December 2017 A NEWSLETTER No. 151
By the time you get to the end of this editorial, you may think, “Well, she’s said all that before”. The point this time is that this is what other people have said in conversations with me over the last six months. Very often these points were raised in the “Why do…?” or “Why don’t…?” format, sometimes rhetorically, but sometimes expecting an answer. Otherwise, no other thread connects the points!
The first conversation was based around five-
Some years back, it was becoming popular for the 4s in a 5 couple set to stay in
2nd position after they had danced it in 1st position once, rather than slipping
to the bottom. I wrote an editorial advocating that when in such a five-
I rather liked the Leeds way of handling one difficult dance at the White Rose Festival a few years ago. “Why are there no instructions on the crib for MacDonald of Sleat?” Lynne (or was it Rachel) whispered. “Because if you know it, you don’t need instructions,” I replied, “and if you don’t know it, no amount of instructions will help!”
So should MacDonald of Sleat have been on a dance programme at all? You have to judge
your programmes carefully as to where the dance will happen and who is likely to
go there – and there are plenty of dancers at the White Rose festival who can make
dances like MacDonald of Sleat look very polished. Programmes of easy and/or familiar
dances are often welcome as we don’t have to revise for them and can do them without
too much thought – and they are very beginner-
JOINT BALL, STOCKTON ON THE FOREST, NOVEMBER 2017
In a recent Broun’s Reel Joyce asked for accounts of dances. I wouldn’t say this is exactly an account but here are some observations.
The programme was lovely: I wish I hadn’t missed Back to the Fireside by turning up late (people really should be more sensitive about the time they telephone...). Everyone was impressively turned out and the women’s dresses all beautiful. The predominant colour, unsurprising among the men, was black, but on the women it was sometimes patterned or with tops in different colours so the scene was bright – and formal – enough.
If we hadn’t clashed with two other, relatively local, dances the hall might have been fuller but as it was there were plenty of couples there and plenty of room to dance. The supper was plentiful and delicious. I couldn’t help noticing a tin labelled ‘Adult Biscuits’. It set me thinking: what are adult biscuits? How are they different from any other sort of biscuit? Do they grow from little baby biscuits to being adult? Perhaps they’re called cookies when they’re not adult; it seems a childish enough name. Are they giant gingerbread men? Are they dangerous, as in:
There was a young man from Nepal
When asked to a fancy-
Said, ‘OK, I’ll risk it,
I’ll go as a biscuit’.
Then a dog ate him up in the hall.*
And on the same subject (vaguely): what is a joint ball? Is it the same as a ball joint, hip or shoulder? I know a lot of us do have replacement hips but I’m not one of them so perhaps I shouldn’t have been there. The occasion could have been a hip hop, not a ball at all.
*not my original: apologies to the copyright holder if there is one.
BROUN’S REEL AND HAPPY MEMORIES
I received my copy of Broun’s Reel the other day, via Rosemary. Congratulations on surviving to 150. I have a copy of every one in files in my wardrobe. Michael and I were still very new dancers when number 1 came out, and we just kept it and every one thereafter. There are lots of happy memories on those pages – dances attended in many different places and years of enjoyable dancing. I miss it very much but my feet will not do what I want them to do and my balance is a bit rocky. When I can’t sleep, I go through dances in my head. Macdonald of Sleat – I never get beyond the first 40 bars!
Happy days indeed. Here’s to the new generation of dancers, and to Broun’s Reel no. 300!
Brenda George, Willerby
Eric Taylor (of “Joann and Eric” fame) from Thornton le Dale (formerly Kirkbymoorside)
died in July. He and Joann attended the Friday Class and the York SCD Club for
many years after moving up from Croydon. Eric was a member of the Branch committee
for 3 years from 1990-
Jennifer Hignell, who was for many years a regular branch member and lived near York before moving up to the Edinburgh area to be near family, died in October. She had suffered from cancer for several years, but did not let this stop her from attending the Harrogate weekend. There will be a fuller tribute in the next edition of Broun’s Reel. Our condolences to her daughter and family. She will be sadly missed.
There is a brief tribute to Trevor Raynor in the Scottish Country Dancer. In the 60s and early 70s, Trevor danced with groups in Cottingham and Willerby before becoming the last “exciseman” on Skye and writing the dance “The Exciseman”.
Y&NH BRANCH HOGMANAY DANCE, DUNNINGTON, 31st DECEMBER
As usual, the Hogmanay Dance (now run by the Branch) will take place in the Dunnington Reading Rooms, beginning at 8.00 pm on Sunday 31st and ending at 12.30 am approx. on New Year’s Day. Tickets are £5 for all, and you are asked to bring contributions to a Faith Supper: your ticket will show whether you should bring something sweet or something savoury. The programme has been chosen by Jennifer Robinson and will be danced to recorded music:
Y&NH BRANCH BURNS DANCE AND SUPPER, DUNNINGTON, 27th JANUARY
We are holding our now-
BRANCH DANCE, COTTINGHAM, 24th FEBRUARY
The last of our winter afternoon dances will be led at The Darby and Joan Hall in
Finkle Street in Cottingham (the postcode for SATNAV users is HU16 4AZ) on Saturday
24th February, beginning at 2pm. Afternoon Tea is included, so no need to bring contributions
to a faith supper. The price is £5 for RSCDS members and £6 for non-
The programme, to recorded music, has been drawn up by Chris Hare.
Copy date for next issue: 3rd February 2018