The Ghillie Gazette

The January/February 2014 newsletter of the Portland Oregon Branch of the R.S.C.D.S.

Come As a Christmas Carol, December 2013

Come as a Carol, December 2013

President’s Message

by Linda Gertz

Welcome to 2014 -- another year of fun dancing! Saturday, January 11 starting at 7:30 pm, we will be having our Hogmanay party with games & prizes. For our February 8th party I’m open to suggestions for something to make it special. Then before we know it, March 8th will be here along with our Workshop and Ball! One thing we will be needing is housing for the musicians & teachers. Several of them are so happy to be coming to Portland that they are bringing their spouses with them. So we need some folks to open up their homes to them. Marcy will be sending out an email soon so you can let her know if you have space. I will also be asking for volunteers for helping out at the workshop and ball for things like decorating, greeting people and handing out the workshop/ball packets, refreshments, etc. Debbie Mc​Robert is graciously handling the registrations. Cathi Chlebnikow & Holly Gibson have agreed to handle the raffle for me. I can’t say how much their help means to me! Pat Taylor’s DBE Chapter (Daughters of the British Empire) will be providing a wonderful lunch again. So we have many dancing experiences in our future to help keep us in shape & having fun! Hope to see you there.

Teacher’s Corner

by Richard Juzix

The ancients saw the world as a great cosmic struggle between the powers of darkness and the powers of light. They noticed as they watched, that at different times darkness seemed to be getting more of the light. They felt like they were watching two great cosmic wrestlers and every once in a while they would see that the wrestler of darkness would pin down the light and be ready to do it in. They noticed this because the days at this time of the year were getting shorter. And that had to mean that the light, the sun, was getting weaker. And as darkness pinned the sun to its back, and was ready to finish it off, they noticed the sun getting weaker and weaker and the dark getting longer and longer. They were afraid that someday, or some year, darkness would kill the sun and the light.

Around December 21 they noticed that the tables began to turn, and that the sun was rallying, regaining its strength, and suddenly the hero who was pinned down against the ground, with an adversary over him, gets a burst of strength and flips him over, climbs on top of him and starts pinning him down. All because around December 21 the days started getting longer. When they saw this happening it was time for feasting and festivities.

Scottish Country dancers are champions of the light and will not let darkness get any hold on them no matter how long they have been dancing. At the beginning of every dance they all rise off their heels ready to show their partners, and indeed all the world, a burst of energy in their first skip of a skip change of step, or their first digging down of their first strathspey, inviting their partners in the dance to enter into the festivities. Indeed, throughout the dance, whenever they enter the dance from a place on the side, it is always with that extra little burst of energy that gave hope and joy to the ancients. No dark mood can long survive on our dance floor! Our skips and our surges, and our twinkling eyes continue to bring light and joy to the cosmic floor.

Short version: put a little extra into the first step of the phrase.

