Volume 20 #2
The Scottish Country Dancer
September/October 2003

Articles in This Issue
    Back to School! Goro Reunites with Japan Scottish Country Dancers
    Manager Message Calendar of Events
    Extra Turns, Twirls, and Birls
Back to School!
by John Shaw

Yes, I suppose you could call this the "Back to School" edition of the newsletter. As one of those dancers who continued through the summer session, I can tell you I've missed all of the dancers who took the summer off. I'm really looking forward to seeing all our dancing friends, new and long time, back in class again. WhooHOO!

And that reminds me to remind all of you: If you haven't already done so, please sign up for the class soon! See the Calendar entry for September 3rd for details about how to register.

One last note. The class is even now preparing for our Fall dance, October 18th! That is a full six weeks after class begins, so there's lots of time to break in those new ghillies. The theme this year is a Fall/Harvest theme, with costumes encouraged but not required. There will be live music, and refreshments (finger food) afterwards. So, mark your calendars!

Manager Message
by Tom Halpenny

This summer has been very active with dancing activities. With the new year-round class schedule, I was wondering what it would be like without a summer break, but I appreciated our weekly musical exercise, and I enjoyed socializing with you all, my dancing friends. Our Singapore friends, Yung Ming and Tan, made a surprise visit to the class. I took full advantage of the many group excursions to Renaissance Ice Cream. (That Fred is a fun guy!) One remarkable thing that I learned this summer is that the All Around Diamond Poussette is done entirely with the Strathspey Setting Step.

Following is a recap of the SCD activities for the past two months:

    6/29/03 Summer Splash PDX
    7/ 3/03 Art Walk
    7/ 5/03 Summer Picnic & Dance
    7/18/03 Laura Risk Concert/Dance
    7/19/03 Portland Highland Games
    7/27/03 Seafarers Center Parade
    8/ 2/03 Clark County Fair w/ Ft. Vancouver Pipe Band
    8/ 3/03 McLoughlin House
    8/ 7/03 Art Walk
    8/16/03 Uptown Street Festival

Looking at this list brings back happy memories of some fun times! We gave Goro Uehara a royal welcome at PDX with the Summer Splash performance, and he enjoyed meeting you at the Art Walk and Summer Picnic. There was a great turnout for the Laura Risk Concert and Dance, and many new people were introduced to SCD. Performing with the Ft. Vancouver bagpipers at the Clark County Fair was a first for our two groups and gave the show more variety. I made my first visit to the McLoughlin House in Oregon City and learned the connection with Ft Vancouver. It was fun to contribute to the Vancouver community with the uptown performances. Thanks to you all for supporting the Scottish Country Dancing group by participating in these summer activities.

Thanks to Isaac Wilder for chairing the October 18th Fall Harvest Dance. This evening will be a double-header with a Ghost Story performance just prior to the dance.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Fall class session beginning September 3.

Group photo with Goro-san at July picnic
Extra Turns, Twirls, and Birls
by Marge van Nus

At a private in-home dance "party" those unwritten "extras" are usually harmless. However, at a dance or in a public demonstration they are very out of place. Embellishments are confusing to dancers, not only to those new to Scottish Country Dancing, even the best of dancers can become disoriented.

Good dancers are "on stage", being watched and copied by both less experienced and beginning dancers. This is, after all, the traditional manner of learning. When dancers within a set are in the right place at the right time it creates a "Joie de Vivre" assuring everyone a memorable dance!

Scottish Country Dancing is social. We do have fun, but not at the expense of other's enjoyment. To quote Jean Milligan (one of the founders of the Scottish Country Dance Society, 1923) as printed in Won't You Join The Dance, "The delightful national dances of Scotland were either in the process of being forgotten or were being performed in such an incorrect or vulgar manner as to lose all their national characteristics."

Our own bylaws (Vancouver USA SCD Association) stipulate "the objective of the association shall be to preserve and further the practice of Scottish Country Dancing--".

Let us preserve that which has been handed down to us, and then pass on to others the joy of our traditional dance.

Happy Dancing to All!

Goro Reunites with Japan Scottish Country Dancers
by Tom Halpenny
Goro next to car built one year before he was born

Goro Uehara continued the international friendship with the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers when he visited Vancouver for two weeks in July. Fourth of July celebrations in Ridgefield and Vancouver highlighted his visit, hosted by Tom and Liza Halpenny. He was the guest of honor at the summer Scottish Country Dance and picnic in Lewisville Park.

A group of Scottish Country Dancers, performing for the "Summer Splash", gave Goro a surprise welcome as he arrived at the Portland International Airport. He attended another dancing performance at the Vancouver "Art Walk" and enjoyed a reception at the home of John and Susan Shaw.

Goro was a host and English translator during the Japan Dancers' visit to Kawasaki, the fifth and final city of the two-week tour in October 2002. During the Japan visit, Goro said that the two American holidays that interested him the most were the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. At age 19, Goro was briefly a soldier in the Japanese Army at the end of World War 2, and afterwards he worked for the U.S. Army, with whom he enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast.

Goro loves cats and dogs. He enjoyed playing with all of the Halpenny pets, but he especially liked Kitra, an orange cat that resembles his own cat at home.

