strathspey Archive: Article in today's online Scotsman

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43189 · Alan Paterson · 15 Nov 2005 21:52:28 · Top

Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43198 · Martin · 16 Nov 2005 15:46:18 · Top

Nice article -- except their insistence on the "grey" component of our
favorite pastime!

Martin, not grey at all -- completely white!

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43258 · Andrea Re · 29 Nov 2005 18:16:22 · Top

Alan Paterson ha scritto:

>
> http://heritage.scotsman.com/traditions.cfm?id=2223062005
>
>
> Alan
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
I passed on the above article to a friend of mine who is very much at
the fringes of the RSCDS movement and not a real convert (as yet).
I enclose the (unedited) reply that she sent me and which I found rather
insightful (and with which I largely agree:)

Andrea (fae Dundee)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

That was quite interesting actually, although I'm not at all sure that it's
a good promotional piece for Scottish Country Dancing.

Anybody reading the opening gambit "Scottish country dancing can be anything
you make it: formal and fastidiously carried out, or more free, with the
emphasis on fun" is immediately going to opt for the latter option. The
article basically then goes on to say that the RSCDS is a "greying group of
people" who practice the formal, fastidious and (by implication) "un-fun"
form of the art, whereas "Ceilidh dancing, with its free style and casual
atmosphere continues to attract the young" because "it's a relatively easy
form to learn", "No one gets upset if you take a wrong step" (the
implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances), and "they
also frequently have callers who shout out the moves - making the experience
friendlier to dancing novices". Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
to be shot. She sounds like the worst kind of school teacher "there's been a
little bit of a revival of young people dancing, as opposed to just shaking
it all about on the floor" - far too prim and proper and very
critical/disapproving of what most young people would see as something that
is great fun.

Although the article tries to say that people may start with the fun stuff
and then move on to a more formal approach, the message is very clear that
there are two distinct groups of people, the greying population of
middle-age and over who are joined by ballet dancers and others with formal
training, as opposed to the studenty types who want to let their hair down
and have fun.

Am I being too cynical? Possibly, largely because I'm probably one of the
latter group.

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43259 · Alan Paterson · 30 Nov 2005 09:18:10 · Top

On 29/11/2005 18:16, Andrea Re wrote:

> "No one gets upset if you take a wrong step" (the
> implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances),

Andrea is quoting someone else, but I really have to take exception at
his comment "quite rightly".

I STRONGLY disagree with this. At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a
mistake, then it is most definitely NOT the rule that "someone gets
upset". It is more usual that it gets smiled at and compensated for.

Alan

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43261 · Jim Healy · 30 Nov 2005 09:43:56 · Top

Alan Paterson writes:

>At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a mistake, then it is most
>definitely NOT the rule
>that "someone gets upset". It is more usual that it gets smiled at and
>compensated for.

Absolutely true but, regrettably, in Scotland, it is the one percent
exception that is remembered and that one percent is assumed to be not only
a member of the RSCDS (which may not be the case) but also the sole
legitimate representative of the RSCDS on the dance floor at that moment.
All of us are tarred with the brush. It is as much an anti-establishment
thing as an eternal truth.

While I try to ignore it, there are representatives of the one percent that
I would like to throttle because they constantly and consistentlly destroy
my enjoyment of the dancing with their tut-tuts and disapproval of
inexperienced dancers.

Jim

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43262 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 09:47:22 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Paterson"

>> "No one gets upset if you take a wrong step" (the
>> implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances),
>
> ...I really have to take exception at his comment "quite rightly".
> I STRONGLY disagree with this. At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a
> mistake, then it is most definitely NOT the rule that "someone gets
> upset".

Not the rule, luckily, but not uncommon, alas.

Happy St Andrews' day !

Martin

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St A

Message 43263 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 09:54:04 · Top

I forgot to add that today is the feast day of the patron saint of Grenoble,
in case you thought St Andrew had other connexions ...
;-)

Martin,
wondering whether to make up this evening's program with all the dances that
have "St A" in the title. Might take a long time. It would be quicker to
find all the dances with "Grenoble" in the title !!!

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St A

Message 43275 · simon scott · 30 Nov 2005 17:39:57 · Top

If you look in John Drewry's Bankhead Book Part 6 you will find "The
Patron Saint".
An interesting 4x32 strathspey written by John for my son Andrew in
1996.
It contains "balance in line with Highland Schottische"

Simon
Vancouver

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-simon.scott=telus.net@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-simon.scott=telus.net@strathspey.org] On
Behalf Of mj.sheffield
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:54 AM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: St A (was: Article )

I forgot to add that today is the feast day of the patron saint of
Grenoble,
in case you thought St Andrew had other connexions ...
;-)

Martin,
wondering whether to make up this evening's program with all the dances
that
have "St A" in the title. Might take a long time. It would be quicker to

find all the dances with "Grenoble" in the title !!!

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43264 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 11:12:51 · Top

Yes I agree Alan, but it only takes one frown to give the opinion that we
all are negative.

I have seen it, I have encountered it, and I have heard about it and
unfortunately this has happened more than once. I even heard this year of
someone leaving a set mid-dance, because some dancers in that set messed it
up. Those dancers will never be able to remember the good dances - they
will only remember this one thing

I recently saw a young girl getting asked to join a set - she did so
hesitantly ,as she had only come to look - she does some SCD, but not
regularly and she is by no means more than a beginner, but with a little
help can manage to go to where she should be - the very well-meaning
teacher, stepped into the set and literally from behind hear pushed her
round in a rights and lefts, there were no need for this as we in the set
could have helped her - the teacher wanted it done RIGHT and PROPER - and
left one teenage girl determined that she is not going to do this again.
She does ceidlidh - she will dance with anyone, she felt humiliated and SCD
as we know it has lost.

Pia

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Paterson" <alan.paterson@paranor.ch>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:18 AM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> On 29/11/2005 18:16, Andrea Re wrote:
>
> > "No one gets upset if you take a wrong step" (the
> > implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances),
>
> Andrea is quoting someone else, but I really have to take exception at
> his comment "quite rightly".
>
> I STRONGLY disagree with this. At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a
> mistake, then it is most definitely NOT the rule that "someone gets
> upset". It is more usual that it gets smiled at and compensated for.
>
>
> Alan
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43267 · Bryan McAlister · 30 Nov 2005 15:44:08 · Top

We had one this recently where after about 3 walk thro's with
inexperienced dancers a Teacher then decided to move people around to
get a better mix of "old and new" result complete chaos with no one
dancing in any of the positions they had just walked thro.

Sometimes Teachers need a health warning.

In message <002701c5f596$a0b2d060$34707652@privateu>, Pia Walker
<pia@intamail.com> writes
>Yes I agree Alan, but it only takes one frown to give the opinion that we
>all are negative.
>
>I have seen it, I have encountered it, and I have heard about it and
>unfortunately this has happened more than once. I even heard this year of
>someone leaving a set mid-dance, because some dancers in that set messed it
>up. Those dancers will never be able to remember the good dances - they
>will only remember this one thing
>
>I recently saw a young girl getting asked to join a set - she did so
>hesitantly ,as she had only come to look - she does some SCD, but not
>regularly and she is by no means more than a beginner, but with a little
>help can manage to go to where she should be - the very well-meaning
>teacher, stepped into the set and literally from behind hear pushed her
>round in a rights and lefts, there were no need for this as we in the set
>could have helped her - the teacher wanted it done RIGHT and PROPER - and
>left one teenage girl determined that she is not going to do this again.
>She does ceidlidh - she will dance with anyone, she felt humiliated and SCD
>as we know it has lost.
>
>Pia
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Alan Paterson" <alan.paterson@paranor.ch>
>To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:18 AM
>Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
>
>
>> On 29/11/2005 18:16, Andrea Re wrote:
>>
>> > "No one gets upset if you take a wrong step" (the
>> > implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances),
>>
>> Andrea is quoting someone else, but I really have to take exception at
>> his comment "quite rightly".
>>
>> I STRONGLY disagree with this. At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a
>> mistake, then it is most definitely NOT the rule that "someone gets
>> upset". It is more usual that it gets smiled at and compensated for.
>>
>>
>> Alan
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>>
>>
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

--
Bryan McAlister
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43269 · John Chambers · 30 Nov 2005 16:25:46 · Top

| We had one this recently where after about 3 walk thro's with
| inexperienced dancers a Teacher then decided to move people around to
| get a better mix of "old and new" result complete chaos with no one
| dancing in any of the positions they had just walked thro.

Yeah, but during the course of the dance, everyone ends up doing all
the positions anyway, so maybe this was for the best. I've seen cases
where it was obvious that a certain set just "wasn't getting it", and
a reorg solved the problem.

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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43326 · Andrea Re · 1 Dec 2005 12:06:14 · Top

Hi there,

I change the subject line because I want to go back to the original
article and share with you some thoughts on the above topics.
*Frowning:*
Hhhmmmm, whatever people say, I fear they are quite widespread, and not
just towards beginners. I think that the one biggest asset and one of
the major weaknesses of SCD is that it is "set" dancing, and not couple
dancing, like ballroom. This means that you have to deal not only with
your partner, but also with, usually, six other people. This means that
if you are inexperienced or not too experienced and you mess a dance up,
someone might get a bit frowny, especially because the etiquette in SCD
- rightly so - demands that dancers mingle, so you are not going to end
up with the same people again, making it even more likely that some
people will have frowned at you by the time the evening is over. That's
human nature I am afraid.... there are "frown-ees" and "frown-ers" and
these two groups, in true SCD tradition, mix so well.... so much so that
you can be a frownee one minute and a frowner the next and so on. The
social aspect of SCD might actually be the cause of the problem, but I
suppose we will have to put up with it.
Pia and others mentioned the over zealous helper who, physically, pushed
people around. I am not sure that the person in Pia's example was making
sure that the teenage girl would do RL in a proper fashion, she was
probably trying to get this girl to carry out the manoeuvre in time and
finishing in the right place. Helping is a very tricky business. Not
helping might be bad, but helping too much might even be worse because
it is perceived as patronising, the person being helped might take home
with him a feeling of uselessness. I believe it important to make sure
that the person needing help feels as if they have mastered the dance.
But, how to do it??? Not sure. When I am dancing I can't talk (what a
blessing!, some are saying:) so I rely solely on eye contact, some
discreet had gesture and the other folks in the set to help me or my
partner or both. Where does "helping" finish and "patronize" begin?
There again, there are cases when people simply won't look and/or won't
move, so they have to be grabbed and pushed around..... tricky business
indeed. In ballroom, where they grabbed their partner to start with,
they don't have this problem.
This brings me onto the next topic:
*Birling:
*I am a great believer in birling, but not to the extent when I birl for
32 bars to second place and birl again for 32 to the bottom of the set
(some people do do something like that). I do birl, provided that it
doesn't mess the pattern of the dance (like I don't birl my pd if I have
to turn someone else, but I do birl if I have to cross cast and turn,
for example). In many RSCDS circles this practice is very much frowned
upon and when I know there is someone in the vicinity who frowns at
birling, my tendency if to birl twice as much..... For example at the SS
dances in the Younger hall (which are not organized by SS) quite often I
want to birl, but my partner doesn't, not because she doesn't want to,
but because we are at SS and it is not done, it would be frowned upon (I
kid you not! I have been told this in several occasions and don't even
get me started on 2-couple dances with 1s and 3s starting....). I don't
know what makes me feel more angry, whether it is the frownee or the
frowner.... At the end of the day people are being bullied (letting
themselves being bullied) into doing or not doing something at a social
dance and the bullying is done by some people in the establishment.
Mairi's wedding without extra twirls is hardly worth doing, I say......
Indeed, a dance should always be recognizable, so the "messing about"
has to be done in such a way that the spirit of that particular dance is
not lost. The "eightsome reel" done all prim and proper is one of the
most boring dances ever, but if you do, for example, a reel of 4,5,6,7
or 8 rather than a reel of 3, more people can join in, nobody stands
about, everybody has a laugh, but you still recognise what dance you are
doing. Bear in mind, this is NOT ceilidh dancing! In order to "mess up"
a dance in a "proper" fashion, you need to be a good dancer to start
with or at least be in a "good" set (there is order in chaos). Ceilidh
dancing is mostly moving at random irrespective of the other dancers in
the set (no order in chaos); ceilidh dancing is couple dancing done in a
set.
*The Scotsman:
*At first glance the article in the Scotsman looks OK: nice pictures,
links to SCD related sites etc., but as soon as you start reading it, I
found it disconcerting. The language exudes negativity towards SCD (as
opposed to ceilidh dancing) and I believe the article was written by
someone who didn't know much about the society and relied on second hand
info or indeed prejudice she developed in time. I don't even believe she
was there at night, otherwise she would have seen this sea of people
dancing who didn't really look like a bunch of mummies only waiting to
be buried again.
However, it is a fact that she is describing us in a way that is
probably representative of the opinion of the public at large. Even the
commentary, that I sent with my previous posting and was written by a
non-believer, is not that encouraging. After all she is still of the
opinion that there is nothing better than a good ceilidh
(ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz........). The author of the article makes a point of
mentioning the structure of the RSCDS, the teaching, the pointy toes
etc., but I don't believe for a microsecond that if you do something
like ballroom or salsa, step or highland the classes are any less
rigorous - infact I would expect they are much more so in some cases.
The difference is, as stated before, that in all these cases you have to
deal with at most one other person, who, most likely, went dancing with
you and knows what to expect. You have only to watch "Strictly come
dancing" (celebs coupled with a professional dancer competing against
each other. Every week one couple is knocked out) to realize how
fastidious ballroom can be.
As to the "greying population", the author of the article is certainly
right as far as Scotland is concerned, but I don't think the same thing
applies to Germany, Russia, Hungary, Italy etc. where the social stigma
is not present (well, they have the stigma of having to go in "drag",
but that's another matter:). Also in Scotland we must not forget groups
like New Scotland, the Edinburgh university group, or other similar
associations, that are thriving thanks to young people: the questions
that we, as member of the RSCDS, must ask ourselves is "how do they do
it?", "why can't we do it?" and not frown at them because they like
birling. Some of the dancers within New Scotland are excellent, so
youthfulness and quality can go hand in hand.

Time to do some work, I suppose. Hope someone is still awake.....

Andrea (fae Dundee)
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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43329 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 Dec 2005 14:44:42 · Top

Andrea Re wrote:

> That's
> human nature I am afraid.... there are "frown-ees" and "frown-ers" and
> these two groups, in true SCD tradition, mix so well.... so much so that
> you can be a frownee one minute and a frowner the next and so on. The
> social aspect of SCD might actually be the cause of the problem, but I
> suppose we will have to put up with it.

You have to see this the other way round. As the good book says, »Frown ye
not, lest ye be frowned upon« -- I have yet to meet someone who is so
absolutely perfect a dancer that he or she would not deserve an occasional
teensy little frown in my class. I try not to frown at people other than
myself in situations where I am not the teacher.

> Pia and others mentioned the over zealous helper who, physically, pushed
> people around. I am not sure that the person in Pia's example was making
> sure that the teenage girl would do RL in a proper fashion, she was
> probably trying to get this girl to carry out the manoeuvre in time and
> finishing in the right place. Helping is a very tricky business.

Helping is one thing but, in my classes, man-handling other dancers is right
out. This will get you a very severe frown from me.

I think that, in a class situation, the thing to do is to make sure that
people can do the basic formations, or else try to help unobtrusively, by eye
contact or within the confines of handing as part of the choreography (no
Bavarian-style arm wrestling or ju-jutsu throws, please). On the social dance
floor, keep smiling and make the best of things. -- In Frankfurt, we don't
run a separate beginners' class, so beginners have to jump in at the deep end
(with life preservers, as far as possible); fortunately the dancers in the
group are very good at helping newcomers.

> I do birl, provided that it
> doesn't mess the pattern of the dance (like I don't birl my pd if I have
> to turn someone else, but I do birl if I have to cross cast and turn,
> for example). In many RSCDS circles this practice is very much frowned
> upon and when I know there is someone in the vicinity who frowns at
> birling, my tendency if to birl twice as much.....

The problem with »birling«, if there is one, is not the birling as such but
that some people don't seem to realise that there is a proper time and place
for it. In my class, I would much rather people did a new dance »as
choreographed«, just to get the hang of it, than put in their own
embellishments from the get-go. Especially in mixed groups like ours, birling
in class tends to confuse the newcomers and even the »birlers« frequently
become disoriented and mess up the set for everybody else. Having said that,
in a social situation people have to be able to tell for themselves whether
birling is all right -- I'd say in a set of experienced dancers near the end
of the evening, in a dance that you know reasonably well, when the music is
right, by all means go for it but try to keep it under control, but other
people's philosophy may be different. Then of course, there are places where
birling is pretty much de rigueur, and there are places where it is all but
forbidden by the spirit of the location -- think of birling in Younger Hall
as similar to attending an official audience with the queen or pope dressed
in bathing trunks and flippers. Possible, yes, but still maybe not the done
thing. (It would probably be OK, though, if the pope was also in bathing
trunks ... Miss Manners, where are you when we need you?)

> At the end of the day people are being bullied (letting
> themselves being bullied) into doing or not doing something at a social
> dance and the bullying is done by some people in the establishment.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that »some people in the establishment« are not
necessarily the same as »official RSCDS position«. While birling seems to be
a frownable offence at regular Summer School dances in Younger Hall, I have
seen then-current RSCDS chairpeople birl all over the place during Younger
Hall ceilidhs. Obviously, the RSCDS position (if there is one) appears to be
exactly the one I mentioned above, namely that birling is fine in its proper
place -- and this is a good thing. People who equate »RSCDS« with »no
birling« probably also believe that all Germans wear lederhosen and survive
on an exclusive diet of beer, bratwurst, and sauerkraut.

> Mairi's wedding without extra twirls is hardly worth doing, I say......

This remains a matter of opinion. Personally I rather like the idea of doing
high-speed left-shoulder passes in between the half reels of four -- it is a
nice opportunity for eye contact. Actually if a dance prescribes
right-shoulder passes between diagonal half reels of four I sometimes feel a
bit cheated :^)

> In order to "mess up"
> a dance in a "proper" fashion, you need to be a good dancer to start
> with or at least be in a "good" set (there is order in chaos).

Hear, hear.

> However, it is a fact that she is describing us in a way that is
> probably representative of the opinion of the public at large.

The *Scottish* public, that is. Over here the public at large has no concept
of Scottish dancing (or if so, only that it involves bagpipes and swords) so
we can start with a blank slate and it works well for us.

> [...] I don't believe for a microsecond that if you do something
> like ballroom or salsa, step or highland the classes are any less
> rigorous - infact I would expect they are much more so in some cases.

I don't know about salsa, but from a certain stage on, ballroom or highland
dancing are competitive sports rather than social activities -- therefore the
participants are expected to deal with much more pressure and frowning than
they are in SCD. (The lessons also tend to be more expensive.) The nice thing
about ceilidhs is that you can turn up with no previous knowledge of the
dances and have a night of fun even so, and for many people this is right on
the spot, but there must be something to do for those (like I) who would be
bored stiff doing the same dozen ceilidh dances over and over again, week
after week. Hence, SCD.

> As to the "greying population", the author of the article is certainly
> right as far as Scotland is concerned, but I don't think the same thing
> applies to Germany, Russia, Hungary, Italy etc. where the social stigma
> is not present (well, they have the stigma of having to go in "drag",
> but that's another matter:).

Huh? There is no stigma about the kilt in Germany that I have ever noticed.
Quite on the contrary, it makes one much more interesting :^) I tend to agree
with Robert Heinlein in that the kilt is the most macho garment that there
is, even though I dont think that its main advantage is its capacity for
hiding weapons ...

> like New Scotland, the Edinburgh university group, or other similar
> associations, that are thriving thanks to young people: the questions
> that we, as member of the RSCDS, must ask ourselves is "how do they do
> it?", "why can't we do it?" and not frown at them because they like
> birling. Some of the dancers within New Scotland are excellent, so
> youthfulness and quality can go hand in hand.

Can? Oops ...

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated.
-- Tim Peters, _The Zen of Python_
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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43331 · Andrea Re · 1 Dec 2005 15:03:53 · Top

Anselm Lingnau ha scritto:

Thank you Anselm for your reply. Just two quick points I didn't make
clear in my previous message.

1) In my message I was envisaging a situation of people being at the
dance and not in a class. Birling in a class is not on, unless stated by
the teacher. Occasionally I indulge my class with little birling, but
mostly because I want everyone to be able to do it. If someone did birl
he would get a good earful, never mind the frowning action.

