Burns Social – January 21, 2017

Quite a few people showed up to the Burns social in Valois this year, including a lot of us A+Pers!   The dancing was a lot of fun (thanks, Mary!) and then it was time for the guest of honour, who was rather a quiet fellow.


Enjoy these photos and videos, courtesy of Alison and Ramona!

Check out the thorny lights hanging from the ceiling, which Don pointed out looked rather…Biblical.



After the dancing came the Address to the Haggis, performed by Haggis King Robin, assisted by Haggis Knight Brian (official titles).   After the address, things got violent toward the esteemed guest, but you had to be there to see it.


Food time was then upon us!  Here are some photos of the lovely guests:




Part of the A+P crowd
The Valoisians, plus Alistair!


Dana’s last social with us before her big move!










Dances for January 17, 2016

A unique day for our group as we were unable to dance at Kildonan Hall.  Luckily, Holly was able to book another venue for us so we could maintain the momentum of the new year – at the Portuguese Association on St. Urbain!  The pillars and lighting were a bit challenging, but overall it was a big success, with over 24 people in attendance!

Holly started us off with:

JIG TO THE MUSIC (J3x32) 3C set Doris Young 2nd Book Graded SCDs

Then Dagmar did

BELFAST HORNPIPE (R3x32) 3C Set Wesley Clindinning

and ABBOTSFORD LASSIES (R4x32) Sq.Set Charlie Inglis

Then Holly continued with

GALLOWAY HOUSE (R8x32) 2C (4C set) Book of Graded SCDs

and Dagmar taught us

Corn Rows with Rights and Lefts, an adaption of

CORN RIGS (R8x32) 2C (4C set) RSCDS Book 4


At our break, we had brownies by Katie and Dagmar’s cake and famous chocolate mousse, as we ate and chatted and said good-bye to Dana, who is on her way to Savannah, Georgia. We’ll miss you, Dana!!

After the break Dagmar taught us

MRS STEWART’S JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Frans Ligtmans RSCDS Book 35


WEE BIRL (S3X32) Ruth Taylor (CAN) 2000

and then Holly ended the night with

FLEUR DE LYS (R8X32) Dickson






Dances for January 10, 2017 First class of the year!

What a start to the year!! 30 dancers joined us at the A+P, many of them brand new and all of them lovely!

Holly held down the fort by teaching us the following dances:

  • Canonbie Ceilidh (Round The Room Circle Caroline and Ian Brockbank New Scotland 50th Anniv Book)


  • That Pinewoods ( (M288, anyC) – BoydHere’s To You Too)
  • Fleur de Lys
  • The White Rabbit ((R8x32) 2C (4C set) Iain Boyd Katherine’s Book)
  • Teddy Bear’s Picnic ((J4x32) 4C set Sven Leyffer)

  • Coanwood Starts ((J4x32) 4C set Roy Goldring 24 G and S Dances)
  • Coulter’s Candy ((R8x32) 3C (4C set) Barry Skelton Stepping Stones)
  • Easy Peasy ((R8x32) 2C (4C set) Emma Allsop and Heather Blair 2nd Book Graded SCDs)

Hogmanay – December 29, 2016

Hogmanay was a quiet and snowy affair this year, with two sets and illustrious visitors from Washington D.C. and New Jersey!

Dagmar was the master briefer and decorator that night, with Holly doing most of the kitchen work!




Michael rounds the bend and Kachina is still blond.
I was so excited about wearing my new awesome metro shirt…oh and also because Kachina and Orion were here! But mainly the shirt thing.


Dagmar controls the herd.  Don looks guilty while Guillaume looks like he’s up to no good (as per usual).
Sad man sash on floor had to sit out this dance.


Shiftin Bobbins in motion!
If you squint really hard, you can see perfect straight lines. 
Diana and Jane enjoy a break.  
Helene and Duncan, amusedly watching one of the sets fall apart from afar.
Me and “the boys”.  I feel ridiculous just typing that. 
Michael poses for a portrait. 
Dagmar and I are the same height! It’s a Christmas miracle!
Holly’s left arm.  If you look really hard you can also see Dagmar and Michael looking stylish.
Holly and Richard sport their “excited” look, plus a punch fountain with pepto bismol!

At last it was time for food!

Enter a caption


Alain and Helene discuss at midnight which dance party to hit next.

Enjoy these videos of Shiftin Bobbins and Bees of Maggiknockater!



Seems to be a lot of screaming in this last one….





Dances for December 6, 2016 and PARTY!