January 11, 2014 Dance Program

by Don Gertz

M. Brandon, Let’s All Dance Too
4×48J, 4C set
1-8 1s lead down to bottom and cast up on own sides back to place
9-16 4s cast up behind own sides to top and lead down to places
17-24 2s+3s circle 4H round and back
25-32 1s and 4s turn RH (4 bars), turn LH (4 bars)
33-40 2s and 3s dance Figs of 8 round end couples
41-48 1s cross RH, cast 1 place, cross LH and cast to bottom
M. Pugh, New Brunswick Coll.
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s cross RH & cast 1 place, dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
9-16 1s turn 3s with nearer hands (1s dancing between 3s) & turn 2s with other hand
17-24 1s+3s dance RH across & LH across with 2s
25-32 2s+1s+3s dance reels of 3 on sides (1s giving RSh to 3s to start)
J. Drewry, RSCDS Book 43
4×40S, 4C set
1-8 1s+2s also 3s+4s dance RH across and all chase clockwise ½ way to opposite sides. (4)(3)(2)(1)
9-16 4s+3s also 2s+1s dance reels of 4 across (4L+3M and 2L+1M passing LSh) all ending on sides
17-24 4s+3s also 2s+1s dance RH across and all chase clockwise ½ way to original places
25-32 1s+2s also 3s+4s Set+Link, 1s+4s Set+Link
33-40 2s+4s+1s+3s circle 8H round and back
M. Johnstone, Blackadder Collection
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast 2 places and turn RH
9-16 3s+1s Set+Link, circle 4H round to left
17-24 2s+1s Reverse Set+Link, circle 4H round to right
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. Ends 2-1-3.
Joan Baker, Los Angeles Branch; Let’s All Dance, Too, No. 10
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1st, 2nd, and 3rd couples dance mirror reels of three on own sides. To begin, 1st couple dance in and down, 2nd couple dance out and up, 3rd couple dance in and up.
9-12 1st couple turn with right hands and cast off one place. 2nd couple step up on bars 3-4 of the phrase.
13-16 1st couple dance back to back and finish facing down.
17-24 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples dance a Grand Chain.
25-32 All circle six hands round and back. Repeat having passed a couple.
J. MacGregor-Brown, Collins Pocket Ref.
4×32R, 4C set
1-4 1s and 4s cross RH while 2s+3s dance ½ RH across, 1s+3s and 2s+4s change places LH on sides
5-8 3s and 2s cross RH while 1s+4s dance ½ RH across, 3s+4s and 1s+2s change places LH on sides
9-16 Repeat bars 1-8 until back in original places
17-24 1s set to 2s and cross over to face 3s, set and cross to face 4s
25-32 1s set to 4s and cross over to 4th place on opposite sides, all Adv+Ret 2 steps and 1s change places RH (2H popular) to retire to own sides. Ends 2-3-4-1.
Book of Graded SCDs
8×32J, 2C (4C set)
1-8 1s lead down the middle & back to top
9-16 1s+2s dance Allemande
17-24 1s dance full Fig of 8 round 2s
25-32 2s+1s circle 4H round & back
R. Goldring, 24 Graded and Social Dances
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s+3s dance RSh reels of 3 on own side
9-16 1M+2L turn RH, 1L+2M turn LH
17-24 1s cross RH, cast down 2 places, cross LH and cast up 1 place
25-32 1s+3s dance RH across and 2s+1s dance LH across
A. Dix, RSCDS Book 41
4×32S, Sq. Set
1-4 1s and 3s advance and ½ turn opposite partner RH and cast out to opposite side
5-8 1s and 3s chase ¼ round set clockwise and dance in passing 2s/4s RSh curving in to face 2s/4s as 2s and 4s repeat bars 1-4 and turn right about to face 1s/3s
9-16 All dance parallel reels of 4 across set
17-24 2s+1s also 4s+3s circle 4H once round to left, set and dance RH across ½ way
25-32 2s+4s dance LH across once round, 2s and 4s dance out through sides passing opp partner RSh and chase round set clockwise to next place. 2341
B. Herbold, Measures of Pleasure
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s followed by 2s, dance down the middle & 2s followed by 1s dance back to the top
9 –16 2s+1s dance Poussette
17– 18 1s dance down into center as 2s cast up
19-24 1s set and dance round person behind RSh (1M around 3M, 1L around 2L) to 2nd place, pull RSh back to face out joining hands with 2s, 3s
25–32 2s,1s,3s Balance-in-Line, 1s give RSh to person on R and dance reels of 3 on sides with 2s+3s, 1s pull LSh back to end facing out 1M between 3s, 1L between 2s
33-40 All Balance-in-Line then dance LSh reels of 3 across, 1s finish in 2nd place
Derek Haynes, RSCDS Book 22
3×32S, 3C set
1-2 All set on the sides;
3-6 all turn both hands twice;
7-8 all set on the sides;
9-16 grand chain;
17-20 1s lead down between 2s and cast down round 3s;
21-24 1s lead up between 3s and cast up round 2s;
25-28 1s2s half poussette;
29-32 1s3s half poussette, finishing 2s3s1s.
C. Menzies, RSCDS Book 10
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1M sets to 2L and casts 1 place, 1L sets to 2M and casts 1 place
9-16 1s turn 1st corner RH and pass partner RSh, turn 2nd corner LH pass partner RSh to face 1st corners
17-24 1s dance “Hello-Goodbye” setting and end BtoB (1M facing up and 1L facing down)
25-32 1s giving RSh to 2nd corner and dance reels of 3 on sides with 2s+3s and cross RH to 2nd place on own sides