>>I do birl, provided that it
>>doesn't mess the pattern of the dance (like I don't birl my pd if I have
>>to turn someone else, but I do birl if I have to cross cast and turn,
>>for example). In many RSCDS circles this practice is very much frowned
>>upon and when I know there is someone in the vicinity who frowns at
>>birling, my tendency if to birl twice as much.....
>>
>>
>
>Then of course, there are places where
>birling is pretty much de rigueur, and there are places where it is all but
>forbidden by the spirit of the location -- think of birling in Younger Hall
>
>
I am afraid I don't understand this bit. What exactly makes the Younger
Hall (during SS I presume) a birl-free zone?

>
>
>>At the end of the day people are being bullied (letting
>>themselves being bullied) into doing or not doing something at a social
>>dance and the bullying is done by some people in the establishment.
>>
>>
>
>... I have
>seen then-current RSCDS chairpeople birl all over the place during Younger
>Hall ceilidhs.
>
>
Is the choice of words meant? Do you actually mean ceilidh?

2) When I said 2the public at large" I meant people in Scotland, where I
reside. I often forget that people from all over are on Strathspey.

Cheers,

Andrea (fae Dundee)

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Message 43332 · Andrea Re · 1 Dec 2005 17:59:03 · Top

I have received a counter-reply to the (in)famous commentary which I am
happy to circulate, since the author has not managed to master how to
join the list yet:)
Since she has come out (so to speak) I can safely say that her name is
Jenny Cooper from St.Andrews and that she will read the replies directly
form the Strathspey server.

Andrea (the postie)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As perpetrator of the original e-mail (contained in message 43258) which
has fuelled this fairly lively debate I feel partially responsible for
this flurry of activity and would like to clarify a few points and make
some further observations.

Can I say first (in my own defence) that the original e-mail was a
private e-mail to a "friend"(!!) and was not intended for public
consumption - it was published without my knowledge in an unedited form.

*My background *
By way of explanation for some of the things that I am about to say, I
am a relative newcomer to Scottish Country Dancing and am by no means a
"dyed in the wool" convert. I have been to a few beginners classes, a
few dances (I usually end up in the loo in floods of tears) and one
Summer School. If some of my observations are heretical I apologise in
advance (please feel free to excommunicate me), but as I am probably a
member of the target audience which the RSCDS needs to attract (and at
which your response to the Scotsman article is also aimed), maybe my
views are of some relevance.

*Original article *
It was slightly unfortunate (but also quite interesting) that the two
things that I felt slightly uncomfortable about in my original e-mail,
were the ones which were picked up and dissected ad nauseam.

Firstly, I assume it is quite clear to everyone that I do not really
think that Dreyer-Larson ought to be shot. I sincerely hope (for both
our sakes) that the poor lady does not get herself gunned down in the
near future as I shall feel obliged to head for the nearest Penal
Institution and book myself a room. I'm not even sure (in retrospect)
that her comments were that outrageous, although they did certainly
contribute to the (largely) negative impact of the article.

The second comment ("no one gets upset if you take a wrong step", the
implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances) was
nearly removed from my original e-mail as it is not, in most cases, the
way people behave. I strongly suspect that I imagine that people get
upset with me far more than they actually do, and this may be a common
problem for beginners at dances who are lacking in confidence. From my
point of view, my footwork is OK(ish), and I can get myself through most
of the easy formations after a fashion. However, I seem to be totally
incapable of remembering combinations of formations (ie dances), with
the result that I usually arrive on the floor in a blind panic, praying
fervently that I am not first couple and usually end up feeling as
though I have single-handedly messed up the dance and spoilt everyone
else's enjoyment. The reality of the situation may be quite different,
but it was with this in mind that I wrote the comment which seemed to
cause such a furore. In all honesty, I can think of very few situations
where the more experienced dancers have been anything other than kind
and helpful, but they do need to understand that dances can be very
daunting for beginners.

*Response to Scotsman article *
I have a few concerns about the response that has been written to the
article that appeared in the Scotsman as I am not convinced that it is
addressing the right issues. I assume that the aim is to try and both
convince the Scottish public (the target readership) that Scottish
Country Dancing is a "youthful", fun activity as well as to dislodge
their perceptions that it is most suited to the "Zimmer-frame" brigade.
The emphasis in the article is very much on RSCDS being a worldwide
organisation. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, I am uncertain how this
is going to help convert the sceptics.

Sadly, the negative predisposition that young Scots have towards
Scottish Country Dancing is both inevitable and self-perpetuating and it
is not entirely a misconception - there is a large Zimmer-frame
contingent and this needs to change. In order to address the issues we
need to understand why the problem has arisen. In Scotland in
particular, I believe that there is an inherent problem with attracting
young people into Scottish Country Dancing. Inevitably, as we grow up
most of us rebel in some way against rules, traditions, culture etc. and
look for new, alternative ways to express ourselves - it's part and
parcel of the process. For those who were brought up in Scotland, a
cultural heritage which is embraced by grandparents, great grandparents
and a whole society of previous generations is just asking to be
rejected in favour of something more "interesting", "ethnic" and
"different". Conversely, if people who are brought up in other countries
pursue something from a different culture (in this case, Scotland) it is
perceived by both themselves and their peers as being slightly
avant-garde and therefore totally acceptable. In a similar vein, many of
the young dancers who I have met in Scotland are people from abroad who
have moved to Scotland and wish to immerse themselves in a new and
different culture.

The article that is being formulated provides an ideal opportunity to
tackle some of these issues and it would be a shame if the opportunity
were missed. Yes, RSCDS is a worldwide organisation and yes, Scottish
Country Dancing is part of traditional Scottish Culture (and these facts
should probably be mentioned), but are they really "plus" points in
terms of attracting younger Scottish people into the Society, or at
least on to the dance floor? My inclination is that the emphasis needs
to be somewhere else in order to gain maximum impact. Without going into
any detail (I really ought to be doing some work), perhaps the following
could warrant a mention:-

A great way to get fit

A social activity (trying as hard as possible to get away from the image
of a formal dance on a Saturday night in a bar-less venue, drinking cups
of tea and eating cucumber sandwiches in the interval)

Fun/lively (as Andrea pointed out in a subsequent message, birling does
have its place)

*One final observation *
This year I was persuaded, against my better judgement, to go to Summer
School. As I live in St Andrews anyway, it was no great commitment in
financial terms which was a good job as I was fairly sure that I would
not last the week - to be honest I was dreading it.

Anyway, I had the shock of my life and loved every minute of it. I had
virtually no sleep at all due to the constant stream of parties, and for
the first time in my life I actually enjoyed most of the dancing. At one
point I almost became a convert, but thankfully I saw the light just in
time! It was not what I was expecting at all and it did open my eyes to
the fact that perhaps, after all, this Scottish Country Dancing thing
might actually be quite fun.

It is this aspect of Scottish Country Dancing that the article needs to
try and get across to the Scottish public (if it is to have any impact
at all). I had spent 18 months on the fringes of RSCDS, not really
enjoying it particularly, but struggling on (albeit on a very occasional
basis) and I had no idea it could be such fun. Perhaps the most
important lesson that needs to be learnt is by the branches themselves -
if they are serious about expanding and encouraging a younger
membership, they need to adopt an attitude which is conducive to both
attracting new people and to keeping them.

*A heartfelt suggestion *
It has to be said that dances really can be very daunting and unfriendly
for newcomers and beginners. Personally I never go and ask other people,
especially strangers, to dance and, likewise, they rarely ask me. How
about having a set or two in one corner of the room which is advertised
as being for beginners or for those who would like to dance but who do
not have the confidence to go and find a partner. There would need to be
at least 2 or 3 experienced dancers per set who commit themselves to
spending a couple of dances during the evening getting people through
each dance. Beginners could just turn up in this corner as individuals
and would be paired up with other people in the same boat, knowing that
they are not going to be humiliated
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Message 43335 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 Dec 2005 18:41:21 · Top

Jenny Cooper wrote (by way of Andrea Re):

> I have received a counter-reply to the (in)famous commentary which I am
> happy to circulate, since the author has not managed to master how to
> join the list yet:)

Tell her to get in touch if she needs help :^)

> Inevitably, as we grow up
> most of us rebel in some way against rules, traditions, culture etc. and
> look for new, alternative ways to express ourselves - it's part and
> parcel of the process. For those who were brought up in Scotland, a
> cultural heritage which is embraced by grandparents, great grandparents
> and a whole society of previous generations is just asking to be
> rejected in favour of something more "interesting", "ethnic" and
> "different". Conversely, if people who are brought up in other countries
> pursue something from a different culture (in this case, Scotland) it is
> perceived by both themselves and their peers as being slightly
> avant-garde and therefore totally acceptable.

This is an important observation. Here in Germany, Scottish country dancing
is, judged by the numbers of organised participants, maybe not as popular a
pastime as football but it is going fairly strong. On the other hand, I
should think that most of our dancers would not want to be seen dead doing
traditional German dances. This is not only due to the »never do what your
parents/grandparents/... apparently enjoy« rule of youth; we also have to
thank the Nazi regime, who were into the German(ic) folksy »tradition« in a
big way so that when Germany was finally rid of them (with outside help) few
people wanted to touch the stuff even with a 10' pole. Similarly, the GDR was
fairly big on folk dancing and now that is gone many people don't seem to
shed a tear. (If you believe SCD in Scotland has an image problem, consider
that German folk dancers hereabouts have to fight being tarred with the
nationalist/reactionary brush.)

Of course people do German folk dancing these days, and in fact, we as
Scottish country dancers in Germany often get asked why we do not do German
folk dancing instead. The reasons for this include:

- SCD is social dancing. The German folk dancing that is done today is,
for the most part, display dancing.
- If you think Scottish (accordion) dance music is dull you haven't heard
German folk dance music yet.
- If you think Scottish country dances are dull and boring you haven't
seen German folk dances yet.
- Many people here like Scotland and running about in kilts.
- There are no German folk dance groups in Scotland (that we know of), let
alone San Francisco, Tokyo, or Sydney, that one could join for a night
when one happens to be in the area.

With SCD, we have a pastime that is social, happily exhausting for both body
and mind, universally standardised, part of an ongoing tradition of art and
invention, and generally practised by very nice people all over the world.
What else could one want?

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Unix is not a `A-ha' experience, it is more of a `holy-shit' experience.
-- Colin McFadyen in alt.folklore.computers
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Message 43342 · adriana linden · 1 Dec 2005 20:53:32 · Top

could someone please explain the idiom "zimmer-frame"?

Cheers,
Adriana Linden
Montreal QC




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Message 43344 · S. K. Graham · 1 Dec 2005 21:18:06 · Top

Zimmer frame
n : a light framework (trade name Zimmer) with four rubber feet
and handles; helps cripples to walk
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Message 43345 · Sophie Rickebusch · 1 Dec 2005 21:37:24 · Top

I don't know about Quebec, but French-speakers in Switzerland call it a
"tin-té-ben" ("tiens-toi-bien"). In other words, it's a frame which people
who have difficulty walking (usually because of age) can use to hold on to
and push in front of them to get around. The term Zimmer-frame presumably
indicates it was invented (devised?) by someone called Zimmer.

Sophie
--
Sophie Rickebusch
CH - Wettswil am Albis

----- Original Message -----
From: adriana linden <adrianalinden@yahoo.com>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:53 PM
Subject: Re: A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

could someone please explain the idiom "zimmer-frame"?

Cheers,
Adriana Linden
Montreal QC

__________________________________________________________
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Message 43348 · adriana linden · 1 Dec 2005 22:30:29 · Top

LOL... thanks, all!

In Quebec, in French, it's "marchette".

Cheers,
Adriana Linden

--- Sophie Rickebusch <sophie.rickebusch@swissfree.ch> wrote:

> I don't know about Quebec, but French-speakers in Switzerland call it a
> "tin-té-ben" ("tiens-toi-bien"). In other words, it's a frame which people
> who have difficulty walking (usually because of age) can use to hold on to
> and push in front of them to get around. The term Zimmer-frame presumably
> indicates it was invented (devised?) by someone called Zimmer.
>
> Sophie
> --
> Sophie Rickebusch
> CH - Wettswil am Albis
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: adriana linden <adrianalinden@yahoo.com>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:53 PM
> Subject: Re: A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)
>
>
> could someone please explain the idiom "zimmer-frame"?
>
> Cheers,
> Adriana Linden
> Montreal QC
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> __________________________________________________________
> Find your next car at http://autos.yahoo.ca
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
> _______________________________________________
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>




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Message 43349 · Marian Stroh · 1 Dec 2005 23:07:12 · Top

Sorry - Bob warned me, but after I'd sent the pics. I'll try to do better!

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Message 43346 · John Chambers · 1 Dec 2005 22:11:55 · Top

| ----- Original Message -----
| From: adriana linden <adrianalinden@yahoo.com>
| To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
| Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:53 PM
| Subject: Re: A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)
|
|
| could someone please explain the idiom "zimmer-frame"?

I asked google, and their first match was:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/z/zimmer_frame.asp

This explains the concept quite well. ;-)

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Message 43337 · Eric Clyde · 1 Dec 2005 18:54:15 · Top

I think that Jenny Cooper makes a lot of good points, and is to be
commended. Yes, many beginners do feel intimidated, especially at
dances where all or most of the other dances are experienced. In Ottawa
the Branch's monthly dance programmes try to help in this regard: a
number of dances on each programme are chosen by the teachers of the
beginners' classes, and the more experienced dancers are encouraged to
dance these with the beginners. There is also a beginners' ball, with
dances chosen by the beginners' teachers, sponsored in alternate years
by the Branch and by the Ardbrae Dancers.

She mentions that it is a good way to keep fit. She could also have
mentioned that it is a good way to meet people, not only in the local
area, but if you visit places in may parts over the world.

I hope that she perseveres and becomes an addict like the rest of us!

Eric Clyde
Ottawa Branch

>

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A reply from the pepetrator (long & interesting!)

Message 43338 · Martin · 1 Dec 2005 18:54:31 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: Jenny Cooper from St.Andrews (via Andrea).

That was a great piece of writing.
It is very good for us all (seasoned grey-heads) to have the point of view
of a newer dancer --
not only the fears and misginvings (not to mention tears and trembling), but
also her discovery that formal SCD can be -- is -- fun.
Not everyone stays the course long enough to make that discovery,
unfortunately.

Too many of us have forgoteen what it was like to be a beginner and how much
help we needed in those distant days.

Don't apologize for heretical thoughts -- they can be quite salutary.

I think your insight into the Scottish versus the foreign perception of SCD
(old-fashioned in Scotland, fashionably foreign in other countries) is most
accurate, and as you say, the international aspect of the activity is quite
irrelevant for the average Brit.

However, I must disagree with the last point:
> *A heartfelt suggestion *
>How about having a set or two in one corner of the room
> for beginners ...

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens at every dance. Those that are
confident get onthe floor quickly, and down at the bottomf the hall we get
the beginners and those that would have prferred to sit out but had to get
up to make up numbers. And it's usually a catastrophe!
or for those who would like to dance but who do
> There would need to be at least 2 or 3 experienced dancers per set who
> commit themselves to help...

But where to find them?

Martin,
in Grenoble, France.

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Message 43339 · Pia Walker · 1 Dec 2005 19:05:22 · Top

I know Dreyer-Larson - she is able to duck -so don't worry.

With regards to your feelings of inadequacy - it is not what people do - it
is how you receive it which is important - believe me after 27 years or so
of SCD I can still be reduced to a quivering mass of uncertainty in front of
some people - and I still can't remember dances - I am an advocate of
BRIEFING, CRIBS, a running commentary on an MP3-player - anything which
makes me able to actually go out there and dance without having to think too
much :>)

Some people are more welcoming than others - it is a pity - and they shoot
themselves in the foot - if you don't get new blood and accept them for what
they are, you wither away.

I hope you will still dance - I for sure got my second wind when I visited
ATLANTA a couple of years ago - I was toying with the idea of hanging up my
pumps - but with a few rebel yells they brought me back to why I was dancing
again.

I also visited an Old Time group in Shetland on Monday in Lerwick - and I
joined for a session - and they could not have been more welcoming - it is
mostly couple dances, and people tend to turn up with the other half of the
couple - but I was received with a hug and a welcome - all dances were
danced twice - I haven't the foggiest - am a rank beginner when it comes to
Old Time - and usually sat out for the first time, only to be hailed and
dragged out the second time, patiently telling me what to do at all times.
They were wonderful.

Pia

Pia

____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
> As perpetrator of the original e-mail (contained in message 43258) which
> has fuelled this fairly lively debate I feel partially responsible for
> this flurry of activity and would like to clarify a few points and make
> some further observations.
>
> Can I say first (in my own defence) that the original e-mail was a
> private e-mail to a "friend"(!!) and was not intended for public
> consumption - it was published without my knowledge in an unedited form.
>
> *My background *
> By way of explanation for some of the things that I am about to say, I
> am a relative newcomer to Scottish Country Dancing and am by no means a
> "dyed in the wool" convert. I have been to a few beginners classes, a
> few dances (I usually end up in the loo in floods of tears) and one
> Summer School. If some of my observations are heretical I apologise in
> advance (please feel free to excommunicate me), but as I am probably a
> member of the target audience which the RSCDS needs to attract (and at
> which your response to the Scotsman article is also aimed), maybe my
> views are of some relevance.
>
> *Original article *
> It was slightly unfortunate (but also quite interesting) that the two
> things that I felt slightly uncomfortable about in my original e-mail,
> were the ones which were picked up and dissected ad nauseam.
>
> Firstly, I assume it is quite clear to everyone that I do not really
> think that Dreyer-Larson ought to be shot. I sincerely hope (for both
> our sakes) that the poor lady does not get herself gunned down in the
> near future as I shall feel obliged to head for the nearest Penal
> Institution and book myself a room. I'm not even sure (in retrospect)
> that her comments were that outrageous, although they did certainly
> contribute to the (largely) negative impact of the article.
>
> The second comment ("no one gets upset if you take a wrong step", the
> implication being, quite rightly, that they do at RSCDS dances) was
> nearly removed from my original e-mail as it is not, in most cases, the
> way people behave. I strongly suspect that I imagine that people get
> upset with me far more than they actually do, and this may be a common
> problem for beginners at dances who are lacking in confidence. From my
> point of view, my footwork is OK(ish), and I can get myself through most
> of the easy formations after a fashion. However, I seem to be totally
> incapable of remembering combinations of formations (ie dances), with
> the result that I usually arrive on the floor in a blind panic, praying
> fervently that I am not first couple and usually end up feeling as
> though I have single-handedly messed up the dance and spoilt everyone
> else's enjoyment. The reality of the situation may be quite different,
> but it was with this in mind that I wrote the comment which seemed to
> cause such a furore. In all honesty, I can think of very few situations
> where the more experienced dancers have been anything other than kind
> and helpful, but they do need to understand that dances can be very
> daunting for beginners.
>
> *Response to Scotsman article *
> I have a few concerns about the response that has been written to the
> article that appeared in the Scotsman as I am not convinced that it is
> addressing the right issues. I assume that the aim is to try and both
> convince the Scottish public (the target readership) that Scottish
> Country Dancing is a "youthful", fun activity as well as to dislodge
> their perceptions that it is most suited to the "Zimmer-frame" brigade.
> The emphasis in the article is very much on RSCDS being a worldwide
> organisation. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, I am uncertain how this
> is going to help convert the sceptics.
>
> Sadly, the negative predisposition that young Scots have towards
> Scottish Country Dancing is both inevitable and self-perpetuating and it
> is not entirely a misconception - there is a large Zimmer-frame
> contingent and this needs to change. In order to address the issues we
> need to understand why the problem has arisen. In Scotland in
> particular, I believe that there is an inherent problem with attracting
> young people into Scottish Country Dancing. Inevitably, as we grow up
> most of us rebel in some way against rules, traditions, culture etc. and
> look for new, alternative ways to express ourselves - it's part and
> parcel of the process. For those who were brought up in Scotland, a
> cultural heritage which is embraced by grandparents, great grandparents
> and a whole society of previous generations is just asking to be
> rejected in favour of something more "interesting", "ethnic" and
> "different". Conversely, if people who are brought up in other countries
> pursue something from a different culture (in this case, Scotland) it is
> perceived by both themselves and their peers as being slightly
> avant-garde and therefore totally acceptable. In a similar vein, many of
> the young dancers who I have met in Scotland are people from abroad who
> have moved to Scotland and wish to immerse themselves in a new and
> different culture.
>
> The article that is being formulated provides an ideal opportunity to
> tackle some of these issues and it would be a shame if the opportunity
> were missed. Yes, RSCDS is a worldwide organisation and yes, Scottish
> Country Dancing is part of traditional Scottish Culture (and these facts
> should probably be mentioned), but are they really "plus" points in
> terms of attracting younger Scottish people into the Society, or at
> least on to the dance floor? My inclination is that the emphasis needs
> to be somewhere else in order to gain maximum impact. Without going into
> any detail (I really ought to be doing some work), perhaps the following
> could warrant a mention:-
>
> A great way to get fit
>
> A social activity (trying as hard as possible to get away from the image
> of a formal dance on a Saturday night in a bar-less venue, drinking cups
> of tea and eating cucumber sandwiches in the interval)
>
> Fun/lively (as Andrea pointed out in a subsequent message, birling does
> have its place)
>
> *One final observation *
> This year I was persuaded, against my better judgement, to go to Summer
> School. As I live in St Andrews anyway, it was no great commitment in
> financial terms which was a good job as I was fairly sure that I would
> not last the week - to be honest I was dreading it.
>
> Anyway, I had the shock of my life and loved every minute of it. I had
> virtually no sleep at all due to the constant stream of parties, and for
> the first time in my life I actually enjoyed most of the dancing. At one
> point I almost became a convert, but thankfully I saw the light just in
> time! It was not what I was expecting at all and it did open my eyes to
> the fact that perhaps, after all, this Scottish Country Dancing thing
> might actually be quite fun.
>
> It is this aspect of Scottish Country Dancing that the article needs to
> try and get across to the Scottish public (if it is to have any impact
> at all). I had spent 18 months on the fringes of RSCDS, not really
> enjoying it particularly, but struggling on (albeit on a very occasional
> basis) and I had no idea it could be such fun. Perhaps the most
> important lesson that needs to be learnt is by the branches themselves -
> if they are serious about expanding and encouraging a younger
> membership, they need to adopt an attitude which is conducive to both
> attracting new people and to keeping them.
>
> *A heartfelt suggestion *
> It has to be said that dances really can be very daunting and unfriendly
> for newcomers and beginners. Personally I never go and ask other people,
> especially strangers, to dance and, likewise, they rarely ask me. How
> about having a set or two in one corner of the room which is advertised
> as being for beginners or for those who would like to dance but who do
> not have the confidence to go and find a partner. There would need to be
> at least 2 or 3 experienced dancers per set who commit themselves to
> spending a couple of dances during the evening getting people through
> each dance. Beginners could just turn up in this corner as individuals
> and would be paired up with other people in the same boat, knowing that
> they are not going to be humiliated
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Message 43350 · Ron Mackey · 1 Dec 2005 23:25:23 · Top

>
> With SCD, we have a pastime that is social, happily exhausting for both body
> and mind, universally standardised, part of an ongoing tradition of art and
> invention, and generally practised by very nice people all over the world.
> What else could one want?
>
> Anselm

What a super summing up!

