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Irene's question of Waltz Country Dance prompted me to ask a question regarding
Queen Victoria's Quadrilles. I love the music and formations of this dance, and
the general shift from sameness to something very different in Country Dance.
My question to those who have learned/taught the dance -- what steps were used
for travelling? The written directions, and the way I originally learned the
dance called for a step step close. But a noted RSCDS instructor taught this
dance in a workshop setting as a step close step -- of course this was far
easier to get through to the RSCDS dancer psyche of skip change or strathspey.
My class invariably falls all over themselves when dancing step step close.
The same thing happens with the Minuet step used in the Yellow Haired Laddie.
Should I give up on the step step close technique to make these dances more
available/acceptable to the class, or is that too much of a compromise. I
personally enjoy the change of technique, and I often use these dances to shift
the attention of experienced dancers back to their feet and their personal
technique. Perhaps this is too esoteric a topic for the group, but I've
often thought about this.
Courtney Cartwright writes:
> The written directions, and the way I originally learned the
> dance called for a step step close. But a noted RSCDS instructor
> Taught this dance in a workshop setting as a step close step
There is another noted RSCDS instructor whose class I have been
known to attend on a Monday night and who, if I danced step close
step in Queen Victoria, would be immediately alongside me with some
very pertinent comments for all to hear (she knows I can take it -
Hi Linda!) It is definitely step step close in that class.
In Queen Victoria's Quadrilles the travelling step should
definitely be step, step, close.
I know most country dancers find this difficult but if you really
listen to the music is it not such a problem! Please don't give
up trying to get your dancers to master the step - you will all
have great fun trying and some will succeed!
I, too, love the music and formations of this dance and revel in
its elegant style.
Scottish Country Dancing is about much more than Reels, Jigs and
Strathspeys - let's keep all the variety we have.
I'm so glad other people feel this way... I often feel like I'm struggling
alone to popularize or at least familiarize these different types of dance.
It's often easier just to give in and dish out all the Drewry dances one can
find. I run against a great deal of resisistance to the older dances because
they don't flow as nicely as modern dances, or because the size of steps must
constantly be modified to make the dance work. I love the modern dances as
well, but not to the extent of losing all skill at the traditional dances.
(Courtney Cartwright writes)...
I run against a great deal of resisistance to the older dances because they
don't flow as nicely as modern dances, or because the size of steps must
constantly be modified to make the dance work.
Interesting. Just yesterday, the Book-A-Month class reviewed the the first
part of the _Eighteenth Century Book_ and it was quite well received!
For those of you outside the San Francisco area, B-A-M is a SF Branch
institution - each month a group of dancers (all levels, except new
beginners) review the dances from one of the RSCDS books and then "grades"
them according to the following scale: GREAT!, Good, So-So, and UGH! Since
the class has been going for several years and has done all of the RSCDS
books, they've recently moved on to other material. Carolyn Hunt and Alan
Twhigg are the current class teachers. I was only there for the last half of
the class, but all the dances were rated in the GREAT! to Good category and I
was told that the dances in the first half were rated similarly. No
Courtney, et al -
I have had mixed success and interesting results in teaching some of the
'different' dances. One evening I took the Strip the Willow and taught it as
a 6/8 jig with skip change, then taught the running step and we did it as a
9/8. The less imaginative dancers disliked the change, the others decided
they liked the 9/8 running.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH
Sylvia et al:
I frequently use the Slip Jig version of the Strip the Willow as
a warm-up in a social class. Otherwise, many of the dancers would not
appear or be deep in conversation at the start of class. Most of my
dancers like the easy movement and simple dance as opposed to formal
exercises. I am now looking for a Haymakers music in 9/8 time to
alternate with the Strip the Willow. Suggestions welcome!
> I have had mixed success and interesting results in teaching some of the
> 'different' dances. One evening I took the Strip the Willow and taught it as
> a 6/8 jig with skip change, then taught the running step and we did it as a
> 9/8. The less imaginative dancers disliked the change, the others decided
> they liked the 9/8 running.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH
R. G. (Greg) Hughes
53 Lewis Point Blvd
Charlottetown, PE C1E 1L8
On Mon, 29 Jan 1996 ReelLass@aol.com wrote:
> (Courtney Cartwright writes)...
> I run against a great deal of resisistance to the older dances because they
> don't flow as nicely as modern dances, or because the size of steps must
> constantly be modified to make the dance work.
> Interesting. Just yesterday, the Book-A-Month class reviewed the the first
> part of the _Eighteenth Century Book_ and it was quite well received!
