Current News & Articles
Mandy de Winter
We at CSCD (Central Scotland Circle Dance) knew Mandy de Winter very well. Every year in June at Summer Solstice, Mandy came to St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, to run a residential dance weekend for us. She did this every year from 2004 – 2017.
Mandy's summer weekends were a much loved event, always fully booked and much anticipated by her devoted followers from all over the UK.
Mandy delighted us with her mix of traditional and choreographed dances, and her wonderful teaching, but perhaps more importantly, her enormous sense of fun and her love of the dance that emanated with her every step.
A message from Judy King:
Mandy sadly died in 2018, but for thirty years she was a leading light in the world of Circle Dance. In addition to her regular weekly groups, she led workshops and dance holidays not just in the UK, but throughout the world, with regular trips to Greece, Germany, Holland and Brazil, as well as teaching in Australia, Canada and the USA.
She was known not just as a dance teacher, but also as an accomplished and versatile musician with a particular talent for enabling others to sing and play.
Happy teaching both traditional dances and modern choreographies, she was especially known for her knowledge of and skill for teaching dances from The Balkans, and she introduced many a dancer to the irregular and interesting rhythms so common in that part of the world.
Mandy's great love for Balkan music and dance led her to develop a course called Exploring Balkan Rhythms and Dance (Dum Dum Diddily Dum Dum) which provided participants with a detailed introduction to the varied and often irregular rhythms so common throughout the region.
To accompany the course, she produced two teaching DVDs in which she demonstrates a range of Balkan dances in great detail; not only explaining, for instance, the difference between a Makedonsko and a RÔčenica in 7/8 metre, but also showing how to teach the dance (and a lot more besides).
These DVDs represent an extraordinary body of work which was originally only available to course participants, but which is now available to everybody in the form of two DVDs or as downloads of individual dances.
Each DVD comes complete with a CD of the music and a booklet giving the dance notation and notes about the dances. Downloads include the video clip, the MP3 music track (sometimes more than one) together with the dance notation and notes.
Here’s a link to a sample video clip you can download for free:
Visit Judy's website for details of DVDs and downloads of Mandy’s course.
Every penny raised from the sale of these dance videos will be donated to the Severn Hospice in Shropshire, where Mandy spent her final days.
An Invitation, by Rose Cross
An email dropped into my inbox this month from Rosa about the Spring Grapevine, “might you be willing to submit an article, a story, a poem, a letter, a photo, a memory, your hopes and fears for the network?” Well, thank you Rosa, what a wonderful invitation and so I had this ‘crazy idea’ to try and cover them all but whether I can or not, remains to be seen.
Let’s start with an article, which I guess this is, so that’s the first box ticked. As a child, I was always encouraged to write thank you letters for my Christmas presents. Father Christmas gave me a SAD lamp this year. I really think it ought to be marketed with a better name because it doesn’t make you sad at all, in fact it does just the opposite. I have basked under its sunny glow at my desk ever since Christmas and in fact it is beaming down on me right now as I write to you. It is amazingly close to feeling like sitting in the light of the sun.
Invitation, by Dee Brown
Our circle is open, to whom you may well ask?
The answer is no riddle, it’s written in our past.
From early days of dancing in Findhorn’s sacred home
It travels across oceans from where new steps are born.
Stonehaven Group Profile, by Pamela Affleck
Stonehaven Circle Dance started on 16th Jan this year. Nine dancers generously came to support us from Cupar, the group where I regularly dance. This meant that we started with a lovely big circle of 30 dancers. During our first term we’ve averaged 19 local dancers every week. We meet for an hour and a half from 10 to 11.30 on Wednesday mornings with a tea/coffee break at about 10.45. We dance a variety of dances and are really still finding our feet as to what works best. It’s a bit of fun trying on different dances to see which ones fit and which ones we need to grow into!