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A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

Message 43390 · seonaid.gent · 2 Dec 2005 22:41:50 · Top

Hello,

As a 26 year old dancing Scot, I'd like to add my tuppence worth.

My parents both dance, so I was brought up dancing (both SCD and Highland). However, I would not still be dancing if I hadn't found some enjoyment of dancing for myself.

At primary school we had 'lessons' in ceilidh dancing - usually in the lead up to the Christmas dance. Most of these lessons were awful. The teachers didn't have a clue of how to do the dances themselves, so trying to tell others how to do it. By P6 (Age 10) I was teaching most of the class (or at least helping the teacher out when she got to a bit she wasn't sure about).

At high school, in our first couple of years (age 12-14), some people did some SCD as part of their PE classes (I got modern dance instead). While these were infinitely better than the classes of primary school, they were still taught by the PE teacher who was a year away from retiral - again not very appealing as something 'cool' to do out of school. The only time scottish dancing became acceptable was in S5 + S6 when we had a school ceilidh (MC'd by a member of the local SCDC) and a formal ball which was split between ceilidh and disco. Even then the school was split between those who found activities of any sort interesting, and those who prefered to be hanging on the street corner smoking etc.

From the age of 5, I regularly attended dances with my parents. We would walk through the dances in the afternoon so that we would have an idea of what we were doing. We went to a variety of local dances across East Central Scotland. In most of the places we danced, we were welcomed with open arms and everyone was more than willing to help us get through the dances.

At the age of 15, I asked to join an RSCDS class because I wanted to use SCD for my Duke of Edinburgh Award, and none of the children's classes in the area would allow me to show that I had improved. I was refused because I was under 16, and I was absolutely gutted - even though at that stage I didn't really have much of an idea of what the RSCDS actually stood for.

Luckily a few years later, I moved to university and joined the local branch their. They could not have been more welcoming - although I knew a lot of them anyway, because I had grown up dancing with them. I didn't have to pay any branch subscription, people offered me a lift to/from classes (via the pub), and more importantly, people accepted me and talked to me like I was a normal human being!!!! One of my latest (and most memorable) nights as a first year student was going out to a local dance and then being invited to join some of the 'zimmered' oldies for a drink at someone's house afterwards.

Then I moved 500 miles away for the last few months of my course. This was a bit more of a challenge for me, as I didn't know any of the folk there, but I went along anyway. Again, a big warm welcome awaited me. They asked me what my favourite dance was and made sure they taught it (At that point it was Reel of the Puffins - I'm not sure they ever mastered it, but they had fun trying!)

More recently I have been going with David to most of the dances he plays for. Again, this has often meant going to a group where I don't know anyone (or sometimes the odd one or two) which can be very daunting - especially when you have a husband who can never remember exactly what the event is that he is playing for, so you have to guess whether to wear a skirt and top or a ballgown!! Happily, the vast majority of groups welcome me warmly. However, I have had a number of occassions where people assume that, because I am young, I am a beginner and that I need told how to do all the dances (OK, after driving 400 miles to get to a dance, maybe sometimes I do!). I have also had occassions where I have sat most of the night without dancing because everyone has their partners sorted out too quickly for me.

There are groups to which I will not go back, because I did not find the experience of dancing there enjoyable. On reflection, most of these are in Scotland.

Throughout all these dancing experiences I am usually the youngest at the dance by at least 20 years. At some there will be two or three other 'young people', but out of a hall of 100 dancers, this is not good for the future of dancing.

As others have said there is are thriving young groups around, but even these are having their problems. Since I started dancing on the university circuit in 1997 Newcastle and Dundee have both folded, Glasgow has struggled although I gather they are having a better year this year. On the up side Aberdeen and Warwick have both started groups.

I firmly agree with Jenny's statement that:
> Perhaps the most important lesson that needs to be learnt is by the branches themselves - if they are serious about expanding and encouraging a younger membership, they need to adopt an attitude which is conducive to both attracting new people and to keeping them.

However, I would take it one step further and say that it is not just up to the branches. It is up to every individual who dances to encourage young people to dance in their group (or even at another group's dance!)

Finally, I would say that things within the RSCDS are moving in the right direction. We have the Easter School, which has helped university-type dancers get a positive RSCDS experience. The Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival has received sponsorship from the RSCDS for the last few years which has again made some difference to the way the RSCDS are perceived.

Again, individual RSCDS members do have a big part to play. Instead of expecting young dancers to come along to your dances without knowing you, why not go along to their dances and show that you enjoy dancing as well. Take some friends, if it helps you feel less intimidated. Most young people that are likely to be interested in dancing are unlikely to be anti-old people. They also realise old does not (necessarily) equal boring. In my area, the people that birl the most are some of the oldest dancers in the area! Basically, if you show an interest in them, they are more likely to show an interest in you.

Well, this has turned into a longer ramble than I'd anticipated, so I think I'd better sign off now!

Happy dancing,

Seonaid

Seónaid Gent
Markinch, Fife

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A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

Message 43398 · Andrew Smith · 3 Dec 2005 09:19:10 · Top

Seonaid wrote, at the end,
"> Again, individual RSCDS members do have a big part to play. Instead of
expecting young dancers to come along to your dances without knowing you,
why not go along to their dances and show that you enjoy dancing as well.
Take some friends, if it helps you feel less intimidated. Most young people
that are likely to be interested in dancing are unlikely to be anti-old
people. They also realise old does not (necessarily) equal boring."

When I was eligible, as a mature student about 5 years ago now, I went along
to the Bristol University Scottish Dance Club, and had a couple of great
evenings, and am sure that they knew that I enjoyed myself. The drawback was
that it was the same evening as our class, so that we would not be likely to
get students along, especially as they stopped at 9 and went to the pub or
whatever, and we continue until 10. However, we included them in our mailing
list for dances, and I was invited to their ball, but apart from having
already booked for that night did not think that I could afford the ticket
price :-(
I am sorry to hear that Dundee has folded as we had a thriving group there
45 years ago, and not many were Scots, because most of them went home after
classes.
Andrew,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Seonaid Anderson" <seonaid.gent@talk21.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

>

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The pepetrator

Message 43419 · hways · 5 Dec 2005 02:30:59 · Top

Even though this discussion is drawing to a close, it is not to late to
recommend reading the article "Which is the 'Reel' Scottish Country Dancing"
by Geoffery Selling. originally published in TACTALK, but now available on
the Delaware Valley Branch web site.

Harry

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A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

Message 43409 · Sue Porter · 4 Dec 2005 16:05:03 · Top

Hi Seonaid,

Just to say that the SUSCDF Ball last night in St Andrews was great . I was
pleased to see that there were dancers once again from Dundee and Newcastle.
The enthusiasm of all these young adult dancers, including those who had
just started to dip their toes into the S.C. dance scene and the wonderful
tunes from James Gray's band just made my night. Thanks to you all for being
very welcoming and keeping S.C. dancing alive and jigging.

Sue Porter
RSCDS Youth Director

----- Original Message -----
From: "Seonaid Anderson" <seonaid.gent@talk21.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

> Hello,
>
> As a 26 year old dancing Scot, I'd like to add my tuppence worth.
>
> My parents both dance, so I was brought up dancing (both SCD and
> Highland). However, I would not still be dancing if I hadn't found some
> enjoyment of dancing for myself.
>
> At primary school we had 'lessons' in ceilidh dancing - usually in the
> lead up to the Christmas dance. Most of these lessons were awful. The
> teachers didn't have a clue of how to do the dances themselves, so trying
> to tell others how to do it. By P6 (Age 10) I was teaching most of the
> class (or at least helping the teacher out when she got to a bit she
> wasn't sure about).
>
> At high school, in our first couple of years (age 12-14), some people did
> some SCD as part of their PE classes (I got modern dance instead). While
> these were infinitely better than the classes of primary school, they were
> still taught by the PE teacher who was a year away from retiral - again
> not very appealing as something 'cool' to do out of school. The only time
> scottish dancing became acceptable was in S5 + S6 when we had a school
> ceilidh (MC'd by a member of the local SCDC) and a formal ball which was
> split between ceilidh and disco. Even then the school was split between
> those who found activities of any sort interesting, and those who prefered
> to be hanging on the street corner smoking etc.
>
> From the age of 5, I regularly attended dances with my parents. We would
> walk through the dances in the afternoon so that we would have an idea of
> what we were doing. We went to a variety of local dances across East
> Central Scotland. In most of the places we danced, we were welcomed with
> open arms and everyone was more than willing to help us get through the
> dances.
>
> At the age of 15, I asked to join an RSCDS class because I wanted to use
> SCD for my Duke of Edinburgh Award, and none of the children's classes in
> the area would allow me to show that I had improved. I was refused
> because I was under 16, and I was absolutely gutted - even though at that
> stage I didn't really have much of an idea of what the RSCDS actually
> stood for.
>
> Luckily a few years later, I moved to university and joined the local
> branch their. They could not have been more welcoming - although I knew a
> lot of them anyway, because I had grown up dancing with them. I didn't
> have to pay any branch subscription, people offered me a lift to/from
> classes (via the pub), and more importantly, people accepted me and talked
> to me like I was a normal human being!!!! One of my latest (and most
> memorable) nights as a first year student was going out to a local dance
> and then being invited to join some of the 'zimmered' oldies for a drink
> at someone's house afterwards.
>
> Then I moved 500 miles away for the last few months of my course. This
> was a bit more of a challenge for me, as I didn't know any of the folk
> there, but I went along anyway. Again, a big warm welcome awaited me.
> They asked me what my favourite dance was and made sure they taught it (At
> that point it was Reel of the Puffins - I'm not sure they ever mastered
> it, but they had fun trying!)
>
> More recently I have been going with David to most of the dances he plays
> for. Again, this has often meant going to a group where I don't know
> anyone (or sometimes the odd one or two) which can be very daunting -
> especially when you have a husband who can never remember exactly what the
> event is that he is playing for, so you have to guess whether to wear a
> skirt and top or a ballgown!! Happily, the vast majority of groups
> welcome me warmly. However, I have had a number of occassions where
> people assume that, because I am young, I am a beginner and that I need
> told how to do all the dances (OK, after driving 400 miles to get to a
> dance, maybe sometimes I do!). I have also had occassions where I have
> sat most of the night without dancing because everyone has their partners
> sorted out too quickly for me.
>
> There are groups to which I will not go back, because I did not find the
> experience of dancing there enjoyable. On reflection, most of these are
> in Scotland.
>
> Throughout all these dancing experiences I am usually the youngest at the
> dance by at least 20 years. At some there will be two or three other
> 'young people', but out of a hall of 100 dancers, this is not good for the
> future of dancing.
>
> As others have said there is are thriving young groups around, but even
> these are having their problems. Since I started dancing on the
> university circuit in 1997 Newcastle and Dundee have both folded, Glasgow
> has struggled although I gather they are having a better year this year.
> On the up side Aberdeen and Warwick have both started groups.
>
> I firmly agree with Jenny's statement that:
>> Perhaps the most important lesson that needs to be learnt is by the
>> branches themselves - if they are serious about expanding and encouraging
>> a younger membership, they need to adopt an attitude which is conducive
>> to both attracting new people and to keeping them.
>
> However, I would take it one step further and say that it is not just up
> to the branches. It is up to every individual who dances to encourage
> young people to dance in their group (or even at another group's dance!)
>
> Finally, I would say that things within the RSCDS are moving in the right
> direction. We have the Easter School, which has helped university-type
> dancers get a positive RSCDS experience. The Inter Varsity Folk Dance
> Festival has received sponsorship from the RSCDS for the last few years
> which has again made some difference to the way the RSCDS are perceived.
>
> Again, individual RSCDS members do have a big part to play. Instead of
> expecting young dancers to come along to your dances without knowing you,
> why not go along to their dances and show that you enjoy dancing as well.
> Take some friends, if it helps you feel less intimidated. Most young
> people that are likely to be interested in dancing are unlikely to be
> anti-old people. They also realise old does not (necessarily) equal
> boring. In my area, the people that birl the most are some of the oldest
> dancers in the area! Basically, if you show an interest in them, they are
> more likely to show an interest in you.
>
> Well, this has turned into a longer ramble than I'd anticipated, so I
> think I'd better sign off now!
>
> Happy dancing,
>
> Seonaid
>
>
> Seónaid Gent
> Markinch, Fife
>
> ---------------------------------
> To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new
> Yahoo! Security Centre.
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43336 · Pia Walker · 1 Dec 2005 18:44:27 · Top

I think it is very important that birling is taught in class - to make it
safer

Thank you Anselm for putting paragraphs in Andrea's contribution :>)

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrea Re" <andrea.re@virgin.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 2:03 PM
Subject: Re: frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

> Anselm Lingnau ha scritto:
>
> Thank you Anselm for your reply. Just two quick points I didn't make
> clear in my previous message.
>
> 1) In my message I was envisaging a situation of people being at the
> dance and not in a class. Birling in a class is not on, unless stated by
> the teacher. Occasionally I indulge my class with little birling, but
> mostly because I want everyone to be able to do it. If someone did birl
> he would get a good earful, never mind the frowning action.
>
>
> >>I do birl, provided that it
> >>doesn't mess the pattern of the dance (like I don't birl my pd if I have
> >>to turn someone else, but I do birl if I have to cross cast and turn,
> >>for example). In many RSCDS circles this practice is very much frowned
> >>upon and when I know there is someone in the vicinity who frowns at
> >>birling, my tendency if to birl twice as much.....
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Then of course, there are places where
> >birling is pretty much de rigueur, and there are places where it is all
but
> >forbidden by the spirit of the location -- think of birling in Younger
Hall
> >
> >
> I am afraid I don't understand this bit. What exactly makes the Younger
> Hall (during SS I presume) a birl-free zone?
>
> >
> >
> >>At the end of the day people are being bullied (letting
> >>themselves being bullied) into doing or not doing something at a social
> >>dance and the bullying is done by some people in the establishment.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >... I have
> >seen then-current RSCDS chairpeople birl all over the place during
Younger
> >Hall ceilidhs.
> >
> >
> Is the choice of words meant? Do you actually mean ceilidh?
>
> 2) When I said 2the public at large" I meant people in Scotland, where I
> reside. I often forget that people from all over are on Strathspey.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43351 · Ron Mackey · 1 Dec 2005 23:28:30 · Top

> I think it is very important that birling is taught in class - to make it
> safer
>
> Thank you Anselm for putting paragraphs in Andrea's contribution :>)
>
> Pia

How many of the 'burlers' can do it left about?? As in
Highland?
If you are going to teach it make sure that it can be done either hand as
it helps with balance and perspective.
Yes, I am a leftie! :)

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SCD

Message 43343 · Stella Fogg · 1 Dec 2005 21:08:45 · Top

Anselm wrote:

With SCD, we have a pastime that is social, happily exhausting for both body
and mind, universally standardised, part of an ongoing tradition of art and
invention, and generally practised by very nice people all over the world.
What else could one want?

Thank you Anselm!

Stella Fogg
Richmond, VA

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SCD

Message 43347 · Patricia Ruggiero · 1 Dec 2005 22:22:13 · Top

Anselm wrote:
>
> With SCD, we have a pastime that is social, happily
> exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised,
> part of an ongoing tradition of art and invention, and
> generally practised by very nice people all over the world.
> What else could one want?

A couple of months ago, at our weekly SCD class, two women walked in whom
all but one of us had never seen before. We greeted them warmly. One woman
lived here; the other was her guest: a Scottish dancer from England. The
two had earlier consulted the newspaper for interesting activities, saw us
listed, and showed up. While her hostess was content to watch, the
Englishwoman joined right in, knowing all the dances. This, of course, was
no surprise. What was remarkable was the fact that the Englishwoman was a
member of the ECD group (Norwich, I think), where one of our teachers
(Stella, that would be Dale) was introduced to ECD about 25 years ago. And
here they were, reunited, quite by chance, at our SCD class.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia USA

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article almost finished?

Message 43356 · Pia Walker · 2 Dec 2005 00:12:51 · Top

Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the editor as
it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would like to
be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send it in for
Monday.

Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could they send
some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
quote....

Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a title?]

We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not
just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal to
older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
perspective?

At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go,
we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
Scottish Country Dancing.

There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by young
very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
Zealand - in all countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that
they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such
a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
correspondent's that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum, that
many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may well
be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in all
the time and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.

With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else could
one want?

Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world. It
is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
Dancers do this already.

Sincerely yours

Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria
Martin Sheffield, Grenoble, France
Gary Lindsey, Dayton, Ohio, USA
Ron Mackey, London, UK
Tom Mungall, III, Baton Rouge, La, USA
Fran Smith (South Wales) UK
Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Robb Quint, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
Patricia Ruggiero, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
Jane Hewitt, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Stella Fogg, Richmond, VA USA and Gourock, Scotland
Paula Jacobson, Aptos, California, USA
Jay Andrews, Alexandria, VA, USA
Phyl Gaskell, Mexico
Campbell Tyler, Cape Town, South Africa
Helen Beaney, Dublin, Ireland
Margaret Lambourne, Holland
Susi Mayr, Vienna, Austria
Doug Mills, Christchurch, New Zealand

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article almost finished?

Message 43363 · Jo Dahl · 2 Dec 2005 05:48:04 · Top

On 02/12/2005, at 9:12 AM, Pia Walker wrote:

> Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the
> editor as
> it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would
> like to
> be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send
> it in for
> Monday.
>
> Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
> themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could
> they send
> some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
> quote....
>
>
> Dance, Dance wherever you may be... [any better suggestions for a
> title?]

Excellent final effort Pia, congratulations.

Please add my name to your list. There does not appear to be anyone
else from Australia as yet!

Happy dancing

Jo Dahl,
Caledonians,
Brisbane
Australia

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article almost finished?

Message 43365 · Carfuffle · 2 Dec 2005 08:04:50 · Top



Hi Pia,
We've not met, thought I'd like to..........
I've read most of the responses to the original question/issue, and
would like to add a few comments.
!. please don't forget the physically "challenged" dancers. There
have been dance adaptations for those in wheelchairs who are still interested
in, and active in SCD. We cannot forget these dancers.
We also have dancers who, in other situations, would be deemed "mentally
handicapped/challenged" who dance better than I might hope to dance myself
(I've danced with them). SCD has appeal for Anyone who is up to a FUN
challenge!
In our dance group, Rochester, NY, it is Not uncommon for a whole set to
dissolve in laughter (rather than frowning) about an "error" or something,
to the point that no one in the set can continue. FUN is the Key word!! If
people aren't having Fun, they drop out.

Nadene Hunter
Dansville NY
(dancer in Rochester, NY)

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article almost finished?

