Volume 25 #2
The Scottish Country Dancer
September/October 2008

Articles in This Issue
The Brief Fort Worden, 2008
Manager's Message Calendar of Events
Clark County Fair Performance
The Brief

With many of our classes now started around the county, and the Fort Worden Weekend behind us, we can look forward to the next 16 bars (note the meanwhile figure on October 11th):

  • Camas/Washougal SCD classes start September 25th
  • The Pumpkin Festival! at Pomeroy Historic Farm (with dancing!) the weekend of Oct 4,5
  • Portland's monthly Dance Party, in Tigard on Oct 11
  • Bend's Weekend workshop and Ball, also on Oct 11
  • Vancouver's Fall Dance, October 18 -- see the calendar entry for the program!
  • Portland's monthly Dance Party, on Nov 8 (with live music)

For more information about these upcoming events, check the calendar section of this newsletter, or the current calendar on the webpage, www.vancouverusa-scd.org/events.html

Manager's Message
by Linda Mae Dennis

Hello Everyone, and welcome back to dancing after the summer break. It's nice to get a break, but even nicer to get back to dancing. There doesn't seem to be any other activity that gives you a great physical workout along with a mental workout that so thoroughly eases all your worries and erases your anxieties. Plus, we get to hang out with our friends and do something fun, and that, after all, is what it is all about.

The first exciting thing on the schedule this year (besides classes) is our annual Fall Dance. The Dance Chair will decide on a theme (because people do like to dress up for this dance), encourage attendance at the dance, and coordinate the people who bring stuff (which they pretty much all know what they're doing already).

I would also like to welcome all the beginning dancers in all our new classes, and encourage you to come to the Fall Dance. The dance program was designed with you in mind, and the experienced dancers will be very happy to help when necessary - we all understand that this is a team sport.

We're going to have so much fun!

Clark County Fair Performance
At the Fair

[First, from dance mistress Liza Halpenny]

Many thanks for a fantastic performance at the Clark County Fair yesterday, Everyone! We had the biggest audience we've ever had at the fair, and put on our most varied show.

As the clans gathered, folks stayed patient and cheerfuI while waiting for those who got caught in the unexpectedly long parking lot line. And even though we didn't get a chance to walk through all the dances, everyone did a great job of helping each other stay on track. There was a real air of camaraderie and cheerfulness throughout the performance. Everyone stayed flexible and rolled with the inevitable surprises.

Special applause to our new dancers - Lilyana, Elisabeth, Zoe, Melissa, and Robert. You were brave and bright and fit right in like pros. And hats off to our singers and musicians - Cynthia, Alex, Nathaniel, Bart , and Annette. You added a real richness, depth, and interest to our show. Martin, you did Fred proud.

Sally and Andrea, unable to attend the rehearsal, you did a great job getting up to speed. And the rest of our dear and faithful dancers - Valerie, Eunice, Stephen, Katherine, Linda Mae, John, Lanette, Susan, and Tom - thanks for always showing up, for helping our newer dancers, and for sharing your love of Scottish Country Dance with our community.

See you in class!

[And from participant and musician, Cynthia Soohoo]

Regarding the performance: admiration and thanks go to Liza for her days of dreaming, gathering and disseminating information, plotting out the arrangements of dancers, and practicing with all of us -- none of it easy, coming from so many different skill levels as we do! Cheers for Liza!

My family enjoyed getting to participate together in this performance, so carefully planned that even our girls could dance. We appreciated the general spirit of teamwork and the special encouragement for our less experienced family members! Thank you, everybody!

And then to have all this followed by kind and thoughtful hospitality, uplifting conversation, and great fun with friends at Liza's and Tom's beautiful home afterward! It made for an evening every member of my family will remember with pleasure -- and smiles -- for a very long time! Thank you to everybody for the delightful companionship, and most especially to Tom and Liza for making it happen!

