The Ghillie Gazette

The May/June 2016 newsletter of the Portland Oregon Branch of the R.S.C.D.S.

Youth Weekend!

Youth Weekend!

Teacher’s Corner

by Debbie Mc​Robert

OK, time got away from me. Here it is, April 27th, and I see in my notes that my article for the Ghillie Gazette was due April 25th. I don’t have a subject in mind for my article so I thought I would look through some notes I’ve taken over the years. Here are some quotes or points that seemed to speak to me. I have noted names if I noted them in my notebook.

If leading warm ups, practice in front of a mirror to make sure nothing “shows”. (Me, after seeing a teacher leading some stretching exercises in a dress she should not have been wearing for those stretches.)

The closing of a strathspey step should be a “kiss”, the feet touch (it’s not exciting without touching), but don’t touch too hard. You could knock out some teeth. – Ron Wallace

Let go of hands before eyes.

Work on judging distances. Don’t misjudge the last step and end up discarding it because you have no place to go.

When dancing hands round/circles, the “lead” hand is easier to keep up at appropriate height. It’s the trailing hand that droops.

You should always strive to improve your steps. Even just a little. Without the effort to improve, your footwork will decline. – Ron Wallace

There’s no such thing as advanced dancing. It’s basic dancing done well. – Ruth Jappy

Find your passion and do it not for fame, not for fortune, but because you can’t not do it. – Jessica Fletcher, Murder She Wrote.

Membership Dues Reminder

by Maureen Sloan, Membership

The Board has decided that dues will remain the same for the upcoming 2016-2017 RSCDS membership year.  This means $32 for singles; $47 for family (2 adults at same address); $5 for a local or secondary membership.

There will be a 2016-2017 renewal form on our webpage and I will also bring forms to dance class on Mondays.

For those of you attending the Branch AGM on May 16th, you will need to have renewed for the coming year in order to vote on any issues that may come up.

