April 22, 2017 A+P Social

A lively social this past Saturday night, with two-of-towners: Dale, our regular Vermont visitor, and Dana, who used to dance in Montreal and now lives someplace where it never snows and rhymes with Borgia.

It was a fun night with wonderful live music by Laurence and Suzanne! IMG_0368.jpg



Thank you to our briefers Dagmar, Holly and Margaret (or, as we like to call them, Dagomersolly).

Don was a little anxious about his trip to Cyprus the next day
Margaret catches Dana up on all the nonsense we’ve been up to
The confidence that comes from knowing you’ve studied all the dances. Not that I would know.


Joanne makes sure to intimidate her partner before the first dance

Guillaume and I excel at just standing there.

The dancing was of course, superb, but Postie’s Jig really stood out as the portrait of excellence.  I propose we use this photo on all of our advertisements from now on:

Peter was decapitated during this dance, but if he still had a head he would tell you it was worth it. JP high-fives Lesley while airborne, and Alison becomes acquainted with Lesley’s elbow.
Naoko’s first social! Well done! Unfortunately Joanne is charging right toward her
This photo looks innocuous, but JP is clearly getting angry if you look closely. Let’s look more closely, shall we?
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SCD-induced delirium is rare but real. Stay safe, folks.


Luckily he made a full recovery.


Guillaume defying gravity





After all the dancing (I did all the Strathspeys!!) we had some wonderful food.  Thank you to everyone who helped in the kitchen, but especially Dagmar and Margaret.


And now the videos!

Michael thought he was taking a photo but instead he captured this moment in video!



And of course, the decapitation dance, where nothing went wrong in any of the sets.


Thank you all for coming!


Study Guide for A+P Social on April 22, 2017

* Easiest dances on programme suitable for all dancers who have practiced in class, newer dancers with an experienced partner

** Next step up.  Suitable for most dancers if practiced in class and with an experienced partner.

***  Most difficult dances for dancers who are confident in knowing the dance



*THE HIGHLAND FAIR (J8x32) 2C (4C set) Book of Graded SCDs

1- 8 1s cast, dance down behind own lines, turn outwards and dance back to place
9-16 1s+2s turn partners RH back to place and then turn LH
17-24 1s followed by 2s, lead down the middle and 2s lead back to the top
25-32 2s+1s dance R&L


*CATCH THE WIND (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Romaine Butterfield RSCDS Book 45

1- 8 1s set, cast 1 place and dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s
9-16 1s set twice with 1L turning to face out, 1L followed by partner casts up and dances down the middle 1L to face 3M while 1M faces 2M
17-24 1s RSh reels of 3 across (1M with 2s and 1L with 3s)
25-32 1L followed by partner dances down cast up round 3M and crosses to end in 2nd place on own sides, 1s turn RH (4 bars)


*GRAMACHIE (S8x32) 3C (4C set) MMM 1

1- 8 1s+2s set, cross RH, set and cross back RH
9-16 1s lead down the middle for 3 steps, back to top, cast to 2nd place and face 1st corners
17-24 1s set and turn 1st corners, set and turn 2nd corners ending between 2s and 3s on opposite sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s Adv+Ret, 1s turn 2H 1½ times


***A CAPITAL JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Tine E Mackay 5 dances 2009

1- 8 1s+2s Set and Rotate and end 1s facing up, 2s down:-
‘ Set, rotate singly and dance on 1 place clockwise, change places RH on sides and dance on 1 place to own sides (1s in 2nd place facing up)
9-16 1s dance reels of 3 on own sides (RSh to 2s)
17-24 1s set and turn ¾ RH to face own sides, 1s dance LH across (1L with 2s, 1M with 3s) to end 2nd place opposite sides
25-32 1s set and turn ¾ RH to face opposite sides, 1s dance LH across (1M with 2s, 1L with 3s) ending 2nd place own sides


