|Volume 30 #1||July/August 2013|
|From the Chair||Dancing in the Sun!|
|Northwest Folklife 2013||Dance Technique|
|Clark County Fair Demonstration||Youth Weekend West|
|Workers Needed for Portland Highland Games||Calendar of Events|
|From the Chair|
|by John Shaw|
There are so many different kinds of "beginnings" in our Scottish Country Dance world!
The calendar year began six months ago, so it seems strangely "soon" that classes are ending just now. And now that Classes are ending all about us, the new membership year is just beginning -- the new Branch Board will hold its first meeting in just a couple of weeks.
So, the Branch Picnic coming up July 7th, is that at the end of the year, or the beginning of the year? Here's an idea: let's all get together at the Fairgrounds Park, 216 NW 164th St, in Ridgefield on the first Sunday in July bringing food, friends, and ghillies and we can discuss this momentous conundrum, eh?
And just a couple of weeks after that, the Portland Highland Games will be held out at Mount Hood Community College. Dancers from both the Portland and Southwest Washington branches will be participating in the Kilted Mile event in a fun effort to grow the awareness of Scottish Dancing among as many people as possible. Come and cheer them on, and then stop by the Branch tables and tents and share the SCD message with all the curious people passing by.
Although TAC Summer School is not a local event this year, a number of area dancers are planning to attend, which takes us through to the beginning of August. Hmm, there is not much scheduled for most of August. Do we, like the Scots, take the month of August off to "Rest and be Thankful?"
But, just before the beginning of classes in the Fall is the August Mixer Dance, on August 27th. This is a great opportunity for new folks, like the curious people we met at the Highland Games in July, to "come try it out" in a relaxed setting. And the burning question as to whether that is the last dance at the end of Summer or the first dance at the beginning of the new class year will be deferred until a later time.
|Northwest Folklife 2013|
|by Tom Halpenny|
Liza and I visited the Northwest Folklife festival for the first time May 24 and 25. We observed throngs of happy people, musical sounds from buskers of all sorts coming from every direction, and fascinating buildings while wandering through the Seattle Center. In addition to watching various performances, we attended workshops for ukulele playing and round singing and did these kinds of dancing: Bollywood, French Country, Contra, Tango, Scottish Country, Romanian-Croatian, Hambo, and Hot Square.
Elinor Vandegrift from the Seattle RSCDS Branch led the Scottish Country Dancing for a crowd numbering over 100, to lively Celtic music by The Bramble Band. We can view a video of the event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5oZ208z7j0
Familiar Scottish Dance faces appeared shortly before the event began in the Armory building's large dance area. Once Elinor took the microphone to begin the dance, the floor immediately filled with folks ready to give it a try. Easy audience participation circle dances (Beside the Seaside, Bramble Circle, and Welcome to the Dance) were followed by a more challenging dance in a square set (The Highlandman's Umbrella) and ended with De'il Amang the Tailors. We saw Darrick Wong, Hannah Garcia, and Ken Dewire (who is a festival volunteer). We especially had fun with Ross and Kay Morrison who hosted us overnight in their home.
Contra Dance operated continuously during the festival with a steady stream of live music and a huge dance floor filled to the brim. We met my former HP San Diego coworker Marty Albini at the Contra dance area. Marty traveled from his home in Bozeman, Montana. I had last seen him twenty years ago.
Seattle Scottish dancers Don and Cathy Meyers led a Scandinavian dance workshop which included the Hambo Turn. The dancing couple in a ballroom "embrace" completes a rapid revolution in three beats with the man performing a footwork sequence that is one beat out of phase with the woman's footwork. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cENGXjO6vjE#t=0m38s
The Hot Square Dance session focused on high energy moves that predate modern Square Dance figures. The "Swing the Star" move begins with two couples dancing right hands across and transitions to also diagonally grasp left hands and commence a more rapid rotation in time with the live music.