February 8, 2014 Dance Program

by Linda Mae Dennis

Book of Graded SCDs
8×32J, 2C (4C set)
1-8 1s lead down the middle & back to top
9-16 1s+2s dance Allemande
17-24 1s dance full Fig of 8 round 2s
25-32 2s+1s circle 4H round & back
A. Dix, RSCDS Book 41
4×32S, Sq. Set
1-4 1s and 3s advance and ½ turn opposite partner RH and cast out to opposite side
5-8 1s and 3s chase ¼ round set clockwise and dance in passing 2s/4s RSh curving in to face 2s/4s as 2s and 4s repeat bars 1-4 and turn right about to face 1s/3s
9-16 All dance parallel reels of 4 across set
17-24 2s+1s also 4s+3s circle 4H once round to left, set and dance RH across ½ way
25-32 2s+4s dance LH across once round, 2s and 4s dance out through sides passing opp partner RSh and chase round set clockwise to next place. 2341
R. Butterfield, RSCDS Book 45
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast 1 place & dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
9-16 1s set twice with 1L turning to face out, 1L followed by partner casts up & dances down the middle 1L to face 3M while 1M faces 2M
17-24 1s RSh reels of 3 across (1M with 2s & 1L with 3s)
25-32 1L followed by partner dances down cast up round 3M & crosses to end in 2nd place on own sides, 1s turn RH (4 bars)
RSCDS Book 21
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-4 1s lead down middle & cross over to cast up to 2nd pl while 2s set & cross RH to 3rd pl while 3s cast up to 1st place & cross RH
5-8 All set & ½ turn 2H to own side
9-16 Repeat bars 1- 8 from new pstns
17-24 1s lead up to 1st place & set, 1s+2s set advancing
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. 2 1 3
D. Winchester, RSCDS Book 39
80S, Square Set
1-8 All circle 8H round & back
9-16 All Ladies dance RH across ½ way & turn opposite Man LH, all Ladies dance ½ RH across & turn partner LH
17-24 1s+3s dance reel of 4 (Ladies start by passing LSh as Men set)
25-32 All set (HS) to corners, turn 2H twice
33-40 2s+4s dance reel of 4 with Ladies starting by passing LSh
41-48 All set (HS) to corners, turn 2H twice
49-56 All Ladies circle left to face partners (Ladies BtoB), set to & turn partners 2H
57-64 All Men circle right to face partners (Men BtoB), set to & turn partners 2H
65-72 All dance Grand Chain
73-80 All Allemande anticlockwise
Playford, RSCDS Book 7
8×40R, 2C (4C set)
1-8 1s set & cast 1 place, set & cast back to original places
9-16 1M (followed by partner) casts 1 place, dances up between 2s & casts down behind 2L, crosses over & both end in 2nd place own side
17-24 1L (followed by partner) casts up to top, dances down between 2s & casts up behind 2M & crosses over & both end in original places
25-32 1s reel with 2M on Men’s side (1M & 2M pass LSh & 1L dances to 2nd pl on Men’s side to pass ptnr RSh (1L ends in own pl & 1M in 2nd pl)
33-40 1s reel with 2L on Ladies side (1L & 2L pass RSh & 1M dances to 2nd pl on Ladies side to pass ptnr LSh (1s end in 2nd place own side)
W. Campbell, RSCDS Book 4
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set & cast to 3rd place, set & cast back to top
9-16 1s lead down the middle & back
17-24 1s+2s dance Allemande (1s end facing 1st corners)
25-32 1s turn 1st corners RH, partner LH, 2nd corner RH, partner LH to end in 2nd place own sides
