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Where are the RSCDS???

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  • ...

    E23787423 March 11, 2006, 3:02 p.m. (Message 44626)

    For the first time in many years I attended the Perth Musical Festival.  
    Having competed there many years ago I was particulaly interested in seeing the  
    adult team performances. What a shock NO RSCDS Teams entered at all, normally 
    we  would have had 8 - 10 teams competing - Where were Perth, Dundee,  
    Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, St Andrews, Pitlochry RSCDS branch teams, can't  they stand 
    the pressure, and the  ajudicators criticism, or are they too  busy 
    demonstrating. Or are they getting too old to compete??
     
    An ideal showcase was presented to the society with like minded people to  
    promote the cause but only non-society teams turned up. Even in the junior  
    section only a Perth and Perthshire team turned up!!! out of the whole area.  What 
    has happened to all the work done promoting childrens classes?
    An excellent performance of Macdonald of Sleat was given by two teams  of 
    Mothers and Daughters. Young girls of 8 and ten dancing with their  mothers. 
    Surely there is an opening there to encourage dancers. 
     
    An enjoyable evening but a big disappointment that RSCDS were noticibly  
    absent
     
    RAE
  • ...

    Volleyballjerry March 11, 2006, 6:15 p.m. (Message 44632, in reply to message 44626)

    In a message dated 03/11/2006 6:04:02 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
    xxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx writes:
    
    > An enjoyable evening but a big disappointment that RSCDS were noticibly  
    > absent
    > 
    Sorry not to be replying to the content of the message, but there's an 
    interesting item to me as a linguist always fascinated by the differences in usage 
    between British and American English, which I've found to be substantial.
    
    Not only in the subject heading but also in the body of the message (quoted 
    above) I find RSCDS [...Society] used with a plural verb.  In no way do I 
    suggest any incorrect usage on Rae's part.  I believe that previously as well I've 
    encountered colloquial British usage with a singular (but collective) noun and 
    a plural verb.  This is (and again I emphasize only the difference in usage, 
    not the correctness of one vs. the other) very jarring to American ears.  We 
    would say (and write):  "Where IS the RSCDS, where WAS the RSCDS?"  Is this 
    colloquial usage in British English (singular collective noun + plural verb) 
    quite common or merely optional?  Would it also be considered correct in a more 
    formal setting?
    
    Robb Quint
    Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
  • ...

    suepetyt March 12, 2006, 5:57 p.m. (Message 44649, in reply to message 44626)

    As an impartial observer at festivals I have noticed that adjudicators tend
    to award higher marks for what I would call the 'entertaining' teams which
    are normally not RSCDS Branches.  These usually wear matching kilts/dresses,
    often have younger members and the teamwork is good, the footwork however is
    often sadly deficient.  I know of one such team which advertises that it
    does not do step practice.  It does however attract a lot of young people,
    including boys and travels overseas to demonstrate Scottish dancing.
    
    The Branches tend to dance with more restraint, and much better footwork,
    more prim perhaps, and the members of the team tend to be older.
    
    I know of some advanced 'RSCDS' dancers who feel that competitive festivals
    are no longer for them.  
    
    Is there a lesson here?
    
    Happy Dancing
    Sue Petyt
    www.suepetyt.me.uk 
    Skype Sue Petyt
  • ...

    campbell March 13, 2006, 8:39 a.m. (Message 44664, in reply to message 44649)

    Sue Petyt wrote:
    
     As an impartial observer at festivals I have noticed that adjudicators
    > tend to award higher marks for what I would call the 'entertaining'
    teams which are normally not RSCDS Branches.  These usually wear
    matching
    > kilts/dresses, often have younger members and the teamwork is good, the
    footwork however is often sadly deficient.
    > The Branches tend to dance with more restraint, and much better footwork,
    > more prim perhaps, and the members of the team tend to be older.
    > Is there a lesson here?
    
    At the risk of making myself hugely unpopular, may I venture to suggest
    that the lesson to be learned here is that footwork needs to be downgraded
    to an optional extra in SCD, rather than a qualifying skill.  I shall use
    my own experience to illustrate the point.
    
