Volume 28 #6
The Scottish Country Dancer
May/June 2012

Articles in This Issue
All Hands on Deck
RSCDS Electronic Manual of Scottish Country Dancing
Local Dancers' Son earns Eagle Honors
Fun Facts
From The Chair
Scottish Dance Friends
Interview with Lisa Scott regarding her trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, Summer School, 2011
Calendar of Events
News Flash
All Hands on Deck
by Liza Halpenny

Scottish dancers Carol Williamson and Tom and Liza Halpenny led a voyage of discovery March 29th at Hazel Dell Elementary's annual Enrichment Fair. This year's theme was "All Hands on Deck," highlighting "hands on" activities. Our branch has taught the ropes of Scottish Country Dance at this event several times. The children enjoy learning figures and dances and footwork, and a little about Scotland. This year Tom edified them about the kilt, so that they can answer with authority when anyone asks, "Why is that man wearing a skirt?" Carol made blue plaid and red plaid ribbon wristbands for the children to wear and keep. This helped them sort out their right hand from their left, and which side of the set to stand on. When these children arrive at our future classes, ask them if they ever found Nessie.

Down The Middle
Where's Nessie?
All In Fun

Here are transcriptions of some of the hand-written thank you notes we received later from the students:

"Dear Presenter,
Thank you for volenteering at our school. I learned how to do 3 Scottish Country dances today. Also I learned wear Scotland is on the map. 
I enjoyed learning everything I did, esspecally the learn 3 Scottish dances part. It was Super Sweet. When I get home I am going to teach some 
kids on my street them. I wish you and your family best wishes.
Appreciated by: Makayea"

"Dear Scottish County Dancing Presenter,
Thank you for coming! My favorite part is when we did the monster, and talked about the dance. I also liked the state and pictures of the place. 
Thank you for the bracelet. I hope you come next year! Thank you! :) 
Sincerely, Ruby "

"Dear Enrichment Fair Presenter,
I really enjoyed the Scottish Country Dancers class! Thank you very much for taking the time to teach me something new. I had a great time 
and had fun working with you. I hope you will come back next year and teach at the Enrichment Fair next year! Thanks again for coming! 
From Trinity
Local Dancers' Son earns Eagle Honors
Duncan Stuart

Duncan Stuart of Camas has earned his Eagle Scout award, the highest honor the Boy Scouts of America offers that only about 4% of all scouts earn, and was honored in a ceremony March 18 at Columbia Presbyterian Church in Vancouver.

Each candidate must earn 21 merit badges and successfully complete a community or church related project before age 18. Duncan's project was to remove an old Hidden brick chimney at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Washougal. He also stabilized and patched the inner walls in preparation for new outer paneling to be installed. These improvements stopped water from leaking into the church.

Duncan is a member of Boy Scout Troop 565 of Camas, Columbia Presbyterian Church, a senior at Camas High School, and the son of Robert and Geri Stuart.

From The Chair
by Linda Mae Dennis

By the time you read this, the Dinner Dance will be fait accompli! I'm sure it will be another glittering memory of sheer pleasure to store away. On the horizon is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Branch. This will mark the end of my fifth year as Manager / Chair, which means my term-limit is up.

In spite of the fact that the years go by really fast, five years is a long time! We've done a lot in five years. We went from an RSCDS Affiliated Group that had non-profit status within just the State of Washington to an RSCDS Branch with National 501(c)(3) non-profit status. We've expanded the number of classes within Southwest Washington and the number of weekdays that these are available. We've logged five Dinner Dances, all with their own special personalities, lots of other Dances, Fundraisers, Performances, Picnics, and opportunities to socialize.

I've learned a lot too - among other things, how to navigate government websites and who to talk to at Headquarters in Edinburgh. The most important thing I've learned is that the social aspect of Scottish Country Dancing is vital to the health of our organization. And so we've tried to include a social aspect to each of our events, such as a Sandwich Party after the Clark County Fair performance, Tea & Snacks after each of our Dances, even a little social something to go with each Annual General Meeting. Participating in social events is a great opportunity to get to know the dancers in other classes, and I have very much enjoyed doing so.

