The Scottish Country Dancer
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Southwest Washington State Branch
Volume 31 #2
September/October 2014

Articles in This Issue

From the Chair

by John Shaw

We all know the signs: the cottonwoods starting to lose their leaves; clear, crisp dawns with the blanket of mist over the lowlands; days starting to get a bit shorter -- yes, Parents, Kids, and Dancers know: it's back to school time, and classes are about to begin!

And like a little kid, I'm just so eager to get back to class and reunite with my dancing friends, many of whom I haven't seen since classes ended in June. I'm polishing my stockings and washing my ghillies, and getting everything "ship shape" in anticipation of the new class year. I've even started exercising! (It was summertime, and the livin' has been way too easy.)

So, check the Branch Calendar! Dance classes are starting up all over the place, and a couple are in new locations.

On Thursday the 4th, Liza's class starts at the YMCA in Orchards. Then, the next week, on Tuesday the 9th (and on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays thereafter) at the Columbia Dance Center, Marge begins her new (and very intriguing) "Modern Devisors" class, exploring the creations of contemporary dance devisors; followed by Geri's Wednesday class on the 10th at the Marshall Center.

But wait -- there's more! Linda Mae's 1st and 3rd Tuesday "Classics" class at Columbia Dance Center begins on the 16th, while her Social SCD Class at the Columbia Dance Center starts Friday the 19th!

And don't forget the homework! Even before the classes start, there's a Fourth Tuesday Mixer Dance on August 26th, and a Fifth Tuesday Mixer Dance at the end of September. Yeehaw! Bring your friends -- share the "misery" of going back to class!

See you on the dance floor!

The Portland Highland Games Ceilidh

by Layne Russell

At first, when we learned the PHGA had moved our event indoors, I wasn't sure if the audience would comprehend the change. At 3:55 PM, with only a few arriving, when the doors "opened" I was less sure. Then at 4 PM, the room started to fill and indeed I was pleased to see so many interested in SCD.

Marge Van Nus started the first dance and everyone that was new lined up, happily joining the "regulars." I noticed all ages and genders. By the end of the first dance, smiles were on every face. The fun in pattern dancing was spreading around the room. By the end of the second dance, the dancers were intermingling and enjoying the social comradery of SCD.

Thanks to Marge and all of the organizers, and in spite of the heat, the groups danced solidly for over an hour. It was great seeing new faces enjoy SCD for the first, second or more times.

If the reader would like to see more, visit

Scottish Dance at the Y

by Liza Halpenny

Guess what, folks! Liza's Thursday night Scottish Country Dance class will now be held at the Clark County Family YMCA in the Orchards area.

The room is spacious, clean, and air-conditioned, with a sprung wooden floor. There is plenty of parking, and plenty of fun ahead.

Here is the information you need to know:
Time:  Thursdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m., September through June
Level:  Family class for all levels
Price:  $5.00 per class.  No registration or membership required.  You can start any time of the year.
Address:  11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver (just off the intersection of I-205 and SR-500).

As always, no partner or special clothing are required. If you have questions, feel free to contact Liza at or 360-798-3388. Come on down and join the fun – get some exercise, make new friends, add some happy to your life!

New Venue For Friday Scottish Class!

by Linda Mae Dennis

More news! Linda Mae's Friday night Scottish Country Dance class will now be held at Columbia Dance Center in downtown Vancouver.

Here are the stats:
Time:  7:30-9:00 p.m., September through June
Level:  Social class for all levels - preteen through adult
Price:  $5.00 per class.  No registration or membership required.  You can start any time of the dancing year.
Address:  1700 Broadway, Vancouver
See you at the Kick-up-Your-Heels, End-of-the-Week Friday Fun Class!

Questions? Contact Linda Mae at  or 360-609-0623.

These are the dates we will have class September through December...
September 19
September 26
October 3
October 10
October 24
October 31 (if people actually want to show up on Halloween)
November 14
November 21
November 28 (the annual Werk off Yer Turkey Dance!)
December 12
December 19

Secretary Report

by Tom Halpenny

Hello everyone and welcome to a new year of Scottish dancing pleasure. I am beginning a second year as the Branch Secretary. The main responsibility is to document the affairs of the Branch and circulate to members. The Board has collaborated to organize the documents so interested persons can access them on the Branch website. We recently adopted the "Branch Board Notebook" that is the master index to the Branch's records. The web page contains key information about the nonprofit corporation, links to the important Branch documents, and Guidelines and Procedures the Board uses to operate the Branch.

