|Articles in This Issue
|Coming Up, Briefly
||Betwixt and Between, 2008|
||The Ballachulish Ferry|
|SCD Classes All Around Clark County
||Calendar of Events|
|Coming Up, Briefly
Burns turns 250 this month|
- It's a new year and classes are starting up all over the county.
Check the article below for details, and be sure to sign up!
- The Folk Dance Potpourri is coming up
21st March 7th. Note the new date!. As
many of you know, this is an immensely popular annual event.
- In March, the Portland branch will be holding their 30th annual
workshop and ball. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon!
by Linda Mae Dennis|
I started off writing this long
philosophical dissertation about how cyclical life is. How we go round the
wheel of the year, always seeming to be starting something when in
actuality we're just on the carousel going round again. It got too long,
too deep, and too weird. I think the following will be sufficient and far
Happy New Year Scottish Country
Nice and simple.
We have a lot of fun activities
coming up, and could sure use some additional help with some of them.
Please consider volunteering to help with the Winter Dance Potpourri,
and/or the Scottish Afternoon, and we're especially hoping that a special
person will step up to co-chair the Dinner Dance. None of these are solo
efforts. You'll be working with a wonderful team of people who know how to
work together to get things done. In fact, that's just what Scottish
Country Dancing is all about.
Hope to see you all in class again
soon. I'm certainly looking forward to getting back to dancing after all
the non-dancing snow cancellations and consumption of holiday
All the best in the New
|SCD Classes All Around Clark
by Tom Halpenny|
Let's treat ourselves to a happy
and healthy New Year with a Scottish Country Dance class. You can check
out the class list below for a place and time that fits your location and
You can always visit www.vancouverusa-scd.org for
the latest SCD activities.
- Marshall Center 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver. Contact
Vancouver-Clark Parks & Rec 360-487-7100 www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation
- Basic Scottish Country Dance, Wednesday 7:45-9:15pm, Elm Room
- Scottish Country Dance, Wednesday 7:45-9:15pm, Oak Room
- Beginning Celtic Tap, Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm, Oak Room
- Firstenburg Community Center, 700 NE 136th Ave, Vancouver.
Contact Vancouver-Clark Parks & Rec 360-487-7001 www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation
- Family Basic Scottish Country Dance, Friday 7:30-8:55pm,
- Camas / Washougal, Garfield Building, 14th and NE Garfield,
Camas. Contact East Clark County Community Education 360-954-3838 www.camas.wednet.edu/district/teaching_learning/community_ed.htm
- Basic Scottish Country Dance, Thursday 7:00-8:30pm, Joyce
Garver Auditorium. Contact Geri, 360-834-3757
- Battle Ground, Captain Strong School, 1002 NW 6th Ave, Battle
Ground. Contact Battle Ground Community Education 360-885-6584 http://battleground.augusoft.net
- Family Basic Scottish Country Dance, Thursday 7:00-8:15pm,
Gym. Contact Liza, 360-887-1888
- Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver.
- Level 3 Scottish Country Dance, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays every
month, 7:30-8:30 pm. Contact Marge, 360-892-4366
- Beginning / Intermediate Celtic Tap, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays
every month, 7:30-8:30 pm. Contact Linda Mae, 360-609-0623
|Betwixt and Between, 2008
by John Shaw|
The Vancouver classes, teachers,
students, and friends, held their latest Betwixt and Between Dance
on Saturday, December 27. The dance lived up to its name this year, not
only because it was held between Christmas and New Years for the enjoyment
of those who didn't leave town for the holidays -- and their
guests, who were visiting. In retrospect, it appears that may have been
the one relatively settled weekend sandwiched between snow and ice storms
that made this one of the more memorable Decembers of recent years. More
than one dancer was heard to remark how glad they were to be able to get
out of the house to attend!
The evening began with the ceilidh
acts, which were all done at the beginning of the evening to minimize the
impact on the floor and the schedule. First up, students from Linda Mae's
Celtic Tap class performed a dance choreographed by Linda Mae to the tune
All of Me, by Willie Nelson. Don Morrison looked elegant in a
tuxedo and cane as the star dancer, while Martin MacKenzie, Van Hord, and
Tom Halpenny, sporting colorfully embroidered Burmese vests, provided
John Shaw then read a poem by Alice
Jacqueline Shaw (no relation), One Thing I Know, recounting
an incident in Jesus' career (see John 9:1-41) from the point of view of
the blind man. This was followed by a Quebecois musical set played by
Cynthia Soohoo (piano), Nathaniel and Alex Soohoo-Hui (fiddles), and
Martin MacKenzie on guitar. Geri Stuart wrapped up the acts with a bow of
giggles when she told how a Scottish father had connived to get his adult
children to come home for Christmas, at their own expense!
After we cleared away the chairs
from the dance floor, our musicians Lisa Scot (piano) and Leslie Hirsch
(fiddle) got our ghillies going as we proceeded with the evening of dance.
The program included such favorites as The Australian Ladies,
their cousin The Cranberry Tart, and The Reel of the
The reward for such jovial
exertions was, of course, The Tea afterwards, with the chatter of
camaraderie mingled with the appreciation of little sweet things, warming
our hands and hearts, before we all headed home.
|The Ballachulish Ferry
In a recent Level 3 class, Marge
Van Nus taught the dancers an interesting dance named The Ballachulish
Ferry. Following the dance (and for weeks afterward!) there was quite
a discussion of the subject in the title.
