News & Articles
Judy Harvey's Road to the Isles, by Diana Treffry
On the road to the isles Judy certainly led us Over the Hills, into the Skye Boat Song and eventually onto the Dark Isle, but this was also a journey in all sorts of other ways - through dance - through life.
It began the moment each of us arrived (after our journeys, long or short, to Cupar) with warm greetings from Judy and on all the cafe tables she had arranged quotations from prose and poetry on the theme of journeying to set us in the mood. . .
Cupar group's youngest circle dancer, by Rose Cross
Introducing the Cupar group's youngest circle dancer Cara Laura-Jean Tully, aged 10 weeks, with Mum Jemma and Granny Janette.
Cara has been dancing since the age of 7 weeks and always joins in all the dances.
She particularly loves The Midwives Dance, which we danced especially for her at her first class.
Kinross end of term report, by Lynne Barlow
The end of term is here at last
For some of us that’s great
But others really like to dance
on each and every date.
Reports are out; you all did well,
but sometimes had a struggle,
Which foot is left which way is right,
It can be such a muddle.
Dance Day with Susanne Anders Bartholomäi, by Keryn Evely
Two years in the arranging and at last Susanne Anders Bartholomäi was with us in the Three Kings’ Hall, Auchterarder. Susanne said this was the first time she had been invited to teach a day’s workshop in Scotland.
We were 21 dancers, the majority of whom were probably not sure quite what to expect.
Susanne certainly got 100% concentration from the dancers as she got us to feel and think about where a movement was initiated, making suggestions to help us appreciate that.
She led us into a gentle movement, or short sequence, which then became part of a dance.
The pictures on the website show us dancing a lively partner dance called Vira de Frielas. However most of the dances were quieter and calmer ones . . .
"I would love to dance with Susanne again. It was a brilliant day. 'The steps are not the dance'!" Irene K.
Teachers' Practice Day in Auchterarder, by Keryn Evely
We started promptly at 11.00am with our six teachers. Three were CSCD ones - Lynne, Keryn and Elke. Rose and Maria were unable to join us so we invited three new/emerging teachers Katie Jack, Kate Daly and Carol Holtom all of whom have come to past TPD and supported us as ‘willing guinea pigs’. We were joined by an additional nine dancers.
By luck rather than design we had a good mix of dances. The programme was arranged as best it could not knowing how much time would be needed for teaching but it worked out well with time for repeats as we went through. The new teachers brought us new insights. . .
"I know it's the only way to build my confidence. I really enjoyed the day and the nice relaxed atmosphere." Carol
"What a lovely and very helpful day yesterday. It was lovely to meet up with everyone again and have the chance to practice new dances. Thanks all for your support and encouragement." Kate x
Dancing with Susanne Anders Bartholomäi, by Diana Treffry
I've been lucky enough to dance with Susanne a few times as part of the Findhorn Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, where I especially appreciated the way she invited our bodies to wake up to the dance in her morning attunement sessions. At other times she introduced us to and accompanied her treasured mentors, like Dimitris Barbaroussis and Nanni Kloke.
I was so taken with her style of teaching that twice I've joined the group that Frances Fawkes gathers together in Somerset to dance with Susanne. . .
Poem by Jessie Murdoch
My Circle Dancing Journey
We circle round with Rose and Lynne dancing all the way,
We dance with grace and gusto when we hear the music play,
Slip step here - slip step there, we'll get it right one day,
Sway to right - sway to left as we dance the hours away.
Happy when we meet again, smiles seen all around,
With grapevines, nappy walks and stamps, are you sure we're here to dance?
A partner dance we have to do in a mysterious Grand Chain,
How many people have I passed? I've got it wrong again!
Article by Ben Bailey
Circle Dance - the Deep History
Some fifteen years ago, towards the end of a long illness, my therapist, Sylvia Hollingworth — now, sadly, no longer with us — invited me to try circle dance. Once I had begun to overcome the two-left feet syndrome, I was astonished by the spiritual impact. In fact, I had what I can only describe as a spiritual experience during the Vivaldi/Friendship dance — an overwhelming sensation of beauty.