**ANDREW’S DANCE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Andrew Mills Harbour City

1- 8 1M followed by 1L casts 1 place, 1M crosses to 2nd place opposite side and dances RSh round 3L as 1L dances RSh round 3M both to 2nd place opposite sides
9-16 2s+1s+3s dance reels of 3 on sides (1s giving LSh to 2s)
17-24 2s+1s dance Ladies’ Chain
25-32 1s dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s and turn RH

***OUT OF THIN AIR (S3x32) 3C set Sue Porter And Diane Rooney RSCDS Graded 3

1- 8 1s set, cross RH, cast, turn LH to face 1st corners (2s step up bars 5-6)
9-16 1s turn corner RH, partner LH, 2nd corner RH, partner LH to finish in middle, own side, facing up
17-24 1s dance up between 2s, cast, dance down between 3s and cast up into 2nd place own sides
25-32 1s+3s dance the Tournée:-
‘ 1s+3s dance into prom hold (Men with partner on right, 1s face M’s side and 3s L’s side), couples ½ wheel anticlockwise and Men turn Ladies into middle, both couples turn 1½ times (3s RH, 1s LH) and dance out to places

*POSTIE’S JIG (J4x32) 4C set Roy Clowes Ormskirk 5

1- 8 1s and 4s set and cast in 1 place, 1s and 4s dance ½ Figs of 8 round new end couples
9-12 1M+4M and 1L+4L cross (men making an arch) and turn corners with free hand to face up/down
13-16 1s+4s dance down/up (couple dancing up make the arch) and turn corners
17-24 Repeat bars 9-16 from new pstns
25-32 1s+4s dance ½ R&L, turn partner RH. 2413

**Don’t duck as seen in this video or Dagmar will come after you**


***SUENO’S STONE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Neil Grant

1- 8 1s turn RH and cast 1 place, 1s turn LH 1½ times to face 2nd corners (side by side holding LH)
9-16 1s set to 2nd corners and turning inwards set to 4th corner, 1s dance ½ reel of 4 with 4th corners and end facing 1st corners (holding LH)
17-24 1s set to 1st corners and turning inwards set to 3rd corner, 1s dance ½ reel of 4 with 3rd corners and end in middle facing partner (1M down, 1L up)
25-28 2s+3s set and dance on clockwise 1 place while 1s turn RH 1½ times to end 1L between 2L+3L (at top) and 1M between 2M+3M
29-32 All chase on 1 place to own sides and set. 213


***THE CHEQUERED COURT (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Duncan Brown RSCDS Book 42

1- 8 1s cross RH, cast 1 place, 1s dance ½ Figs of 8 (Man round 2s and Lady round 3s) and end facing 1st corners
9-16 1s dance Pass+Turn with 1st corners and 1s twirl round in centre to face 4th corners, 1s dance Pass+Turn with 4th corners and twirl round to face own sides
17-24 1s dance 6 bars of Double Triangles and end with 1L between 2s facing 2L and 1M between 3s facing 3M
25-32 1s dance reel of 3 across giving RSh to 4th corners and 1s cross RH to own sides


*SHIFTIN’ BOBBINS (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Roy Clowes Ormskirk 6

1- 8 1s cross RH to double triangle position with 2s+3s and set, 1s cast up to top and dance down until they are between 2s and 3s
9-16 1L dances RH across with 2M+3M while 1M dances LH across with 2L+3L, 1s followed by 2s+3s dance down centre
17-24 3s followed by 2s+1s dance up and 3s+2s cast down to places, 1L dances LH across with 2M+3M while 1M dances RH across with 2L+3L
25-32 1s dance up to top and cast down to 2nd place opposite side, 1s dance ½ Fig of 8 around 2s to end in 2nd place on own sides. 213


***CULLA BAY (S4x32) Sq.Set Ann Dix RSCDS Book 41

1- 4 1s and 3s advance and ½ turn opposite partner RH and cast out to opposite side
5- 8 1s and 3s chase ¼ round set clockwise and dance in passing 2s/4s RSh curving in to face 2s/4s as 2s and 4s repeat bars 1-4 and turn right about to face 1s/3s
9-16 All dance parallel reels of 4 across set
17-24 2s+1s also 4s+3s circle 4H once round to left, set and dance RH across ½ way
25-32 2s+4s dance LH across once round, 2s and 4s dance out through sides passing opposite partner RSh and chase round set clockwise to next place. 2341