Fort Worden, 2008
by Linda Mae Dennis

A one-day SCD workshop, followed by a Dance is a full day of delight. A weekend SCD workshop in a fabulous setting is like a full vacation, restoring balance to your psyche that lasts for several weeks. The Seattle Branch sponsored Fort Worden weekend is just such a workshop, and with the fabulous weather included in this year's program, I'm sure those of us who attended will be buoyed on by our memories maybe even until next year!

Fort Worden is a former army barracks, turned into a state park. A group of us from Vancouver / Portland almost always makes the trip, staying together in the 100-year-old officers' housing that has been beautifully restored and updated. We carpool up on Friday, arriving in time to settle in and prepare an evening meal that we enjoy together before heading over to the Fairgrounds for the Friday dance.

Friday is fairly informal - meet and greet all those people you've met over the years and add a few new faces to your ever-growing collection of Scottish Country Dancers. The music, of course, is fabulous. The Fort Worden weekend has grown in popularity to the point where they can always afford really top notch musicians and teachers. The teachers are introduced on Friday evening, which gives them a chance to get to know a few people before classes start on Saturday.

At the party at the musicians' house after the Friday Dance, there is a ceilidh, which this year we all mostly missed due to the excitement provided by our own housemate and long-time Vancouver dancer who shall remain nameless (but whose initials are Susan Shaw). Susan went upstairs to take a relaxing bath after the Dance. She got the water turned on okay, but was unable to turn it off! We all heard a panicked Susan request help from John, and then the fun began.

The mechanically inclined ran up the stairs with pots from the kitchen for bailing [because the drain was slower than the spigot!] and tried to get the water turned off. Another group of us looked up phone numbers and eventually contacted the Park Rangers, and another group ran over to the party house to recruit additional help. Before long there were about 10 people in the upstairs bathroom working on the problem and another 10 downstairs discussing it. We got the water turned off just as the Rangers arrived. I'm pretty sure Susan didn't get relaxed at all that evening.

Saturday we all packed up our shoes and went off in different directions to classes. There were two morning sessions and one afternoon session for classes, and four wonderful teachers. There were lots of classes to choose from - something for everyone. Unfortunately, with four teachers and only three sessions, one of the teachers had to be left off everyone's schedule.

After classes are over there's a nice afternoon break. Some people take naps; some sit and chat about the events of the day. I traditionally walk over to the beach, as Fort Worden fronts Puget Sound, and soak my feet in the seriously cold water. Because the weather was so nice this time the beach was fairly well populated, and the sand was very warm and gave a nice foot massage as we walked on it. The water was predictably icy and the in-, out-, in-, out-, proved very therapeutic.

Back to the house for another lovely dinner shared with good friends, and then off to the Ball - a rather formal affair with a champagne (or cider) reception, sparkling, shiny and rustling skirts, and colorful kilts, all in a blur of activity. That, of course, and the happy faces anticipating the fun about to begin. And then it was over before we knew it. The music was excellent, the excitement and fun contagious.

Back to the house again, with all our frothy and bubbling housemates to relive the evening, ice down our throbbing feet, and wind down enough to get some rest. Sunday comes early at Fort Worden.

Sunday morning we have to try to keep our exhausted wits about us long enough to collect our scattered belongings, get them packed up, and vacate the house before we go off to the last class of the weekend. The class on Sunday morning is taught "tag team" by each of the teachers. It has a softer feel to it than the Saturday classes. Hugs and smiles are exchanged as people depart to catch a ferry or get started on their journey home. Finally, we get into our car and get on the road. Finally, we can feel in our faces the workout we got in our smiling muscles. And the music plays on in our heads.


