Waggle o' the Kilt  –  (40 J 3)  –  Cosh
A Couple of Keepers  -  (32 S 3 set)  -  Herbold & Cobb
Born to Dance  –  (32 J 3  –  Gaye Collin


Zytglogge:-  this is a keeper. It isn't a 'rewarding when you get it' dance. Rather it has a rhythm and flow that is just plain hugaliciously satisfying. It is a  'two thumbs up' keeper and if it as satisfying the next time I dance it the number of thumbs will go up to 3!

The Waggle o' the Kilt:-  I learned this dance all too many years ago and I hated it. Wednesday I was in a class where the same teacher taught it again. I liked it better but another dancer in the class, who is also in Loch Leven, wanted to dance it again but with all the possible twiddles (aka kilt waggles). So we did the whole thing… well let's be truthful, we over did the whole thing.

I get it. I finally get the dance. There are places to tastefully twiddle. In moderation the dance is a good one and if you also take mild liberties with some of the prescribed timing the dance is lovely.

The last 16 bars are two corner chain figures to get them home. Written as follows:
1-2      1C change 3rd corners in RH
3-4      corners change in the middle  (Turn LH 1_1/2 )
5-6      corners change 1C in RH - corners home.
7-8      1C turn LH to face 4th corner.

Do-able. Takes strong, knowledgable dancers to do it well, but do-able.

I am still able to dance it as written (praise be) but I find I like to dance it as follows:

1-       1C change 3rd cornerss in RH
2-4     corners change in the middle  (Turn LH 1_1/2 in 3 bars )
5-       corners change 1C in RH
6-8    1C turn LH to face 4th corner

And if you would rather add a kilt flip or are not able to dance it as written then:

1-2      1C change 3rd cornerss. in RH
3-4    corners Turn LH 1/2 and twirl (or not) to face away
5-6      corners change 1C in RH
7-8      1C turn LH to face 4th corner

End of story.

A Couple of Keepers:- Boy did I muck this one up. I only thought I was prepared because when I taught it we found my notes were not adequate. But when we finally worked it all out we found the notes were almost correct and it was my memory that was inadequate. Note that we loved the dance when we had it worked out but it takes *careful* prep and teaching as the orientations and formations are unusual.

The dance is for Tim Wilson and his partner Sylvain. (Did I mention that Bruce likes word games?) and the dance too is a keeper. It is going on my Top 50 list and on the short list for Kilts and Ghillies 2018.

Born to Dance:- Love it!  Gaye Collin plays with your mind and I just LOVE IT!     Dance: Born to Dance | SCDDB

Take a look, fall in love. Teach it, dance it, and spread it around.