*THE HUNTING HORN (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Peter McBryde SCD Archives

1- 8 1s cast 1 place, cross RH, cast below 3s and dance up middle to 2nd place BtoB in centre for Double Triangles
9-16 1s dance Double Triangles and end facing 2nd corners
17-24 1s dance diagonal reels of 4 with 2nd corners, pass partner LSh to face 1st corners
25-32 1s dance reels of 4 with 1st corners, pass partner LSh to end in 2nd place facing out to start next sequence


**THE BYRON STRATHSPEY (S3x32) 3C set John Drewry Deeside Book 2

1- 8 All petronella turn into the centre and set to partner, turn 2H 1¼ times back to places
9-16 1s+2L and 3s+2M dance RH across, 2s pass RSh and dance LH across with other couple
17-24 2s in prom hold dance reel of 3 with 1s passing 1L RSh, end 2s in centre at top
25-32 2s+1s+3s dance Allemande. 312



1- 8 1s+2s set and dance RH across ½ way, set and dance LH across ½ way back to place
9-16 1s lead down the middle and back to top
17-24 1s+2s dance Allemande
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back. 213


*THE COANWOOD STUARTS (J4x32) 4C set Roy Goldring 24 G and S Dances

1- 8 1M followed by 2M+3M (who dance up) cross and cast down Ladies’ side; cross below 3s and dance up on own side to places
9-16 1s+2s+3s turn partners RH once round and turn partners LH once round
17-24 1L followed by 2L+3L (who dance up) cross and cast down Men side; cross below 3s and dance up on own side
25-32 All 4 couples Adv+Ret; 1s cast to 4th place while 2s+3s+4s step up

(no video available)

*THE DUNDEE WHALER (S4x32) 4C set Roy Clowes Ormskirk 1

1- 8 2s and 4s dance Petronella to opposite sides
9-16 1s+2s and 3s+4s dance Ladies’ Chain
17-24 1s and 3s dance Petronella to opposite sides
25-32 1L+2M change places LH, 1M+2L also 1L+3L change places RH, 1M+3M also 1L+4M change places LH and 1M+4L change RH. 2341


**MAIRI’S WEDDING (R8x40) 3C (4C set) James B. Cosh 22 SCDs

1- 8 1s turn RH and cast to 2nd place, 1s turn LH to face 1st corners
9-16 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 1st corners, 1s dance ½ diagonal reel with 2nd corners
17-24 1s dance ½ diagonal reel with 3rd corner (pstns), ½ diagonal reel with 4th corner (pstns)
25-32 1s dance reel of 3 across (Lady with 2s, Man with 3s – LSh to 1st corner)
33-40 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back. 213







Military Tattoo April 8, 2017 aka The day we lost Janet

This past Saturday, Montreal’s current demo team (Don, Holly, Janet, Joanne, Peter, Sunny, Katie and myself) performed at the Black Watch Military Tattoo at the Bell Centre!Tattoo_Newspaper_Ad_Eng.png

We were lucky enough to have the demo team from Ottawa join us (Michael, Marion, Guy, Elizabeth, Todd, Karen, Emily and Charlie), and together we danced for four minutes and thirty seconds to a choreography devised by Holly, of course!

We had to arrive at the Bell Centre early in the morning, and we waded through masses of perky pre-pubescent Irish dancers, throngs of neatly coiffed highlanders and men dressed in WWI uniforms to make our way to our “hut” on the 4th floor of the Centre, where I was as excited to see an unlimited supply of Tim Horton’s muffins as Holly was to see the massive coffee urns.  The morning consisted of trying to figure out where we had to go, Richard (our understudy) wondering when he could get back to work, and me doing my South Park Cartman impressions, which entertained no one except Don, who was utterly and appropriately fascinated.

