Ceilidh Dance newsletter – next ceilidh dance Friday, March 30, 2012

Tay Sunset

Good old Irish saying:

“May the wind at your back not be the result of the corned beef and cabbage you had for lunch.


All systems are on GO for the newsletter to proceed in its new format.   Last week the pictures were missing in the 2nd half of the newsletter which was all my fault and gave Paul another headache trying to find out what on earth I had done wrong.   Instead of uploading an image I had copied and pasted it into the newsletter which is a no no.   Lesson learned (I hope) so this week should be fine.

If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter please let me know – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.


Well all I can say is that all youse yins who did not attend the Heather Ball last night missed a fabulous evening with simply the best music ever.   The new sound of the Scottish Accent with fiddler Koryne is terrific.   Of course it wouldn’t be anything without Don, Freddie, Kathy and Laird.  The energy they all generated in the hall was amazing.  From the drive of the stately strathspeys to the lilting jigs and the rollicking reels it was a musical night to remember.

The hall was nicely decorated with scenic windows, colourful steamers and balloons as well as the Heather Ball banners.   Everyone appeared to be having a great time and there were few if any sitting out.  Most in fact (including me) must have danced every dance on the programme.   And we got through many of the tricky bits pretty well thanks to the clear briefing from Ruth.    The evening started with wine and appetizers and ended with salad, lasagna, cake, shortbread and many other delectables.   A huge thank you to Mary Ann and her committee and all the many volunteers.

I got a big surprise when I was called to the top of the hall and wondered what I had done wrong!  A very nice and clever poem was read by Ed Mornin and then I was presented with two very nice books.   One is entitled “This is Your Life, Duncan” and contains pictures from my earliest days right up to the present and is a real keepsake.  The other book contains a number of very nice poems, letters, etc. extolling my virtues.   When I got home (about 2:30) and had time to read them I wondered if they had the wrong person.  It was all very nice indeed and I am honoured to have been thanked and appreciated in this way.  I have a great love for Scottish Country Dancing and have derived a lot of pleasure from it.   I have met and made many, many friends in this super past-time and I want to try and give back some of what I have been given.  I get a thrill when someone says to me they would like to come to an SCD class.

I was quite speechless last night so I would like to thank  the Branch,  all who had a hand in creating the books and who wrote the poems, etc., and all the Scottish Country Dancers not only here in the Lower Mainland but everywhere I have been and danced.  I will bring the books to classes, dances etc. so you can all see what you gave me.


The sentence:  “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” 
uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words ‘racecar,’  ‘kayak’ , and ‘level’
are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).


Next Sunday is the White Rock Spring Workshop in Sullivan Hall 152nd and 63rd in Surrey BC.   Advanced dancers  9 a.m. — noon – Bring own lunch (coffee & tea supplied) then stay to join the Beginner/intermediate class from 1 — 3 p.m.   Information and registration form Laurie at ljreel@telus.net -0604-944-6678


NOTE: Thanks to all who provided heather for the corsages and decorations – it was very much appreciated.

Mark your calendars for Tartan Day!  (Tartan Day, as you know, is April 6, but that is also Good Friday this year, so we are celebrating a little early!)

SFU’s Centre for Scottish Studies will be launching the first part of our online oral history project, “Scottish Voices From the West.”  Please join us for the launch and demonstration which will coincide with our Tartan Day Celebration, including piping and fabulous entertainment by the Gaelic Choir and the Vancouver RSCDS Demonstration Team.  We will also be featuring a short presentation by Dr. Alison Sheridan on the brand new Museum of Scotland.

7:30 pm- 10:30 pm at 1420 SFU Harbour, 515 West Hastings St.

“Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it’s morning.”

Greetings to all.   Next week (March 22) we will dance dances from the Glenayre and White Rock dance program.

I hope to see you next week and please pass on to anyone you feel would like to come to the Thursday Morning Dance Scottish Social Class

We will dance dances from Gleneagles after March 22nd and please feel free to request what dances you want to dance.