From the Wikipedia:
village of Ballachulish (from the Gaelic Baile Chaolais) in
Lochaber, Highland, Scotland, is centred around former slate quarries. The
name Ballachulish (pronounced Bah - lah - hoolish) was more
correctly applied to the area now called North Ballachulish, to the north
of Loch Leven, but was usurped for the quarry villages at East Laroch and
West Laroch, either side of the River Laroch, which were actually within
Glencoe and South Ballachulish respectively.
The name Ballachulish means "the
Field by the Narrows". The narrows in question is Caolas Mhic
Phadraig - Peter or Patrick's Narrows, at the mouth of Loch
Beginning in 1733, a ferry service
carried people and goods between Ballachulish on the north shore and the
quarry villages on the south shore. This service continued until December
1975, when the Ballachulish Bridge was opened.
Here, via Martin MacKenzie, are the
words to the Gàidhlig song, Gleann Bhaile Chaoil (meaning 'Glen of
the Village of the Narrows') followed by the translation:
Gleann Bhaile Chaoil
O nach robh mi thall sa' ghleann a' fuireach,
O nach robh mi thall an gleann Bhaile Chaoil,
Nan robh mise thall sa' ghleann a' fuireach
Chan fhàgainn e tuille, gleann lurach mo ghaoil.
Sa' mhaduinn nuair dh'éirinn gun èislean, gun ghruaim,
'Se thug sòlas do m'inntinn bhith sealltainn riut suas;
Chan eil gleann eil' air Gàidhealtachd bheir bàrr ort an snuadh,
Gur mis' tha fo chràdh-lot bhith 'n dràsd' cho fad' uait.
Gleann farsaing fìor mhonadh, dhìrinn e suas,
Gleann maiseach fìneagach 's mìorbhuileach tuar;
Ri samhradh is geamhradh do chleòca cho uain';
Chan eil nì a rinn nàdur nach fàs air do bhruaich.
Nuair dh'éireas a' ghrian air bu chiatach bhith ann,
'S i cho fial flathail coibhneil a' boillsgeadh air chrann,
I dùsgadh nan lòn-dubh 's nan smeòrach air ghèig,
Chur fàilte, le'n ceòl, air a mòrachd san speur.
[Faclan: Iain Camshron]
|Waterfall at Glen
Glen of Ballachulish
O, I was not living over in the glen
O, I was not over in the Glen of Ballachulish,
If I was over living in the glen
I would not ever leave, beautiful glen my love.
In the morning when I would rise without grief, without
It would illumine to my mind to look up at you;
There is not another glen in Gaeldom that could be more
beautiful than you,
And now I am in piercing pain, to be so far from you.
Truly a wide moor, that I would praise,
Glen fair, fruitful, and wonderful altogether;
Through summer and winter your cloak so green;
There is not anything that nature makes that does not
grow on your slopes.
When the sun will rise delightfully there,
And she so generous, majestic, shining on the trees,
Waking the dawn and the thrushes on the branches,
Welcoming, with music, in the grandeur of the sky.
[words by Ian Cameron]
Calendar of Events
2009: Portland Holiday Party
Tigard Grange, 7:30 PM.
Robert Burns' Birthday
People are encouraged to gather in their homes or
places of libation, to raise a toast (of sparkling cider) to the
memory of the life, times, and literary works of one of Scotland's
greatest poets, born this day, 250 years ago. (That would be 1759
for those more into poetry than
|Mar 7: Folk
A great fun way to sample the folk dance traditions of
many cultures! Instruction will be provided, no partner necessary.
Soft-soled shoes recommended.
Rudy Luepke Center, 1009 E.
McLoughlin Blvd. Vancouver, WA (behind the Marshall Center).
8:00-10:00 pm. $5.
Portland 30th Anniversary Workshop and Ball
Where: Masonic Friendship Center, 5625 NE
Alameda St., Portland, OR.
Time: Registration, 9:30 am;
Classes, 10:00 am; Grand March and Ball, 7:30
Teachers: Marjorie McLaughlin (San Diego, CA), and
Bill Zobel (Courtney, BC).
Musicians: Calum McKinnon
(Edmunds, WA) fiddle, and Muriel Johnstone (Courtney,
Get your registrations in soon! No
registrations accepted after March 6. Contact Don Gertz at
for more information.
Roaring Jelly BJ Foss
J.B. Milne BR Foss
Rose of the North IS Goldring
Laird of Milton's Daughter BJ RSCDS Bk 2
Flowers of Edinburgh BR RSCDS Bk 1
Bob Campbell BS Drewry
Ian Powrie's Farewell to Auchterader IJ Hamilton
John McAlpin BS Three for 2007
Da Rain Dancin' IR Wallace
Machine without Horses BJ RSCDS Bk 12
Red House IR RSCDS Bk 7
Culla Bay IS RSCDS Bk 41
Trip to Bavaria BR Collins Pocket Ref
Cranberry Tart IJ Seven Year Itch
MacDonald of the Isles BIS Haynes
Reel of the Royal Scots BR Leaflet
Tartan Day / Scottish Afternoon
Watch for details as they
|Apr 25: 24th
Annual Dinner Dance
Save the date! (Note: this is the new date.)
More info to come, so keep checking
Said the Englishman to the boastful Scot: "Take away your
mountains, glens and lochs, and what have you got?" "England," replied the
||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:
||Battle Ground, WA
||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
. 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
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