The Scottish Country Dancer
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Southwest Washington State Branch
Volume 30 #3
November/December 2013

Articles in This Issue
Branch Dance for RSCDS Book 49 Back To The 50s, With a Twist
A Study in Tartan Ten Top Things That Make A Good Dancer
Fifth Tuesday Mixer for All Dancers Scottish Dance Road Trip 2013 to Oregon High Desert
Kate Prouty and Bryan Jones Wedding Come As A Dance
Old Friends Meet Calendar of Events
Branch Dance for RSCDS Book 49
by Tom Halpenny

The Management Board has invited Branch and Associate members to devise a dance to test for the upcoming RSCDS Book 49. This is the first step in the process to publish a new RSCDS book of dances in 2015. Each Branch may submit a single dance to RSCDS for consideration, so we will be holding a competition to select the dance that our Branch will submit. Dances will be tested in Linda Mae's class at Columbia Dance Center on November 5, November 19, and December 3.

The following mailing from RSCDS contains the submission criteria for dances.

Please email your dance to Geri Stuart at .

Dances need to be received by the following dates in order to prepare them for testing in the dance classes.

Deadline #1: Nov 1 for Nov 5 testing Deadline #2: Nov 15 for Nov 19 testing Deadline #3: Nov 29 for Dec 3 testing

Each person may submit one dance, with additional submissions considered on a time-available basis.

Feel free to contact Linda Mae Dennis with any questions at .

We look forward to testing some fun dances!

A Study in Tartan
by Molly McFriday

Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In writing about Ft. Worden in the past, the usual procedure has been to review the day’s events, talk about how fantastic the music was, and how much fun everyone had. This year's report is a little different. Instead of just saying everyone had a lot of fun, heres a short anecdote to illustrate how those in attendance did not want to leave because they were enjoying the dancing and music too much. Remember that all names used are aliases and any resemblance to their real names is purely coincidental.

Several of the Portland/Southwest Washington contingent were quite happy to sit on the sidelines, enjoy the music (an absolutely heavenly sound provided by Waverley Station), and watch everyone else dance. One of the group who had been dancing, Ron, came over and asked those who were sitting when they wanted to leave. He didn’t want them to be bored while the others were having fun dancing. As is usually the case, there was a lot of background noise and Ron did not hear Lindy's response that sitting and listening was quite pleasant and there was no hurry, nor did he hear her question asking for the name of the last dance.

Instead, Ron heard "We’re enjoying the music and we can stay until the last dance." With a gleeful look akin to that of a small boy who's just been told he can play baseball as long as he wants and doesn’t have to do his homework, Ron ran back to his partner in the set. At this point, Sandra came over and wanted to know why Ron was dancing again. He ran back over from the set and said, "They" (indicating those sitting) "said it was fine to stay until the last dance." To which Lindy said, "No that’s not what I said. I said what was the name of the last dance?" By this point Ron had to stay and dance (rats!), and then the group stayed for one more dance after that. Some of us, who shall remain nameless (fake or otherwise) would have been happy to stay until the very end, but all good things must come to an end and it was time for the coach to turn back into a pumpkin and return to real life. Until next year, that is.

Fifth Tuesday Mixer for All Dancers
by Tom Halpenny


The Branch hosted twenty dancers for the October 29 Fifth Tuesday Mixer event at Columbia Dance Center. We welcomed four first time dancers: Kathleen, Ann, Gail, and Brianna.

Rebecca Mintz has formerly led the mixer dances, with her trademark "man band" ties and, "It'll be FUN!" But she is away. Rebecca, just to show you how much we miss you, it took four dance teachers to take your place. Marge, Geri, Liza, and Linda Mae rotated to lead five dances and closed with the happy "Oslo Waltz" circle dance, and social time with refreshments.

Thank you all for attending the fun activity. The larger gathering is more fun for our social friendships.

Kate Prouty and Bryan Jones Wedding
by Tom Halpenny

It is rare for Scottish dancer friends to find romance among themselves. Katherine Anne Prouty and Bryan Dean Jones were married 7:00pm October 25th at the Woodland Baptist Church. Twenty six Scottish dancer friends attended the delightful celebration.


Kate and Bryan met at the Happy Hoppers square dance lesson in the Fall of 2012. Kate had also been Scottish dancing for three years. Bryan began learning Scottish dance January 2013 in Liza Halpenny's Battle Ground dance class. Kate likes to give Liza credit for encouraging the romance. Liza, Tom, Kate, and Bryan double dated and attended the musical play Rock of Ages at Portland's Keller Auditorium May 31st The couple announced their engagement August 9th at the Clark County Fair performance practice.


The wedding venue displayed photos highlighting Kate's and Bryan's courtship. Among the photos was the July 20th Portland Highland Games Kilted Mile performance when they were among a team of five Scottish dancers who surprised the audience with Scottish dance figures while running the race.

After the wedding, the Joneses departed for a honeymoon in Oahu, Hawaii, where they planned another beach-side wedding ceremony for Bryan's family who lives there. The couple planned to visit the Hawaii Scottish dance branch in Honolulu.