Now, I am, to trade, an engineer/scientist — a down-to-earth "nuts and bolts" man — and my curiosity was fully aroused. Where on earth does this stuff come from? And, of course, other than very short term recent history, and mere speculation, no-one could tell me. . .
Article by Keryn Evely
Francesca Stridgen and ‘A Flavour of Findhorn’
It was good to have Francesca back in Auchterarder after a gap of two years. ‘A Flavour of Findhorn’ had first been scheduled for August 2015 but due to an injury Francesca was unable to come that year.
So it was after this year’s Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, marking the 40th anniversary of Bernhard Wosien’s first visit to Findhorn, that we had our little taste of what happens there.
Here Francesca is teaching us Om Namah Shivayah.
Francesca brought with her a photograph taken at the 2014 Festival that showed the resident dance teachers Laura Shannon, Peter Vallance and Susanne Anders Bartholomai along with that year’s guest Piry Krakow.
The guest teacher for 2016 was Nanni Kloke and Francesca aimed to give us at least one dance that would have been taught (or even choreographed by) each of these teachers. Eighteen dancers came for the session held in the afternoon of August 28th at Three Kings’ Hall, Ochil Tower School in Auchterarder. . .
Article by Jo Freeman
A Labyrinth in Kinburn Park
There is a closely guarded secret in Kinburn Park, St Andrews. A beautiful Labyrinth, recently constructed by volunteers and completed about three months ago.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the labyrinth, a place for personal meditation and possibly spiritual transformation. It can be used as a walking meditation, a way to finding your own spiritual centre, a body prayer.
There is no right or wrong way to walk or dance a labyrinth. It is a powerful tool to illuminating one's path through life. . . .
Article by Anne Greenshields
As a newcomer to Auchterarder, I was keen to meet people and find new interests. I had always been interested in dance and before moving to Auchterarder, had enjoyed many different types of dance class – my highlight was dancing with Wayne Sleep who was taking a tap dancing class! . . .
Article by Diana Treffry
Did you watch 'How to stay Young' (two parts, shown 7 and 14 April on BBC2)?
They investigated different types of exercise and compared their effectiveness: table tennis as against walking; dancing against going to the gym. It could just be that because she trained as a dancer, Angela Rippon, the presenter (aged 71), was a tad biased, but dancing came out as the best form of exercise. And of course I'm not biased at all when I say that circle dancing reaches those parts of the body, mind and spirit that other forms might not, and as well, it's sociable and fun and the music's wonderful!
So if you catch sight of yourself in the mirror looking older than you'd like, dust off your dancing shoes and come along.
Article by Keryn Evely
Zodiac Day, Auchterarder
On Sunday March 20th, coinciding with the Spring Equinox, 23 dancers came together at Three Kings’ Hall, Auchterarder for a day of dance themed around the signs of the Zodiac.
This dance day was first ‘aired’ in 2008, inspired by the beautiful pictures in a calendar that I had purchased the previous year.
Not knowing very much at all about astrology I consulted a knowledgeable dancer who was then part of our group, read the book she lent me, and came up with a sequence of dances.
We started the morning in Aries and danced through the signs until Pisces, completing our journey with the Sun Meditation Dance.
The pictures show us dancing a partner dance (with lots of opportunity for communication) for Gemini, as well as Kwaheri and Healing Fire Dance for Leo.
Apart from the urn deciding not to work, the day went really well and we raised £212 for Marie Curie.
Article by Carol Holtom
Zodiac Day, Auchterarder
This turned out to be a very special day for me, and an apt herald of the spring equinox.
At the beginning, Keryn reminded us of the links between the cycle of nature and the cyclical nature of the zodiac. Thanks to her impressive and extensive preparations, we were given a summary of the characteristics of each zodiac symbol, from Aries to Pisces, and as we moved round the cycle, one by one candles were lit by the dancers born under that particular sign.
