Sunday, 4 August 2013

St Andrews RSCDS Summer School week 2:in videos, such fun!

This is the video post for the Summer School week in St Andrews

I took a series of short- ish clips whenever I could, when I was not dancing or when I wished to record a memory like the bagpipe tunes, the sound of the sea and the gulls washing themselves in the sea.

Videos from i-phone at Summer School July 2013: link is first then description

I travelled to St Andrews on the Sunday 21 July by train  arriving too late for afternoon tea but in time for dinner and the welcome reception and first dance of the week in the Common room.
On Monday we had classes morning and afternoon( walk-through dances for the evening dance in the Common room) and I was dancing all Monday evening, more or less or too captivated watching that I forgot about my phone.

Then on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: THESE clips were recorded. Just amateur clips remember but they do give a flavour of the proceedings.

That is a short clip at the town hall dance, this was held in St Andrew's Town Hall with the Luke Brady band playing- the main reason I went as I love the music this band produces! It was on the Tuesday evening.

another short clip at the town hall with Luke Brady’s band playing.
There's not much there as I was actually DANCING most of the dances and was having a lot of fun doing so !

This one is at Carnoustie: the Zoologist is the name of this dance and it's the  James Coutts band playing. A dear friend brought a car to St Andrews so she so very kindly agreed to take 4 of us in her car to Carnoustie! It's a fun dance on the Wednesday of 2nd week, in a town North of St Andrews. The dance is amazing, very fast and full of energy and verve and some unusual dances are chosen for it. Well unusual for those of us who dance in Oxfordshire that is. The magic is also that the hall where we dance is a leisure centre that is right on the beach! In fact it was hot and the doors were kept open so you could see the sea while you danced, how'zat for magical?

This is the only dance I sat out, it was straight after the interval and I just wasn't back quickly enough from a visit to the ladies powder room. I think there were 18 dances crammed into the evening and I danced 17 of them! Often as a lady which is even more of a treat! 

In the interval a kind lady recited a poem by Pam Batt to me about the way us  Female Scottish Dancers often dance as either men or women and I found it on a website last night and HERE it is, Isn;t it wonderful and witty?!!

I’m a two-sex Scottish Dancer
And may seem rather dim
But I never spend one evening
As a full time her or him
I change my sex from dance to dance,
My corners always alter- 
It’s really not surprising I
Occasionally falter.
The old and simple dances
I can manage very nicely,
And I can learn a new dance
And do it most precisely-
But when it comes to next week
I don’t know if I can,
For I learnt it as a woman
And  I dance it as a man!
And so, you men who have the luck
To stay always the same,
When female gentlemen go wrong
Be sparing with your blame.
I’ll add a postscript to this tale- 
One comfort I have got-
When both the women change their sex
It doesn’t show a lot.

On Thursday there's a formal dance in a very wonderful hall with a suspended floor, it actually moves and bounces as we dance as it is actually suspended on chains hidden in the thick and ancient walls.
Two dances were danced by a demonstration team , both are from the new book 47.

The Mentor , a dance from RSCDS BOOK 47 :demonstration at Younger Hall

Bill Clement MBE dem. at Younger Hall

 Then there were also demonstrations from the special additional - optional- classes held each afternoon:

Ladies’ Step dem. including members  from OUSDS  : such graceful, lovely dancing!

Highland Dem. with many friends and fellow OUSDS dancers and teacher in it, wonderful technique and such impressive dancing skills!

On Friday I finally plucked up the courage and had the time to hobble to the seaside at St Andrews and soak up the glorious views of the sea!  More static sea-views in the next post from the many photos I took as well as these videos. I had been missing the sea and was in tears on the Thursday morning after class when I thought I might not ever make it to the beach or the sea. I was using the cooling gel on my feet and soaking them but it was the EMU-oil that helped on the Thursday afternoon onwards!

I sat on a bench overlooking the sea and the most wonderful bagpipe tunes drifted to me on the warm summer air, I took out my Tribe crochet and sat there happily for about 1-2 hours! This is only a tiny bit and not the best tunes, he did play Mairie's Wedding and many other well known tunes. There was a steep hill to descend ( and ascend on the way back!) to go see him so I did not do that as my feet were complaining again. So I rested until I felt I had to go or miss my dinner!( walking back was very slow indeed)

bagpipe music at the Cathedral with a sea view on a wee bench while having a rest

Sounds and view of the sea for a landlocked sea-lover.
 Then on the Saturday there was a morning class and mid afternoon there was dancing in the square between Church St and Market St..... Luke Brady and his band( his brother Adam and Lesley from our low impact class) were playing live music and although I had planned to sit quietly: my feet could not keep still and I only sat out the one dance: Jubilee Jig and danced the others: Gay Gordons , Monymusk , Dashing White Sergeant and others. I danced in my aqua green rubber crocs, a most unusual sight when trying to execute Strathspey setting or travelling steps!

Jubilee Jig dancing in the streets of St Andrews on the Saturday of week 2.

Then alas the last evening of dancing was upon us and we were again in the Younger Hall. The teachers of the classes put on a show as in the clip below. Showing us how it SHOULD be done...

Teachers’ dem. : a medley. What perfect dancing!

Then a few clips of the social dancing by friends:

New Park is the dance in this one.

Bruce’s Men is this particular dance from the gallery to show the formations and sequence of figures more clearly. My feet were playing up again and I had time to watch and record. George Meikle playing.

Then after these evening dances often not starting until 11 pm or midnight there are parties in the party room...

Now I never made it that late or far earlier in the week as You will see my feet in a bucket in the next post, but on the very last evening I thought I'd better go see what it was all about and had the most wonderful silly time! My fave dance Trip to Bavaria was danced here and made me feel ecstatic - partly the wine also- as I used to dance that dance often at Uni and it is very rarely danced in the South these days.

Here are some friends dancing very informally...

If you like what you have seen and would like to have a go: has all the information you need to find a class and a branch near YOU! And they are located INTERNATIONALLY also .


  1. How nice to see pictures of my bonny town. Glad you were able to enjoy the dancing despite your injuries. My little daughters and I love the arrival of the summer school - the related music from random buildings round the town, and the abundance of kilts and pretty dresses. I really like that poem. I went to an all girls school and if you were over 5'4" you danced the male part. My husband says I still can't be led!

  2. Thank you Marion for your kind comment. I must confess I had never been to St Andrews before summer school in 2012 and I simply LOVE it , you are so lucky living there! It was really nice being back again and it was like visiting an old friend.