I so appreciate every person in our group. Each of us makes up an important piece of the whole. There are those who step up when there is a difficult task to be undertaken, those who volunteer to chair a dance, even when they've never done anything like that before. There are class members who come to class every week, rain or shine, or if they can't, always let the teacher know when they're not going to be there. There are those who bring yummy snacks to our dances, those who stay to clean up and take out the garbage. Everyone contributes what they can, and it's a wonderful thing.

This year it was time to take another look at the Articles and Bylaws, fix some things that needed fixing, and get them aligned with the RSCDS - which has also made some changes over the past five years. Tom Halpenny (chair), Liza Halpenny, and John Shaw made up the Articles and Bylaws Committee, and did a very thorough rework of our governing documents. They really did an outstanding job; investigating every nuance of every paragraph, comparing it to the RSCDS Model Constitution, dotting every 'i' and crossing every 't'. The proposed changes have just been approved by RSCDS Headquarters, and will now need to be approved by the Branch Membership. That's you!

The AGM, as you probably already know, will be held on Sunday, May 20th, 2012 at 2:00pm at Columbia Dance Center. More than just a meeting, this is another opportunity to have some fun! Please plan to participate! Also, please do consider becoming a member of the RSCDS - they have done and continue to do a wonderful job of collecting and publishing dances, making music for SCD available, and standardizing the teaching so that SCD can be enjoyed all over the planet. Please do consider becoming a member of the Southwest Washington State Branch, as they underwrite classes and dances, and promote SCD in our area. Please do come to the meeting to vote in or at least meet the new Board and see our awesome rewritten governing documents. Please join us for Renaissance Ice Cream before (1:00pm -ish), Meeting at 2:00pm (precisely), and Dancing after.


I (ice cream)
M (meeting)
Scottish Country Dancing!!
Interview with Lisa Scott regarding her trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, Summer School, 2011
by The Editor

This is somewhat condensed to fit within the confines of article space. ~ The Editor

What did you do in St. Andrews last summer?

I was invited to St. Andrews for Summer School in 2011. There were four weeks running consecutively. I played piano during the first week for two classes each morning and two of the optional evening walk through classes. I also played for one evening dance. Every evening there were several dances running concurrently. There would be dances in town and on campus, both SCD and Ceilidh dances.

Who participated with you?

For classes, I played alone on acoustic instruments, which I very much appreciated. During the dance I played for, I played with a young Japanese fiddler.

How did people respond?

Everyone was very friendly and very welcoming and hospitable. The teachers appreciated my work. I was invited back for this year but couldn't as I'll be playing for TAC Summer School here in Portland!

Whom did you meet, anybody interesting?

I met a 'young woman' from Paris who was 90 years old and still dancing. I also made good friends with dancers from South Africa, Germany, and Norway. On a sad note, Anders Breivik committed his mass murders on Ut°ya Island after bombing government buildings in Oslo during Summer School which had a sad effect on the Norwegians there. Many Canadians were present as well. Rebecca Blackhall-Peters from British Columbia whom some of us know was there as well as Fiona Miller, Gail Michener and Ron Wallace.

Did you have opportunity to dance as well?

I had many opportunities to dance personally when not playing. I also enjoyed listening to the musicianship of Robert MacKay and George Meikle.

Additional observations.

The old halls and architecture were grand. The food was very good with many healthy options. Dorm rooms were very nice. St. Andrews is a very beautiful town and there are many charming villages close by and I felt quite safe in Scotland. Many of the class venues are in town within walking distance. I recommend a visit to Summer School in St. Andrews highly if one has the resources.

It was a great privilege to interview our friend and grand lady for this article about her exploits at St. Andrews this last summer and to toot her horn just a wee bit. ~ The Editor

News Flash
by Van Meter Hord

There may be a new connection between the USA and Scotland. The communities, which are not officially cities, of Dull, Perth & Kinross, Scotland and Boring, Oregon, USA are contemplating a union. Although their sizes are quite dissimilar, Dull at 84 and Boring at around 8,000, their sisterhood could spark quirky headlines. Years ago I laughed about a heading in the newspaper of "Boring Couple Marries" . . . . just think of the Dull & Boring relationships which might come from this union.