Lynne gave a hilarious address* to those aspiring to teach dance to participants from different astrological signs. . .
Article by Moragh Dunning
Teachers' Day, Sauchie
New venue, new teachers, new dances, it all seemed a bit daunting for a ‘new beginner’! However it was well worth taking the plunge or should I say taking to the floor.
Although some other dancers had come from my class there were others from all over the country. Everyone was so welcoming and after a coffee and chat we were all ready for the lead-in dance.
A beautiful centrepiece to enjoy, music that I recognised and dances already known followed by some new ones, it was just so much fun to be part of this happy day.
It was great to be introduced to new teachers and learn new dances and no-one was worried if you weren’t foot-perfect. A break and wonderful lunch were most welcome. I was torn between eating more and starting dancing again. By 4 o’clock both feet and brain were certainly slowing down but my enthusiasm was still as great. I am already looking forward to the next dance share day!
Article by Lynne
Kinross Circle dance Group
The newest circle dance class within Central Scotland is held in Kinross, and this came about following a very successful taster event which was held in the Community Campus at Kinross in April of this year.
Over 50 people came along and enjoyed a wonderful selection of dances led by Rose. 34 folk expressed an interest in joining a circle dance class if one could be found in their local area, and the rest is History as they say.
A block of seven sessions was held before the summer break and what fun we had, all learning together with Rose and Lynne as co-teachers.
We are now looking ahead to the new term with the opportunity to learn new dances; revisit dances from before the holidays, and request our favourites to be included in the programme. All are welcome, and we very much look forward to dancing together again.
You are never too young to start dancing!
Article by Keryn
On Sunday 24th May a special session 'Sing AND Dance' was held at Three Kings' Hall, Ochil Tower School, Auchterarder. The idea was that people who like to sing might come and try some circle dancing and vice versa.
Twenty four singers and circle dancers from as far afield as St Andrews, Drymen and Kilmarnock came together for an hour of harmony singing led by Irene Kelso (Fintry).
After a break for refreshments I led the group for an hour of circle dancing. There was even one dance where we sang a 'round' (Irene had taught us this tune already) and danced in concentric circles.
£100 was raised for the British Red Cross Nepal Appeal. Irene and I hope to try this collaboration again!
Facebook post by Rose
On Saturday 28th March we celebrated my 70th birthday with a dance day in Cupar – well, what better way is there to celebrate than to dance? I was amazed and delighted to welcome 42 dancers who came to join me in my birthday circle.
We danced all my favourite dances and my CSCD teaching friends, Maria, Keryn, and Lynne, taught some of my favourite requests, thank you all. Lilly came all the way from Uffington, in Oxford and taught her beautiful new dance, Lilac Flower, and another of her stunning dances, Hine e Hine. She also taught Brenda Kelly’s amazing In One Glorious Harmony which I haven’t danced since leaving Oxford in 2011. Thank you Lilly.
My lovely daughter Jenny made me an amazing ‘rose’ birthday cake. Thank you Jenny. My wonderful team of dancing ladies from Cupar, made me a fantastic ‘rose’ centrepiece. Thank you Laura, Nadia, Janet and Fiona.
My rock and support, Ray – long-suffering other half – was there for me, being his usual supportive self. Thank you Ray.
Thanks to the generosity of all our dancers we raised a fantastic £260 for Friends of Conakry Refuge School. Thank you everyone. A wonderful day to keep in my ‘special memories’ box.
Facebook post by Rose
At Cupar Circle Dancing this morning we raised £70 for Children In Need. We had 21 dancers in our circle and we all enjoyed being "grown up" children again, with lots of fun dances, including Alunelul, King of the Fairies, Roumanian Duck Dance, the Sheep Dance (Changerais-Tu) and finishing with Mayan Lullaby and the Midwives Dance. Lucy and Heather made us some super Pudsey Bear cookies, dipped in chocolate and a good time was had by all.