Message 43366 · Carfuffle · 2 Dec 2005 08:06:37 · Top



Please add me to the list.
Nadene Hunter
Dansville NY USA

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article almost finished?

Message 43367 · Pia Walker · 2 Dec 2005 08:13:44 · Top

I added - abilities in top line - suitably surrounded by commas :>)

pia
----- Original Message -----
From: <Carfuffle@aol.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: article almost finished?

>
>
> Hi Pia,
> We've not met, thought I'd like to..........
> I've read most of the responses to the original question/issue, and
> would like to add a few comments.
> !. please don't forget the physically "challenged" dancers. There
> have been dance adaptations for those in wheelchairs who are still
interested
> in, and active in SCD. We cannot forget these dancers.
> We also have dancers who, in other situations, would be deemed
"mentally
> handicapped/challenged" who dance better than I might hope to dance
myself
> (I've danced with them). SCD has appeal for Anyone who is up to a FUN
> challenge!
> In our dance group, Rochester, NY, it is Not uncommon for a whole set
to
> dissolve in laughter (rather than frowning) about an "error" or
something,
> to the point that no one in the set can continue. FUN is the Key word!!
If
> people aren't having Fun, they drop out.
>
> Nadene Hunter
> Dansville NY
> (dancer in Rochester, NY)
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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article almost finished?

Message 43368 · Sophie Rickebusch · 2 Dec 2005 08:58:26 · Top

Pia, please add my name on too.

Sophie Rickebusch, Zurich, Switzerland

Quoting Pia Walker <pia@intamail.com>:

> Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the editor as
> it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would like to
> be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send it in for
> Monday.
>
> Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
> themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could they send
> some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
> quote....
>
>
> Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a title?]
>
> We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
> various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
> November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
> However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
> dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not
> just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
> RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal to
> older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
> free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
> alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
> perspective?
>
> At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
> Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
> Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
> estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
> opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go,
> we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
> gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
> opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
> Scottish Country Dancing.
>
> There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by young
> very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
> culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
> the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
> Zealand - in all countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that
> they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
> think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such
> a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
> being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
> correspondent's that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum, that
> many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may well
> be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in all
> the time and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.
>
> With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
> exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
> ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
> generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else could
> one want?
>
> Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
> Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
> network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
> for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
> and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world. It
> is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
> aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
> can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
> Dancers do this already.
>
> Sincerely yours
>
> Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
> Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
> Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria
> Martin Sheffield, Grenoble, France
> Gary Lindsey, Dayton, Ohio, USA
> Ron Mackey, London, UK
> Tom Mungall, III, Baton Rouge, La, USA
> Fran Smith (South Wales) UK
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
> Robb Quint, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
> Patricia Ruggiero, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
> Jane Hewitt, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
> Stella Fogg, Richmond, VA USA and Gourock, Scotland
> Paula Jacobson, Aptos, California, USA
> Jay Andrews, Alexandria, VA, USA
> Phyl Gaskell, Mexico
> Campbell Tyler, Cape Town, South Africa
> Helen Beaney, Dublin, Ireland
> Margaret Lambourne, Holland
> Susi Mayr, Vienna, Austria
> Doug Mills, Christchurch, New Zealand
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

--
Sophie Rickebusch
CH - Wettswil a. A.

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Message 43370 · Martin · 2 Dec 2005 10:08:05 · Top

That seems fine, Pia, but ...
since the phrase sounds like what I wrote, may I say that what you have
written is not what I meant.
> it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
> for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
> and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world.

No, Scotland is respected in many places because of the amazing number of
Scottish philosophers and scientists that have left their mark on our
society (small S!) since the 18th c, the contribution of Scottish soldiers
in 20th c wars, and the success of popular Scottish ("Celtic") music in the
21st c.
I really do not think that Miss M or Mrs S had anything to do with the Scots
being known and respected around the world -- in non-dancing circles, of
course.

Martin

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Message 43371 · Martin · 2 Dec 2005 10:18:03 · Top

On rereading your message and my reply, Pia, perhaps I am the one that
misunderstood. Sorry !
(re: repsect for Scotland)

Martin

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Message 43374 · Kirk Bachler · 2 Dec 2005 15:02:00 · Top

Hello Pia

Please add my Signature

Kirk Bachler, Minnesota,USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pia Walker" <pia@intamail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: 12/01/2005 5:12 PM
Subject: article almost finished?

> Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the editor as
> it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would like to
> be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send it in
for
> Monday.
>
> Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
> themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could they
send
> some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
> quote....
>
>
> Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a
title?]
>
> We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
> various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
> November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
> However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
> dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're
not
> just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
> RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal
to
> older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
> free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
> alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
> perspective?
>
> At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
> Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
> Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
> estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
> opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we
go,
> we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
> gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
> opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
> Scottish Country Dancing.
>
> There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by
young
> very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
> culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
> the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia,
New
> Zealand - in all countries and on all continents, who are keen to show
that
> they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
> think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has
such
> a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
> being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
> correspondent's that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum,
that
> many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may
well
> be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in
all
> the time and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.
>
> With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
> exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
> ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
> generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else
could
> one want?
>
> Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
> Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
> network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
> for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
> and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world.
It
> is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
> aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
> can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
> Dancers do this already.
>
> Sincerely yours
>
> Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
> Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
> Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria
> Martin Sheffield, Grenoble, France
> Gary Lindsey, Dayton, Ohio, USA
> Ron Mackey, London, UK
> Tom Mungall, III, Baton Rouge, La, USA
> Fran Smith (South Wales) UK
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
> Robb Quint, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
> Patricia Ruggiero, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
> Jane Hewitt, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
> Stella Fogg, Richmond, VA USA and Gourock, Scotland
> Paula Jacobson, Aptos, California, USA
> Jay Andrews, Alexandria, VA, USA
> Phyl Gaskell, Mexico
> Campbell Tyler, Cape Town, South Africa
> Helen Beaney, Dublin, Ireland
> Margaret Lambourne, Holland
> Susi Mayr, Vienna, Austria
> Doug Mills, Christchurch, New Zealand
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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article almost finished?

Message 43375 · John Chambers · 2 Dec 2005 15:40:50 · Top

Nadene Hunter commented:
| We also have dancers who, in other situations, would be deemed "mentally
| handicapped/challenged" who dance better than I might hope to dance myself
| (I've danced with them). SCD has appeal for Anyone who is up to a FUN
| challenge!

I've played for a number of dances for people in wheelchairs, people
with mental handicaps, and once for people who were both. Here in the
Boston area, we have one contra-dance caller who uses a wheelchair.

I've read of this being carried to a real extreme: If you google for
"square-dance tractors" you'll find a lot of stories about a couple
of groups that do square dances on tractors. They are performng
groups who "dance" at events like state fairs. In at least one case,
they decorated their tractors with "clothes" that looked like the
fancy Western outfits that performing square-dance groups like to
wear. They were obviously having fun.

I've also read of a group doing this with riding lawnmowers, but
google doesn't seem to know about this.

It does seem that people with wheelchairs could well benefit from
talking to the tractor people. They obviously have a lot of the same
technical problems, so sharing ideas could be helpful to both.

I'd have my doubts about truly implementing RSCDS-style dancing with
motorized vehicles. How would you translate the footwork or the arm
holds in some figures? But the simpler figures of ceilidh dance,
contra dance, and the more basic square/quadrille sets should work
pretty well. I wonder if anyone in the UK has done this sort of
thing? If not, there's an opportunity here for someone.

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Message 43376 · Claude Hutton · 2 Dec 2005 15:53:55 · Top

Hello Ms. Walker,

I have been following your draught letter and its many editings with interest. Your final product certainly expresses my long-held beliefs. It would be a to be added to your list of signatories. Thank you for your hard work.

Claude Hutton
Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada

======= At 2005-12-01, 23:12:00 you wrote: =======

>Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the editor as
>it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would like to
>be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send it in for
>Monday.
>
>Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
>themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could they send
>some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
>quote....
>
>
>Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a title?]
>
>We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
>various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
>November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
>However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
>dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not
>just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
>RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal to
>older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
>free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
>alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
>perspective?
>
>At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
>Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
>Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
>estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
>opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go,
>we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
>gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
>opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
>Scottish Country Dancing.
>
>There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by young
>very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
>culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
>the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
>Zealand - in all countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that
>they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
>think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such
>a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
>being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
>correspondent's that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum, that
>many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may well
>be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in all
>the time and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.
>
>With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
>exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
>ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
>generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else could
>one want?
>
>Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
>RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
>Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
>network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
>for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
>and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world. It
>is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
>aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
>can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
>Dancers do this already.
>
>Sincerely yours
>
>Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
>Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
>Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria
>Martin Sheffield, Grenoble, France
>Gary Lindsey, Dayton, Ohio, USA
>Ron Mackey, London, UK
>Tom Mungall, III, Baton Rouge, La, USA
>Fran Smith (South Wales) UK
>Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
>Robb Quint, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
>Patricia Ruggiero, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
>Jane Hewitt, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
>Stella Fogg, Richmond, VA USA and Gourock, Scotland
>Paula Jacobson, Aptos, California, USA
>Jay Andrews, Alexandria, VA, USA
>Phyl Gaskell, Mexico
>Campbell Tyler, Cape Town, South Africa
>Helen Beaney, Dublin, Ireland
>Margaret Lambourne, Holland
>Susi Mayr, Vienna, Austria
>Doug Mills, Christchurch, New Zealand
>
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Best regards.
Dr. Claude W Hutton
cwhutton@shaw.ca
2005-12-02

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article almost finished?

Message 43378 · Andrea Re · 2 Dec 2005 16:39:38 · Top

>Hello Ms. Walker,
>
>
Ms Walker..... my!
Usually that title is for me, Ms A. Re (AKA Miserey)

>I have been following your draught letter and its many editings with interest. Your final product certainly expresses my long-held beliefs. It would be a to be added to your list of signatories.
>
better put my one as well, although there is one bit I am not convinced
about.

>
>
>>Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a title?]
>>
>>We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
>>various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
>>November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
>>However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
>>dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not
>>just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
>>RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal to
>>older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
>>free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
>>alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
>>perspective?
>>
>>At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
>>Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
>>Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
>>estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
>>opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go,
>>we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
>>gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
>>opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
>>Scottish Country Dancing.
>>
>>There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by young
>>very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
>>culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
>>the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
>>Zealand
>>
less talented than the people from Russia, etc.?

>> - in all countries
>>
A bit of an overstatement

>> and on all continents, who are keen to show that
>>they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
>>think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such
>>a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
>>being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
>>correspondent's that we are a dying breed,
>>
yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years. To give you
but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!) members. Now we
have about 80 (paying ones).

>> is perpetuated ad infinitum, that
>>many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may well
>>be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in all
>>the time
>>
That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
grey-heads.

>> and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.
>>
>>
Don't think so either. It is not impossible to envisage the society
disbanding within a few (10, 20, 30?) years. It would probably be
replaced by something else, so that SCD dancing could continue, although
in a different form from today's.

>>With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
>>exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
>>ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
>>generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else could
>>one want?
>>
>>Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
>>RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome,
>>
Whether or not this is true, this is the perception. Can we prove that
this is not the case?
The guy in the article stated that the society is stuffy, greying and
moribund. The last assertion is pure speculation, the second undeniably
true and the first is to be refuted, if one can. The problem is that I
am afraid one can't. I don't think the letter proves this point; it
states it, but it doesn't demonstrate it. It is true that overseas there
are many thriving branches, but this does not have, unfortunately,
anything to do with Scotland itself.

>> had as an objective to promote
>>Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
>>network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
>>for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
>>and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world. It
>>is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
>>aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
>>can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
>>Dancers do this already.
>>
>>
>>
Probably the bits the represent a wish more than a reality should be
left out, so that you don't give a reason for a counter-reply. Maybe we
should acknowledge that there is a problem and stress the existence of
beginners' classes in many places; mention uni groups as an example of
youths dancing (are you going to SUSCDF? If I can get hold of a digital
camera, I'll try to get some pictures.); quote the sheer number of
dances available in the area (I counted 12 in the Dundee, Fife and Angus
area in December alone, according to John Sturrock, plus SUSCDF) to show
that the movement is still alive and so on. After all the article was
written in the Scotsman and it is intended only for a Scottish audience.
I am sorry if I am dragging on this long, but I feel that there are
issues that must be addressed to make sure there will be a RSCDS when my
hair goes grey.

Andrea

PS

I need directions for Wed.
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Message 43382 · Pia Walker · 2 Dec 2005 18:30:01 · Top

Dear Mr Misery - AKA Mr Re - AKA mysteri:>)

> Usually that title is for me, Ms A. Re (AKA Miserey)

I will put your name on the list.

No - and it is no competition Andrea - I wanted the reader to know that SCD
was alive and kicking (pointing a foot) in places which is not normally
thought of a a scottish tradition stronghold. And I certainly don't think
that 'all countries' is an over estimate - the sad thing is that here in
Scotland very few people - even amongst the die hard SCD fraternity reallize
how popular this is.

" There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by
young
very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
Zealand"

less talented than the people from Russia, etc.?
>
in all countries
> A bit of an overstatement
>
> yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years. To give you
> but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!) members. Now we
> have about 80 (paying ones).

You are talking about membership of the RSCDS - not about who actually
dances - and this is one of the major mistakes within the RSCDS the idea
that the only ones worth mentioned is the member of RSCDS - there are sooooo
many out there who have never heard about RSCDS even though their teacher
may be a member - there are dance groups up and down Scotland who are not
affilliated or belonging as individual members to RSCDS, however they still
exist, they still dance according to RSCDS ideas. To rectify this is an
iternal RSCDS matter - it is not the same as getting new dancers.

>
> >> is perpetuated ad infinitum, that many Scots themselves seem not value
part of their heritage. There may well be a number of grey heads in the
dance hall, but new blood is coming in all the time
> >>
> That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
> circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
> grey-heads.

Only in some places, Andrea, in other places - RSCDS places albeit around
the world - there are a great number of young people taking the initiative,
because I expect there are no precedent - i.e. nobody to say We can't
possible do this - we have never done it this way before - so it just can't
be done" - it is a matter of trying it - if it works great - if it doesn't
well try something else"

And, anyway, SCD should be quite proud that participants can join at any age
and go on for as long as the body is willing, and perhaps this should be
promoted more - join an artform/sport where you can actively participate
until they carry you out feet first - we have recently heard of several
dancers passing away - the fact that they were in their 80's and still
dancing is to me amazing - but to the general dancer, not so it is the norm.
There should be a study undertaken on why SCD participants are able to be
active for so long. It is not a shame to be grey-haired and dancing -
that's ageism - what is a shame is that RSCDS have the reputation of not
letting in non-grey haired people - 'youngism?'

> >> and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.

> Don't think so either. It is not impossible to envisage the society
> disbanding within a few (10, 20, 30?) years. It would probably be
> replaced by something else, so that SCD dancing could continue, although
> in a different form from today's.

So the future of SCD is safe whatever happens :>) You are actually
admitting that SCD and RSCDS may not be the same thing.

> >>Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> >>RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome,
> >>
> Whether or not this is true, this is the perception. Can we prove that
> this is not the case?
> The guy in the article stated that the society is stuffy, greying and
> moribund. The last assertion is pure speculation, the second undeniably
> true and the first is to be refuted, if one can. The problem is that I
> am afraid one can't. I don't think the letter proves this point; it
> states it, but it doesn't demonstrate it. It is true that overseas there
> are many thriving branches, but this does not have, unfortunately,
> anything to do with Scotland itself.

Well - indirectly, it means that Scotland should learn to be proud of their
heritage - whatever that heritage is - I have been to Hawai and seen student
guides in grass skirts proudly talk about their heritage without denigrating
it - why shouldn't Scotland?

>
> >> had as an objective to promote Scottish dancing throughout the World
already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so - it is their efforts
which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan dolls and kitsch
that Scottish dancing and its music and therefore Scotland has a respected
name in many parts of the world. It is due to this effort, that there are
people all over the world who are aware of and accept that people are
different, but that these differences
can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
Dancers do this already.

The article is a response to the hint that ALL RSCDS is what has already
been stated - That there is a problem - is an internal problem first and
foremost, and when presented with an outside view, the least RSCS'ers can do
is to stand together and say - "but we love it".

Dear Andrea - Don't worry about going on for too long - it is good to see
new blood on Strathspey who knows how to stir :>) - What we now need to do,
is get you to see that Ceilidh dancing and other kind of dancing is fun too
:>) :>)

Directions will be sent privately.

Pia
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

_______________________________________________
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article almost finished?

Message 43384 · Andrea Re · 2 Dec 2005 18:57:28 · Top

Pia Walker ha scritto:

>Dear Mr Misery - AKA Mr Re - AKA mysteri:>)
>
>
That's me (and those who know me will know that my motto is "we are not
here to enjoy ourselves":=)

Ok, let's spam the list again, shall we?:)

>>yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years. To give you
>>but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!) members. Now we
>>have about 80 (paying ones).
>>
>>
>
>You are talking about membership of the RSCDS - not about who actually
>dances - and this is one of the major mistakes within the RSCDS the idea
>that the only ones worth mentioned is the member of RSCDS - there are sooooo
>many out there who have never heard about RSCDS even though their teacher
>may be a member - there are dance groups up and down Scotland who are not
>affilliated or belonging as individual members to RSCDS, however they still
>exist, they still dance according to RSCDS ideas. To rectify this is an
>iternal RSCDS matter - it is not the same as getting new dancers.
>
>
>
Then, why is there the need for non RSCDS groups? I can think of two:
Dunedin in Edinburgh and Aurora in Aberdeen (and the universities). I
have never been to a Dunedin dance but I am told they are quite fun and
that the group is quite youthful. So why was the group created in the
first place? There must have been a reason for some folks to go away and
start their own thing. A similar argument applies to Aurora

>>That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
>>circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
>>grey-heads.
>>
>>
>
>Only in some places, Andrea, in other places - RSCDS places albeit around
>the world - there are a great number of young people taking the initiative,
>because I expect there are no precedent - i.e. nobody to say We can't
>possible do this - we have never done it this way before - so it just can't
>be done" - it is a matter of trying it - if it works great - if it doesn't
>well try something else"
>
>
As I said, "around the world" does not apply, if not as a reminder that
things can be different.

However the core question still remains unanswered: "why is the RSCDS in
Scotland (perceived as) stuffy, greying and moribund?"
In the knowledge that somewhere in Scotland itself things are different
makes this question ever more important.

I am looking forward to reading Ian's insights on this matter.

Andrea (fae Dundee)

PS

Another question, why two foreigners are talking so much about it? Prey,
where are the Scots?
_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Personal SCD motto

Message 43387 · Iain Boyd · 2 Dec 2005 21:33:51 · Top

>That's me (and those who know me will know that my motto is "we are not
>here to enjoy ourselves":=)

I like it! My feelings entirely.

Regards,

Iain Boyd



Andrea Re <andrea.re@virgin.net> wrote:
Pia Walker ha scritto:

>Dear Mr Misery - AKA Mr Re - AKA mysteri:>)
>
>
That's me (and those who know me will know that my motto is "we are not
here to enjoy ourselves":=)

Ok, let's spam the list again, shall we?:)

>>yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years. To give you
>>but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!) members. Now we
>>have about 80 (paying ones).
>>
>>
>
>You are talking about membership of the RSCDS - not about who actually
>dances - and this is one of the major mistakes within the RSCDS the idea
>that the only ones worth mentioned is the member of RSCDS - there are sooooo
>many out there who have never heard about RSCDS even though their teacher
>may be a member - there are dance groups up and down Scotland who are not
>affilliated or belonging as individual members to RSCDS, however they still
>exist, they still dance according to RSCDS ideas. To rectify this is an
>iternal RSCDS matter - it is not the same as getting new dancers.
>
>
>
Then, why is there the need for non RSCDS groups? I can think of two:
Dunedin in Edinburgh and Aurora in Aberdeen (and the universities). I
have never been to a Dunedin dance but I am told they are quite fun and
that the group is quite youthful. So why was the group created in the
first place? There must have been a reason for some folks to go away and
start their own thing. A similar argument applies to Aurora

>>That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
>>circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
>>grey-heads.
>>
>>
>
>Only in some places, Andrea, in other places - RSCDS places albeit around
>the world - there are a great number of young people taking the initiative,
>because I expect there are no precedent - i.e. nobody to say We can't
>possible do this - we have never done it this way before - so it just can't
>be done" - it is a matter of trying it - if it works great - if it doesn't
>well try something else"
>
>
As I said, "around the world" does not apply, if not as a reminder that
things can be different.

However the core question still remains unanswered: "why is the RSCDS in
Scotland (perceived as) stuffy, greying and moribund?"
In the knowledge that somewhere in Scotland itself things are different
makes this question ever more important.

I am looking forward to reading Ian's insights on this matter.

Andrea (fae Dundee)

PS

Another question, why two foreigners are talking so much about it? Prey,
where are the Scots?
_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
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article almost finished?