The morning of – Joanne is already getting suspicious.


We were all so innocent then.

We headed down to rehearsal at around 11, only to be told that in fact our performance was obviously going to be so flawless that no rehearsal was necessary, so we decided to lounge around and do something productive.   For Sunny and Katie, this meant foraging out in the wild for gluten-free food, while for Don and Janet and I this meant playing a Catholic gard came on Janet’s iPad, where Don promptly mistook a baptismal fountain for a urinal, and I mistook the corporal for an area rug.  Oddly enough, Don and I did not win the game.   Holly took this opportunity to ignore all of us and focus on candy crush.

Don and Janet pretending to be comfortable on the floor.

After the exhausting game, I decided to settle down for my usual nap, but was attacked by a hungry Scottish country dancer.  You can see Holly is still doing a great job of ignoring us in the background.



Holly had had enough of the nonsense and decided we should start getting ready and rehearsing, which involved a lot of arguing about bars and hands and timing.  I was glad that as fourth couple I didn’t have to actually pay attention to any of it.

Joanne and Peter have a marital spat, while Sunny regrets her decision to join the demo team, Katie rolls her eyes, and Holly wonders whom she should kill first.  But look how we elegant we look !
Time to get dressed!  Even the ladies in the poster are impressed.

Then we took some group photos, so we can remember this moment forever whether we’ll want to or not.

tatto Ottawa group 1.JPG
The Ottawa group
The other ones
Montreal & Ottawa, Tattoo 2017.jpg
Our glorious group shot
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Slightly more in focus.  I like this shot because it looks like I’m actually tall enough to overshadow Peter’s head.

Before it was our time to go on, we went up to the observation deck to check out the performances and rehearsals already going on.


Then it was our time to shine!! We all went downstairs, got into place….and realized we had one small problem….my partner Janet was nowhere to be found.   We waited and waited, and Holly sent Don to fetch her as we were starting to get nervous.  However, not only did Janet not show up in the next few minutes, but now we couldn’t find Don, either (we presumed he had seen something shiny and followed it).

We were a bit worried as Janet hadn’t been feeling well that morning, and the Ottawa dancers began to feel sorry for us while also silently judging us for not being able to keep our dancers together (we’ve decided to microchip everyone next time).   We were resigned to not going on and letting Ottawa represent us all….when…in the horizon….we saw the red hoodie.   Janet had arrived with Don to save the day!  Between scurrying to get in line and trying to strangle Janet at the same time, we asked her where she was, to which she replied that she was calmly watching the other performers from the observation deck (I guess she didn’t notice that we had all left ten minutes prior).  Her response is one for the ages: “Richard will tell you that I am never late, but also never early.”   In fact, Janet even had time to steal a coupon sticker off of an abandoned McDonald’s coffee cup before we went on.   I guess talent cannot be explained by the rational mind.

The dance!!!!!  It was incredibly fun to be in front of all those people and perform, and luckily, JP took a video (Thanks JP!).


There were several supporters in the crowd, including JP, Alistair, Catherine and Robin, and Ann and Angela.  Thank you for coming!

It was over much too soon, and we all went backstage and waited for the grand finale, when all acts returned to the stage.  It was quite a sight!

2017 Montreal Tattoo, finale.jpg

Then it was time to go home and collapse in exhaustion!  We’ll definitely be back in 25 years (please tell me we don’t have to do this again before the next 25 years).

Thank you HOLLY for creating our choreography and being our leader!


Dances for April 4, 2017

A solo Margaret performance this week, with lots of reel practice in preparation for your social on April 22nd!

Here are the dances!

Scotland’s  Gardens      R. Goldring Leaflet                             32R3


Reel On                       R. Goldring G&S 3                               32R4


 Ring in the New           J. Hamilton Let’s All Dance  3C set     32J3

Shiftin’ Bobbins           R. Clowes Ormskirk 6                         32R3

A “golden oldie” from our class from 2015!!  We all looked so young then…


 Brechin Lassies            RSCDS MMM 1                                   32R3

Culla Bay                     RSCDS Book 41                                  32S4

Margaret’s favourite, and one which we have a video for!