Some of the website document areas require a username and password. The "secure" area has documents that might contain personal information and we want to block web crawler applications from mining personal information like email addresses. None of the information is secret though, so any interested person is welcome to examine the documents. A few documents have been redacted before uploading to the website. The username is "cranberry" and the password is "tart". The current-membership-year member roster and newsletters require entering the current-membership-year username and password.

RSCDS members can similarly access communications from RSCDS headquarters. RSCDS has a goal to improve the connection with its branch members and hopefully grow the membership. RSCDS emails correspondence to branches approximately eight times a year, with a reminder to access the member webpage of branch mailings. The communications include information pertaining to Branch operation and news about RSCDS initiatives. Last year I forwarded the branch mailing emails to the Board and Teacher Committee. This year I would like to forward the branch mailings to everyone in the Branch members roster. We can visit the RSCDS website in order to access the branch mailings.

Please feel free to contact me with any feedback or questions at the Branch's public email at .

A Fairly Wonderful Time

by Liza Halpenny

The crowd was cheerful and ready for action. The dancers brought it on.

This year’s sunny summer performance at the Clark County Fair on August 2nd featured the musical magic of Cynthia Soohoo on keyboard and Nathaniel Soohoo-Hui on fiddle. In his first time playing for us, David Stredwick of the Ft. Vancouver Pipe Band marched the dancers to the stage and also did a solo bagpipe performance in between dances.

Fancy footwork was offered by dancers Elisabeth and Lilyana Soohoo-Hui, Stephen Hui, Holly Gibson, Antonya Pickard, Beverly Klock (her first performance!), Rebecca Mintz, Lanette Pinard, Martin MacKenzie, John Shaw, and Tom and Liza Halpenny. Photos are courtesy of Hannah Soohoo-Hui. John gave an engaging and informative kilt talk. The final dance of the program, Fair Enough, had an enthusiastic response to its debut.

This year we performed on the first weekend of the Fair, rather than our usual second weekend. That meant that we drew the folks who would be attending the Credence Clearwater Revisited concert after our show, rather than Monster Trucks. Did this make a difference in the receptivity of our audience? It’s hard to know, but we do know that it was fun to perform for such a welcoming crowd. Perhaps the several folks who picked up class flyers afterward will be shiny new students in our September classes, and our good friends soon afterward.

To enjoy more photos, please visit

In Marietta

by Martin MacKenzie

Here's another motivation for packing your ghillies when you travel. As SCD is a world-wide phenomenon, often, in many major cities and towns, an SCD dance class or event can be found.

I was in Kennesaw, Georgia on a business trip recently and beforehand was reminded by Sally Palmer and Silvia Priest of the fact that there are still SCD classes running in Marietta through the summer months. I made arrangements through local dancers there and they kindly picked me up at the hotel I was staying and transported me to class.

As in other times such as this, though they really don't know me that well, after overcoming initial shyness, I was welcomed into their midst and proceeded to dance away the rest of the evening with this particular gaggle of fine and gentle people.

Though this may be incidental to the theme of this article generally, I would feel it remiss to not note the list of different dances that were done at last week's class just to highlight the some of the differences one can encounter at a different venue/class:

Bernie's Yellow Flyers A 8X32 Jig
The Clumsy Lover A 8X32 Reel
Trip to Gretna Green A 8X32 Jig
The Dillsburg Jig A 8X32 Jig

As I'm from the west coast of the United States, my cultural background is a bit different from theirs, yet, one finds many commonalities. One of the common themes I've observed throughout my travels is the power that gentle social interaction through the vehicle of dance has to clear away the stresses and struggles people experience day to day. This you can see as the mood of participants changes during the evening and by the end, with very few exceptions there are smiles on most faces and at the minimum, the appearance of stress and worry decreases.

From my experiences, with a little flexibility and an open heart, one can have a great evening with folks, relieve some stress, exercise, and increase one's quota of joy in life. I would heartily recommend traveling with a set of ghillies in your luggage!