R. Goldring, RSCDS Book 35
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s+3s ½ turn RH, twirl & dance out to opposite sides & repeat back to place
9-16 1s+2s+3s circle 6H round & back (1s end in centre facing down & 3s in centre facing up)
17-24 1s+3s dance R&L (up & down) & end back on own sides
25-32 1s+2s dance the Tournee: 1s+2s dance into prom hold (Men with prtnr on right, 1s face M's side & 2s L's side), couples ½ wheel anticl'wise & Men turn Ladies into middle, both couples turn 1½ times (2s RH, 1s LH) & dance out to places
M. Pugh, New Brunswick Coll.
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s cross RH & cast 1 place, dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
9-16 1s turn 3s with nearer hands (1s dancing between 3s) & turn 2s with other hand
17-24 1s+3s dance RH across & LH across with 2s
25-32 2s+1s+3s dance reels of 3 on sides (1s giving RSh to 3s to start)
B. Herbold, Measures of Pleasure
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s followed by 2s, dance down the middle & 2s followed by 1s dance back to the top
9 –16 2s+1s dance Poussette
17– 18 1s dance down into center as 2s cast up
19-24 1s set and dance round person behind RSh (1M around 3M, 1L around 2L) to 2nd place, pull RSh back to face out joining hands with 2s, 3s
25–32 2s,1s,3s Balance-in-Line, 1s give RSh to person on R and dance reels of 3 on sides with 2s+3s, 1s pull LSh back to end facing out 1M between 3s, 1L between 2s
33-40 All Balance-in-Line then dance LSh reels of 3 across, 1s finish in 2nd place
B. McMurtry, The Devil’s Quandary
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
Music: Vanessa’s Garden by Bob McMurtry
Note: On bars 17-24, I like to see the dancers make a wide dramatic arc, which makes it look so much more elegant and uses the space in the set. 2nd and 3rd couples should anticipate the circle for a smooth transition from the corners figure. Vanessa was a member of the Soquel Class with quite a beautiful garden.
1-4 1st and 2nd couples set on the sides and cross over with right hands.
5-8 1st and 2nd couples set again and dance right hands across halfway.
9-12 All three couples advance for one bar and retire for one bar, twice.
13-16 1st couple dance up between 2nd couple and cast off one place to finish facing 1st corners.
17-24 1st couple turn 1st corner with both hands, pass right shoulders in the middle in a wide flowing arch to face 2nd corners. Repeat with 2nd corners to finish in 2nd place own sides.
25-32 All three couples circle six hands round and back. Repeat having passed a couple.
J. MacGregor-Brown, Collins Pocket Ref.
4×32R, 4C set
1-4 1s and 4s cross RH while 2s+3s dance ½ RH across, 1s+3s and 2s+4s change places LH on sides
5-8 3s and 2s cross RH while 1s+4s dance ½ RH across, 3s+4s and 1s+2s change places LH on sides
9-16 Repeat bars 1-8 until back in original places
17-24 1s set to 2s and cross over to face 3s, set and cross to face 4s
25-32 1s set to 4s and cross over to 4th place on opposite sides, all Adv+Ret 2 steps and 1s change places RH (2H popular) to retire to own sides. Ends 2-3-4-1.

March Workshop and Ball

Registration for our 35th annual workshop and ball is now open! Below is the program for the ball.

