The Scottish Country Dancer
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Southwest Washington State Branch
Volume 38 #4
January/February 2022

Articles in This Issue


From the Chair

by John Shaw

The recent Betwixt-n-Between Ceilidh and Dance is still fresh in our memories, and, considering the rest of 2021, maybe we'll just stay with that wonderful memory. It was a very nice way to end that year, and was very well received by the dancers. Some comments I've seen:

Ah, more dances? Well, while we are tentatively planning some near-future dances, we are proceeding cautiously, keeping aware of the "variant of the month" and weighing the concerns of the many people involved -- musicians, teachers, dancers, venue hosts. Currently, we have two dances that we are considering:

The planning for both these dances is on-going, and we will continue to update the calendar webpage with the latest status of these events. So, keep checking the calendar.

One last item for this spring: You may have heard of a proposal to re-open Friday dance classes at the Columbia Dance Center in January. As it currently stands, there will be no Friday class this spring. If this changes, we will update the class webpage with the new info. Tom's Tuesday Social Dance class will continue to meet Tuesday nights, open to fully vaccinated dancers, per the current Branch Covid-19 Safety Policy.

Betwixt & Between In-person Dance and Ceilidh

by Tom Halpenny
Happy New Year!

The December 30 Betwixt & Between dance and ceilidh was Southwest Washington State Branch's first in-person safely-gathered dance since February 2020. Two sets of dancers practiced their teamwork skills for an hour of dancing, followed by a half hour of seven ceilidh acts composed of poems, jokes, stories, Sasquatch gifts, and a lesson in photography tricks. The evening finished with delicious refreshments.

Donna Belle and Cynthia Soohoo organized the festive event and Liza Halpenny led the dancing to send off 2021. Susan Shaw observed, "It was like a family reunion and a lovely time to share so much with each other." Happy New Year!

Many Thanks to All For a Wonderful Dance

by Cynthia Soohoo

What a great time it was to dance together and party in person!

I so appreciate and value the leadership of our Board members John, Donna, Tom, Paula, and Liza. I know it was hard to make the call as to whether the dance could even take place safely (given the weather), so there was a lot of agonizing in the two days prior. Thank you all for working together to come to a well-considered and harmonious decision. We have a great Board!

Another bunch of special people consists of all our ceilidh performers! Thanks to all who said "yes" to the call for ceilidh acts: John, Susan, Martin, Eunice, Donna, TomH, and Sally. I enjoyed the variety of talents shared last night! I regret that we ran out of time for TomH to introduce us to international folk dancing. Another time, TomH, please! I suspect I will never forget some of the images brought to mind by the story of Sam McGee, and, when I bake, I will never view brown sugar the same!

Here are the Ceilidh performers and their contributions:

Liza and Tom made special contributions through their curated dance and music selections, providing the write-ups and cribs, running the dancing, and picking up a lot of loose ends, like bringing paraphernalia needed for the party. (Name tags, pens, paper cups, water dispenser, table linens, etc., etc.) Now that I've mentioned some specific things, it's a good bet that I've accidentally omitted other things they did. Scouting road conditions comes to mind. At any rate, Tom and Liza deserve a big round of applause!

Creating a Wall of Lights

Last, but not least, was our impromptu decorating crew. I apologize that the decorating was more involved than I had thought, thanks (not) to those twisted wires; but I appreciate how you all pitched in and rolled with the punches: Akana, TomM, Stephen, Sydney, Donna, and Martin.

Special mention goes to Dance Co-Chair Donna, who got her first taste of dance chairing. She is a valuable leader and contributor as well a joy to work with. Thank you, Donna!

Last night's event was another demonstration of how our Branch excels at team work. Well done, all.

Ceilidh Contribution

by Donna Belle

The country dance form can be thought of as an exquisite vessel,
in itself beautiful in shape, yet highly abstract.
We can choose to fill this vessel with whatever meaning we like.
If we like, we can pursue a particular friendship;
we can rejoice in a sense of community;
we can see in the music and the dance the highest of spiritual values;
we can see it as good fun.
The dance is all of these and greater than all of them.

Carl Whitman (1943-1986)

Zooming into the Future

by Sally Palmer

For nearly two years
We've danced on Zoom
But there's not much space
In my living room.

I was often confused
Didn't know what to think
When the picture and music
Were all out of sync.

And the ghosts in my house
Were not very bright
They messed up the figures -
Just couldn't get it right.

You should have seen them
Attempt the grand chain
Getting back to my place
Nearly drove me insane!

I'm glad to be back here
No longer on Zoom
With real human partners
Right here in this room!

Calendar of Events

Feb 12, 2022: Déjà Vu Scottish Dance
Note the NEW date!

Columbia Dance Center, 1700 Broadway, Vancouver, WA.,7:30-9:30 p.m. $10 at the door.
Musicians: Cynthia Soohoo, piano; Nathaniel Soohoo-Hui, fiddle!

The Program:
The Machine Without Horses 32 J 3 RSCDS Book 12
Triple Happiness 32 S 3 RSCDS Book 52
The Engine Room 32 R 3 Wallace, The San Andreas Collection
The Lady Wynd 32 J 3 Goldring, Graded and Social Dances 2
Delvine Side 32 S 3 RSCDS Book 2; RSCDS Thirty Popular Dances, Vol 2
Da Rain Dancin' 32 R 3 Wallace, The Whiteadder Collection; RSCDS Thirty Popular Dances, Vol 2
Oslo Waltz W
Cribs: here, and
Danciemation Videos: here.
April 30, 2022: Maybe a Dinner Dance!
Yes, we are dreaming of a Dinner Dance in the Spring! Dreaming, thinking about it, and making little plans, to be ready if the opportunity presents itself.

Keep checking back -- we will post information as it becomes definite!

"Dancers are the athletes of God." -- Albert Einstein

  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:  
  John Shaw
  PO Box 2438
  Battle Ground, WA 98604
  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 John Shaw, PO Box 2438 Battle Ground, WA 98604, . 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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