Volume 21 #3
The Scottish Country Dancer
November/December 2004

Articles in This Issue
Manager Message Harvest Dance was a Feast!
A Brilliant Day at Pomeroy Farm Four Vancouver USA SCD Teachers Train for Certificate
Ghost Stories at Fort Vancouver Calendar of Events
Manager Message
by Tom Halpenny

Fall Scottish Country Dancing commenced after the summer break with the Art Walk performance at the frog statue on September 2nd. October 2nd was a beautiful Fall day for dancing at the Pomeroy Farm Pumpkin Festival. Our successful second annual Ghost Stories performance on October 16th just beat the rain and had huge audience participation. The October 23rd Fall Harvest Feast with our fantastic musicians featured equally entertaining costumed dancers.

I would like to thank you member dancers for your gift of performing for the community. You make the community a better place and generate donation funds for our Association to purchase SCD education materials and subsidize our dancing events. Those who participated in the Fall community SCD performances are: Annette Allen (piper), Donna Clark, Linda Mae Dennis, Gail Gibbard (piper), Gayle Graham, Liza Halpenny, Tom Halpenny, Don Morrison, John Shaw, Susan Shaw, David Mackenzie, Eunice Mackenzie, Katherine Mackenzie, Martin Mackenzie, Sandy Mackenzie, Victoria Mackenzie, Renee Russell, Alasdair Stuart, Duncan Stuart, Geri Stuart, Robert Stuart Marge van Nus, and Fred van Nus.

The final class on December 15th will be a ceilidh. Between dances, everyone is invited to share their own ceilidh act -- song, dance, story, joke. The "Betwixt & Between" dance on December 29th will premier locally-written dances, mixed in with old favorites.

We will soon be giving you more information about two huge events for the new year! Fred van Nus is chairing the January 22nd Burns Supper, coordinated with the Ft. Vancouver Pipe Band. Susan Shaw is chairing the 20th Anniversary Dinner Dance on February 19th: Making Memories.

A Brilliant Day at Pomeroy Farm
by Liza Halpenny

It could not have been a more beautiful fall day, out at the farm. People came in droves to attend Pomeroy Farm's annual Pumpkin Festival, visiting the booths, stuffing scarecrows, and taking hayrides to the pumpkin patch. The best part of all, of course, was the Scottish Country Dancing.

This time all the booths were set facing inward toward the lawn where we dance, giving us good exposure. We set up camp under our tent, displaying the beautiful banner that Don and Marie Morrison donated to our group. An interesting challenge soon presented itself--a malfunctioning CD player. So, while a set of us danced to our own singing and humming, Martin MacKenzie, techno-hero, figured out how to get the music working using the cassette-to-CD gizmo from his car. We were saved!

Demo dances were interspersed with enthusiastic audience participation. A really good crowd. Lots of kids, who loved the "I Danced with the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers" stickers we handed out. (Thanks, Geri!) Another fun addition to the day was the new lunch choice of barbecued pork cutlet with cheesebread. Yumm! Then more dancing to work it all off.

The sparkle in the air was reflected in the joy of the dancers and the willing participation of the audience. Dancing, sharing, eating -- how much better could life get?

Ghost Stories at Fort Vancouver
by Linda Mae Dennis

I'm not sure what made Ghost Stories so much fun this year, but it really was a blast. Perhaps it was our new location. The covered stage and audience area was right between two of the houses on Officers Row. People moving up and down the street to the various venues had no choice but to notice us. Of course they did have a choice about dancing with us, but it seems that most of them, or at least most of the children did want to join us for a dance or two. Geri Stuart, Liza Halpenny and Linda Mae Dennis - have you heard the expression "herding cats" - led the audience participation dancing. The overall performance was orchestrated by Marge van Nus, who kept the pipers and recorded music straight, inserted our performance pieces at appropriate times during the evening, handed out stickers and even came up with a precious napkin after the incident with the small, very active and very nervous doggie. Our pipers were Gail Gibbard and Annette Allen. The performance pieces were very effective this year too, replete with ghosts and lighted lanterns.

Anyway, we were a hit. It's so great that people here are not bothered by a bit of rain, as rain it did. We had non-stop crowds from right after the parade until we took a short break around 7:30. Actually the break was less than five minutes, as those of us near the stage who were busy cramming in some of our delicious "shoe-bag food" were pressured into dancing again by yet another roving audience.

Of course what made it extra fun for me was that it was my first time marching and drumming with the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band. Marge told me that our last pass down the street in our black capes was very effective, because you could barely see the band, but you could really hear the music. However, I was very busy at the time trying to keep my wet strings from binding up, to remember what I was supposed to be doing, and to stay in step.

Harvest Dance was a Feast!
by John Shaw

On Saturday, October 23, the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers held their Fall Harvest Feast Dance. With lively music provided by Lisa Scot (piano) and Leslie Hirsch (fiddle), it was a sumptuous repast long before we arrived at the finger-food at the end of the evening.

The garb represented a "criss-crossing" of various themes and cultures. While one dancer worked with the Harvest time theme, dressing country style in fall tones accented with complementary plummage of some hapless game fowl, others went with the more traditional Halloween costume theme and included a doctor (or two!), a jester, a ghost, a witch, and a kilted Federation Starship officer. Valerie (one of the doctors) admitted this was the first time at a SCD event (class or dance) that she did not wear a skirt!