The Frisky [videos: 1, 2]
R. Bremner, RSCDS Book 26
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s turn RH and cast 1 place, turn LH and cast down 1 place
9-16 2s+3s+1s circle 6H round and back
17-24 1s lead up to top and 1s+2s set twice
25-32 1s+2s dance ½ R&L, set and cross RH to own sides
R. Goldring, RSCDS Book 35
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s+3s ½ turn RH, twirl & dance out to opposite sides & repeat back to place
9-16 1s+2s+3s circle 6H round & back (1s end in centre facing down & 3s in centre facing up)
17-24 1s+3s dance R&L (up & down) & end back on own sides
25-32 1s+2s dance the Tournee: 1s+2s dance into prom hold (Men with prtnr on right, 1s face M's side & 2s L's side), couples ½ wheel anticl'wise & Men turn Ladies into middle, both couples turn 1½ times (2s RH, 1s LH) & dance out to places
Playford, RSCDS Book 7
8×40R, 2C (4C set)
1-8 1s set & cast 1 place, set & cast back to original places
9-16 1M (followed by partner) casts 1 place, dances up between 2s & casts down behind 2L, crosses over & both end in 2nd place own side
17-24 1L (followed by partner) casts up to top, dances down between 2s & casts up behind 2M & crosses over & both end in original places
25-32 1s reel with 2M on Men’s side (1M & 2M pass LSh & 1L dances to 2nd pl on Men’s side to pass ptnr RSh (1L ends in own pl & 1M in 2nd pl)
33-40 1s reel with 2L on Ladies side (1L & 2L pass RSh & 1M dances to 2nd pl on Ladies side to pass ptnr LSh (1s end in 2nd place own side)
W. Campbell, RSCDS Book 4
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set & cast to 3rd place, set & cast back to top
9-16 1s lead down the middle & back
17-24 1s+2s dance Allemande (1s end facing 1st corners)
25-32 1s turn 1st corners RH, partner LH, 2nd corner RH, partner LH to end in 2nd place own sides
J. Drewry, Canadian Book
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s+3s set, turn 2H to end 1s facing down & 2s+3s facing up in centre, 1s+2s set advancing passing LSh to change places while 3s set, 2s turn 2H while 1s+3s set advancing to change places
9-16 2s+3s set advancing to change places while 1s turn 2H, 3s turn 2H while 2s+1s set advancing to change places & repeat to 1 2 3
17-24 1s+2s dance the Rondel ending with 1s crossing to opposite sides
25-32 1L+3M turn LH while 1M+3L turn RH, 2M+1L ½ turn RH while 2L+1M ½ turn LH, 1s cross down to 2nd place as 2s dance out & up to 1st place
H. Foss, Angus Fitchet Album
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1M+2L set advancing & turn RH, 1L+2M set advancing & turn RH
9-16 1s set to each other & turn 2H, cast to 2nd place & Petronella turn to Lady between 2s & Man between 3s
17-24 1s set & ¾ turn RH while 2s+3s change places RH on sides & set, 1s repeat but 2s & 3s cross RH & set
25-32 1s set & change places RH while 2s+3s change places RH on sides & set, 1s cast round corner to 2nd pl own sides as 2s+3s cross RH & all set
Rutherford, RSCDS Book 12
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast & dance RH across with 3s
9-16 1s set, cast up & dance LH across with 2s
17-24 1s followed by 2s dance down, cast up behind 3s, in & dance up to top & 1s cast back to 2nd place
25-32 2s+1s dance R&L
B. Anglin, RSCDS Book 45
4×32S, 4C Set
1-8 1M+2L also 3L+4M turn 2H 1½ times to change places, all Men dance LH across and end facing anticlockwise giving RH to partners
9-16 All Set+Link with partners and Set+Link again to end on sides (1s+4s Ladies side and 2s+3s Mens side with Ladies on line ends)
17-24 All dance RSh reels of 4 on sides
25-32 1L+2M also 3M+4L turn 2H 1½ times to (2)(1)(4)(3), end couples (2s and 3s) cross RH while centre couples dance LH across ½ way and all set. 2413
R. Butterfield, RSCDS Book 45