> . . . . . . all the dances were rated in the GREAT! to Good category
> and no stinkers!
"Scottish Country Dances of the Eighteenth Century" was derived from a ms
dated 1740 in the Bodleian library, Oxford by Jack McConachie, Fellow of
the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Inc. (Scottish Country Dance
Branch). The first edition of his eighteenth century book was published in
In his foreword he says, "In some instances it had been necessary
for me to adapt the phrasing of the Dances in this book to take into account
the change in musical outlook since their publication in 1740, and in
order to conform with the present day trends in Scottish Country Dancing.
In some cases the repeats of movements had been reduced, but at all times
the original character and style of the Dances has been carefully studied
and retained, to enable the Dances to be performed as closely to their
origianl conception as the change in period will permit."
He does not point out that in 1740 the dances were done in a long set
with only the top couple starting and the others talking to their partner
while waiting their turn to join in the dance. Nor does he point out
that figures of eight were changed to reels because even in the 1950's
the second and third couples wanted to dance more than called for in the
original eighteenth century version. But then we can talk to other
people even when we are not their dancing partner.
I believe that the eighteenth century book rates high because Jack
McConachie was a suberb dancer, excellent choreographer, and thoughtful
Priscilla Burrage (email@example.com)
Vermont USA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I was glad to hear someone point out that the 18th Century book currently
being discussed in relationship to the Book of the Month club was infact NOT
an RSCDS publication. By 1960 when it was published there may have been some
discontent with the way in which the RSCDS was interpreting old manuscripts,
which may have been the reason why Mr. McConachie chose to publish his
through the Imperial Society, Scottish dance division. In any case, once
while in Scotland I heard from a reliable source that Miss M. was not happy
that the MSS was published elsewhere, but that is old history and I submit it
as contextural gossip and not as a criticism of her or anyone involved with
interpretation in the RSCDS at the time!
I am looking for a complete list of dances published from the Menzies Mss
There are several well known favorites in the RSCDS books (General Stuarts
Reel, Ye're Welcome Charley Stuart, Miss Clemy Stuart, etc.), but I'd
appreciate hearing from anyone who knows the full contents of the MSS, or
knows where I can access it.
On the evening of June 2nd, the evening following the Blair Castle Ball,
which is on June 1st, I have permission to have a dance in the restored
ballroom at Menzies Castle. Musicians will be Elke Baker and Liz Donaldson,
and I would like to have a program of as many Menzies MSS dances as possible.
To my knowledge, this is the first time there will be a SCD Ball at Menzies,
which is historically important to the RSCDS tradition.
Tickets for both dances are included in my "Dancing in Scottish Castles"
tour; contact me for more information. I may have some individual tickets for
the Menzies Castle dance for dancers who will be in Scotland during that time
period; contact me via email directly please at FarMcTrav@aol.com, or in
Scotland contact Linda Gaul:
Yours in dancing
This has nothing to do with quadrilles... but I saw your message and was
reminded I needed to write to you!
I'm interested in finding out (info only at this point) about a round trip
ticket Boston-Prague this summer. I would like to leave on Monday, July 15
(actually I'm *supposed* to leave on the 12th, but I'll be at Pinewoods).
Return is flexible, I'd like something between August 1 and August 6. Delta
is my favorite because of my miles, but price is actually more important.
Do you have access to Czech train schedules? I actually am going to Poland,
but the Prague is closer to where I'm going than Warsaw is. I've taken the
train to Poprad in Slovakia before, but the only train I know of leaves
Prague around 6:30 in the morning, and my flight won't have arrived yet....
As I said, I'm already going to be a couple of days late, so the less late I
am the better!
Second, I'm going to play with Tullochgorum for the Chicago weekend! I'm
sure Barbara wants everyone to fly to Midway, but I'm curious about fares to
South Bend, Indiana because the weekend is held in Valparaiso, Indiana,
closer to South Bend, and the real reason I care is I grew up in South Bend
and my brother still lives there. So if I can cop a day in South Bend out
of this trip, I'd be happy. I can only do it if there's not much fare
Third, I hope you still consider me for one of your trips some day! I know
I'm sort of an odd quantity, since I'm not really in a known ensemble at
this point, but I'd sure like to go if there's ever a chance. (Not that I
really have a mean heart or anything or that I think Elke doesn't 100
percent deserve all the attention she's getting, but I am a little tired of
seeing flyer after flyer with her name on it!)
Gotta get back to work. Some day I'll remember to send you the videotape I
have for you. You'll like it.
Susan Worland Online Computer Market, Inc.
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http://www.ocm.com Natick, MA 01760
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