Helping with the Scottish dance event entitled us to visit the performers' hospitality area where we were treated to an assortment of snacks and drinks. We overheard various groups jamming with their musical talents.
We explored the architecturally unique EMP Museum building with its colorful and curvy surfaces. The former name of the EMP Museum was Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. A rock concert was in full swing as we cruised the cavernous interior.
We enjoyed sampling the feast of Northwest Folklife 2013 festival activities and we look forward to returning for future festivals. We can visit http://www.nwfolklife.org/festival/ to learn more. Admission price is a voluntary donation of $10 per day.
|Clark County Fair Demonstration|
|by Rebecca Mintz|
SWWA SCDers will be dancing on Sunday, August 11th from 6-6:45pm. I'm still working out the details, but there will be a call for dancers soon. Please contact me at for more information.
Rebecca appreciates as many volunteers, of all levels, as possible. I've danced in this demonstration for a number of years and it is always great fun. ~ The Editor
|Workers Needed for Portland Highland Games|
|by Linda Mae Dennis|
Hi Everyone! The Portland Highland Games are coming up on Saturday, July 20th. They are held at Mount Hood Community College. You can find out more about them here... http://www.phga.org/
Both the Portland and Southwest Washington State Branches participate in the games. The Portland Branch has a demonstration / performance Saturday morning at 9:00am, which includes audience participation. We encourage as many dancers as possible from both Branches to assist.
The Portland Branch also has a table in the shade on the north walkway between the main building and the grandstand. You can stow stuff behind the table, and chat with the Portland Dancers, but try not to get in the way of them talking to curious bystanders. You can help out by talking with curious bystanders and making sure they have literature in their hands before they move on.
Both Branches will have dancers entered in the Kilted Mile, which takes place immediately following the opening ceremonies. Remember to order your t-shirt so that you can be identified with those dancers and be able to chat with the people around you in the stands about Scottish Country Dancing. We encourage as many dancers as possible to be there to cheer on your teammates.
The Southwest Washington State Branch will have a canopy and a cool new banner on the upper field diagonally across the parking lot from the stadium, where the clan tents are. We need volunteers to set up the canopy and put up the banner -- this is not a one man job. We will do audience participation dancing at 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm and possibly at 4:00pm if there is enough interest and the Pipe Band is being quiet. We encourage as many dancers as possible from both Branches to assist. When not dancing, you can help out by talking with curious bystanders and making sure they have literature in their hands before they move on.
We will have tickets to get you into the Games. If you have been attending classes fairly regularly for the past six months and can help out as outlined above, (you don't have to do everything, just let us know what you can do), and you respond to this, you can get one of those tickets!
|Dancing in the Sun!|
|by Lesley Allan and the Wenatchee Scottish Dancers|
We're counting down to the first ever Wenatchee Summer Assembly . . . and hope you can join us! The Wenatchee Scottish dancers invite you to a garden dinner and dance party on Saturday, July 13. We'll "assemble" starting at 4:30pm and the festivities will begin at 5:00pm. We'll provide the barbecue burgers and ice cream sundaes -- please bring a light potluck item to add to the meal.
The party will be held at the home of Bill Wicheta, 841 Red Apple Rd., Wenatchee who can be contacted at 509-662-9067. July weather in Wenatchee can be warm, so dress accordingly. Tennis shoes are recommended for dancing on the lawn. You can find the program and cue sheet on the Seattle Branch website.
We also have plenty of billeting available if you would like to stay over. Please contact Lesley Allan at 509-663-3743 or with questions or to request accommodations.
Hope to see you in July!