Last class of the term! Food, dancing and photos abound!

All three teachers taught (say that 50 times fast) and everyone came out unscathed.   Most dances were in preparation for the Hogmanay on Dec.29th.

Margaret’s dances:

It’s Nae Bother     32J2 Carnforth Coll      D. Haynes

Shiftin’ Bobbins   32R3 Ormskirk 6     R. Clowes

Holly’s dances:

Gentle Shepherd    32J3 RSCDS    Book 17

Castle Douglas 32S3    12 Social Dances      Goldring

Dancing Dolphins 32J3   Dolphin Book     B. Skelton   (there’s a dolphin book??)

And last but not easiest, we have Dagmar’s dances:

Tomalena    32R5 San Francisco Vol.2     Gratiot&Douglas

Most importantly though, we ended dance early to have a PARTY!   Enjoy these fun photos!


THE FOOD (and not just cookies either, some people actually cooked – kudos to Michael’s pies and thanks to Dagmar for probably bringing half the table).   Also, olives are gross, they are totally ruining this picture for me.



Also starring:

Margaret and Holly!  It is legend that it is impossible to get a picture of all three teachers together.  This was confirmed this evening.  If anyone has photographic evidence proving otherwise, I promise to dance a Strathspey unironically.  You know, someday.


Exhibit A    Dagmar and Ramona looking lovely


Exhibit B    Margaret and Ramona looking lovely.    Maybe one day they will all look lovely together! (preferably with two Ramonas, that would be cool).



Remember that game, “spot the 7 differences between the photos”?  Well, let’s see if you can spot at least one here.  This is me and Katie trying to be the same height.  I had fun, but Katie might’ve broken something.  I also felt a strange presence at one point, but it must’ve been my imagination.



Anne dearly wanted to be the tallest in the photo, but Don didn’t let her.


There you go, Anne!  Check out Michael’s outfit, Ali’s snappy vest and Holly’s “Noel” brooch!IMG_0281.jpg


Duncan, myself, Guillaume hair, and half a Margaret head.  Add 2 cups of butter and stir.


We all look slightly tipsy here, which is interesting since there was no alcohol.



Duncan and Michael fight over who’s going to write in Holly’s card first while Nadia and Olga discuss plans for world domination by the fashionable.



Don gives Alistair important life lessons about how to wear wine-coloured sweaters.


Mingling and chatting over food…



Last but not least….our beautiful class picture!!!  Sorry to have missed you, Holly, but apparently you just don’t know how to time bathroom breaks like I do.

See you at Hogmanay on the 29th, and remember we return on January 10!







Dances for November 29, 2016

Second-to-last-class for the term!

Holly taught the first half of the class, with

Then, as we had two five-couple sets, it was time for


And then the more difficult

Dagmar then continued after the break with

We ended with

Mairi’s Wedding (R40, 3/4L) – Cosh22 SCD

And had to rush to leave the hall as it was nearly 10 PM!  Lots of dances accomplished today.






Dances for November 22, 2016

The dance hall was packed this evening, with over 25 people in attendance! A couple of challenging dances but everyone did really well!

Dagmar started us off with

Celtic Cross sq set 48R4    Carnforth Coll D.Haynes, at which point Valerie decided to have her dinner.  I have never seen such efficient multitasking…”bring the men into the centre”…bite of salad….”turn right hand with your partner”….another bite of salad.  If you weren’t in that set, you really missed out!  Also, Valerie’s hair grows out really fast.

Then Margaret taught us

Johnnie Walker sq set 64 M Whisky Coll.,  and was likely drinking Johnnie Walker while teaching it, as “turn your partner right” became “turn your partner left” and back and forth a couple dozen times.  Thank goodness there were only two choices.

Katie took a video, but boy did that not work out….don’t know what happened here, but it’s kind of cool:


After Margaret sobered up (we threw her under a cold shower in the back room) she taught us

It’s Nae Bother 32J2 Carnforth Coll D. Haynes, which I like to think as “the definitely a bother” dance,   and then she also taught us

Asilomar Romantic 32S3 San Francisco Vol.2 Cuthbertson, which was not as annoying as I had originally remembered it.

Dagmar ended the evening with one of Ramona’s favourites,

Tomalena 32R5 San Francisco Vol.2 Gratiot&Douglas,

and then we all whined about the first snowfall of the year and went home.

Feeling sarcastic today!  Have a great week.