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast 1 place & dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
9-16 1s set twice with 1L turning to face out, 1L followed by partner casts up & dances down the middle 1L to face 3M while 1M faces 2M
17-24 1s RSh reels of 3 across (1M with 2s & 1L with 3s)
25-32 1L followed by partner dances down cast up round 3M & crosses to end in 2nd place on own sides, 1s turn RH (4 bars)
Intermission
RSCDS Book 21
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-4 1s lead down middle & cross over to cast up to 2nd pl while 2s set & cross RH to 3rd pl while 3s cast up to 1st place & cross RH
5-8 All set & ½ turn 2H to own side
9-16 Repeat bars 1- 8 from new pstns
17-24 1s lead up to 1st place & set, 1s+2s set advancing
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. 2 1 3
Book of Graded SCDs
8×32J, 2C (4C set)
1-8 1s cast, dance down behind own lines, turn outwards and dance back to place
9-16 1s+2s turn partners RH back to place and then turn LH
17-24 1s followed by 2s, lead down the middle and 2s lead back to the top
25-32 2s+1s dance R&L
J. Cosh, 22 SCDs
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s dance down below 3s & cast up to 2nd place own sides, 1L dances RH across with 2s while 1M dances RH across with 3s
9-16 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 1st corners, ½ reel with 2nd corners & ½ turn LH in centre to face 1st corners
17-24 1s dance reels of 3 across giving LSh to 1st corners ending in 2nd place own sides
25-32 1s dance Diag R&L (1M crossing down & 1L crossing up to start)
D. Winchester, RSCDS Book 39
80S, Square Set
1-8 All circle 8H round & back
9-16 All Ladies dance RH across ½ way & turn opposite Man LH, all Ladies dance ½ RH across & turn partner LH
17-24 1s+3s dance reel of 4 (Ladies start by passing LSh as Men set)
25-32 All set (HS) to corners, turn 2H twice
33-40 2s+4s dance reel of 4 with Ladies starting by passing LSh
41-48 All set (HS) to corners, turn 2H twice
49-56 All Ladies circle left to face partners (Ladies BtoB), set to & turn partners 2H
57-64 All Men circle right to face partners (Men BtoB), set to & turn partners 2H
65-72 All dance Grand Chain
73-80 All Allemande anticlockwise
B. Priddey, Anniversary Tensome
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast 1 place and turn LH to 1M facing his 1st corner with his partner behind him
9-16 1M followed by partner dance a full RSh diagonal Alternating Tandem reel of 3 with 1st corners and end facing Ladies 2nd corner
17-24 1M followed by partner dance a RSh Alternating Tandem reel of 3 with 2nd corners and 1s end facing own 1st corners
25-32 1s turn 1st corners RH, 2nd corner RH and dance back to 2nd place own sides
Jessie’s Hornpipe [videos: 1, 2]
RSCDS Book 8
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s dance Figs of 8 round 2s+3s on own sides giving RSh to 2s to start
9-16 1s lead down to bottom & back to top
17-24 1s dance down under arch made by 2s, 1s form arch & 2s dance under back to places, 1s+2s repeat
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. Ends 2-1-3
Derek Haynes, RSCDS Book 22
3×32S, 3C set
1-2 All set on the sides;
3-6 all turn both hands twice;
7-8 all set on the sides;
9-16 grand chain;
17-20 1s lead down between 2s and cast down round 3s;
21-24 1s lead up between 3s and cast up round 2s;
25-28 1s2s half poussette;
29-32 1s3s half poussette, finishing 2s3s1s.
RSCDS Book 14
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s set & dance RH across ½ way, set & dance LH across ½ way back to place
9-16 1s lead down the middle & back to top
17-24 1s+2s dance Allemande
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round & back
Waltz
Polka + Auld Lang Syne