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~ Japanese Proverb

Calendar of Events

September 4: YMCA SCD
At the YMCA,
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver, WA (just off the intersection of I-205 and SR-500)
Scottish Country Dance, Thursday 7:30-9:00pm, $5 at the door
No registration or membership required.
Contact Liza by phone at 360-798-3388 or by email at
No registration required.
September 9: Modern Devisors
Columbia Dance Center
1700 Broadway, Vancouver, WA
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m., $5 at the door
Contact Marge, 360-892-4366,

Must have completed a basic SCD class.
September 10: Scottish Country Dance for Everyone
Marshall Center
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver, WA
Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation 360-487-7100
The catalog can be viewed at
Wednesday 7:30-9:00pm, Elm Room
Contact Geri Stuart,
Sept 12-14: Ft. Worden Ruby, Workshop and Ball
RSCDS Seattle's 40th annual weekend workshop and Ball.
Calum MacKinnon (Edmonds, WA), fiddle; Laura Risk (Montreal, QC), fiddle;
Ginny Snowe (Bellingham, WA), bass; Lisa Scott (Portland, OR), piano.
Avril Quarrie (Ségny, France); David Quarrie (Ségny, France);
Lin Pettengill (Half Moon Bay, CA); Tim Wilson (San Francisco, CA).
September 13 - 14: Kelso Highlander Festival
FREE Admission - Don't pass up a whole weekend of Scottish and Celtic fun at the park!
For more details, please visit
September 16: Classic Dances Class
Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver, WA
1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m., $5 at the door
Contact Linda Mae Dennis,
Class may sometimes be preempted, watch for emails.
September 19: Friday SCD
Columbia Dance Studio
1700 Broadway, Vancouver
Scottish Country Dance, Most Fridays 7:30-9:00pm,
Contact LindaMae at for details.
Sept 30: Fifth Tuesday Mixer
Columbia Dance Center, 7:30 pm.
Oct 4: High Desert Ball, in Bend, OR
It's a Party!

The annual workshop and ball hosted by the High Desert Celtic Dancers
will be held at The Redmond Grange at the corner of 7th St. and Kalama St., in Bend, Oregon.
Workshops: Morning and Afternoon day of the Ball and beginning registration at 9:00 AM.

A short ball review for requested dances following the workshop.

The Ball begins at 7:30 PM with the Grand March.

Guest Teacher: Monica Pollard of Boise, Idaho.
Music provided by: A Scottish Heart.
For registration forms and more information, contact Susie at (541) 549-7311 or email at ,
or see their website at

The Program:
Monica's Return Round the room Jig
A Trip To Bavaria Reel, 4X32
Seann Truibhas Willichan Strathspey, 8X32
Cutty Sark Jig, 8X32
1314 Medley, Strathspey 64 bars, Reel 64 bars, square set
Best Set In The Hall Jig, 8X32
Catch The Wind Reel, 8X32
St John River Strathspey, 4X32
The Nurseryman Jig, 8X32
Flowers Of Edinburgh Reel, 8X32
The Three Sisters Strathspey, 8X32
The Bees Of Maggieknockater Jig, 4X32
The Spirit Of The Dance Strathspey, 8X32
A Reel Good Time Reel, 8X32
Sandy O'er The Lea Strathspey, 8X32
Reel Of The Royal Scots Reel, 8X32
Oct 25: SWWS Fall Dance
Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver, WA. 7:30 pm.
Musicians: Cynthia Soohoo and Nathaniel Soohoo-Hui
The dance theme is A Medieval Highland Fling
Hooper’s Jig 32 J 3C MMM II
Delvine Side 32 S C RSCDS Book 2.9
Round Reel of Eight 88 R Sq. set RSCDS Book 27.7
Ladies’ Fancy 32 J 2C RSCDS Book 13.12
Silver Tassie 32 S 3C Leaflet
Maxwell’s Rant 32 R 3C RSCDS Book 18.10
Postie’s Jig 32 J 4C set Omskirk Scottish Country Dance Bk. 5
Rakes of Glasgow 32 S 3C RSCDS Book 11.11
Capt. MacDonald’s Fancy 32 R 3C RSCDS Book 7.9
Machine without Horses 32 J 3C RSCDS Book 12.12
MacDonald of the Isles 32 S 3C set Haynes
Sleepy Maggie 32 R 3C RSCDS Book 11.5
  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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