Welcome during Summer Splash at PDX

Goro was taught English in school for only one year. When a 1940 Japanese law forbade teaching English, Goro continued to teach himself. In recent years, he routinely goes to bed at 8:00pm and awakes at 4:00am to study English. He listens to National Public Radio and circles new vocabulary words in the newspaper.

Goro is a retired foundry sales manager. He plays table tennis several times weekly with his wife Mieko and other friends. At 77, Goro is one of nine brothers and sisters, six of whom are still living. The siblings have a yearly tradition of taking an overnight trip somewhere in Japan.


Calendar of Events

Sep 3 - Dec 17: Fall term of Vancouver USA Dance Class
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 7:45-9:15pm
The cost is $60 for residents of Vancouver City, $66 for those outside the city. You can call and register over the phone, at (360) 696-8236. The class number is EN0290, and be sure to have your credit card handy.
You can also access their calendar on the web: www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation/catalog/index.htm. The class is listed under the Adult Enrichment link, and an online registration form link (which you can print out, fill out, and mail in) is located at the bottom of the main catalog page.
You can also pick up registration materials at the Marshall Center.
Sept 11 - 14: Kelso Highlander Festival
Come and experience a "Wee Bit O'Scotland" at the Kelso Highlander Festival. Events begin Thursday night, September 11th, with the Kelso Kiwanis Annual Wine Tasting, Ale & Artistry event at the Kelso Red Lion. Through the weekend, there will be a parade, piping and dancing exhibitions, and much more, in and around Kelso's beautiful Tam O'Shanter Park. For more information, see the Kelso Festival webpage at: www.kelso.gov/recreation/festival/default.htm
Sept 12-14: Fort Worden Weekend Workshop
The Seattle Branch has sent out the applications for Fort Worden 2003. If you are not on the mailing list, send an e-mail to the resistrar at to ask for an application. Or mail to:
RSCDS Seattle Branch, P.O. Box 77431, Seattle, Washington 98117, U.S.A.
Or, check out the Fort Worden website at www.scn.org/scottish/ftworden/index.htm.
Sep 27: Tannahill Weavers
One of Scotland's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people.

Hollywood Theater, September 27th at 8:00 PM. Tickets $15 advance / $18 at the door. On sale at the Celtic Corner 503.287.3009, or Ticketwest 503.224.8499.

Presented by Meehan Productions

Oct 4: Scottish Country Dance in the Oregon High Desert

The High Desert Celtic Society invites you to their Seventh Annual Scottish Country Dance in the Oregon High Desert, at the new Redmond Grange building, on the corner of Kalama and Canal Blvd, in Redmond, OR.

Workshops in the morning and afternoon on the day of the ball, beginning with registration at 9am. Guest dance teacher: Marjorie McLaughlin. Music by A Scottish Heart. The theme is pre-1850's -- period costume is encouraged, but not required.

The Ball begins at 7:30pm with the Grand March.

The Program:
    Shiftin' Bobbins          The Piper                 Flowers of Edinburgh
    Diamond Jubilee           Machine Without Horses    Trip to Bavaria
    Minister on the Loch      The Anniversary           The Oregon State Tartan Reel
    Duncan MacKay             Rose of the North         The Express
    Catch the Wind            Moment of Truth           Reel of the Royal Scots

For registration information, maps, directions, dance briefs, and information on local lodging, see their website at www.hdccd.com, or send email to .
    Costs:                Before Sept 15    After Sept 16
    Workshop and Ball             $38.00           $46.00
    Workshop Only                  22.00            26.00
    Evening Ball Only              18.00            22.00
    Spectator Only                  4.00             4.00
    (workshop includes lunch)
Oct 18: Vancouver USA SCD Fall Harvest Dance
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 8-11:00pm
Costumes welcome! Live music! Refreshments.
Cost: $6 for dancers, 12 and under free.
The Program:
Miss Allie Anderson   (J)   Leaflet Dances
Land O' Cakes         (S)   Bk 29
The Pensioner's Reel  (R)   Skye Collection Bk 2

The Isle                (J)   Graded Bk
May Yarker's Strathspey (S)   Bk 42
Brechin Lassies         (R)   MMM I

Todlen Hame           (J)   Bk 16
Lady Glasgow          (S)   MMM I
The Dancing Bees      (R)   24 Grd & Soc Dnc

The Famous Grouse     (J)   4th Carnforth Coll. of SCD
Jimmy's Fancy         (S)   Bk 14
Ways in New Hall      (R)   Bk 42
  Do you have an item of Celtic interest you would like to see in print?  
  You can contact me in any of the following ways:  
  By mail:  
  John Shaw
  PO Box 2438
  Battle Ground, WA 98604
  By email:  
  The Scottish Country Dancer is a bi-monthly publication of the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers, a non-profit educational organization. For changes of address, please contact John Shaw, PO Box 2438 Battle Ground, WA 98604, . The editor reserves the right to alter or edit any material submitted for publication for reasons of taste, style, or clarity. All materials for publication should be sent by email to the editor at the address above, preferably in straight text. Deadline is one week before the end of the month prior to publication date. Editors of other newsletters may use or adapt any materials in the Scottish Country Dancer unless a specific copyright notice is included. Please credit author and original source.
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