Eugene Burns Dance

by Robert Burger

Come As a Christmas Carol, December 2013

Move to the Beat of the Music

by Tom Halpenny

December 26, 2013

I began learning Square dance five years ago, after Scottish dancing for the previous twelve years. The club caller and dance teacher Jim Hattrick explains his main goal for Square dance lessons is to get dancers to “move to the beat of the music”. Jim’s popular teaching methods regularly attract 70 club members and new dancers to his weekly lessons in a friendly social setting. Moving to the beat of the music, while having fun with friends, sends a message of positive feelings to the limbic brain.

This year I expanded my interest to explore Irish Ceili dance, English Country dance, Contra dance, and International Folk dance. I had an opportunity to observe how all these folk dance forms approach teaching dancers to move to the beat of the music.

Teachers of all dance forms guide dancers among the actions:

  1. Dance while moving to the beat of the music.
  2. Move to learn the pattern to the music or leader’s count.
  3. Stand and observe others move to learn the pattern to the music or leader’s count.
  4. Stand and listen to the leader talking.

An effective dance teacher strikes a balance among the necessary actions, with the goal to spend as much time as possible on action number one.

I originally observed that Square dance has more continuous motion compared with Scottish dance. The caller announces the next move just in time for dancers to flow through the dance figures. On the other hand, Scottish dance motion with the skip-change step is twice as fast as walking, and the pas-de-basque setting step is more aerobic, so we need resting time between bursts of energy.

After I learned Square dance, I became sensitive to standing while learning a Scottish dance. Geoffrey Selling discussed the topic in a TACTalk article, “Why Aren’t We Attracting More Dancers to Scottish Country Dancing? (especially from the greater dance community)”. The article explains how teaching a Scottish dance can involve excessive standing and surprisingly little dancing, compared with English Country dance’s greater motion.

http://www.rscds-swws.org/news/tac/WhyArentWe.pdf

Since I practice several folk dance forms, I designed an experiment to measure the percentage of time I am moving during various dance activities. I have a goal to keep moving, and I have been wearing a pedometer for three years to measure my progress. In addition to measuring steps, my current pedometer measures “Activity Time”. The timer runs while I am moving and pauses when I am inactive. I use a stopwatch to record the elapsed time during a dance or a dance class and I also record the activity time. I reset the activity timer and start the stopwatch after sets have formed and the dance leader begins teaching or briefing a dance, and stop the stopwatch after the final chord of the dance. I pause the stopwatch when some unavoidable technical delay or unrelated reason occurs. The ratio of activity time to elapsed time gives the percentage of time I was moving:

Activity Time Percentage = Activity Time ÷ Elapsed Time × 100

I gathered activity data for 72 dancing events over 16 weeks. Most of the data was for Scottish dance (52 hours) and Square dance (35 hours), and I made an effort to get a sense of activity for other folk dance forms. We can view my Average Activity Time Percentage results in the chart. The Square dance “Dance” activity led with 86%, and the “Class” activity averaged 60% when the caller taught the moves. The Scottish dance “Dance” activity averaged 51%, and the “Class” activity averaged 38% for teaching dances. English Country dance averaged 52%. Other folk dance forms averaged in the 61-73% range.

The activity time measurement excludes the intensity of physical activity and interest level, so we need to interpret the results. After each dancing event, I subjectively noted whether the event gave me a positive, neutral, or negative interest level. I observed a strong correlation between Activity Time Percentage and interest level. Most dance events were positive, however there were a significant number of Scottish dance classes with neutral or negative interest, especially classes with excessive standing and less listening to the beautiful music. All Scottish dance “Dances” were positive. Irish Ceili dance and Contra dance have the quality of being both aerobic and high Activity Time Percentage. Square dancers move to the beat of the music with walking steps, and I am able to increase the walking energy with more spring in my steps and travel the moves with a slightly longer path.

The Scottish dance class Activity Time Percentage averaged 38% with a range of 30-53%. Dance classes with a value greater than 40% were generally positive interest, while less than 40% gave me a neutral or negative interest level. I wonder how much Scottish dance class interest and attendance would improve if teachers could consistently raise the Activity Time Percentage above 40%, with a focus on moving to the beat of the music.

This article finally explains to fellow dancers and dance teachers who have been curious about the numbers I have been writing on Post-it notes while dancing. Interested readers can contact me to view the spreadsheet file with the activity time data. I would like to thank my dance teacher friends for your skilled and entertaining teaching efforts.