Message 43389 · Louise Fordyce · 2 Dec 2005 22:05:15 · Top

Well as a Scot now in England I would just like to ask a question. If "we
are not here to enjoy ourselves" then what is the point?

To quote the new manual P15 (yes Andrea it has made it out of the plastic
now!) "Above all, it should be enjoyable, offering plenty of opportunity for
frienship and fun."

Surely enjoyment plays a large part in SCD. As a primary teacher I will
also say that people learn far better if they are enjoying themselves and
they want to repeat the experience. If I said to my kids every day that
they were not there to have fun and sit them down to chalk and talk lessons
I can guarantee that they would not necessarily learn as much or have the
want to learn. Yes set the standards, but deliver them in a way that is
enjoyable.

Louise
(who for those who don't know me will still class herself as being one of
the young ones!)

>From: Andrea Re <andrea.re@virgin.net>
>Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Subject: Re: article almost finished?
>Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 17:57:28 +0000
>
>Pia Walker ha scritto:
>
>>Dear Mr Misery - AKA Mr Re - AKA mysteri:>)
>>
>>
>That's me (and those who know me will know that my motto is "we are not
>here to enjoy ourselves":=)
>
>Ok, let's spam the list again, shall we?:)
>
>>>yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years. To give you
>>>but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!) members. Now we
>>>have about 80 (paying ones).
>>>
>>>
>>
>>You are talking about membership of the RSCDS - not about who actually
>>dances - and this is one of the major mistakes within the RSCDS the idea
>>that the only ones worth mentioned is the member of RSCDS - there are
>>sooooo
>>many out there who have never heard about RSCDS even though their teacher
>>may be a member - there are dance groups up and down Scotland who are not
>>affilliated or belonging as individual members to RSCDS, however they
>>still
>>exist, they still dance according to RSCDS ideas. To rectify this is an
>>iternal RSCDS matter - it is not the same as getting new dancers.
>>
>>
>>
>Then, why is there the need for non RSCDS groups? I can think of two:
>Dunedin in Edinburgh and Aurora in Aberdeen (and the universities). I have
>never been to a Dunedin dance but I am told they are quite fun and that the
>group is quite youthful. So why was the group created in the first place?
>There must have been a reason for some folks to go away and start their own
>thing. A similar argument applies to Aurora
>
>>>That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
>>>circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
>>>grey-heads.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>Only in some places, Andrea, in other places - RSCDS places albeit around
>>the world - there are a great number of young people taking the
>>initiative,
>>because I expect there are no precedent - i.e. nobody to say We can't
>>possible do this - we have never done it this way before - so it just
>>can't
>>be done" - it is a matter of trying it - if it works great - if it doesn't
>>well try something else"
>>
>>
>As I said, "around the world" does not apply, if not as a reminder that
>things can be different.
>
>However the core question still remains unanswered: "why is the RSCDS in
>Scotland (perceived as) stuffy, greying and moribund?"
>In the knowledge that somewhere in Scotland itself things are different
>makes this question ever more important.
>
>I am looking forward to reading Ian's insights on this matter.
>
>Andrea (fae Dundee)
>
>PS
>
>Another question, why two foreigners are talking so much about it? Prey,
>where are the Scots?
>_______________________________________________
>http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

article almost finished?

Message 43393 · Ron Mackey · 3 Dec 2005 01:15:36 · Top

> Andrea (fae Dundee)
>
> PS
>
> Another question, why two foreigners are talking so much about it? Prey,
> where are the Scots?

Give us a chance, we've only just got back from the dancing!!
:))

_______________________________________________
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article almost finished?

Message 43450 · Ian Brockbank · 8 Dec 2005 10:59:00 · Top

Hi Andrea,

[Sorry for the delay - just found this half-written in my mailbox.]

> Then, why is there the need for non RSCDS groups? I can think of two:
> Dunedin in Edinburgh and Aurora in Aberdeen (and the universities). I
> have never been to a Dunedin dance but I am told they are
> quite fun and
> that the group is quite youthful. So why was the group created in the
> first place? There must have been a reason for some folks to
> go away and
> start their own thing. A similar argument applies to Aurora

Dunedin Dancers was a spin-off of Edinburgh University's group "New
Scotland" formed by NS members as a forum for going on trips and running
a biennial folk festival. Aurora was set up by ex-Dunedin members who
moved up to Aberdeen and wanted to do similar. I don't think either of
them attempt to teach new dancers (Dunedin certainly doesn't) - though
they're delighted to welcome any existing dancers.

Also, I wouldn't like to rely on the university groups. Aberdeen folded
8-10 years ago and only exists now because someone from an RSCDS group
moved to Aberdeen to study and got it going again.

SCD is perceived in Scotland as moribund at least partly because we let
it. Having got a bad name, people just remember the few instances which
support that view and don't see the many which don't. Also, the
infighting doesn't help. The RSCDS has quite a bad name in some of the
university societies; they don't seem to realise that they are viewed
the same way by the general population of Scotland and that their
harping on about the bad aspects highlights them in general.

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/


> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-ian=scottishdance.net@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-ian=scottishdance.net@strathspey.or
> g] On Behalf Of Andrea Re
> Sent: 02 December 2005 17:57
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: article almost finished?
>
> Pia Walker ha scritto:
>
> >Dear Mr Misery - AKA Mr Re - AKA mysteri:>)
> >
> >
> That's me (and those who know me will know that my motto is
> "we are not
> here to enjoy ourselves":=)
>
> Ok, let's spam the list again, shall we?:)
>
> >>yes, but the numbers have been going down for many years.
> To give you
> >>but one figure, in Dundee in 1956-7 we had 798(!!!!!)
> members. Now we
> >>have about 80 (paying ones).
> >>
> >>
> >
> >You are talking about membership of the RSCDS - not about
> who actually
> >dances - and this is one of the major mistakes within the
> RSCDS the idea
> >that the only ones worth mentioned is the member of RSCDS -
> there are sooooo
> >many out there who have never heard about RSCDS even though
> their teacher
> >may be a member - there are dance groups up and down
> Scotland who are not
> >affilliated or belonging as individual members to RSCDS,
> however they still
> >exist, they still dance according to RSCDS ideas. To
> rectify this is an
> >iternal RSCDS matter - it is not the same as getting new dancers.
> >
> >
> >
> Then, why is there the need for non RSCDS groups? I can think of two:
> Dunedin in Edinburgh and Aurora in Aberdeen (and the universities). I
> have never been to a Dunedin dance but I am told they are
> quite fun and
> that the group is quite youthful. So why was the group created in the
> first place? There must have been a reason for some folks to
> go away and
> start their own thing. A similar argument applies to Aurora
>
> >>That's just not true. Some youngesters do appear, but in university
> >>circles mostly. Within the RSCDS they are vastly outnumbered by the
> >>grey-heads.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Only in some places, Andrea, in other places - RSCDS places
> albeit around
> >the world - there are a great number of young people taking
> the initiative,
> >because I expect there are no precedent - i.e. nobody to say
> We can't
> >possible do this - we have never done it this way before -
> so it just can't
> >be done" - it is a matter of trying it - if it works great -
> if it doesn't
> >well try something else"
> >
> >
> As I said, "around the world" does not apply, if not as a
> reminder that
> things can be different.
>
> However the core question still remains unanswered: "why is
> the RSCDS in
> Scotland (perceived as) stuffy, greying and moribund?"
> In the knowledge that somewhere in Scotland itself things are
> different
> makes this question ever more important.
>
> I am looking forward to reading Ian's insights on this matter.
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)
>
> PS
>
> Another question, why two foreigners are talking so much
> about it? Prey,
> where are the Scots?
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

article almost finished?

Message 43379 · Andrea Re · 2 Dec 2005 16:41:35 · Top

Apologies to all, especially Pia.... My last message was supposed to be
a private one, but the hand was quicker than the brain:(
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article almost finished?

Message 43380 · Eric Clyde · 2 Dec 2005 16:48:36 · Top

Pia:
I think it is a very good summary of the situation. I would, however,
change the beginning
of paragraph three to "There is Scottish country dancing in Russia ..."

You can add my name to the list of supporters.

Eric Clyde, Ottawa, Canada

Pia Walker wrote:

>Please find the penultimate version of the article/letter to the editor as
>it stands - please if you are not on the signature list, but would like to
>be, tell me - I aim to finish this off during the weekend and send it in for
>Monday.
>
>Does anyone have some good photoes og 'mixed dancers' who are enjoying
>themselves :>) YES - all kinds of mix welcome :>) Please could they send
>some to me, I will then add them - a picture tells a 1000....... to
>quote....
>
>
>Dance, Dance whereever you may be... [any better suggestions for a title?]
>
>We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, and
>various ethnic origins. We were delighted to see your article of 15th
>November 2005 bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote.
>However, we are many from this world wide community of Scottish country
>dancers who have been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not
>just living in the past) and object to the way the article presented
>RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as something that would only appeal to
>older folks and suggested that RSCDS dancers are uptight compared to
>free-spirited ceidlidh dancers. We have therefore produced this
>alternative view. As a newspaper should you not provide a balanced
>perspective?
>
>At this particular time, throughout the world, the 'ballroom' style of
>Scottish country dancing as promoted and taught by the Royal Scottish
>Country Dance Society, based in Edinburgh is danced by more than an
>estimated 50.000+ people. Why? Because they love it - it is an
>opportunity to create beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go,
>we can meet up with likeminded people, young and old and join in dances,
>gatherings, classes - we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different
>opinions in an always sociable setting because of one common pastime -
>Scottish Country Dancing.
>
>There are Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary led by young
>very talented Scottish country dancers who are as proud to be part of this
>culture as they are of their own. There are groups all over the world, in
>the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New
>Zealand - in all countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that
>they are part of an organisation which brings people together. We can
>think of no other country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such
>a popular following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth
>being promoted by Scotland itself and by assertions such as your
>correspondent's that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum, that
>many Scots themselves seem not value part of their heritage. There may well
>be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is coming in all
>the time and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.
>
>With Scottish country dancing, we have a pastime that is social, happily
>exhausting for both body and mind, universally standardised, part of an
>ongoing tradition of art and invention, and as previously explained
>generally practised by very nice people all over the world. What else could
>one want?
>
>Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
>RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
>Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
>network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
>for more than tartan dolls and kitsch that Scottish dancing and its music
>and therefore Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world. It
>is due to this effort, that there are people all over the world who are
>aware of and accept that people are different, but that these differences
>can be overcome through the common language of dancing - Scottish Country
>Dancers do this already.
>
>Sincerely yours
>
>Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
>Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
>Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria
>Martin Sheffield, Grenoble, France
>Gary Lindsey, Dayton, Ohio, USA
>Ron Mackey, London, UK
>Tom Mungall, III, Baton Rouge, La, USA
>Fran Smith (South Wales) UK
>Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
>Robb Quint, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
>Patricia Ruggiero, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
>Jane Hewitt, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
>Stella Fogg, Richmond, VA USA and Gourock, Scotland
>Paula Jacobson, Aptos, California, USA
>Jay Andrews, Alexandria, VA, USA
>Phyl Gaskell, Mexico
>Campbell Tyler, Cape Town, South Africa
>Helen Beaney, Dublin, Ireland
>Margaret Lambourne, Holland
>Susi Mayr, Vienna, Austria
>Doug Mills, Christchurch, New Zealand
>
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
>
>

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article almost finished?

Message 43381 · Ian Brockbank · 2 Dec 2005 18:15:36 · Top

HI Pia,

Sorry I've not joined in up until now. This looks an extremely good
article. I'd add something about the student scene, though, e.g.:

> There may well be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new
blood
> is coming in all the time

(your original article interviewed members of Edinburgh University's
thriving SCD society "New Scotland")

> and through them the future of Scottish country dancing is safe.

I've got some grammatical suggestions too, but I've got to run now;
I'll try to send them once the kids are in bed.

I'd be delighted to be added as a signatory from their home town.

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/
_______________________________________________
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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43352 · Doug Mills · 1 Dec 2005 23:37:00 · Top

At 12:06 a.m. 2/12/2005, Andrea wrote:

>.... Mairi's wedding without extra twirls is hardly worth doing, .....

This is rather a bold statement about Mairis Wedding. I'm not much
bothered about birling, twirling and spinning my way through MW, but
somehow despite Andrea's concerns I still manage to enjoy myself immensly
doing the dance.

I'd be more concerned at someone telling me it can't be enjoyed unless all
those "extra's" are added.

Doug Mills
Christchurch, NZ

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frowns, birls and the Scotsman (looooong)

Message 43355 · SMiskoe · 2 Dec 2005 00:05:00 · Top


In a message dated 12/1/2005 5:44:17 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
radagast@cyberxpress.co.nz writes:

birling, twirling and spinning

Interesting parallels here with modern contra dancing. If one hurries a bit
in some of the figures there is opportunity to spin before getting into the
next figure. And if one spin is good, probably two are better, and let's try
3 and beat the others. There is always discussion about spinning and
twirling the women and is it good, should it be done, how the ladies can discourage
a spin/twirl, etc. For example, in a ladies' chain, which is almost the
same in both genres, the ladies can spin as they approach each other to pass R
hands, in turning the man they can get twirled once or twice and repeat back
to place. Possibility of 4 spins with each repetition of the figure. Not for
me.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43260 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 09:43:04 · Top

----- Original Message -----
> Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
> to be shot.

That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is a
put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any younger
folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.

But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting new
young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the tide?
Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?

Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic article
for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in heart) to
take up SCD?

Martin,
in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43265 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 11:57:32 · Top

What about this: I will start the ball rolling with a draft, you can all
contribute add and subtract - change the gramme (please) - etc etc. If we
say by the weekend can get something we can all agree upon, I will be happy
to send it in on behalf of us all.

In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
Dancers worldwide og all ages, creed and colour, who would like to inform
you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing.

At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X countries,
the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted by
the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more than
Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to create
beauty in an otherwise grey world. Whereever we go, we can meet up with
likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings, classes -
we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country Dancing.
There are scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary all by
young very talented scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
this culture. They are groups all over South America, North America, Japan,
Europe who are keen to show that they are part of an organisation which
brings people together. I can think of no other country's cultural and
traditional heritage which has such a popular following throughout the
world. it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland itself,
that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum. Be assured that
Scottish dancing will continue long after fads have disappeared

Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
Scottish dancing already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so - it is
their efforts which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan dolls
and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that there are people all over the
world who are aware of and accept that people are different, but that these
differences can be overcome through the common language of dancing -
Scottish Country Dancers do this already.

Sincerely yours

[a long list of names from different countries would be good]

----- Original Message -----
From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:43 AM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

>
> ----- Original Message -----
> > Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
> > to be shot.
>
> That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is a
> put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
> That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any
younger
> folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.
>
> But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting new
> young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the tide?
> Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?
>
> Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic
article
> for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in heart)
to
> take up SCD?
>
> Martin,
> in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43266 · Ian Brockbank · 30 Nov 2005 14:36:12 · Top

Jim replied to Alan Paterson:

> >At RSCDS-style events, if someone makes a mistake, then it is most
> >definitely NOT the rule
> >that "someone gets upset". It is more usual that it gets
> smiled at and
> >compensated for.
>
...
> While I try to ignore it, there are representatives of the
> one percent that
> I would like to throttle because they constantly and
> consistentlly destroy
> my enjoyment of the dancing with their tut-tuts and disapproval of
> inexperienced dancers.

Me too... However, I also get disapproval from the "spin-at-all-costs"
brigade when I choose to dance a dance as written. It seems to be all
right to break the rules, but not to choose not to...

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/
_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43268 · mlamontbrown · 30 Nov 2005 16:10:22 · Top

Pia

Not too happy to be "og all ages", and I think the people dancing in Australia & New
Zealand would probably like to be included.

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York

> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org] On Behalf
Of
> Pia Walker
> Sent: 30 November 2005 10:58
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
>
> What about this: I will start the ball rolling with a draft, you can all
> contribute add and subtract - change the gramme (please) - etc etc. If we
> say by the weekend can get something we can all agree upon, I will be happy
> to send it in on behalf of us all.
>
> In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
> Dancers worldwide og all ages, creed and colour, who would like to inform
> you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing.
>
> At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X countries,
> the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted by
> the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more than
> Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to create
> beauty in an otherwise grey world. Whereever we go, we can meet up with
> likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings, classes -
> we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
> sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country Dancing.
> There are scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary all by
> young very talented scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
> this culture. They are groups all over South America, North America, Japan,
> Europe who are keen to show that they are part of an organisation which
> brings people together. I can think of no other country's cultural and
> traditional heritage which has such a popular following throughout the
> world. it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland itself,
> that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum. Be assured that
> Scottish dancing will continue long after fads have disappeared
>
> Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
> Scottish dancing already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so - it is
> their efforts which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan dolls
> and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that there are people all over the
> world who are aware of and accept that people are different, but that these
> differences can be overcome through the common language of dancing -
> Scottish Country Dancers do this already.
>
> Sincerely yours
>
> [a long list of names from different countries would be good]
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:43 AM
> Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
>
>
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > > Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
> > > to be shot.
> >
> > That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is a
> > put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
> > That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any
> younger
> > folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.
> >
> > But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting new
> > young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the tide?
> > Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?
> >
> > Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic
> article
> > for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in heart)
> to
> > take up SCD?
> >
> > Martin,
> > in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> >
> >
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43272 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 16:45:29 · Top

Better?

There are groups all over South, Central and North America, Japan, India,
Europe, Australia, New Zealand who are keen to show that they are part of an
organisation that brings people together.

Can I put in Middle East? To show that we know about current world
situations :>)

Pia

----- Original Message -----
From: "mlamontbrown" <mlamontbrown@btopenworld.com>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:10 PM
Subject: RE: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Pia
>
> Not too happy to be "og all ages", and I think the people dancing in
Australia & New
> Zealand would probably like to be included.
>
> Malcolm
>
> Malcolm L Brown
> York
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org
> > [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org]
On Behalf
> Of
> > Pia Walker
> > Sent: 30 November 2005 10:58
> > To: SCD news and discussion
> > Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
> >
> > What about this: I will start the ball rolling with a draft, you can
all
> > contribute add and subtract - change the gramme (please) - etc etc. If
we
> > say by the weekend can get something we can all agree upon, I will be
happy
> > to send it in on behalf of us all.
> >
> > In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
> > Dancers worldwide og all ages, creed and colour, who would like to
inform
> > you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing.
> >
> > At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X
countries,
> > the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted
by
> > the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more
than
> > Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to
create
> > beauty in an otherwise grey world. Whereever we go, we can meet up
with
> > likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings,
classes -
> > we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
> > sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country
Dancing.
> > There are scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary
all by
> > young very talented scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
> > this culture. They are groups all over South America, North America,
Japan,
> > Europe who are keen to show that they are part of an organisation which
> > brings people together. I can think of no other country's cultural and
> > traditional heritage which has such a popular following throughout the
> > world. it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland
itself,
> > that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum. Be assured that
> > Scottish dancing will continue long after fads have disappeared
> >
> > Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> > RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to
promote
> > Scottish dancing already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so -
it is
> > their efforts which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan
dolls
> > and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that there are people all over
the
> > world who are aware of and accept that people are different, but that
these
> > differences can be overcome through the common language of dancing -
> > Scottish Country Dancers do this already.
> >
> > Sincerely yours
> >
> > [a long list of names from different countries would be good]
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
> > To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:43 AM
> > Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
> >
> >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
> > > > to be shot.
> > >
> > > That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is
a
> > > put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
> > > That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any
> > younger
> > > folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.
> > >
> > > But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting
new
> > > young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the
tide?
> > > Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?
> > >
> > > Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic
> > article
> > > for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in
heart)
> > to
> > > take up SCD?
> > >
> > > Martin,
> > > in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43273 · Volleyballjerry · 30 Nov 2005 17:29:33 · Top

In a message dated 11/30/2005 7:44:06 AM Pacific Standard Time,
pia@intamail.com writes:

> There are groups all over South, Central and North America, Japan, India,
> Europe, Australia, New Zealand who are keen to show that they are part of an
> organisation that brings people together.
>
> Can I put in Middle East? To show that we know about current world
> situations :>)
>
> Pia
>
>

For the sake of accuracy:

"all over" certainly applies to a number of the places listed, but not to
all. Perhaps: "...all over the world, in..." (RSCDS dancing is, in South
America for example, very limited.)

Central America (we've been through this before) is part of North America,
but there is no RSCDS dancing in Central America anyway, so it is inaccurate to
list it.

There is also no RSCDS dancing in India...though there are affiliated groups,
one each, in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

You've neglected to list Africa entirely (branches in Kenya and three in
South Africa, affiliated groups in Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe).

There is limited RSCDS dancing in the Middle East, one affiliated group each
in Qatar and Oman.

