The Scottish Country Dancer
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Southwest Washington State Branch
Volume 38 #5
March/April 2022

Articles in This Issue


Message from the Chair

by John Shaw
the Pandemic Spread

This newsletter is a few days late this time, as I wanted to get into this issue the latest information we have about our upcoming Dinner, that is, Dessert, I mean Spring Dance. Yes, on April 30th, we will be hosting our 36th annual ... something Dance!

Why the conundrum with the name? As has been said a few times (perhaps a few times too many?), these are, ahem, uncertain times. We may have become somewhat used to the pandemic uncertainty of the past couple of years. But now, with the anticipated easing of masking restrictions, we have a new set of unknowns as we begin what may become a return to some kind of ... normal. Yet, some things have changed and we will need time to adjust.

For example, and with regard to the "Dinner Dances" of yore, the wonderful caterer who provided the dinners for our past Dinner Dances appears to have disappeared. And perhaps it is too early in the "easing" of things for us to sit down comfortably with each other for a dinner, anyway? Ah, what to do?

How about a "Dessert Dance", as we did with last year's Zoom-hosted event? That's a nice name, isn't it? Yes, but we wish to encourage local dancers to bring desserts to share, and not have the name imply that you need a dessert for admission. So, here we are -- a Dance with Dessert After! And, since we aren't going to have a dinner this year, we will not require pre-registration -- just pay at the door.

The details -- as we have them so far, with our apologies -- are in the Calendar entry for April 30th (and keep checking back for all the latest, as we post new information). We are very pleased to return to St Luke's Episcopal Church (for the great floor and wonderful accoustics) and are very excited to have Lisa Scott and her Fine Companions as the in-person musicians for the evening. We hope to see you there.

This hoped-for return to dancing will undoubtedly come by fits and starts, and dancers all and each have their own parameters of safety and health -- not everyone is ready to return to dancing given current and projected circumstances. To those waiting until later, we understand, and we miss you, and look forward to dancing with you again when you are ready.

Scottish Dancing for Fitness - Dance List Memory Skill

by Tom Halpenny

Dancing is my health care plan. My model for a long life is to keep moving and have low stress.
Dancing – moving to music – provides effortless motivation and accomplishes both factors.

Tom solo dancing Donut Run SCD dance list for the first time

I have frequently Scottish danced the Donut Run playlist of 22 dances traveling 5500 pedometer steps in one hour for continuous movement to a recording of beautiful Scottish dance music. Movement at 90 steps/minute is more aerobic compared with an average 40 steps/minute for a typical Scottish dance class. The learned dances are danced without a brief and require memorizing
the dance list and choreography.

I solo dance three-couple dances in a four-couple set as
1st couple, 1st couple, 3rd couple, 2nd couple, playing music four times each dance. I dance the Man or Woman role each session for variety. With practice I am able to minimize choreography memory lapses.

I initially followed a printed 22-dance list as a reminder. I viewed an online memory recall course and learned the
Sun List association method to memorize the dance list. According to the course and the metalearning book Limitless by Jim Kwik, association is the key to memory and to all of learning. In order to learn any new piece of information,
it must be associated with something you already know. The more you know, the easier it is to make associations.

We first learn the Sun List words related to numbers from 1 thru 21 that stimulate forming mental images with the emotional side of the brain. The table displays the Dance List of 22 titles, the Sun List words, and my personal
Memory Associations of the Dance List and Sun List items as examples. The Memory Associations relate to my personal knowledge of some of the dances; another person would imagine their own set of Memory Associations.

The Harvey Mudd College Alumni Association hosted a Virtual Donut Run event during April 2021 with the goal to complete 8.5 miles, the distance from Harvey Mudd College to The Donut Man bakery – one way. I explored the goal to dance the distance in our dining room with three folk dance forms and I Scottish danced over 2.5 miles in one hour.

Memory Associations to relate Dance List to Sun List with mental images

Scottish or Square . . . Fun Was in the Air

by Liza Halpenny

[This article is reprinted from the May/June 2014 issue of The Scottish Country Dancer. ~Ed.]

We just never stop finding ways to have fun around here. And some of the best fun is making new friends while we share our love of dancing with each other. Several of us had a chance to do just that at a Dance-O-Rama on March 30th at Fairway Village in east Vancouver. The event was orchestrated by Elsie Bartling and Connie Sanders, who live in the Fairway Village community and run a square dance club there on Monday afternoons. They wanted to get their neighbors interested in making new friends and getting some exercise, so they put on a showcase of dancing.

Marge van Nus, Susan and John Shaw, Martin MacKenzie, and Tom and Liza Halpenny were joined by Norma Rice and Carol and Danny Williamson to demonstrate Scottish Country Dance. Here are tastes of two of the dances we did: Black Donald, and Neidpath Castle,

The event also included bluegrass music and yodeling, clogging, the River City Riders (square dance on horseback) and regular people-only square dancing. After the demonstrations, we were all treated to a square dance lesson. The Scottish Country Dancers surprised people with how quickly they caught onto square dancing. Well, no surprise to us, of course.

Hopefully we will have more opportunities in the future to mingle with friends who do other types of folk dancing. Cross-culture explorations are always enriching.

(Note, the photos are by Ed Smith.)

Calendar of Events

April 30, 2022: April Dance!
Hosted by The RSCDS Southwest Washington State Branch
An evening of dancing, with Desserts after.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church
426 E. Fourth Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA

Dancing begins at 7:30pm

Musicians: Lisa Scott (piano) and the band, Fine Companions.
The Program:
The Comeback Jig 8x32 J Brunken, Moments in Time
Early Spring 3x32 S Neves, World Wide Weavings
Let's Ride 8x32 R Dennis, Leaflet
Great Expectations 8x32 J Hunt, Let's All Dance, No. 16
Well Met 8x32 S Simmonds, Silver Threads
Summer Wooing 8x32 R RSCDS Book 38, No. 6
Ciamar A Tha (How Are You?) 8x32 J Goldring, Auld Friends Meet, No. 32
Many Happy Returns 8x32 S Briscoe, Slip Knot Coll.
Ye Ken it Well 8x32 R McMurtry, Devil's Quandary
New Year Jig 8x32 J RSCDS Book 51, No. 8
Friendships 4x32 S RSCDS 3rd Graded Book, No.3
Da Rain Dancin' 8x32 R Wallace, RSCDS 30 Popular Dances Vol 2
Piece of Cake 4x32 J Dee, Let's All Dance Too, No. 38
The Dancing Bees 4x32 R Goldring, 24 Graded and Social Dances

No reservations needed. Pay at the door (cash or check): Dancers, suggested donation $15-$25. Spectators, $5.

The Cribs are here, and
the Danciemation Videos are here.

In a society that worships love, freedom, and beauty, dance is sacred. It is a prayer for the future, a remembrance of the past, and a joyful exclamation of thanks for the present. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

  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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