The Jubilee Jig 8x32J The White Cockade 8x32R Sean Truibhas Willichan 6x32S Granville Market 8x32J The Belle of Bon Accord 4x32S De'il Amang the Tailors 8x32R Dashing White Sergeant 4x32R Mrs. Stewart's Jig 8x32J The Silver Tassie 8x32S Summer Assembly 1x88R The Laird of Milton's Daughter 8x32J Jean Martin of Aberdeen 3x32S The Reel of the 51st Division 8x32R Extras: Postie's Jig 4x32J The Piper and the Penguin 1x88R
|by Marge MacLeod Van Nus|
--sounds daunting--sounds like work--it's not for me--I'm-a-social-dancer-- 1. Scary, it's not! It is simply good posture with arms comfortably at our sides. And how easy it is to raise a hand on extended arm from the shoulder to greet those we meet in the dance with a handshake. It is knowing where to be, how to phrase formations, with the music. It's being considerate of other dancers when giving hands, either at our own shoulder level or at the level of the shorter dancer. It is moving in unison with a partner. 2. Work, it could be, depending on each individual's desire to dance well, or to the Dance Standard. Turnout of the leg, closing in third position, dancing on the balls of the feet, dancing up over the floor, perfecting a three beat pas-de-basque takes concentrated effort. We all work at our own physical capabilities, striving for improvement. Once 'technique' becomes second nature, the ease with which we dance adds greatly to our enjoyment and frees us to converse with our partner. 3. It's not for me I'm a social dancer. We are all social dancers! - enjoying Scotland's traditional music and dance, which spans many centuries. "Social" implies a gathering of people, enjoying each other's company with polite manners and thoughtful consideration, no matter age, expertise, or physical ability. We give helpful hands, we speak with our eyes as well as our voices and, sometimes, with a slight nod of the head. Because we all enjoy the dance, smiles come easily and automatically. What a joyful way to leave our daily cares behind, live the moment, meshing motion and music, among friends.
It's easy to become sloppy in any interaction between folks in any setting. This is a good set of pointers to help grace our interactions on the dance floor ~ The Editor
|Youth Weekend West|
|by Darrick J. Wong|
In early May, the Southwest Washington State RSCDS branch hosted the annual Youth Weekend West workshop, ceilidh, and ball in Vancouver, Washington. Youth Weekend was started about ten years ago to encourage intermixing of young dancers, typically between the ages of fifteen and thirty, between the various branches on the west coast of North America. This year, there were many participants from Seattle, Bellingham, both Vancouvers, Oregon, and California.
|The Joy of the Dance|
The weekend kicked off on Friday night with a welcome ceilidh. Chris Skagen, a longtime local piper and founder of a local pipe band, piped the dancers into our intimate dance studio. Cynthia Soohoo and Maggie Hannahs, our local musician/dancers, played lively tunes all evening for us to dance to. A great time was had by all, as we danced modern favorites such as The Reel of the Royal Scots and The Piper and the Penguin, and finished off the night with a bouncy polka! There was a fantastic energy in the air that night that will be remembered by all for years to come.
Saturday morning, there were instructional classes to help dancers learn new figures and to hone their technique. In the afternoon, various elective classes were offered, such as the Zombie Dance and folk dances of Normandy. After taking a break, everyone reconvened in the evening at the Southwest Washington branch's annual dinner ball. It was a pleasure to mix young and old dancers on the floor, as the author observed more than a few of the young dancers sneaking in a few flourishes towards the end of the ball! Lisa Scott, Leslie Hirsch, and Linda Danielson helped us dance the night away to their wonderful music.
On Sunday, those who were capable of at least some hobbling joined in for an easygoing class. The dancers learned one of the author's tricky strathspeys, and danced Unstoppable Kate as a tribute to Kathlleen Mintz, the main Youth Weekend West organizer. We organizers are grateful to Linda Mae Dennis and Lea Maiolo for teaching classes.
If you are a dancer who is young in spirit and enjoys energetic dances, please join us at next year's Youth Weekend West! We have not selected a venue for next year, so please stay tuned to http://youthweekendwest.com for details!
As an older participant in that ceilidh, I really appreciated the joy and energy of the evening. The polka was a breathless blast! ~ The Editor
Calendar of Events