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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, May 23, 2018

22 May 2018 – New Haven

New Haven Ball: done. Rerr Terr: done. Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance: done! Pawling: done. Westchester Ball: coming Real Soon Now and I asked but no one was going. ***Freedom***!!!

So what did I do? I taught dances long listed for Next Years Tea Dance. What I am trying to say is - I tried out some dances I have not actually danced or seen danced but heard of or read. And that is dicey business at best because true knowledge only comes when the leather hits the dance floor.

The dances I taught were:

The Findlays' Jig  –  (32 J 3)  –  Goldring
Katoomba Mist  –  (32 R 3)  –  Charlton/Sydney Down Under
Miss Graham of Dykeside  –  (32 S 3)  –  Williamson
Brenda's Jig  –  (32 J 3)  –  Coast to Coast (Mulligan)
The Lea Rig  –  (32 S 2)  –  21/5
The Pawling Mermaid  –  (32 J 3)  –  Price leaflet
The Waipu Wanderers  –  (32 R 3)  –  Eddy West
Border Weavers  –  (32 S 3 set)  –  Alex Gray/Tweeddale 2
Trip to Timber Ridge  –  (32 R 3)  –  Linda Henderson

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The Findlays' Jig:-  Well known, and well done, and often. It hasn't yet worn out its welcome.

Katoomba Mist:- By Brian Charlton, in the 'Sydney Down Under Collection'. I have run across a few of his dances but this time I went fishing and landed one. One of the comments was "it's a good one". Simple but with substance to work with.  Thumbs up from the dancers.

Miss Graham of Dykeside:- I learned it from the author. His style is inimitable and I don't have it, or the music. So it didn't go over as well in my class as it did in his. I will try again.

Brenda's Jig:- It reads easy. It didn't dance easy. There is nothing there to be a problem. The same dance on a different evening equals a different dance so maybe I will get a different result. I so hope so.

The Lea Rig:- A golden oldie that hasn't been done in a long while here-a-bouts. I find that while the pattern gets tedious, the music never has. Time.

The Pawling Mermaid:- I wrote it. I have a vision. I rarely see it done that way. Harumph! I wrote notes emphasizing what I wanted - ignored! Seriously? I am not breaking any new ground with the choreography that requires tedious teaching. No spaghetti track. No four part harmony with discord (aka meanwhile figure). All I have done is ask that, on bar 6, the Back-to-Back BE a Back-to-Back and that on bar 7 the back-to-back break out into a right shoulder cast back to place. The second time 1st couple's track is easier if they dance by their partner by the right shoulder - i.e. inter-link on the way home. This avoids the "splat, like bug in road" thing.

The Waipu Wanderers:- I have been downloading Eddy West's dances piecemeal for a couple of years. But I have never really studied them. Our Xiaowen (New York City by way of Shanghai, New Zealand and most recently Chicago) gave me a couple of recommendations so I am looking at them. Nothing exotic here, just unknown which does NOT equal difficult or bad.

Border Weavers:- Oh my have I been derelict in my duties. This dance is on the cusp of being standard repertoire in the NY/NJ area but New Haven has not seen it before! Mea culpa!
Oh by the way, they liked it (no surprise - it is a good dance.)

Trip to Timber Ridge:- Hot dance to really hot music!! The tune is in B and that makes it a bear for fiddlers, and we had really good fiddlers at The Pawling Weekend. Was it really just two weekends ago?

Linda Henderson grew up in the county that gave Scotland the Saltire flag and the dance has two representations of the saltire in it.

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