The Editor noticed this showing up in all the local news also but the first reference to this was on a facebook site for a GÓidhlig activist in Scotland who was decrying linguistic accidents like this. The original word, not currently in use is "dail", meaning "a meadow."

RSCDS Electronic Manual of Scottish Country Dancing
by Tom Halpenny

You have been Scottish Country Dancing for a few years and you occasionally have a question about how to dance a figure? Thanks to RSCDS, we can now download The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing that teachers have learned from, at http://www.rscds.org/images/stories/epub/manual13june.pdf .

The Manual has formerly been available only in printed form. The free electronic document can be viewed by a wider audience than just teachers. The reference can refresh and supplement our understanding of Scottish Dance. Topics include historical background, RSCDS, dance characteristics, steps, figures, music, RSCDS dance notes, and further advice. The ability to search the pdf file for keywords eliminates the need for an index.

CHAPTER 6 Formations contains a comprehensive collection of 36 figures and their variations. For example, 6.6.5 Ladies' chain describes the motion of the figure in words and diagrams.

We can imagine how internet video technology could enhance a next-generation electronic version of The Manual. Existing words and diagrams could be complemented by motion, voice, and music. Links to YouTube videos could demonstrate figures and other concepts in order to bring Scottish Dance alive to teachers and dancers.

For example, the Danciemaetion Pink Roses video shows the path of Ladies' Chain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zXjtREDkGE which complements the Ladies' chain description in The Manual. A set of videos featuring human dancers demonstrating figures, steps, and dance technique to music could also be produced.

I look forward to exploring The Manual and its future electronic forms in order to enhance my Scottish dance knowledge.

Fun Facts
by Marge MacLeod Van Nus
Things that are just plain fun to know:
Coca-Cola was originally green.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it is kissing the conveyor belt.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work, Alaska.
Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour, 61,000.
Scottish Dance Friends
by Tom Halpenny

Do you recognize Scottish Dance friends in this photo?

The next photo will give away the identity . . .


Calendar of Events

May 4 - 6, 2012 : Youth Weekend West

More info on their website, http://www.youthweekendwest.com

May 12, 2012: May 12 Portland Monthly Dance

Waluga Hall, 417 2nd St., Lake Oswego, OR, 7:30pm
July 15, 2012: Summer Picnic

At William Clark Park in Washougal. Stay tuned for more details.
July 21, 2012: Portland Highland Games

At Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon. More information available at http://www.phga.org/
July 22 - August 5, 2012: TAC (Teachers' Association, Canada) Summer School Candidate Classes and Summer School

"Stooges" needed! See Linda Mae to sign up. The event will be held at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon this year!

More registration and other information can be found at http://www.tac-rscds.org/summer-school
September 14 - 16, 2012: Ft. Worden, Evergreen
Save The Date!

Fort Worden State Park on the Olympic Peninsula
Musicians: Elke Baker (Ellicott City, MD) fiddle ~ Lisa Scott (Portland, OR) piano ~ Ginny Snowe (Bellingham, WA) bass
Teachers: Linda Henderson (Alamo, CA) ~ Muriel Johnstone (Berwick, Scotland) ~ Gordon Robinson (Victoria, BC) ~ Ron Wallace (Santa Rosa, CA)

Watch for your Fort Worden application in the mail or check the Seattle RSCDS website at http://www.rscds-seattle.org for a downloadable application.

  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:  

  Martin MacKenzie
  10701 SE Hwy 212 C-7
  Clackamas, Or 97015

  By email:  

  The Scottish Country Dancer is a bi-monthly publication of the RSCDS Southwest Washington State Branch, a non-profit educational organization. For changes of address, please contact Martin MacKenzie, 10701 SE Hwy 212 C-7 Clackamas, Or 97015, . 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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