Kate's parents Myron and Hope Prouty raise cattle on their farm in La Center. Bryan's parents John and Karen Harper of Vancouver are also square dancers.


Old Friends Meet
by Linda Mae Dennis


The Fort Worden weekend did not disappoint, as usual. We enjoyed good company on the way there and back (seven travelers and two cars went from our area), and the dancing, learning, and camaraderie were excellent as usual. What’s really great about these dancing weekends is meeting up with old friends and finding friends you hadn't met yet.

This year I was very pleased to find that our longtime friend and dancer, Karin Wagstaff, was also at Fort Worden. For four years, Karin attended school in Portland, learning to be a Naturopathic Doctor, and in spite of her heavy school schedule, she rarely missed a dance class. Her ready smile and bubbly personality were always welcome.


She now lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. Patrick and I were in that area near the end of August, but were unable to connect with Karin. It is a beautiful area. Mountains are always part of the backdrop in BC. In much of BC, the valleys between the mountains are so filled with large lakes that the roads skirt the shorelines, and the houses are tucked in wherever there’s a little space. Where Karin lives, in the Okanagan, the valley is wide. There are still large lakes at the bottom, but on either side of the lakes, there is a wide expanse of nearly flat land filled with orchard upon orchard of apples, pears, plums, peaches, and apricots, as well as vineyards. It is just beautiful. We drove through Kelowna and got a look at where Karin has her practice. Karin had planned to join her Naturopath husband, Craig’s practice upon completion of her education here. Upon Craig’s untimely death, Karin had to take over completely to keep the business going. She says it is now doing well, and she LOVES her job, and that each day brings new challenges and opportunity.


Karin continues to dance in Kelowna and is still thinking about and working on becoming a Scottish Country Dance teacher.

This editor was unable to go to Ft. Worden this year but was very happy to hear that Karin had made it and our group was able to make contact with her.


Back To The 50s, With a Twist
by Liza Halpenny

The jukebox was fired up, our saddle shoes were polished, and spirits were in full swing at our Fall Dance on October 26th. 37 energetic Scottish Country dancers and 4 spectators, in a clever and colorful array of 50s attire, warmed up the Columbia Dance Center until late into the evening.

On the keyboard was rockin' mama Cynthia Soohoo, accompanied by boppin' birthday boy Nathaniel on the fiddle. Their back-up crew was Linda Lindley, dance chair extraordinaire, sound man Patrick Hogan, dance briefers Marge van Nus and Linda Mae Dennis, emcee Liza Halpenny, and door maven Van Meter Hord.

The dance program, devised by Rebecca Mintz to be friendly toward beginner and old hands alike, attracted attendants from as far away as Bend and Seattle. Dancers who just started classes in September surprised themselves with their ability. Swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts, a hornpipe written by our own Holly Gibson, challenged and delighted us right through an encore.

If you were unlucky enough to miss out on this fantastic event, you will have another chance to kick up your ghillies at our Betwixt & Between dance and ceilidh on December 28th. Be there or be square.


Ten Top Things That Make A Good Dancer
by Marge MacLeod Van Nus

---here adapted to Scottish Country Dance by Marge McLeod van Nus, excerpted from Jonathan Sivier's (et al) list for Contra Dancers. With Thanks and apology.


1.    Is always on time for the next figure by dancing with the music, on the beat, and with the   
       proper phrase.
2.    Moves smoothly through the figures and helps their partner phrase with them.

3.    Gives good eye contact with all dancers in the set. "If you feel like it, flirt with people you
       meet, it's fun and non-fattening".
4.    Can recover if the set breaks down; knows to skip a figure and when and where to pick up
       the next, with the musical cue.
5.    Is considerate and supportive; does not physically force other dancers, gives firm arms and
       a handshake hold (modified as necessary).
6.    Can dance the opposite part, will fill in sets on either side as necessary.

7.    Avoids reckless movement, fancy spins and twirls; dances in their own space, not intruding 
       on another dancer or in another set.
8.    Is courteous, listens quietly to the teaching (or briefing) and follows instruction; lets the
       teacher sort out problems the dancers may have.
9.    Anticipates the next figure and executes transitions smoothly.

10.  Dances equally well as a supporting member of the set (ie. 1st or 2nd corners) knowing
       when and where to join the next figure as the music and dance dictate.

Scottish Dance Road Trip 2013 to Oregon High Desert
by Tom Halpenny

Four Scottish dancers from Vancouver/Portland traveled together to Redmond Oregon for the 2013 Oregon High Desert Workshop and Ball, with the theme "Just for the Fun of It".

John Shaw, Martin MacKenzie, Liza and Tom Halpenny departed Friday and visited a small town with the curious name Boring, where we lunched at "You Are What You Eat". We visited "Red Pig Tools" where we met the owner and purchased his hand-made "blackberry hook" tool for Liza to control the blackberry vines.

The group proceeded to Redmond and arrived at Fred Kowolowski's home where we were hosted for two nights. Fred joined us for a walk along the canyon floor near his home, then all headed to a restaurant for dinner.