May 14, 2016 Dance Program

Derek Haynes, Carnforth Collection 3
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cross RH, 1s+2s Set+Link (Ladies face out)
9-16 2s+1s Men's Chain
17-24 1s ½ Figs of 8 (L round 2s and M round 3s), 2s+1s+3s turn RH and open into
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back
J. Dickson, Dunedin 1
3×32S, 3C Triangular Set
1-8 1s cross over (Man between 3s, Lady between 2s) and dance Fig of 8 and end turning RH ½ way to face partner in original places
9-16 All dance interlocking RSh reels of 4 and end by turning RH to bring Men into centre
17-24 Men dance LH across in centre 2 places while Ladies dance clockwise 1 place, turn partner RH and repeat ending in triangular set order 231
25-32 All set and circle 6H round for 2 steps, turn partner 2H and continue to circle 6H round to pstns. 231
Maxwell’s Rant [videos: 1, 2]
Rutherford RSCDS, Book 18
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s cross down to dance reflection reels of 3 on opposite sides
9-16 1s cross down to dance reflection reels of 3 on own sides
17-24 1s cross RH, cast to 2nd place and dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
25-32 1s lead down between the 3s, cast up to 2nd place and 2s+1s+3s turn partners RH. 213
Wouter Joubert, RSCDS Book 49
3×32J, 3C set
1-8 1s dance down, cast up round 3s, meet, dance up to 1st place facing out. 1s+2s ½ turn (Men LH, Ladies RH)
9-16 2s+1s dance double Figs 8 (1s cross up, 2s cast to start)
17-20 1s+3s ¾ turn RH into line up/down in middle facing partner and set
21-28 1s+3s dance ½ Celtic Reel:-
' 21-22 1s+3s pass partner RSh
' 23-24 1M+3L dance clockwise while 1L+3M dance ¾ round each other LSh to face partners in line across
' 25-26 1s+3s pass partner RSh
' 27-28 1L+3M dance clockwise while 1M+3L dance ¾ round each other LSh to face partners in line up/down set
29-32 3s+1s ¾ turn partners RH to sidelines and 2s+3s+1s set
John Drewry, Rondel Book
8×32S, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s+3s set, petronella turn, set and petronella turn to opposite sides
9-16 1s+2s+3s set, cross RH, 1s+2s set facing on sides and turn (Ladies LH and Men RH)
17-24 1s dance Inveran Reels with 2s+3s
25-32 1s+2s dance the Rondel
Alex T. Queen, Dances of an Island Clan
2×64R, set
1-8 2s+3s dance into middle and face diagonally in and all set, turn R about to face corners, change place passing RSh with corners and set turning R about
9-16 Corners dance out as 2s+3s dance into middle passing RSh and all set, 2s+3s turn R about and turn corners RH once back to middle
17-32 2s+3s LH across once round to face corners, all dance double diagonal reels of 4 giving LH in middle, corners end in original places
33-40 2s+3s change places with partners LH to face partner's corner and set, all turn corner with nearer hand (2s+3s dance out ends and cast back to middle)
41-48 2s+3s face diagonally in, Set and Points twice
49-56 2s+3s dance out own ends and cast (individually) back into middle again to Set and Points
57-64 2s+3s dance out opposite ends (3s making an arch), couples cast round left corner and dance out other end while corners step up/down. 2143
RSCDS Tucson and 7 Pipers Scottish Soc., RSCDS Book 49
8×32J, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s set, cast (2s step up). 1L+2s also 1M+3s dance RH across. 1s finish in middle facing up, 1M following 1L
9-16 1s (in tandem) +2s dance reel of 3 across (1s pass 2L RSh). 1s end in 2nd place own sides
17-24 1s set, turn ¾ RH to face own sides. 1L+2s also 1M+3s dance LH across. 1s finish in middle facing down, 1L following 1M
25-32 1s (in tandem) +3s dance reel of 3 across (1s pass 3M RSh). 1s end in 2nd place own sides
Terry Glasspool, Itch To Dance
4×32S, 4C set
Notes: 3s and 4s start on opposite sides
1-8 All dance reels of 4 on sides
9-16 1s+2s also 3s+4s circle 4H round to left, 1s and 4s cast in 1 place and lead up/down to places while 2s and 3s cross up/down and cast in 1 place
17-24 All dance interlocking Allemandes:-
' 1s+3s dance Allemande up to end in 3rd/1st places while 2s+4s Allemande down to end 4th/2nd places. 3(4)1(2)
25-32 4s+1s dance the Bourrel:-
' 4L+1L set advancing, ¾ turn 2H and twirl to end BtoB (1L facing up and 4L down) while partners chase anticlockwise ½ way to face partners
' 1s+4s set to partners and ¾ turn 2H to sides having changed places. 3(1)4(2)
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
Tim Wilson
3×32J, 3C set
1-8 1L dances RSh round partner to face 2L, 1s (1L leads) dance ½ Tandem reel of 3 across with 2s (LSh to 2L) ending 2s to top and 1s facing down
9-16 1s dance down (4 bars), Lady turns under Man's arm and dance up to face 3L
17-24 1s (1L leads) dance ½ Tandem reel of 3 across with 3s (RSh to 3L), 1s dance up to top and cast to 2nd place opposite sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s Set+Link for 3 twice to end 312
E. Miller, Wheels and Reels
3×32S, 3C set
1– 8 1s set | cast (2s up) & ½ Fig8 up round 2s
9–16 2s+1s L-Chain, 1s finish facing 1st corners
17–24 1s+1st corners Pass & Turn (corners make BH turn) 1s pass Rsh into 1s+2nd corner s Pass & Turn, to (2,1,3)
25–32 1s+3s Set & Link & dance RH across to (2,3,1)
Francis Walduck, RSCDS Book 49
8×32R, 3C (4C set)
1-8 1s+2s set, pull back RSh, dance 2 places clockwise, cross RH to own sides. 1s face out
9-12 2s+1s+3s dance ½ reels of 3 on sides (1M+2M also 1L+3L pass RSh) Bars 11-12: 1L (from 3L place) and 1M (from 1M place) dance across to 2nd place opposite sides and face out
13-16 3M+1L also 1M+2L turn RH
17-20 3s+1s+2s dance ½ reels of 3 on sides (1L+2M also 1M+3L pass LSh) Bars 19-20: 1L (from 3M place) and 1M (from 1L place) dance across to 2nd place own sides and face out
21-24 2L+1L also 1M+3M turn LH, 1s passing LSh to BtoB facing opposite sides (2L+3M dance 4 bars)
25-32 2s+1s+3s set as Double Triangles. All set again as 1s turn Right about to face and turn RH 1½ to 2nd place own sides

Oldies But Goodies Class

by Lisa Scott

Come join the fun for a low key 90 minutes of SCD. Tempos are a bit calmer, some formations are modified, and dancers are encouraged to make the dancing work for their physical ability. We have done dances from the RSCDS books 1 and 2 and will be heading on to dances in books 3 and 4 through March. The class starts at 7:30 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month and is held at Columbia Dance Studio in Vancouver, WA. For more info, please call Lisa Scott at 971-227-8902.