Andrew’s Dance           A. Mills Harbour City                          32R3

Dances for March 28, 2017

Another meetup night, this time reigned over by German/Scottish hybrid Dagmargaret.

Margaret (hereinafter referred to as “The Shorter One” – oh wait, is this not a contract?), started us off with
Highland Fair 32J2 RSCDS Graded Book


Then Dagmar (hereinafter referred to as “The Evil one who makes me do Strathspeys”) taught us

Road to Aberdeen 40J2 Unpublished D. Koeppler  (an original Dagmar production!)

followed by another Dagmar original (bonus points if you can figure out what “Ann Banan” is – sound it out and it might give you a clue).

Ann Banan 3C set 40J3 Unpublished D. Koeppler

Then Margaret taught us

Light on the Water 32S3 Lets All Dance S. Langdon Kass

Aren’t these board game pieces doing a fabulous job? They’re all new to SCD! Kudos.


Then we did the Dagmar-modified

Capital Dance 32J3 Variation on Capital Jig D. Koeppler

and Margaret taught us

Catch the Wind 32R3 RSCDS Book 45 Butterfield


Dagmar polished off the evening with

Dundee Whaler 32S4 Ormskirk 1 Clowes



Chequered Court 32J3 RSCDS Book 42 Brown

Dances for March 21, 2017

Lots of new folks on this meetup night, from London visitors to musicians to the soon-to-be-married!

Holly held down the fort and started us with the abomination that is

GAY GORDONS (M16) Round The Room


As we completed a stunning eight dances this evening (and because I’m behind on my blobligations, I’ll just list them here followed by the videos!

FESTIVAL INTERCELTIQUE (R40) Round The Room Ian Brockbank



THE COANWOOD STUARTS (J4x32) 4C set Roy Goldring 24 G and S Dances

EASY PEASY (R8x32) 2C (4C set) Emma Allsop and Heather Blair 2nd Book Graded SCDs

THE DHOON (J4x32) 4C set Jessie Hamilton SCDs for Children



THE BORROWDALE EXCHANGE (R32) 3C circular set Round The Room Derek Haynes Carnforth Collection 2


THE BYRON STRATHSPEY (S3x32) 3C set John Drewry Deeside Book 2

SUENO’S STONE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Neil Grant


MAIRI’S WEDDING (R8x40) 3C (4C set) James B. Cosh 22 SCDs


Dances for March 14, 2017

***WEATHER ALERT****  Weather Network Canada informs you that despite 400 cm of snow and winds of 4000 miles an hour, Scottish Country Dance class is ON!!!!

Congrats to the 10 brave folks who ventured out on Tuesday night, amongst which I was not.

Holly held down the fort, now an igloo, and did the following dances:

MEET YOUR CORNERS (H. Boyd – unpublished) – 32R

FIGHT ABOUT THE FIRESIDE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Nathaniel Gow RSCDS Book 1


GRAMACHIE (S8x32) 3C (4C set) MMM 1


FAIRLEE FROLIC (H. Boyd from A Shortcut to Happiness) 32S

THE CHEQUERED COURT (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Duncan Brown RSCDS Book 42


GRANVILLE MARKET (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Elinor M Vandegrift 2nd Graded Book SCDs







Spring Dance March 11, 2017

Montreal’s spring tea dance this year was a big success, though at -21 degree temperatures, it wasn’t very spring-like.  But with musicians Laura Risk and Nicolas Williams, and over 40 dancers in attendance, it was very springy!skype-emoticons-holidayspirit-3.gif

The day was a special one, as it was also the birthday of our treasurer-extraordinaire, Richard “Big Bucks” Ricardo.  Happy birthday, Richard!

Richard and our dear common friend, money (also featuring Scruffy the dog)

We had some illustrious and loyal guests from Vermont, Ottawa and Cornwall, and they were not disappointed (I’m assuming, I could be wrong).