Calendar of Events

Sep 5: Fall Classes Start: Firstenburg Community Center
Fridays, 7:30 - 8:55 PM.
Firstenburg Center, 700 NE 136th Ave., Vancouver.
Contact Geri at or (360) 834-3757.
Sep 10: Fall Classes Start: Marshall Center
Wednesdays, 7:45 - 9:15 PM
Basic and Intermediate Scottish Country Dance classes
Marshall Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver.
Sep 11: Fall Classes Start: Battle Ground
Family Basic Scottish Country Dance class
Thursdays, 7:00 - 8:15 PM
Maple Grove School, Battle Ground
Contact Liza at .
Sep 25: Fall Classes Start: Camas/Washougal
Family Basic Scottish Country Dance class
Thursdays, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Garfield Bldg / Garver Theater
Contact Geri at or (360) 834-3757.
Oct 4-5: Pomeroy Historic Farm Pumpkin Festival
Oct 11: Portland Monthly Dance Party
Tigard Grange, 7:30 PM
The Program:
    The Highland Fair   BJ  Graded Bk
    Tulloch Gorm        IS  RSCDS Bk 8
    Coulter's Candy     BR  Stepping Stones
    The Cranberry Tart  IJ  Seven Year Itch
    Muse Cottage        BS  Let's All Dance, Too
    A Trip to Bavaria   IR  MacGregor-Brown
    Girl in Green       IJ  Whetherly Bk 17
    The Hidden Valley   BS  Fourth Carnforth Col.
    The Summer Assembly IR  RSCDS Bk 35
    The Buckie Jig      BJ  Let's All Dance
    Invercauld's Reel   IS  RSCDS Bk 11
    The Honeymoon       BR  Graded Bk
Oct 11: Bend Workshop and Ball
Come join us in the Oregon Highlands for our
Twelfth Annual Scottish Country Dance Ball & Workshop

Sponsored by the High Desert Celtic Country Dancers

Workshop and Ball will be held at the Redmond Grange Hall, at the corner of 7th St. and Kalama St., Redmond, OR.

Guest Dance Teacher: Liza Halpenny

For more information, contact Susie at
Oct 18: Vancouver Fall Dance
Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver. 7:30 PM
Musicians: Cynthia Soohoo (piano) and Nathaniel Soohoo-Hui (fiddle)

The Program:
    Lady Catherine Bruce's Reel  (J) Graded Book 
    Delvine Side                 (S) RSCDS Book 2 
    Jessie's Hornpipe            (R) RSCDS Book 8 
    Snapdragon                   (J) Let's All Dance, Too 
    The Falkirk Lass             (S) Merse Collection 
    General Stuart's Reel        (R) RSCDS 10 
    The Cranberry Tart           (J) Glasspool, Seven Year Itch 
    Linnea Strathspey            (S) Dunsmuir Collection 
    Catch the Wind               (R) RSCDS Book 45 
    St. Andrew's Fair            (J) Five SCD 1982 (RSCDS)
    Sean Truibhas Willichan      (S) RSCDS Book 27 
    Deil Amang the Tailors       (R) RSCDS Book 14 
More info as it becomes available. Keep checking back.
Nov 8: Portland Monthly Dance Party
Tigard Grange, 7:30 PM
Live Music! by the Scottish Rose

The Program:
    The Highland Fair     BJ  Graded Bk
    The Flourish          IS  Measure's of Pleasure
    The Honeymoon         BR  Graded Bk
    Fugal Furgus          IJ  Three for 2007
    Muse Cottage          BS  Let's All Dance, Too
    The Summer Assembly   IR  RSCDS Bk 35

    St. Andrew's Fair     BJ  Five SCD 1982
    Invercauld's Reel     IS  RSCDS Bk 11
    The White Cockade     BR  RSCDS Bk 5
    Girl in Green         IJ  Whetherly Bk 17
    Winstanley House      BS  Let's All Dance, Too
    Bauldy Bain's Fiddle  IR  Lothian Col.
Dec 13: Portland Holiday Party
Tigard Grange, 7:30 PM.
Dec 27: Vancouver Betwixt and Between Dance
Watch for details.

"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals." ~Charles Baudelaire

  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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