Texas Road Trip

by Holly Gibson

For the last three years, my dad, Barclay Gibson, and I have taken a three to four-day road trip through central and eastern Texas. It started as a wildflower tour and a chance for us to do something together, but this year the trip had a more historical/documentary bent. Dad has a vast knowledge of the state (evidenced whenever some hapless resident asks him where a certain town is; the answer is usually followed by the name of the county, county seat, and cemetery location), and for the past few years he has spent many hours on the road documenting the centennial granite markers that dot the state (erected in 1936 to celebrate the state's centennial), courthouses, churches, jails, depots, and cemeteries. He's met a lot of people along the way and even led a few groups to various sites they didn't know existed even though they lived nearby.

This year he had numerous abandoned churches and schools he wanted to find and photograph in a number of small, isolated towns. Now, that sounds relatively easy, but let me add that many of these old churches and schools are located on county roads, dirt roads, and overgrown roads, not to mention bumpy roads. There was also no one route to take that would include all of them. As we criss-crossed through counties and around towns (I saw the sign for Crockett, Texas at least five times but never did see the town), I realized this was very much like the old Westerns where the hero keeps riding past the same rock. As we went by a barn I had photographed two days before, I knew exactly how that old cowboy felt. To be fair, every so often I'd yell for dad to stop the car because I'd seen something I had to get a picture of. He'd slam on the brakes, pull over, and I would run down the road and over to whatever scene had caught my eye. We had beautiful weather each day, with dramatic spring skies of dark clouds illuminated by the sun and set off by the bright green below.


Anyone who has not visited Texas probably envisions a mix of images from Western movies, Pace picante sauce commercials, and anything else stark and dusty in nature. In fact, a wide expanse of dirt, scrub, and tumble weeds likely comes to mind. True, that landscape does exist, but so does one of winding roads over grass-covered hills disappearing into thick forests, of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush dotting the roadsides and nearby fields and huge wisteria draped over wooden fencing. In fact, while driving through north central Texas, I had to keep reminding myself I wasn't in Oregon anymore.

After three days of old buildings and back roads, we headed for Dallas, stopping every now and then for the bluebonnets. After getting oriented to Dallas and its traffic (which is not nearly as bad as Portland’s), we went to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This wasn’t quite Dad’s thing so he good naturedly read for about three hours while I swarmed around the gardens. The azaleas, rhododendrons, delphiniums, impatiens, and about every other spring flower you can think of were on full display. Just combine the Portland Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, and you'll have a good idea of what it was like. There were also numerous water features, which meant using a nearby sign and my handy rice “beanbag” as a makeshift tripod in order to slow the exposure time down to give the water a smooth texture. I had my excuse all ready in case an employee asked what I was doing with their sign.


Then we met my aunt and cousin for dinner (and our third night of Mexican food) and enjoyed catching up with them. The next day I spent some time in a nearby park enjoying the sunshine and heavy smell of honeysuckle before heading to the airport and back to real life. Of course, all us Scottish Country Dancers know that reel life is really pretty good.

Note from the author: Lest anyone who happens to read this thinks I have a very strange idea of what is Celtic in nature (although there are cities named Edinburg and Dublin in Texas) submitting an article to the newsletter on a Texas road trip was not my idea.

Pictures Wanted!

by Darrick Wong

If you have pictures of dance events, classes, or anything else that you'd like to share with the other branch members, please send them to Darrick or Marcy for inclusion in future Ghillie Gazettes.

Solicitation of Articles

Do you have an item of Celtic interest you would like to see in print?

You can contact me by email:

Upcoming Events

Here's a list of events coming up in the next ninety days. This calendar is kept up to date at

April 2019

Vancouver, Wash.
4/27 at 6:00pm

May 2019

Burlingame Water Tower, Portland, Ore.
5/11 at 7:30pm
Portland AGM
Burlingame Water Tower, Portland, Ore.
5/20 at 7:30pm

June 2019

Portland Class
Burlingame Water Tower, Portland, Ore.
6/3 at 7:30pm


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 2018-2019

Membership Type:

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?