No great font of information, I; all of this immediately accessible from the
RSCDS website and/or Directory of Secretaries.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43276 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 17:42:28 · Top

Thank you Robb - I wrote this in about 5 minutes in between two jobs, which
is why I asked everyone to join in - knowing that there were people out
there who knew much more than I. :>)

With regards to 'no dancing... but groups.. Please notice that I have
writen 'as danced by the RSCDS' - I on purpose did not want to distinguish
between the various set ups within the dance genre, but emphasize on the
genre itself and many of these groups have been started by RSCDS people, and
have members of RSCDS in them - There are dancing in India - the
International Branch do have a member there and one in Mexico.

I'm continuing cutting, adding and pasting :>)

Pia

----- Original Message -----
From: <Volleyballjerry@aol.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:29 PM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> In a message dated 11/30/2005 7:44:06 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> pia@intamail.com writes:
>
> > There are groups all over South, Central and North America, Japan,
India,
> > Europe, Australia, New Zealand who are keen to show that they are part
of an
> > organisation that brings people together.
> >
> > Can I put in Middle East? To show that we know about current world
> > situations :>)
> >
> > Pia
> >
> >
>
> For the sake of accuracy:
>
> "all over" certainly applies to a number of the places listed, but not to
> all. Perhaps: "...all over the world, in..." (RSCDS dancing is, in
South
> America for example, very limited.)
>
> Central America (we've been through this before) is part of North America,
> but there is no RSCDS dancing in Central America anyway, so it is
inaccurate to
> list it.
>
> There is also no RSCDS dancing in India...though there are affiliated
groups,
> one each, in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
>
> You've neglected to list Africa entirely (branches in Kenya and three in
> South Africa, affiliated groups in Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe).
>
> There is limited RSCDS dancing in the Middle East, one affiliated group
each
> in Qatar and Oman.
>
> No great font of information, I; all of this immediately accessible from
the
> RSCDS website and/or Directory of Secretaries.
>
> Robb Quint
> Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Reply so far

Message 43278 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 17:50:40 · Top

How does this sound so far: As I am up to my ears in work, could someone
please fill in the stats? Keep it coming

Pia

We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, creeds and
colours. We were delighted to see your article of 15th November 2005
bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote. However, we object
to the way the article presented RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as
something that would only appeal to older folks and suggested that RSCDS
dancers are uptight compared to free-spirited ceidlidh dancers.

At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X countries,
the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as taught and promoted by
the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh is danced by more than
Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to create
beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go, we can meet up with
likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings, classes -
we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country Dancing.

There are Scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary all by
young very talented Scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
this culture. There are groups all over the world, in the Americas, Africa,
the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand - in all
countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that they are part of
an organisation which brings people together. We can think of no other
country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such a popular
following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth being
promoted by Scotland itself, that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad
infinitum. Be assured that Scottish dancing will continue long after other
fads have disappeared

Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
for more than tartan dolls and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that
there are people all over the world who are aware of and accept that people
are different, but that these differences can be overcome through the common
language of dancing - Scottish Country Dancers do this already.

Sincerely yours

Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife Scotland

Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA

'Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria'

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Reply so far

Message 43290 · Fyreladdie · 30 Nov 2005 18:41:18 · Top

Well, said Pia. I believe attitude comes from the class and teachers of
SCD. No generalities can be assigned to the RSCDS except for the level of
enjoyment. I am sure the classes taught in my California burg have anything but a
"stuffy" air about them. And surely this form of dancing is far more acessible
to the young than many of us older generation. The beauty is that all can
participate on whatever level they wish. Comparing styles is a fruitless endeavor.
There are those who will never enjoy the challenge of the RSCDS style and
some who will. That's why ice cream parlors have more than one flavor. Enjoy the
dance, regardless of age or style. Happy dancing!

Bob McMurtry
San Francisco Branch
Felton, California
USA
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Reply so far

Message 43298 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 19:39:50 · Top

Can I just say in defence of the Scotsman article, that something over here
has got to somehow change - that the underlying thought and belief that SCD
is for older people is quite dominant here. Yes in the last couple of
years RSCDS has changed from within, but it will still take some time before
this change reach the general public. And it will only change if RSCDS and
its members do not hesitate to highlight the fact.

Perhaps we are doing our bit to help this new innovative thought process by
sending in the article - yes I think we all know that it may not be
published, and yes it may be edited. Perhaps it will inform someone in the
press core that SCD is danced by many different people. That Scotland
should start supporting all its cultural endeavors not just a chosen few.

Pia

_______________________________________________
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Reply so far

Message 43300 · Alasdair Graham · 30 Nov 2005 20:00:03 · Top

Pia,
Do you subscribe to the 'Dance On' magazine?
There was a two page article in the October issue where Findlay Forbes
explored the thought 'Whether Scottish Country Dancing was Art'. You
might get some answers there.

He explores whether SCD is an 'Art Form' that allows for creativity and a
certain degree of interpretation of the instructions or a 'Game' where
participants must do things by the book or risk censure for breaking the
rules.

He points out that where regulation is omnipresent and still growing, very
few people are likely to seek out a pastime that offers nothing but more
rules and regulations.

He goes on....... Should it continue in its present comfortable, dull but
ultimately moribund sporting and recreational existence or should it live
dangerously by aspiring to the condition of an art form?

Alasdair Graham
Dumbarton, Scotland.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pia Walker" <pia@intamail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

> Can I just say in defence of the Scotsman article, that something over
> here
> has got to somehow change - that the underlying thought and belief that
> SCD
> is for older people is quite dominant here. Yes in the last couple of
> years RSCDS has changed from within, but it will still take some time
> before
> this change reach the general public. And it will only change if RSCDS and
> its members do not hesitate to highlight the fact.
>
> Perhaps we are doing our bit to help this new innovative thought process
> by
> sending in the article - yes I think we all know that it may not be
> published, and yes it may be edited. Perhaps it will inform someone in
> the
> press core that SCD is danced by many different people. That Scotland
> should start supporting all its cultural endeavors not just a chosen few.
>
> Pia
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

_______________________________________________
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Reply so far

Message 43301 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 20:47:32 · Top

It is all in the interpretation - to me it is an choreographed art-form,
just as Swan Lake is. Swan-lake would not be Swan-lake if it hadn't been
annotated and the dancers told what to do, by first the choreographer and
now many years after, the dance director. In a contemporary piece of
dance it is the same - somebody has made up the dance and will tell the
dancer where to go.

All dance styles have cetain movements which you are taught and can then
'glue' together to make a dance. Traditional dancing in all countries
presumably have certain dances with names - they have been made up and have
been danced the same way for many years - to tell people about something.

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alasdair Graham" <alasdair.graham@blueyonder.co.uk>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

> Pia,
> Do you subscribe to the 'Dance On' magazine?
> There was a two page article in the October issue where Findlay Forbes
> explored the thought 'Whether Scottish Country Dancing was Art'. You
> might get some answers there.
>
> He explores whether SCD is an 'Art Form' that allows for creativity and a
> certain degree of interpretation of the instructions or a 'Game' where
> participants must do things by the book or risk censure for breaking the
> rules.
>
> He points out that where regulation is omnipresent and still growing, very
> few people are likely to seek out a pastime that offers nothing but more
> rules and regulations.
>
> He goes on....... Should it continue in its present comfortable, dull but
> ultimately moribund sporting and recreational existence or should it live
> dangerously by aspiring to the condition of an art form?
>
> Alasdair Graham
> Dumbarton, Scotland.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Pia Walker" <pia@intamail.com>
> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:39 PM
> Subject: Re: Reply so far
>
>
> > Can I just say in defence of the Scotsman article, that something over
> > here
> > has got to somehow change - that the underlying thought and belief that
> > SCD
> > is for older people is quite dominant here. Yes in the last couple of
> > years RSCDS has changed from within, but it will still take some time
> > before
> > this change reach the general public. And it will only change if RSCDS
and
> > its members do not hesitate to highlight the fact.
> >
> > Perhaps we are doing our bit to help this new innovative thought process
> > by
> > sending in the article - yes I think we all know that it may not be
> > published, and yes it may be edited. Perhaps it will inform someone in
> > the
> > press core that SCD is danced by many different people. That Scotland
> > should start supporting all its cultural endeavors not just a chosen
few.
> >
> > Pia
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> >
> >
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

_______________________________________________
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Reply so far

Message 43302 · Lee Fuell · 30 Nov 2005 21:08:25 · Top

I think SCD does allow for a certain degree of creativity and interpretation. I particularly like the quote from Miss Milligan on page 15 of the new manual about not dotting every i and crossing every t, and allowing for local variations as long as they don't change the essential character of the dance.

And for creativity, there is also the artistry of all the deviser/devisors out there... (sorry, couldn't resist!).

Lee Fuell
Arlington, VA, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Pia Walker <pia@intamail.com>
Sent: Nov 30, 2005 2:47 PM
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: Reply so far

It is all in the interpretation - to me it is an choreographed art-form,
just as Swan Lake is. Swan-lake would not be Swan-lake if it hadn't been
annotated and the dancers told what to do, by first the choreographer and
now many years after, the dance director. In a contemporary piece of
dance it is the same - somebody has made up the dance and will tell the
dancer where to go.

All dance styles have cetain movements which you are taught and can then
'glue' together to make a dance. Traditional dancing in all countries
presumably have certain dances with names - they have been made up and have
been danced the same way for many years - to tell people about something.

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alasdair Graham" <alasdair.graham@blueyonder.co.uk>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

> Pia,
> Do you subscribe to the 'Dance On' magazine?
> There was a two page article in the October issue where Findlay Forbes
> explored the thought 'Whether Scottish Country Dancing was Art'. You
> might get some answers there.
>
> He explores whether SCD is an 'Art Form' that allows for creativity and a
> certain degree of interpretation of the instructions or a 'Game' where
> participants must do things by the book or risk censure for breaking the
> rules.
>
> He points out that where regulation is omnipresent and still growing, very
> few people are likely to seek out a pastime that offers nothing but more
> rules and regulations.
>
> He goes on....... Should it continue in its present comfortable, dull but
> ultimately moribund sporting and recreational existence or should it live
> dangerously by aspiring to the condition of an art form?
>
> Alasdair Graham
> Dumbarton, Scotland.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Pia Walker" <pia@intamail.com>
> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:39 PM
> Subject: Re: Reply so far
>
>
> > Can I just say in defence of the Scotsman article, that something over
> > here
> > has got to somehow change - that the underlying thought and belief that
> > SCD
> > is for older people is quite dominant here. Yes in the last couple of
> > years RSCDS has changed from within, but it will still take some time
> > before
> > this change reach the general public. And it will only change if RSCDS
and
> > its members do not hesitate to highlight the fact.
> >
> > Perhaps we are doing our bit to help this new innovative thought process
> > by
> > sending in the article - yes I think we all know that it may not be
> > published, and yes it may be edited. Perhaps it will inform someone in
> > the
> > press core that SCD is danced by many different people. That Scotland
> > should start supporting all its cultural endeavors not just a chosen
few.
> >
> > Pia
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> >
> >
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Reply so far

Message 43312 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 Dec 2005 01:10:16 · Top

Alasdair Graham wrote:

> He goes on....... Should it continue in its present comfortable, dull but
> ultimately moribund sporting and recreational existence or should it live
> dangerously by aspiring to the condition of an art form?

Is this Forbes character actually a Scottish dancer?

There are so many wrong assumptions crammed into that one sentence already
that if it could it would probably explode. I shudder at the thought of being
subjected to two pages' worth of this.

I shall not be gracing this with a reply except to say that there is already
plenty of »art« in SCD if Mr Forbes would only care to look, even if your
name isn't Drewry or Foss. In fact, Mr Forbes does not appear to be able to
tell the difference between »freedom« and »license«; many of us enjoy being
free to »push the envelope« but, as in »real« art, that does not
automatically mean that »anything goes«.

The fact that Mr Forbes even feels the need to ask a question like this
strongly hints that he has been overexposed to the wrong type of people. I
should like to invite him to come on a dancing visit to a place like Germany;
if on his return he still believes that SCD is too »comfortable, dull and
ultimately moribund«, then someone or something must have us all fooled --
since for some weird reason there is a strong feeling around that SCD is
exciting, dangerous, innovative, and here to stay, thank you very much
indeed.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Sometimes I wish I could put an expiration date on my quotes. -- Larry Wall
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Reply so far

Message 43341 · Alasdair Graham · 1 Dec 2005 20:02:00 · Top

Anselm,

I have emailed the magazine Editor suggesting she joins in this discussion
and perhaps posts the full article for debate.

Findlay Forbes is a Scottish Country Dancer, Ceilidh Dancer and a musician
to boot.
He was accurately reflecting the way many dancers in Scotland feel about the
RSCDS.
That feeling is so strong that they are now incorporating the RSCDS set
dances into ceilidh dancing and dancing them with obvious enjoyment and no
'frowning' or 'tut tutting' if the steps are not precise or the arms held at
the defined angle. 'Birling' is employed where possible. They are also
dancing at a faster tempo than that used by the RSCDS Branches.

Alasdair Graham
Dumbarton, Scotland.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anselm Lingnau" <anselm@strathspey.org>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

Alasdair Graham wrote:

> He goes on....... Should it continue in its present comfortable, dull but
> ultimately moribund sporting and recreational existence or should it live
> dangerously by aspiring to the condition of an art form?

Is this Forbes character actually a Scottish dancer?

There are so many wrong assumptions crammed into that one sentence already
that if it could it would probably explode. I shudder at the thought of
being
subjected to two pages' worth of this.

I shall not be gracing this with a reply except to say that there is already
plenty of »art« in SCD if Mr Forbes would only care to look, even if your
name isn't Drewry or Foss. In fact, Mr Forbes does not appear to be able to
tell the difference between »freedom« and »license«; many of us enjoy being
free to »push the envelope« but, as in »real« art, that does not
automatically mean that »anything goes«.

The fact that Mr Forbes even feels the need to ask a question like this
strongly hints that he has been overexposed to the wrong type of people. I
should like to invite him to come on a dancing visit to a place like
Germany;
if on his return he still believes that SCD is too »comfortable, dull and
ultimately moribund«, then someone or something must have us all fooled --
since for some weird reason there is a strong feeling around that SCD is
exciting, dangerous, innovative, and here to stay, thank you very much
indeed.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
Sometimes I wish I could put an expiration date on my quotes. -- Larry
Wall
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Birling

Message 43353 · Ron Mackey · 1 Dec 2005 23:46:12 · Top

> He was accurately reflecting the way many dancers in Scotland feel about the
> RSCDS.
> That feeling is so strong that they are now incorporating the RSCDS set
> dances into ceilidh dancing and dancing them with obvious enjoyment and no
> 'frowning' or 'tut tutting' if the steps are not precise or the arms held at
> the defined angle.

If that is still the case then I feel luckey that most of my dancing
has been in London.

'Birling' is employed where possible. They are also
> dancing at a faster tempo than that used by the RSCDS Branches.
>
> Alasdair Graham

This harks back to a discussion here of a year or more ago.
The biggest problem in 'birling' circles is that if you are not fit
you're out. If you are not steady and agile on your pins you are in
danger. To many people it is a frightening occurrence. I have seen
'non burlers' leave the floor because their abilities were not considered.
I always understood that unrestrained birling and rough dancing
was one of the main reasons for the formation of the society because
those who wanted a quiet dance were not given the opportunity.
Birl OK - though not all the time, please. AND make very sure
that those in the set and adjacent are not intimidated or
inconvenienced. That is what the RSCDS stands for, to me.

Happy Dancing,
Ron :)

Ron Mackey
Mottingham, London
London, Croydon & International Branches

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Birling

Message 43354 · SMiskoe · 1 Dec 2005 23:57:24 · Top


In a message dated 12/1/2005 5:47:36 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com writes:

The biggest problem in 'birling' circles is that if you are not fit
you're out. If you are not steady and agile on your pins you are in
danger. To many people it is a frightening occurrence. I have seen
'non burlers' leave the floor because their abilities were not considered.

I was playing for a 'Scottish evening' and they asked for a Strip TW. The
top man was average size but fit (he was a practicing veterinarian) seized the
top woman who was the hostess and not familiar with birling, set himself
firmly and spun her off her feet into the side. She twisted her ankle and could
not dance the remainder of the evening. The worst part was that he did not
know what he'd done wrong.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
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Birling

Message 43357 · Richard Goss · 2 Dec 2005 00:27:11 · Top

For me, the important part of your message was the ...
"not intimidated or inconvenienced"

Here both sides of the issue can be found guilty.

For a sensitive person, it is not hard to figure out if your partner is unenthusiastic when it comes to such actions. While my ex generally enjoyed birling, There were times and specific dances where she did not. Her solution was to give the limpest arm as possible, and this usually worked. As far as the rest of the set is concerned, if the actions are controlled and do not involve others and their dancing, I have no problem with it. And those who do are just as guilty of intimidation and inconvenience, as the irresponsible birlers. Both are contrary to the spirit of country dancing where the importance is the interaction within the minor set, not just one person or couple..
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Birling (long again, sorry about that)

Message 43359 · Andrea Re · 2 Dec 2005 01:18:47 · Top

Richard Goss ha scritto:

>For me, the important part of your message was the ...
> "not intimidated or inconvenienced"
>
> Here both sides of the issue can be found guilty.
>
> For a sensitive person, it is not hard to figure out if your partner is unenthusiastic when it comes to such actions. While my ex generally enjoyed birling, There were times and specific dances where she did not. Her solution was to give the limpest arm as possible, and this usually worked. As far as the rest of the set is concerned, if the actions are controlled and do not involve others and their dancing, I have no problem with it. And those who do are just as guilty of intimidation and inconvenience, as the irresponsible birlers. Both are contrary to the spirit of country dancing where the importance is the interaction within the minor set, not just one person or couple..
>
>
Amen to that!

I was about to reply when I saw Richard's posting.
I don't see why, if my partner and myself, or whoever, wish to have a
birl in the middle of the Younger Hall during SS they should be frowned
upon. Also, much of what was said in today's postings was, if I might
add, pretty obvious and not too relevant. In any case, to put that
discussion to rest, if my partner, corner or whoever is an elderly
lady/gent who has parked his/her zimmer frame at the back I would not
dream to do something that might be dangerous to her, and I believe that
anybody with any sense knows that (Strip TW in a ceilidh situation is a
different story... I try to stay clear when that dance is called).
However birling and twirling and what have you should be part of the
teaching in a class, if anything to make sure that people feel safe.
When I first started, my partner would want to birl at all costs, but I
wasn't sure/felt self-conscious so I had none of it (now the opposite is
true:), but I would look in awe at those who could; it was like black
magic to me. From a personal point of view I enjoy, amongst other
things, the strenuous physical exercise you derive from SCD (especially
an extra slow Strathspey in an extra big set) and if at the end of the
evening I am as fresh as a rose in bloom .... well I feel that I might
as well have stayed at home (but that's me).
What I was trying to concentrate on with my posting was why the society
in Scotland is perceived as something for well-to-do upper-middle-class
middle-aged people with nothing better to do in their life, and why the
RSCDS is seen something with a frown constantly stuck on their member's
face. Please, do not inundate me with examples of upper or working class
people who dance, or people of different age or creed or whatever or
with branches full of frown-free people; I am afraid this is irrelevant
here.
The questions to be asked are why, for example, New Scotland (the
Edinburgh Uni group) is thriving; how come that the ball (SUSCDF, AKA
the big reunion of all the dancers from all the Unis in Scotland) I am
going to this Sat in St. Andrews is going to be jam-packed with students
coming from as far as Newcastle (3 hours' drive); why in the Younger
Hall we are supposed to be all prim and proper; why ceilidh dancing is
in and SCD is out; why a show like "Strictly come dancing" has managed
to attract zillions of new ballroom dancers (or at least it has swelled
up the numbers at classes); why our membership is declining, and so on
and so forth.
Those who know me, know that I am RSCDS through and through. In my class
I make a point of teaching formations properly, I am fastidious with
footwork, I insist on people making eye contact, etc., but this is only
geared towards giving people an option when they go to dances. This is
why I include birling as well and, if they are good enough, a bit of
twirling.
Another reason, and I feel quite strongly about it, for teaching less
orthodox moves is the fact that "ordinary" SCD is not a spectators'
sport. Sylvia's description of a Ladies' chain is, to say the least,
fantastic. I shall have to try it. However, the point is, how can you
make more interesting displays if twirling is not on? If the concept is
not introduced at classes and dances, the dancers will never learn it,
unless they decide to have a go at it themselves (unaided and with all
the risks that come with it). I remember seeing New Scotland dancing
"Wind on Loch Fyne" (dance that usually makes me sleep, maybe because it
has been in our dem repertoire for yonks) and they added a twirl during
the interlocking reel. Nothing difficult, but they were all synchronized
and it looked SO good! I am quite sure that a good way of changing the
perception of SCD is to start doing dems with a bit of action and eye
catching frills, not just a random dance repeated until the cows come
home:). There was a display put together a few years back by St. Andrews
Uni; it was to the music of "it's raining man" and it was superb.
Nothing difficult, but well done and ever so eye catching (the super
mini skirts helped as well:). It was in the Younger Hall (the very same
temple I was talking about earlier on:) and it was such a success that
the house came down and after some 4 years I still remember it ever so well.
I am glad to hear that there are many places (alas outwith Scotland)
where everything is great, but unfortunately here this is not the case.