    I started dancing in the 70s and was taught footwork from the very first
    lesson.  Now some 30 years later I have returned to SCD.  I discovered to
    my dismay that most of the 6 clubs in Cape Town were small and shrinking
    and that new members were unusual.  In my enthusiasm I invited some of my
    friends along but they didnt "stick".  I realised that there was little to
    hold them as the barrier to proficiency was too high.  Nearly all the
    dancers in the clubs were old and experienced and had little stomach for
    Cumberland Reel and similar easy dances.  There was also the obligatory 20
    minutes of step practice at the beginning of the evening, which seemed to
    serve no purpose as everyone had obviously reached their plateau of
    footwork performance by now and were not particularly interested in
    getting any better.
    
    So I started my own club two years ago, not without opposition, as I am
    not a certificated teacher.  We now have 30 members, which makes us the
    biggest club in Cape Town.  Our footwork is acknowledged by many of the
    other clubs as appalling (the word used), one member of another club
    feeling so strongly about this that she has stopped dancing.  I freely
    admit that it is pretty ropey but Cape Town now has 30 people coming to
    parties and socials that would not otherwise have boosted the SCD numbers.
    The interesting thing is that some of them are beginning to take an
    interest in good footwork and want me to do step practice.  But it has
    come late.  In my beginners classes I always say to the newcomers "Dont
    worry about your feet, walk if necessary, the only thing is to get to the
    right place at the right time".  Heresy I know, but some of the people
    stay and they enjoy themselves hugely.
    
    For those of you happily esconsed in big branches with many around you to
    keep up standards, this might all sound outrageous, but for those of us on
    the fringes who are battling to keep SCD alive in our areas, demoting
    footwork from compulsory SCD101 to optional SCD in third year is a way of
    keeping it healthy and supported.
    
    I shall now head for the hills to avoid the bullets.
    
    Campbell
    Cape Town
  • ...

    Jim Healy March 13, 2006, 1:28 p.m. (Message 44669, in reply to message 44626)

    Greetings!
    
    The answer to this question is contained within it.
    
    >We would have had 8 - 10 teams competing.
    At Perth this year, there were probably less than eight teams competing in 
    all classes.
    
    Last year, as one of the Perth Branch class teachers and at the request of 
    some members of the Branch committee, I presented teams in the ladies, mixed 
    (including Andrea fae Dundee) and 'non-competitive' sections. This year, I 
    understand, there was no enthusiasm from dancers or committee to take part. 
    The vast majority of dancers today are not interested in competitive 
    dancing. Indeed, my conclusion is that competitive festivals have had their 
    day and while some, like Perth, limp along only the Newcastle Festival still 
    has a major buzz but then it does attract teams from the length and breadth 
    of Britain.
    
    As further evidence, I taught the Dundee Branch technique class for four 
    years. Each year I asked  the class members if they wanted to compete at 
    Perth. Each year they declined despite Andrea's efforts to cajole them into 
    it. The same dancers, however, worked their socks off each year to prepare 
    for the Dundee Branch non-competitive Festival when they could 'show off' to 
    their peers without having to sit and listen to some adjudicator spout 
    totally subjective opinions and tell them yet again what their teachers have 
    been saying every week for months.
    
    Personally, I will not lament the passing of competitive dancing which I 
    consider alien to the social nature of our pastime.
    
    Jim Healy
    Perth and Monaco
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau March 13, 2006, 1:41 p.m. (Message 44672, in reply to message 44669)

    Jim Healy wrote:
    
    > Personally, I will not lament the passing of competitive dancing which I
    > consider alien to the social nature of our pastime.
    
    When describing SCD to newcomers, I usually stress that there is no 
    competitive element involved. This is unlike, say, ballroom dancing clubs, 
    where (I'm told) anybody who exhibits any aptitude at all is constantly 
    pestered to join the competitive team. I consider this a major advantage.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
                                            -- Henry Louis Mencken, on Shakespeare

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