Yet another theme was evident in the many "ladies" wearing some type of dark red garment. By way of explanation: one of the more popular (and challenging) dances on the program that night was The Cranberry Tart. Working with the "cranberry" half of the theme, Marge van Nus wore a dark wine-red shawl and a straw hat adorned with cranberries, and Susan Shaw wore a cranberry colored skirt.

Providing a kind of balance, Geri Stuart wore a cranberry skirt and top, a fur stole, long beaded necklace, black choker, fishnet stockings, and spike heels, and Tom Halpenny (our Manager) wore a red dress -- the, ah, other half of the Cranberry Tart theme.

And quite a number of folks came as themselves, simply eager to join in an evening of fun, dancing, and great music, topping it all off with a relaxing "tea" of wonderful snacks with good friends.

Four Vancouver USA SCD Teachers Train for Certificate
by Tom Halpenny

Our Association is dramatically increasing its pool of SCD teachers.

Geri Stuart, Liza Halpenny, John Shaw, and Linda Mae Dennis are training to become certificated teachers, approved by the RSCDS to teach classes. The four teachers are traveling monthly to the Seattle area for intensive training. At the conclusion, RSCDS examiners will test their knowledge of SCD theory, dancing skills, and teaching skills. Those who pass the exam will receive the preliminary certificate. After two years of teaching experience, the candidates will have the opportunity to be examined again and receive the full certificate.

Manager Tom Halpenny presented each of the four teachers-in-training with a card of appreciation and $50 during the September 29th SCD class. The Board voted unanimously to present the small token of our appreciation for all of their effort and expense to support our group. Having five certificated teachers will greatly expand our Association's capabilities to teach SCD and provide dance events and performances for the local community.

Marge van Nus has been our principal fully-certificated teacher for over twenty years. Sally Bledsoe of Longview and Lisa Scott of Portland have served on the Association's Panel of Instructors. Geri Stuart has been teaching for over 5 years; she taught the Vancouver SCD class for 2 years during Marge's absence, and also leads the SCD performance team.


Calendar of Events

Nov 13: Portland SCD Dance Party
Live Music, by The Scottish Rose
$8.00 admission. 7:30 pm, Tigard Grange 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard.
The Program:
  The Wild Geese            BJ  RSCDS Book 24, #3
  The Australian Ladies     IR  Campbell, Glasgow Assembly
  Seann Triubhas Willichan  BS  RSCDS Bk 27, #9
  Enniskillen Dragoons      IJ  Jean Patrick Collection
  On the Quarter Deck       BR  Boyd, The Harbour City
  Culla Bay                 IS  RSCDS Bk 41, #2
  Cranberry Tart            IJ  Glasspool, The Seven Year Itch
  The White Cockade            BR  RSCDS Bk 5, #11
  Anna Holden's Strathspey     IS  RSCDS Bk 42, #2
  Lady Catherine Bruce's Reel  BJ  RSCDS Graded, #7
  Trip to Bavaria              IR  MacGregor-Brown
  Hope Little's Strathspey     BS  Goldring, Graded and Social Dances 2
  Andrew and Gordon's Jig      Bj  Goldring, Graded and Social Dances 2
Dec 15: Vancouver USA SCD Last Class Ceilidh
The last class of the Fall term, and your final exam will be a -- ceilidh!
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms, 7:45pm.
Dec 29: Vancouver USA SCD Betwixt 'n Between Dance
A Dance on the Wednesday between Christmas and New Years! An informal get together, with time to try out (proof) newly written dances by local members, as well as enjoy dances we already know.
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 7-10:00pm

Note the special time!
Jan 5, 2005: Vancouver USA SCD - Start of Winter Classes
Marshall Community Center,
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 7:45pm
Watch for the Vancouver Parks and Rec Catalog.
Jan 22, 2005: Burns Night Supper
Moose Lodge on 4th Plain Blvd., Vancouver
6:00 pm social hour, 7:00 pm dinner
Chicken Breast, Mashed potatoes, vegetable, salad, tea and coffee. $20.00
More info (and contact details) soon!
Feb 19 2005: Vancouver USA SCD 20th Anniversary Dinner Dance
"Making Memories" is the theme of this very special event, our 20th annual dinner-dance.

Live music! Susan Worland -- internationally known fiddler from the Bay Area -- will join Linda Danielson (fiddle) and Lisa Scott (piano) in playing for this dance.

More details as they emerge -- but be sure to hold this date!

The Program:
  Come Under My Plaidie       J  Children's Book
  Jimmy's Fancy               S  Bk 14
  Shiftin' Bobbins            R  Ormskirk
  Knit the Pocky              J  Bk 11
  Dalkeith's Strathspey       S  Bk 9
  Currie Mountain             R  New Brunswick Coll
  Tillamook Tides             J  Cameo Vol 4
  Miss Gibson's Strathspey    S  Leaflet
  An Officer and a Gentleman  R  Ft. Worden Decennial
  Starry Eyed Lassie          J  Bk 23
  Wagons West                 S  WA State Centennial
  Duke of Perth               R  Bk 1
  Jubilee Jig                 J  Golden Jubilee 1973
  MacDonald of the Isles      S  Foss
  Flowers of Edinburgh        R  Bk 1
  Circle (Oslo) Waltz         W  
April 22, 2005: Alasdair Fraser Concert!
Alasdair Fraser in concert with the San Francisco Fiddlers, Aladdin Theater, Portland.

Dance like nobody's watching...

  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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