Activity Time %
Activity Time Percentage

November & December Parties

by Linda Gertz

Our November party was very special with The Scottish Rose providing delightful dance music for us!! This year we had the treat of having Stephen Hui playing cello, with daughters Elisabeth & Lilyana making their debut playing fiddles with the orchestra. This special evening included buying up items from the Bizarre Bazaar.

The December party was a chance to come dressed as your favorite Christmas carol or tune. If you weren’t there you missed seeing some very clever costumes. The winners were – Linda Mae Dennis dressed a “All I want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus”, Caitlin Reynolds as “Good King Wenceslas”, & Katie Jones as “The Sugar Plum Fairy”. There were other great ideas too: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Deck the Hal(penny), Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, & more. We were also treated to music by Cynthia Soohoo & Maggie Hannahs. So a fun & interesting evening!

Members’ Email List

by Darrick Wong

Hello, members! You may have noticed that since the Ghillie Gazette went online in September, Marcy has been been manually emailing (most) of you whenever a new issue is out. Since that process is a bit rough and noisy, I've created an (e)mail list for branch members: pdx-rscds@portlandscottishdancers.org. Everyone who was a branch member as of January 1st, 2014 has been subscribed to the list, which is probably how you heard of this new issue.

This list is intended to be a low-traffic list to carry announcements of new newsletters and reminders about dancing events in the branch. You will be able to use the list to email everyone in the branch; please do not overuse the privilege.

You should have received an email welcoming you to the “pdx-rscds” mailing list. Please retain this message for your records. If you do not want to keep your subscription to the email list, the welcome message contains instructions about how to unsubscribe yourself; alternately, the webmaster (Darrick) can unsubscribe you.

When it is time to renew your membership, remember to check the box “Please ensure that I am subscribed to the members’ email list” on the renewal form to maintain your subscription into next year!

Workshop Registration Form

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Portland, Ore. Branch:
2017 Workshop Registration Form

 

Registration Fees

Through Feb. 6th:After Feb. 6th:
Workshop/Ball:
RSCDS Member × $ × $
Non-Member × $ × $
 
Workshop Only:
RSCDS Member × $ × $
Non-Member × $ × $
 
Ball Only:
RSCDS Member × $ × $
Non-Member × $ × $
 
Ball Spectator:
(non-dancer)
× $
Lunch Only:
(guests)
× $

Lunch is included with the workshop fee. While we will do our best to keep food items separate, we cannot guarantee that your lunch will be completely wheat, soy, nut, or other allergen-free. If your allergy is life-threatening, please let us know in the “Other Notes”; that information will be passed on to Linda Mae.

Please make check payable to “RSCDS Portland OR Branch” and mail or give to Linda Mae Dennis, 6921 SE Middle Way, Vancouver, WA 98664-1637 . We cannot process your workshop registration until we receive your check.

Is Scottish Country Dance fun?

Upcoming Events

Here's a list of events coming up in the next ninety days. This calendar is kept up to date at http://portlandscottishdancers.org/events.html.

September 2017

Ft. Worden, Wash.
9/8
Ft. Worden, Wash.
9/9

Membership

If you want to vote in the Annual General Meeting (AGM), your membership must be renewed before the Meeting, which is the second Monday in May.

If your are not a current member, you can register here.

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Portland Ore. Branch:
Membership Form 2017-2018

Membership Type:
$32
$47
$5
$5

Note for families: Join at the family rate only if there are two adults; a single adult should join at the single rate.

A “secondary” membership is for people who already have their RSCDS membership through another branch and want to become members of our branch. The “Ghillie Gazette Only” option is for people who have not yet decided to join the branch but would like to receive the newsletter.

Please make check payable to “RSCDS Portland OR Branch” and mail or give to Sally Palmer, 1425 SE Yukon St., Portland, OR 97202-5315 . We cannot process your membership request until we receive your check.

Is Scottish Country Dance fun?