I think it is my bed time.

Andrea (fae Dundee)

PS

Ron, yes, I can birl by the left, but I acknowledge that I don't feel
nearly as comfortable. I wish I got taught.....

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Birling

Message 43372 · Andrew C Aitchison · 2 Dec 2005 11:21:17 · Top

On Thu, 1 Dec 2005, Ron Mackey wrote:

> Birl OK - though not all the time, please. AND make very sure
> that those in the set and adjacent are not intimidated or
> inconvenienced. That is what the RSCDS stands for, to me.

Hmm. Maybe that is a demonstration of the problem.

There are times when the needs different groups (dare I say different
generations ?) are incompatible. If the RSCDS stands with you for some
level of restraint and decorum, whilst the young from the Ceilidh scene
*need* some abandon and exuberance (how many jobs today provided the
level of exercise that the young need ?) then perhaps it is right
that the RSCDS has a reputation that keeps people dancing in groups with
similar amounts of energy to burn off :-)

--
Andrew C. Aitchison Cambridge
A.C.Aitchison@ntlworld.com

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Birling

Message 43392 · Ron Mackey · 3 Dec 2005 01:15:36 · Top

On 2 Dec 2005 at 10:21, Andrew C Aitchison wrote:

Date sent: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 10:21:17 +0000 (GMT)
From: Andrew C Aitchison <a.c.aitchison@ntlworld.com>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: Birling
Send reply to: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
<mailto:strathspey-request@strathspey.org?subject=unsubscribe>
<mailto:strathspey-request@strathspey.org?subject=subscribe>

> On Thu, 1 Dec 2005, Ron Mackey wrote:
>
> > Birl OK - though not all the time, please. AND make very sure
> > that those in the set and adjacent are not intimidated or
> > inconvenienced. That is what the RSCDS stands for, to me.
>
> Hmm. Maybe that is a demonstration of the problem.
>
> There are times when the needs different groups (dare I say different
> generations ?) are incompatible. If the RSCDS stands with you for some
> level of restraint and decorum,

Andrew, I think you got the wrong message. I didn't say restraint and
decorum. If I did I didnt't mean to. Probably I could describe it as consideration
(however much energy there is to burn) and social acumen which is often present
even among the non-grays!

Regards, Ron

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message for B McLatchie (ISPs) & ninian.uk

Message 43399 · Martin · 3 Dec 2005 10:08:24 · Top

Thanks for the reply, Bob.
I hope you will write to ntlworld to complain.

Ninian, I wrote to you once with the same lack of success, so I hope you too
will lodge a complaint.

Martin

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message for B McLatchie (ISPs) & ninian.uk

Message 43400 · ninian-uk · 3 Dec 2005 13:05:51 · Top

Martin,

Thanks for letting me know about the problem with ntl. I changed my ISP in
September and am now 'ninian-uk' with tiscali, because ntl couldn't provide
me with broadband here in rural England).

David

D N R J Bowd-Exworth
Berkeley, Gloucestershire UK

----- Original Message -----
From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 9:08 AM
Subject: message for B McLatchie (ISPs) & ninian.uk

> Thanks for the reply, Bob.
> I hope you will write to ntlworld to complain.
>
> Ninian, I wrote to you once with the same lack of success, so I hope you
> too will lodge a complaint.
>
> Martin
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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message for B McLatchie (ISPs) & ninian.uk

Message 43401 · Martin · 3 Dec 2005 17:22:32 · Top

Thank you, David, for replying.

Ther unsuccessful message of some months back was of little interest -- you
have not missed anything -- just a test to see whether I could get through
ntlworld's barrier. I wish my other correspondents would change ISPs as you
have.

As I wrote yesterday your address name came to my memory, but not you real
name, I'm afraid.

Martin

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Reply so far

Message 43292 · Jan E Rudge · 30 Nov 2005 18:53:03 · Top

I think this is great, Pia.

Could we put less emphasis on the fact that you have to be
TAUGHT scd?

If we inadvertantly give an impression that you must go to
classes (for months/years?) before you can participate
in the social/fun side of SCD, many potential newcomers
will be put off before they even consider it.

So "...the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as taught and
promoted by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society..." could just read "
the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as promoted by the Royal
Scottish Country Dance Society"
and perhaps "...There are Scottish country dancing taught in Russia,
Ukraine, Hungary all by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."
could be "There is Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine and Hungary,
led by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."

Also, to me, "formal" sounds a bit too close to the "uptight"
which we are trying to avoid, but I can't think of a better word!
Maybe: measured? classical? regularised? standardised?
Any other ideas, anyone?

Best regards,

Jan

Beaconsfield, UK

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Reply so far

Message 43293 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 18:56:33 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan E Rudge" >
> Also, to me, "formal" sounds a bit too close to the "uptight"
> which we are trying to avoid, but I can't think of a better word!
> Maybe: measured? classical? regularised? standardised?

Elegant?

Martin

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Reply so far

Message 43297 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 19:29:32 · Top

Bearing in mind how popular ballroom dancing is here in the UK- what about
the 'ballroom' style of scottish country dancing?

pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jan E Rudge" >
> > Also, to me, "formal" sounds a bit too close to the "uptight"
> > which we are trying to avoid, but I can't think of a better word!
> > Maybe: measured? classical? regularised? standardised?
>
> Elegant?
>
> Martin
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Reply so far

Message 43306 · Sophie Rickebusch · 30 Nov 2005 22:28:44 · Top

I like your letter so far Pia, good idea even if it might be a bit late in
the day (but then, how often have they had a letter containing reactions
from people all over the world?)

The thing that amazes me in the whole discussion is the underlying idea that
technique/teaching/rules is there to prevent people having fun, that they're
essentially a "bad" thing and shouldn't even be mentioned... To me it's all
a necessary step towards having even more fun doing an activity I enjoy!
Dancing (Scottish or otherwise) is sort of half-way between an art form and
a sport and you can draw a parallel with skiing for example: yes, you can
muck around on the beginners' slope, but if you go to classes and learn the
technique, you can then go whizzing down the more difficult slopes and
believe me, that's MUCH more fun! As for art forms, well, everyone knows you
can't learn to play the piano without practising your scales... and nobody
thinks there's anything odd about that. Of course, playing scales isn't much
fun in itself (in that respect, learning SCD is much more enjoyable), but
you do it so that your fingers can learn to get around all the great pieces
of music you'd like to play. And games like football have rules, it doesn't
stop loads of people enjoying them, it just ensures everyone's playing the
same game fairly and safely! Imagine if everyone did the poussette going
round the square whichever way they fancied: you'd get collisions! We take
hands in "shake-hand" hold because that way you don't risk injuring your
thumb if one of you slips... etc. etc.

Informal ceilidh dancing is fun, agreed, but there are some sensations you
can only get once you've mastered the technique and it has become second
nature... Think of the sense of flight when you and your partner skip-change
all the way down the hall and back in 8 bars! You may not have closed
perfectly in 3rd in every step (too busy looking in aforementioned partner's
eyes anyway), but it's only because you've spent time practising your hop,
extension, etc. that you are actually capable of getting there (and, more
importantly, back to enjoy the next figure with the rest of the set).

Oh, and you can add my name at the bottom of the letter please... cheers,
Sophie Rickebusch (32), Switzerland

(not exactly grey-haired yet ;-) S.)

----- Original Message -----
From: Jan E Rudge <jrudge@csc.com>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: Reply so far

>
>
>
>
> I think this is great, Pia.
>
> Could we put less emphasis on the fact that you have to be
> TAUGHT scd?
>
> If we inadvertantly give an impression that you must go to
> classes (for months/years?) before you can participate
> in the social/fun side of SCD, many potential newcomers
> will be put off before they even consider it.
>
> So "...the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as taught and
> promoted by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society..." could just read "
> the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as promoted by the Royal
> Scottish Country Dance Society"
> and perhaps "...There are Scottish country dancing taught in Russia,
> Ukraine, Hungary all by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."
> could be "There is Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine and
Hungary,
> led by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."
>
> Also, to me, "formal" sounds a bit too close to the "uptight"
> which we are trying to avoid, but I can't think of a better word!
> Maybe: measured? classical? regularised? standardised?
> Any other ideas, anyone?
>
> Best regards,
>
> Jan
>
> Beaconsfield, UK
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------
>
> This is a PRIVATE message. If you are not the intended recipient, please
> delete without copying and kindly advise us by e-mail of the mistake in
> delivery. NOTE: Regardless of content, this e-mail shall not operate to
> bind CSC to any order or other contract unless pursuant to explicit
written
> agreement or government initiative expressly permitting the use of e-mail
> for such purpose.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

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Reply so far

Message 43308 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 30 Nov 2005 23:12:27 · Top

Pia, It is excellent! Would you add my name at the end of the letter.

Tom Mungall, III
Baton Rouge, La, USA

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Reply so far

Message 43295 · Jean Martin · 30 Nov 2005 19:07:53 · Top

Hi there,

When John Drewry was somewhat negative about the age of SC dancers on Take
the Floor about 2 years ago, a young doctor, Ian Thompson contacted the BBC
immediately
and he was then interviewed in a subsequent programme where he told the
listeners (in no uncertain terms, I may add) about all the young people
enjoying SCD. I think if you are to send the proposed letter then it would
be a good idea to include the views and comments of some younger people. No
offence anyone!

Paragraph 2, line 3 - I suggest that you delete 'Edinburgh' after RSCDS,
unless you mean the Edinburgh Branch and I don't think that you do. Using
'Edinburgh' to mean 'RSCDS Headquarters' leads to a lot of confusion. and
here all that is necessary is 'RSCDS'.

Unfortunately there is no guarantee that a letter to the Editor will appear
in print and if it does it may not be in full. Some editing could be
counter-productive. Unless there has been another article it's now 15 days
since the original one appeared and readers will have forgotten what it was
about.

As you will gather I'm not absolutely sure that this is
the thing to do, although I commend your efforts. On a positive note there
was some good publicity - the photographs, for one thing. And as they say
"A picture is worth a thousand words."

Happy dancing!
Jean Martin

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pia Walker" <pia@intamail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:50 PM
Subject: Reply so far

> How does this sound so far: As I am up to my ears in work, could someone
> please fill in the stats? Keep it coming
>
> Pia
>
> We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, creeds
and
> colours. We were delighted to see your article of 15th November 2005
> bringing attention to an activity we enjoy and promote. However, we
object
> to the way the article presented RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as
> something that would only appeal to older folks and suggested that RSCDS
> dancers are uptight compared to free-spirited ceidlidh dancers.
>
> At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X countries,
> the more formal style of Scottish country dancing as taught and promoted
by
> the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh is danced by more than
> Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to create
> beauty in an otherwise grey world. Where ever we go, we can meet up with
> likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings, classes -
> we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
> sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country Dancing.
>
> There are Scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary all
by
> young very talented Scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
> this culture. There are groups all over the world, in the Americas,
Africa,
> the Middle East, Japan, Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand - in all
> countries and on all continents, who are keen to show that they are part
of
> an organisation which brings people together. We can think of no other
> country's cultural and traditional heritage which has such a popular
> following throughout the world. It is only a pity that the myth being
> promoted by Scotland itself, that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad
> infinitum. Be assured that Scottish dancing will continue long after
other
> fads have disappeared
>
> Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
> Scottish dancing throughout the World already in the 1920's and set up a
> network to do so - it is their efforts which means that Scotland is known
> for more than tartan dolls and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that
> there are people all over the world who are aware of and accept that
people
> are different, but that these differences can be overcome through the
common
> language of dancing - Scottish Country Dancers do this already.
>
> Sincerely yours
>
> Pia Walker, Cupar, Fife Scotland
>
> Kent and Marian Smith, Connecticut, USA
>
> 'Chris Ronald, Damascus, Syria'
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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Reply so far

Message 43304 · Ron Mackey · 30 Nov 2005 22:55:10 · Top

"...There are Scottish country dancing taught in Russia,
> Ukraine, Hungary all by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."
> could be "There is Scottish country dancing in Russia, Ukraine and Hungary,
> led by young very talented Scottish country dancers..."
.. ..........
> Best regards,
>
> Jan

Jan, how about adding 'of their own nationality!'
Regards, Ron

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Reply so far

Message 43305 · Ron Mackey · 30 Nov 2005 22:55:10 · Top

Keep it coming
>
> Pia
>
> We are a group of Scottish country dancers worldwide of all ages, creeds and
> colours.
How about nationalities before colours? Perhaps more inclusive?

And on the angle that Jean introduced, perhaps an introduction
stating - 'That many of the world wide community of SC dancers have
been discussing this article via e-mail (you see we're not just living in
the past) and has produced this alternative view. As a newspaper
should you not provide a balanced perspective?

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Reply so far

Message 43325 · mlamontbrown · 1 Dec 2005 11:40:38 · Top

Regarding the adherence to "Rules".

One afternoon this summer I went to look round the Botanic Gardens in St Andrews. My
entrance fee was taken by a nice young lady who I later discovered was studying at
the University. We got into conversation as I left the gardens, as I explained that I
had to leave to get back for a party. When I told her that I was staying in
University Hall as part of the Scottish dancing summer school she said that she had
heard about it, but hadn't realised that parties were part of it.

Not wishing to miss an opportunity, I asked whether she danced (Scottish dancing) -
she explained that dancing to her meant doing whatever the music inspired her to do
at that instant, and being constrained only to do certain things at certain times was
far too limiting. I must admit that I was stunned by such an attitude, but I wonder
just how widespread it is.

I suppose that if you are brought up in a culture where "dancing" means standing on a
dance floor, making up your own movements, then the appeal of SCD (especially RSCDS
style), is incomprehensible. (As someone who got bored after a minute of "doing my
own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call dancing!)

The other side of the coin is the pipe band movement, where the majority of competing
bands have young members (under 40) who spend a lot of time and effort working in a
very disciplined environment - I know the beer tent is part of the reason, but the
"group feeling" obviously generates a larger part of the appeal. So not all young
people react badly to acting in a disciplined manner. What is even more surprising is
that the majority of these young people will have started playing when still at
school, but have been prepared to continue long after they have left - (as opposed to
highland dancers, who either start their own schools or give up dancing completely)

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York

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Reply so far

Message 43330 · John Chambers · 1 Dec 2005 15:01:55 · Top

Malcolm L Brown commented:

| I suppose that if you are brought up in a culture where "dancing" means standing on a
| dance floor, making up your own movements, then the appeal of SCD (especially RSCDS
| style), is incomprehensible. (As someone who got bored after a minute of "doing my
| own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call dancing!)

I'd guess that a more accurate assessment would be that in any
culture, there are people of both types. The people who like
improvised dancing aren't likely to ever be attracted to SCD or any
other sort of dance that has "rules".

So we should be looking for the people who prefer their dancing more
structured or organized. This is only partly related to age. It's
probably more a question of how "social" someone is, since set
dancing like SCD is primarily a social activity.

Maybe, rather than being defensive about SCD, we should be
emphasizing its organized structure as one of its strong points. Then
we'd get the attention of people who enjoy organized social dancing.
These are the people we should be targeting, after all; those who
prefer improvised dance will never find SCD attractive.

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Adherence to Rules

Message 43373 · Andrew Smith · 2 Dec 2005 12:48:27 · Top

Malcolm's piece about "freedom of expression" reminded me of the time, years
ago now, at one of those disco-type dances when I [also being in the "(As
someone who got bored after a minute of "doing my
> own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call
dancing!)" category] was told off , having decided that the "Glasgow
Highlanders" step fitted the music perfectly.My argument that it was far
more constructive as a dance expression than just waggling my hips was not
well received.
Andrew,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "mlamontbrown" <mlamontbrown@btopenworld.com>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: Reply so far

>
> Regarding the adherence to "Rules".
>
> One afternoon this summer I went to look round the Botanic Gardens in St
Andrews. My
> entrance fee was taken by a nice young lady who I later discovered was
studying at
> the University. We got into conversation as I left the gardens, as I
explained that I
> had to leave to get back for a party. When I told her that I was staying
in
> University Hall as part of the Scottish dancing summer school she said
that she had
> heard about it, but hadn't realised that parties were part of it.
>
> Not wishing to miss an opportunity, I asked whether she danced (Scottish
dancing) -
> she explained that dancing to her meant doing whatever the music inspired
her to do
> at that instant, and being constrained only to do certain things at
certain times was
> far too limiting. I must admit that I was stunned by such an attitude, but
I wonder
> just how widespread it is.
>
> I suppose that if you are brought up in a culture where "dancing" means
standing on a
> dance floor, making up your own movements, then the appeal of SCD
(especially RSCDS
> style), is incomprehensible. (As someone who got bored after a minute of
"doing my
> own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call
dancing!)
>
> The other side of the coin is the pipe band movement, where the majority
of competing
> bands have young members (under 40) who spend a lot of time and effort
working in a
> very disciplined environment - I know the beer tent is part of the reason,
but the
> "group feeling" obviously generates a larger part of the appeal. So not
all young
> people react badly to acting in a disciplined manner. What is even more
surprising is
> that the majority of these young people will have started playing when
still at
> school, but have been prepared to continue long after they have left - (as
opposed to
> highland dancers, who either start their own schools or give up dancing
completely)
>
> Malcolm
>
> Malcolm L Brown
> York
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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Adherence to Rules

Message 43391 · seonaid.gent · 2 Dec 2005 22:49:17 · Top

Hi Andrew,

You'll just need to join New Scotland for their nights out clubbing. Dancing the Highland Fling to the Proclaimers is a must for any of our disco nights! We managed Marir's Wedding to something, but I forget now what it was. It's one way to get the venue to yourself!!

We even managed an entire dem to the Grease megamix. From what I remember it involved some Fling, Seann Triubhus, S-Locomotion, Reel of the Puffins along with some hand jiving. What was even better was the girls were in long white dresses with pink jackets, while the guys were in kilts with black leather jackets.

Bye for now,

Seonaid

Andrew Smith <afsmith@bristolbs94lx.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
Malcolm's piece about "freedom of expression" reminded me of the time, years
ago now, at one of those disco-type dances when I [also being in the "(As
someone who got bored after a minute of "doing my
> own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call
dancing!)" category] was told off , having decided that the "Glasgow
Highlanders" step fitted the music perfectly.My argument that it was far
more constructive as a dance expression than just waggling my hips was not
well received.
Andrew,
Bristol, UK.

---------------------------------
Yahoo! Model Search - Could you be the next catwalk superstar? Check out the competition now
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Adherence to Rules (with some cross-over!)

Message 43396 · Colleen Putt · 3 Dec 2005 04:45:55 · Top

I was once taken to a western-style gay bar in Toronto by some SCD friends and
we danced, you guessed it, "The Gay Gordons" to "All My Exes Live in Texas." By
the end of the song, the dance floor was crowded with folks who were keen to
learn it! Not sure if we made any converts to SCD, but they sure enjoyed
themselves!
Cheers,
Colleen
Nova Scotia

> Hi Andrew,
>
> You'll just need to join New Scotland for their nights out clubbing.
> Dancing the Highland Fling to the Proclaimers is a must for any of our disco
> nights! We managed Marir's Wedding to something, but I forget now what it
> was. It's one way to get the venue to yourself!!
>
> We even managed an entire dem to the Grease megamix. From what I remember
> it involved some Fling, Seann Triubhus, S-Locomotion, Reel of the Puffins
> along with some hand jiving. What was even better was the girls were in long
> white dresses with pink jackets, while the guys were in kilts with black
> leather jackets.
>
> Bye for now,
>
> Seonaid
>
> Andrew Smith <afsmith@bristolbs94lx.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> Malcolm's piece about "freedom of expression" reminded me of the time,
> years
> ago now, at one of those disco-type dances when I [also being in the "(As
> someone who got bored after a minute of "doing my
> > own thing", I equally fail to see the appeal of what she would call
> dancing!)" category] was told off , having decided that the "Glasgow
> Highlanders" step fitted the music perfectly.My argument that it was far
> more constructive as a dance expression than just waggling my hips was not
> well received.
> Andrew,
> Bristol, UK.
>
> ---------------------------------
> Yahoo! Model Search - Could you be the next catwalk superstar? Check out
> the competition now
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43274 · Norma or Mike Briggs · 30 Nov 2005 17:31:15 · Top

Africa?