Some people had trouble making it there to begin with:

The Face of Dedication


Enter a caption
Sally looks for an easy exit but is surrounded
Fabulous live music!
Joanne and Sean try out some new SCD moves.  Also, Holly’s scalp!
Old friends and 39-year-old Dagmar (she’s smiling because she’s about to catch me for a Strathspey)
The latest cover of Scottish GQ Magazine.
Cary and Michael and I take all our photos by a fire alarm and extinguisher.  Safety first.
Don mimics Holly’s foot position and ends up looking like a Scottish mime.
The moment at which Kildonan became an Ames room (look it up)
Ramona shows off her new kilted skirt while Valerie smiles to keep from freezing to death.
“Now everyone just shut up.  DON WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!”
Beautiful straight lines.  If you’re drunk/high/myopic.


“Why is this millennial making me take a selfie? Ugh.”




RSCDS 011.jpg
It was literally all a blur for Katie.


Time for videos!! Thank you to Ramona and Michael and of course, myself. You’re welcome.


After all the hard work, it was finally time for FOOD!

Joanne was so hungry she couldn’t manage to close her mouth for the photo.
“Do these glasses make me look hungry?”
The out-of-towners were very serious about the eating portion of the evening.
Enter a caption
Azin’s son came to help by lowering the average age by several decades. Also featuring headless Katie.
Polly and Dale smile through woefully regretting having chosen our table to sit at.
Evil German lady eats up after a long day of forcing me to dance Strathspeys. “My work is done.”
People got increasingly more depressed at this table from right to left as the evening wore on.

All fabulous things must come to an end, and at last it was time to go home and collapse. But not before taking one last photo!


Thank you to all who attended!  Let’s shoot for 60 people next year!




Dances for March 7, 2017

Last class before the spring dance!

Dagmar started off the night with an awesomely-named

ECCLEFECHAN FELINE (I’m naming my next cat this)  (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Bob McMurtry Le Petit Chat Celtique


NAPIER’S INDEX (J8x40) 3C (4C set) Brian Charlton RSCDS Book 45

Starts at 3:20 in this video


Then Holly taught us the Tournee, where we discovered that Guillaume and I are apparently not the same height (who knew?).

We then used this jaw-dropping Strathspey figure in

OUT OF THIN AIR (S3x32) 3C set Sue Porter And Diane Rooney RSCDS Graded 3


Then we “setted and rotated” a couple hundred times, and then Holly made us do

A CAPITAL JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Tine Mackay 5 dances 2009J8x32) 3C (4C set) Tine Mackay 5 dances 2009


Then Dagmar took over and we buzzed to the

THE BEES OF MAGGIEKNOCKATER (J4x32) 4C set John Drewry Canadian Book (J4x32) 4C set John Drewry Canadian Book

Video starts at 0:28


Holly ended the evening with

Célébrations 2017    (J4X48) 4C set

Nope, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes…the quality really is that bad.




Dances for February 28, 2017

More Spring dance practice underway!

Holly started us off with her

Meet the Corners 3C set 32J3 H. Boyd


Flowers of Edinburgh 32R3 RSCDS Book 1

I think the attire in the video below should be mandatory for all classes!


Then Margaret did some step practice and poussette fun, with the 2s and 4s forgetting to step up on

Tomalena   32R5 San Francisco Vol 2 Gratiot & Douglas


Then it was Strathspey time as Holly made us feel wealthy with the smell of

Monymusk 32S3 RSCDS Book 11


and Margaret made me not too happy with the hyperbolic (seriously, one happiness isn’t enough, you need three?)

Triple Happiness   3C set 32S3 Leaflet Y. Oyama

We finished off the night with the “clover-leafed” dances that are easy to mix-up,

Captains House 32R3 RSCDS Graded 3 H. Boyd



Mairis Wedding 40R3 22 SCDs J. Cosh

Check out the awesome 90s fashion below, complete with crappy quality video!