We arrived at the Redmond Grange for the Saturday workshop and ball. Workshop guest teacher Marjorie McLaughlin from the San Diego branch shared how Scottish dance figures were originally done, "just for fun". There used to be regional variations for some figures, and RSCDS has standardized them. In some cases, the first known dance that used a figure needed to change from how the figure was originally danced. The following examples were covered.

"Turn corners and partner" alternately turns corner right-hand, partner left 1-1/4, corner right, partner cross left to own side. We observe if we reverse the order of taking hands to begin with left-hand, then the initial turn-partner is easier with a 3/4 turn: turn corner left-hand, partner right 3/4, corner left, partner cross right to own side.

"Set and turn corners" is danced entirely with pas-de-basque footwork, which can be physically challenging to travel the required distance. A regional variation was set to corners and skip-change while turning corners.

"Poussette" danced with pas-de-basque begins with the man mirroring partner by initially stepping on the left foot instead of the right. Although the mirroring footwork makes sense for the "strathspey poussette", the quick-time figure can require the man to uncomfortably change weight while transitioning to the next figure, and partners might tap toes during the jete.

We returned to Fred's home to rest and prepare for the evening ball. Local Celtic band "A Scottish Heart" piped in the dancers and provided music for the relaxed program of familiar dances. We enjoyed socializing with friends from Bend, Eugene, and Portland. The after party back at Fred's home was conveniently located a very short distance from our lodging.

The Bend Scottish Dance group hosted a farewell brunch in Sisters Sunday morning, where we had a final visit with dance friends. We proceeded west over the mountains and stopped for a tour of the new Suttle Lake lodge.

Fred and I have been promoting a cross-cultural SCD exchange since 2006 by attending each other's dance group's events and bringing friends to support the group. Fred has already return visited this year's Southwest Washington State Branch Fall dance, and Hazel Ryan also attended. Please consider joining us for next year's Scottish Dance Road Trip to Oregon High Desert. Perhaps you can suggest a fun place to visit on the way there or on the way home.

Come As A Dance
by Martin MacKenzie

The most recent dance party with the Portland Branch in Lake Oswego was a themed party, "Come As A Dance." To be honest, I was terribly distracted most of the evening thus much of it went by without much sticking in my memory but some rather fantastical creations. They were, as my kids would say, awesome. If you want to see them all in action, please click the link:

Calendar of Events

November 9: Bizarre Bazaar
Time for the Bizarre Bazaar Sale and Dance!

Bring your items for sale to support the upcoming workshop and ball.
The Scottish Heart will be playing live music for us.
Starts at 7:30pm
It will be held at Waluga Hall, 417 2nd St., Lake Oswego, OR

Mrs Stewart's Jig (8x32J) Frans Ligtmans, RSCDS Book 35
Autumn in Appin (4x32S) John Drewry, RSCDS Book 31
Flowers of Edinburgh (8x32R) RSCDS Bk 1
Jennifer's Jig (8x32J) John Drewry, Silver City Book
Delvine Side (8x32S, 3c/4c set) W Campbell RSCDS Bk 2
Mairi's Wedding (8x40R) James Cosh, 22 Scottish Country Dances (and 2 more)
Enniskillen Dragoons (4x32J) Tom Isbiki, Jean Patrick Collection
Hope Little's Strathspey (3x32S) Roy Goldring, Graded and Social Dances
Bratach Bàna (8x32R) John Drewry, Bon Accord Book
The Frisky (8x32J) R Bremner RSCDS Bk 26
Anna Holden's Strathspey (8x32S) John Drewry, RSCDS Book 42
Mr. Michael Bear's Reel (8x32R) S Phillips, 2nd Graded Books
December 14: Portland Dance Party
Second Saturday Portland Dance Party

Starts at 7:30pm
It will be held at Waluga Hall, 417 2nd St., Lake Oswego, OR

The Provost Wynd (8x32R 3C (4C set)) R. Goldring, 24 Graded and Social Dances
Strathmore (4x40S (4C set)) J. Drewry, RSCDS Bk 43
Sandy Butterly (4x48J (4C set)) M. Brandon
General Stuart's Reel (8x32R 3C (4C set)) C. Menzies, RSCDS Bk 10
First Love (3x32S) Joan Baker, Los Angeles Branch; Let’s All Dance, Too, No. 10
The Blackadder Jig (8x32J 3C (4C set)) M. Johnstone, Blackadder Coll
Enniskillen Dragoons (4x32J) Tom Isbiki, Jean Patrick Collection
Hope Little's Strathspey (3x32S (3C set)) R. Goldring, Graded and Social Dances 2
Florrie’s Fancy (3x32R) Melissa Stewart, Linda and Don Gertz, December 18, 1991; RSCDS Portland Branch, 20th Anniversary Collection, No. 4
Mrs Stewart's Jig (8x32J) Frans Ligtmans, RSCDS Book 35
Autumn in Appin (4x32S) John Drewry, RSCDS Book 31
Flowers of Edinburgh (8x32R) RSCDS Bk 1
December 28: Betwixt-and-Between Dance
Starts at 7:30pm
Will be at Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver, WA
April 26, 2014: Dinner Dance, 2014
Save the date!
  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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