Ice Cream Social – Red Barn November 19, 2016

This Saturday night was Red Barn night at Baie d’Urfée!  Dagmar held down the fort by being the only teacher to rein in the always-wild Scottish country dancers!  For once, the weather was not awful, and we got through all 16 dances (well, I didn’t, but other people did).  Then we had ice cream – because what else would one eat at 11 PM in November – and after that point I have a vague memory of Don driving me home, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t awake for it.

Here are some fun photos and videos:


Lovely  people!
Anne then offered to take this photo and I was told to take over the “short person”position
Old friends and a very cool barn door.  We were discussing what it’s used for in normal life.
Dagmar extraordinnaire – now with a new haircut!  Me trying to use mine and Margaret’s sash as a belt.  Not sure it worked out too well.


Andrew, Joanne and Robin plotting some kind of mischief.


Yes, sometimes I even record non-Strathspeys!


Guillaume gave me specific instructions to record this dance.  I was triply happy to do so.  Yes, puns are lame.


I have no photos of the ice cream eating as I was mostly unconscious by then.  But I think it was fun.







Dances for November 15, 2016

All I remember from this class is lying in the back room while watching a Katie/Dagmar fashion show, but here are the dances!

Margaret started with

Come let us Dance and Sing     40R3 Strathtay Album     i. Boyd

Then Holly did

Autumn Leaves 32J3     done as a strathspey     j. Lataille

Golden Gala     32R5    Kingston Branch     R. Taylor

And Margaret continued with

Postie’s Jig     32J4 Ormskirk       Clowes

and Holly did

Hunting Horn    32J3 SD Archives     McBride

and Margaret finished off the night with

Kissing Bridge, the     32R3 RSCDS Book 47      Butterfield




50th Anniversary – Kingston workshop November 4-6, 2016

Earlier this month, 8 of us dancers from Montreal (Joanne, Peter, Richard, Annie, Katie, Guillaume and of course, Holly and Don) plus Abbie from Cornwall, attended Kingston’s 50th annual workshop weekend.

At the Curling Club in Kingston during the reception.   Mr.Photobomber on the right is Laird Brown, musician extraordinaire. 

It was a pretty intense weekend, starting with the welcome dance on Friday night. Saturday began with two classes, taught by Marjorie McLaughlin and Antoine Rousseau, lunch, a ball-walk through or teachers’ session,  followed by a reception, dinner and then the ball. Certain members of a different species still had leftover energy after this affair and decided to go to the after-party, held in the breakfast area of the “famous” PeachTree Inn (now known as Thriftlodge, which, IMO, is a more accurate representation of the place).

Can anyone spot what’s wrong with this picture? 


Welcome social at Frontenac Secondary School


Katie wonders if she’ll be able to stand her roommate for another 30 hours, while I mentally time my bathroom breaks to coincide with Strathspeys
Where our reception and dinner took place
Richard’s FIRST SELFIE!!!! And probably last.  First rule of selfies: have the taller person take the picture.  This was not the case here.
Reception and dinner area.  


The gym was decked out for the ball, as we wondered if our feet would make it through another 4 hours of dancing.

“Somebody” stole my phone and took this picture.  I think it should go on the cover of the next “Scottish country dancer”.  Guillaume, how do you make just one eye do that??


The place was packed…with the sound of music…
The tall people department had a quick meeting before the ball.  I was not invited.
Three different Scottish women (so about 3% of all Scottish women at this event) helped me with my sash.  It looked this good for about 3 minutes.



Two videos of the many Strathspeys during the ball…


Richard sits out a Strathspey and tries to decide which lucky lady he will dance with next


List of Ball Dances


Davy Nick Nack

Bonnie Stronshiray

Black Mountain Reel

Kendall’s Hornpipe

Sunshine Village Ramble

Cadgers in the Canongate

City of Belfast

Itchy Feet

Hooper’s Jig

The “Golden Gaels” Reel

Miss Milligan’s Strathspey

Haste to the Wedding

The Piper and the Penguin

The Flower of Glasgow

The Reel of the Royal Scots


There was yet another class on Sunday morning, which 99% of Montreal dancers attended. I, however, had given up at that point, not bothering to get out of the sweatpants I had slept in, and roaming around in the sunshine resting my brain (I may have also snuck into the coffee shop in the senior centre next door, where I may have had a donut and tea while playing hooky).   I came back into the gym just in time to pretend that I had totally been there all along.   After class, we had a lovely brunch hosted by several Kingston dancers, and then we all drove home in happy exhaustion.


Alternate group photo of us facing the other way