Mike
--
----------------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
----------------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
----------------------------------------------------
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43303 · Ron Mackey · 30 Nov 2005 22:55:10 · Top

> Better?
>
> There are groups all over South, Central and North America, Japan, India,
> Europe, Australia, New Zealand who are keen to show that they are part of an
> organisation that brings people together.
>
> Can I put in Middle East? To show that we know about current world
> situations :>)
>
> Pia

Hawaii will make an exotic addition.
And add my name to the list of signatories, please.

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43270 · L. Friedman-Shedlov · 30 Nov 2005 16:29:41 · Top

Thanks, Pia, for getting the ball rolling. You make
some good points, but I don't think the draft makes it clear what is
prompting the letter. I think a sentence or two summarizing the
objections we have to the article would make the letter stronger (e.g.
that the article presents RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as
something that would only appeal to older
folks and RSCDS dancers as uptight in comparison to free-spirited
ceilidh dancers).

Also, in the 3rd paragraph, where it reads:
"the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted
by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more
than Xxx people"
The last "are" should be an "is."

Here in the Twin Cities Branch, we have been fortunate to attract many
young people. I suspect that groups outside Scotland actually have an
easier time attracting young people than groups in Scotland, probably
because in Scotland there are many Scottish cultural activities to choose
from, and multiple Scottish dancing opportunities. For those interested
in Scottish dance or in Scottish culture in general, we have a lot less
competition here in Minnesota.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
RSCDS Twin Cities Branch
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, Pia Walker wrote:

> What about this: I will start the ball rolling with a draft, you can all
> contribute add and subtract - change the gramme (please) - etc etc. If we
> say by the weekend can get something we can all agree upon, I will be happy
> to send it in on behalf of us all.
>
> In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
> Dancers worldwide og all ages, creed and colour, who would like to inform
> you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing.
>
> At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X countries,
> the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted by
> the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more than
> Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to create
> beauty in an otherwise grey world. Whereever we go, we can meet up with
> likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings, classes -
> we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
> sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country Dancing.
> There are scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary all by
> young very talented scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
> this culture. They are groups all over South America, North America, Japan,
> Europe who are keen to show that they are part of an organisation which
> brings people together. I can think of no other country's cultural and
> traditional heritage which has such a popular following throughout the
> world. it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland itself,
> that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum. Be assured that
> Scottish dancing will continue long after fads have disappeared
>
> Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to promote
> Scottish dancing already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so - it is
> their efforts which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan dolls
> and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that there are people all over the
> world who are aware of and accept that people are different, but that these
> differences can be overcome through the common language of dancing -
> Scottish Country Dancers do this already.
>
> Sincerely yours
>
> [a long list of names from different countries would be good]
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:43 AM
> Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
>
>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
>>> to be shot.
>>
>> That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is a
>> put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
>> That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any
> younger
>> folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.
>>
>> But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting new
>> young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the tide?
>> Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?
>>
>> Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic
> article
>> for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in heart)
> to
>> take up SCD?
>>
>> Martin,
>> in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>>
>>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
>
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43271 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 16:41:50 · Top

Better? and are changed to is

In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
Dancers worldwide of all ages, creed and colour, who would like to inform
you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing and object to the inferred
way in which the article presents RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as
something that would only appeal to older folks and that RSCDS dancers are
uptight in comparison to free-spirited ceilidh dancers.

Pia

----- Original Message -----
From: "L. Friedman~Shedlov" <laradf@umich.edu>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Thanks, Pia, for getting the ball rolling. You make
> some good points, but I don't think the draft makes it clear what is
> prompting the letter. I think a sentence or two summarizing the
> objections we have to the article would make the letter stronger (e.g.
> that the article presents RSCDS-style Scottish country dancing as
> something that would only appeal to older
> folks and RSCDS dancers as uptight in comparison to free-spirited
> ceilidh dancers).
>
> Also, in the 3rd paragraph, where it reads:
> "the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted
> by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more
> than Xxx people"
> The last "are" should be an "is."
>
> Here in the Twin Cities Branch, we have been fortunate to attract many
> young people. I suspect that groups outside Scotland actually have an
> easier time attracting young people than groups in Scotland, probably
> because in Scotland there are many Scottish cultural activities to choose
> from, and multiple Scottish dancing opportunities. For those interested
> in Scottish dance or in Scottish culture in general, we have a lot less
> competition here in Minnesota.
>
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov
> RSCDS Twin Cities Branch
> Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
>
> ********************************
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
> ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
> ********************************
>
> On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, Pia Walker wrote:
>
> > What about this: I will start the ball rolling with a draft, you can
all
> > contribute add and subtract - change the gramme (please) - etc etc. If
we
> > say by the weekend can get something we can all agree upon, I will be
happy
> > to send it in on behalf of us all.
> >
> > In response to your article of xxxx, we are a group of Scottish Country
> > Dancers worldwide og all ages, creed and colour, who would like to
inform
> > you why we love dancing Scottish Country Dancing.
> >
> > At this particular moment, throughout the world in more than X
countries,
> > the more formal style of scottish country dancing as taught and promoted
by
> > the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Edinburgh are danced by more
than
> > Xxx people. Why? Because they love it - it is an opportunity to
create
> > beauty in an otherwise grey world. Whereever we go, we can meet up
with
> > likeminded people, young and old and join in dances, gatherings,
classes -
> > we can exchange cultural peculiarities, different opinions in an always
> > sociable setting because of one common pastime - Scottish Country
Dancing.
> > There are scottish country dancing taught in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary
all by
> > young very talented scottish country dancers who are proud to be part of
> > this culture. They are groups all over South America, North America,
Japan,
> > Europe who are keen to show that they are part of an organisation which
> > brings people together. I can think of no other country's cultural and
> > traditional heritage which has such a popular following throughout the
> > world. it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland
itself,
> > that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum. Be assured that
> > Scottish dancing will continue long after fads have disappeared
> >
> > Those who sneer should ask themselves - what do we do for our culture?
> > RSCDS, far from being stuffy and unwelcome, had as an objective to
promote
> > Scottish dancing already in the 1920's and set up a network to do so -
it is
> > their efforts which means that Scotland is known for more than tartan
dolls
> > and kitsch. It is due to this effort, that there are people all over
the
> > world who are aware of and accept that people are different, but that
these
> > differences can be overcome through the common language of dancing -
> > Scottish Country Dancers do this already.
> >
> > Sincerely yours
> >
> > [a long list of names from different countries would be good]
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
> > To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:43 AM
> > Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
> >
> >
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >>> Dreyer-Larsen (whoever she might be) ought
> >>> to be shot.
> >>
> >> That's going a bit far, but my reactions were similar. The article is a
> >> put-down for the kind of dancng we like and wish to promote.
> >> That insistence on the greying population is bound to discourage any
> > younger
> >> folk who enjoy ceilidh dancing from trying country dancing.
> >>
> >> But let us not despair -- for the first time in years, I am getting new
> >> young dancers coming along to my classes. Is this the turn of the tide?
> >> Or am I simply so grey myself that anyone under 50 seems to be young?
> >>
> >> Could someone with a lot of imagination not write a more optimistic
> > article
> >> for the"Scotsman" showing that you really do have to be young (in
heart)
> > to
> >> take up SCD?
> >>
> >> Martin,
> >> in the dynamic young city, Grenoble, France.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43277 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 17:47:10 · Top

Good article, Pia, but, just to be awkward, I'd love to know more about:
> a group of Scottish Country
> Dancers worldwide of all ages, creed and colour,

Are you sure about the colour bit?

How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?

(this is not supposed to be facetious, by the way)

Martin

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43279 · L. Friedman-Shedlov · 30 Nov 2005 17:52:42 · Top

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, mj.sheffield wrote:

> Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
> How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
> or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?

While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43280 · Lee Fuell · 30 Nov 2005 17:55:49 · Top

Ditto African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic dancers here in the Washington D.C. area.

Lee Fuell

-----Original Message-----
From: "L. Friedman~Shedlov" <laradf@umich.edu>
Sent: Nov 30, 2005 11:52 AM
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, mj.sheffield wrote:

> Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
> How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
> or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?

While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43283 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 18:06:11 · Top

What have we started? :>)

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Fuell" <fuell@mindspring.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:55 PM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Ditto African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic dancers here in the
Washington D.C. area.
>
> Lee Fuell
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "L. Friedman~Shedlov" <laradf@umich.edu>
> Sent: Nov 30, 2005 11:52 AM
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
>
> On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, mj.sheffield wrote:
>
> > Are you sure about the colour bit?
> >
> > How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American
clubs?
> > or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?
>
> While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
> relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
> Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.
>
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov
> Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
>
>
> ********************************
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
> ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
> ********************************
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43287 · simon scott · 30 Nov 2005 18:16:07 · Top

Why not say "of varying ethnic backgrounds", which will include everyone
and not exclude anyone.

Simon
Vancouver

> Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
> How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American
> clubs? or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?

While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************
_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43289 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 18:33:55 · Top

of a variety ? - if they are varying aren't they changing it all the times?

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Why not say "of varying ethnic backgrounds", which will include everyone
> and not exclude anyone.
>
> Simon
> Vancouver
>
>
> > Are you sure about the colour bit?
> >
> > How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American
> > clubs? or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?
>
> While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
> relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
> Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.
>
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov
> Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
>
>
> ********************************
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
> ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
> ********************************
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43294 · simon scott · 30 Nov 2005 18:56:48 · Top

"of a variety" is equally as good
Simon

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-simon.scott=telus.net@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-simon.scott=telus.net@strathspey.org] On
Behalf Of Pia Walker
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:34 AM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

of a variety ? - if they are varying aren't they changing it all the
times?

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Why not say "of varying ethnic backgrounds", which will include
> everyone and not exclude anyone.
>
> Simon
> Vancouver
>
>
> > Are you sure about the colour bit?
> >
> > How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American
> > clubs? or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?
>
> While certainly a small minority, I can report that even here in the
> relatively homogenous midwestern United States, we have had Black,
> Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.
>
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov
> Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
>
>
> ********************************
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
> ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
> ********************************
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43281 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 18:04:56 · Top

Haven't a clue, although I have met many 'foreigners' who danced
lsewhere - Martin - the group mix in individual places was not the point,
the point is that SCD is danced by many different people in many different
countries and that we love it.

If this gets further, perhaps somebody will read it and say - oh they are
not so fuddy duddy as I thought - that is the idea. Why should the
negative minority have their day - let the positive majority speak.

Pia

----- Original Message -----
From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Good article, Pia, but, just to be awkward, I'd love to know more about:
> > a group of Scottish Country
> > Dancers worldwide of all ages, creed and colour,
>
> Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
> How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
> or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?
>
> (this is not supposed to be facetious, by the way)
>
> Martin
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43282 · Volleyballjerry · 30 Nov 2005 18:03:26 · Top

In answer to Martin's question, my observation of RSCDS dancing in Southern
California, which itself has substantial Black, Hispanic, and Asian
populations, is, with minimal exception, virtually exclusively Caucasian.

As Registrar for the San Gabriel Valley Branch, I am familiar with our
membership. With the exception of three members of Chinese extraction, it is
otherwise fully peopled by those of European extraction.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

In a message dated 11/30/2005 8:47:45 AM Pacific Standard Time,
mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr writes:

> Subj: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman
> Date: 11/30/2005 8:47:45 AM Pacific Standard Time
> From: mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr
> Reply-to: strathspey@strathspey.org
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Sent from the Internet
>
>
>
> Good article, Pia, but, just to be awkward, I'd love to know more about:
> >a group of Scottish Country
> >Dancers worldwide of all ages, creed and colour,
>
> Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
> How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
> or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?
>
> (this is not supposed to be facetious, by the way)
>
> Martin
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43286 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 18:15:04 · Top

Sorry, Pia, if I sounded negative (and the colour issue was rather beside
the point, I agree).

I fully support the idea, and you can add my signature.

Martin

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43299 · Pia Walker · 30 Nov 2005 19:31:35 · Top

Don't be sorry - it started a new discussion - and it is good to know that
it is not only white knobbly knees that can be seen - but a whole lot of
other hues :>)

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "mj.sheffield" <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:15 PM
Subject: Re: Article in today's online Scotsman

> Sorry, Pia, if I sounded negative (and the colour issue was rather beside
> the point, I agree).
>
> I fully support the idea, and you can add my signature.
>
> Martin
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43285 · Victor Jason Raymond · 30 Nov 2005 18:09:33 · Top

At 10:47 AM 11/30/2005, mj.sheffield wrote:
>Good article, Pia, but, just to be awkward, I'd love to know more about:
>>a group of Scottish Country
>>Dancers worldwide of all ages, creed and colour,
>
>Are you sure about the colour bit?
>
>How many Blacks, Middle-eastern, Hispanic have you on the American clubs?
>or Caribbean or Indian in British ones?

I can speak to that, a bit. My family background is Native American,
I am a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. While I have relatively
light skin, placed in a family picture you would be able to see my
indigenous heritage. But my family has been of mixed ethnicity for
generations; the Frazier and Ross surnames (among others) crop up
regularly in my family tree. So I decided to explore my Scottish
heritage when I was younger - my parents were rather delighted at the
thought. My father asked me some time ago if I would learn to play
"Garry Owen" on the pipes (yes, I'm a piper), as it was the marching
tune of the 7th Cavalry (Custer's troops at the Battle of the Little Big Horn).

It is my experience, however, that there are few people of color in
SCD groups. Some of it, I am sure, comes from the cultural
association with Scots as being "white" - SCD is seen as being less
accessible to people of color. (Hmm, might make for an interesting
research project....why is/is not SCD appealing to different groups
of people?).

Victor

Victor J. Raymond, M.S.
Department of Sociology, ISU
vraymond@iastate.edu
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SCD's appeal to different people

Message 43288 · L. Friedman-Shedlov · 30 Nov 2005 18:25:41 · Top

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, Victor Raymond wrote:
> It is my experience, however, that there are few people of color in SCD
> groups. Some of it, I am sure, comes from the cultural association with
> Scots as being "white" - SCD is seen as being less accessible to people of
> color. (Hmm, might make for an interesting research project....why is/is not
> SCD appealing to different groups of people?).

Interesting question, but I would guess it is for the same reasons that
relatively few people of European decent learn Native American dancing or
Chinese dancing. It is seen as closely tied with a particular culture,
and most of the groups that teach it are closely tied with that culture.
If you are not interested in things Scottish, you are not likely to
encounter Scottish country dancing or the groups that teach it.

/ Lara
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SCD's appeal to different people

Message 43291 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 18:43:49 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "L. Friedman~Shedlov"
>
> Interesting question, but I would guess it is for the same reasons that
> relatively few people of European decent learn Native American dancing or
> Chinese dancing. It is seen as closely tied with a particular culture,

Here in France, at least, SCD clubs seem to be different from other foreign
cultural clubs.
The Portugese dancers recruit solelyamong the Portugese, etc.
(You should have seen the look on people's faces years ago when I asked to
join an Armenian dance club, not knowing a word of Armenian!)
I imagine the situtation is similar in other countries
We are open to others, even if they don't always want to come and join us
(We are even open to other Scots -- but they don't seem to want to join us
either!).
SCD may be closely tied to Scotland, but I think it is more of a social
activity than the action of a preservation society. It's good fun that just
happens to be Scottish (in the popular mind, pace Mr Goss).
But since, most other clubs are bound up with some foreign country, the
indigenous French tend to think we, too, are just another exclusive group of
foreigners.

If French people regard us as something foreign, we must appear doubly
foreign to people of African or Asian extraction.
A pity.

Martin
ps: thank you, Robb, for confirming what I had imagined -- and Lara & Lee,
for reporting otherwise!!!

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SCD's appeal to different people

Message 43296 · Victor Jason Raymond · 30 Nov 2005 19:05:02 · Top

At 11:25 AM 11/30/2005, you wrote:
>On Wed, 30 Nov 2005, Victor Raymond wrote:
>>It is my experience, however, that there are few people of color in
>>SCD groups. Some of it, I am sure, comes from the cultural
>>association with Scots as being "white" - SCD is seen as being less
>>accessible to people of color. (Hmm, might make for an interesting
>>research project....why is/is not SCD appealing to different groups
>>of people?).
>
>Interesting question, but I would guess it is for the same reasons
>that relatively few people of European decent learn Native American
>dancing or Chinese dancing.

You've not heard about the German "American Indian" re-enactment
groups, then. Apparently some of them speak Lakota better than I do
(which wouldn't be difficult, actually). :):):)

>It is seen as closely tied with a particular culture, and most of
>the groups that teach it are closely tied with that culture. If you
>are not interested in things Scottish, you are not likely to
>encounter Scottish country dancing or the groups that teach it.

That's a good first take, but I bet there might be more to it than that.

>/ Lara
>_______________________________________________
>http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Victor J. Raymond, M.S.
Department of Sociology, ISU
vraymond@iastate.edu
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43284 · Martin · 30 Nov 2005 18:09:44 · Top

----- Original Message -----
>...it is only a pity that the myth being promoted by Scotland itself,
> that we are a dying breed, is perpetuated ad infinitum.

Assuming the article is to be sent to the newspaper, might I suggest
replacing this with:
"For these reasons, we should like to protest your correspondent's assertion
that we are a dying breed.
There may well be a number of grey heads in the dance hall, but new blood is
coming in all the time.
Scotland has a respected name in many parts of the world, and young people
enjoy the music they think of as the Celtic tradition -- whetever the
historic origins of this healthy pastime may be. Seeing the clubs and
classes run by the younger generation in Germany and Russia, for example, we
know that the future of Scottish country dancing is safe."

Martin
(representing a club with many French people, 7 Brits, 1 Caribbean, 1
American, 1 African, 1 Irish.
At ceilidhs, we have also had Algerians and a Nepalese)

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43307 · Ron Mackey · 30 Nov 2005 23:06:49 · Top

One other note from me tonight.
On the subject of those who cause problems for others by their
aggressive and domineering attitude. Has no-one ever told them that
they are acting in an overbearing manner? I have told an interfering
outsider that we were quite capable of organizing our own set thank you
and was met with a 'Hff'. However an apology was later given and we
parted on reasonable terms.
Don't let them bully you or others will think you concur with their
opinions/actions. Of course, it's best not to provoke a punch-up if
diplomacy can avoid it. :~)

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43309 · Fran Smith · 30 Nov 2005 23:28:30 · Top

Hi Pia,
Have been off-line for three days so only just catching up
with current project. Add my name to your list please.
Fran Smith (South Wales)

Lycos email has now 300 Megabytes of free storage... Get it now at mail.lycos.co.uk
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43314 · Patricia Ruggiero · 1 Dec 2005 02:19:15 · Top

>> [a long list of names from different countries would be good]

Pia, you can add mine. I'm from Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.

Pat

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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43320 · Phyl · 1 Dec 2005 05:52:28 · Top

Here in Mexico, I have two dancers in my little group who have separately retired from Dubai, danced there and didn't know each other, plus a couple (one Scot and one Honduran) who danced in Colombia and a few retired Canadian dancers. No young ones regularly yet, I'm afraid, although last year we had three young Mexicans who danced with us a few times. My Spanish isn't good enough to teach bilingually. This is a community of English speaking ex-pats, mostly retired.

Feel free to add Mexico to your list of signatories, Pia.
Thanks
Phyl Gaskell_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43323 · chris1ronald · 1 Dec 2005 08:50:39 · Top

Earlier this year, I learned that there is RSCDS-style dancing to be had in Panama, too.

Chris.

-----Original Message-----
From: Phyl <pgaskell@prodigy.net.mx>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 22:52:28 -0600
Subject: RE: Article in today's online Scotsman

Here in Mexico, I have two dancers in my little group who have separately
retired from Dubai, danced there and didn't know each other, plus a couple (one
Scot and one Honduran) who danced in Colombia and a few retired Canadian
dancers. No young ones regularly yet, I'm afraid, although last year we had
three young Mexicans who danced with us a few times. My Spanish isn't good
enough to teach bilingually. This is a community of English speaking ex-pats,
mostly retired.

Feel free to add Mexico to your list of signatories, Pia.
Thanks
Phyl Gaskell_______________________________________________
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Article in today's online Scotsman

Message 43333 · Pia Walker · 1 Dec 2005 18:25:40 · Top

Hi Phyl - could you ask them for adresses in Dubay, as I am going out there
in April for a couple of days and would like to dance out there.

Pia

Who is still adding, pasting, cutting, thinking.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phyl" <pgaskell@prodigy.net.mx>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 4:52 AM
Subject: RE: Article in today's online Scotsman

Here in Mexico, I have two dancers in my little group who have separately
retired from Dubai, danced there and didn't know each other, plus a couple
(one Scot and one Honduran) who danced in Colombia and a few retired
Canadian dancers. No young ones regularly yet, I'm afraid, although last
year we had three young Mexicans who danced with us a few times. My Spanish
isn't good enough to teach bilingually. This is a community of English
speaking ex-pats, mostly retired.

Feel free to add Mexico to your list of signatories, Pia.
Thanks
Phyl Gaskell_______________________________________________
http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

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