NOTE:- the BC Highland Games is to be held on Saturday June 23, 2012. This is a week earlier than normal so please help us by passing this information along.
The BC Highland Games Organizing Committee has put out an urgent appeal for volunteers.
50 to 75 volunteers are also needed on the day of the games.
If you are able to assist, please contact Jim Bain (604-435-0764) or Glenna Urbshadt (604-224-5479).

Check out the BC Highland Games website at www.bchighlandgames.com A Sponsorship package is available from the website so if you or you know of anyone who would like to sponsor the Games and/or advertise in the programme please download the form and pass it on.


James Young (1811-1883)
Discovered Paraffin Oil

Glasgow-born father of oil industry. Invented way of extracting paraffin from oil-rich shale and coal and established world’s first oil-works in Bathgate. Made his fortune selling paraffin oil, wax and even fertilisers.

A fairly normal week which had a year’s worth of weather in it – well I guess we didn’t have a heatwave!  Isn’t it terrible to see that Toronto is having temperatures up to 20C with lows of 12C and we can’t get above 10C?

Monday I had a morning dance meeting followed by a visit to the Doc and the Tam’s practice.  Tuesday went into the office as well as the Cultural Centre for payday etc. and ending with the West End class in the evening.   Wednesday was very quiet with a trip to the Fraser Valley Cancer Clinic and the White Rock class in the evening – oh I forgot I gathered some heather for the Ball too.  Thursday an early trip to the Physio at 7:30 and back to the Cancer Clinic then I picked up Bill & Sharon who have been out here from Saskatoon on a sabbatical and have been attending the West End class.  They have been staying in North Surrey and I took them on a quick tour of White Rock, we had a walk out the pier and were nearly blown over, down to Crescent Beach, up to home for a quick bite and then in to the Heather Ball class very ably taught by Ruth at night.

Friday we hosted a walk through of the dances for 16 mainly from the White Rock club then I went in to YVR where Rosemary and I  met the band and took them to the hotel.  Saturday at the Gizeh temple to help set up etc. tehn of course the Ball in the evening followed by the after party at Ruth’s and today down to Vancouver for the parade where about 20 dancers helped to promote RSCDS.  We were led by Simon in one of his vintage cars (1930 I think) which was draped with the Scottish flags then cane Cathrine in another car, also with flags and a sign “Dance Scottish,” which contained the sound system.  We gather about 10:30 and our “spot” was a the peak of the Granville Street bridge from where there was a lovely view but also a chilly breeze but at least it was dry and the sun broke through a few times too!!

Rebecca taught us the progressive reel which we named the Granville Bridge but maybe should be renamed the Exhausting Reel as it seemed we never stopped dancing once the parade started.   I overheard three your Stave Falls dancers saying “did you see that group of Scottish Country Dancers?   They danced for the whole parade.  That is reaaly impressive.”

Rannoch & Schiehallion

COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS – see www.vancouverceilidh.org for a complete list.

Mar 23 Ceilidh for Children’s Hospital in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra.
Mar 25 White Rock spring workshop with Maureen Lyon.   Advanced dancers 9 a.m. — noon – Bring own lunch (coffee & tea supplied) then stay to join the Beginner/intermediate class from 1 — 3 p.m.
Mar 30 Ceilidh Dance in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver. Class at 7 p.m. and dance from 8 — 11 p.m.  Admission at the door $10 (students etc. $8)
Mar 31 Glenayre spring dance
Apr  4 Mark your calendars for Tartan Day!  (Tartan Day, as you know, is April 6, but that is also Good Friday this year, so we are celebrating a little early!)
SFU’s Centre for Scottish Studies will be launching the first part of our online oral history project, “Scottish Voices From the West.”  Please join us for the launch and demonstration which will coincide with our Tartan Day Celebration, including piping and fabulous entertainment by the Gaelic Choir and the Vancouver RSCDS Demonstration Team.  We will also be featuring a short presentation by Dr. Alison Sheridan on the brand new Museum of Scotland.
7:30 pm- 10:30 pm at 1420 SFU Harbour, 515 West Hastings St. 
Apr  6 Official Tartan Day

 See website www.vancouverceilidh.org for a more complete list.

 If at first you don’t succeed skydiving is not for you..


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, March 30. I would appreciate if you could tell all your friends about it, invite them all to come along for, as you know, it is a fun evening. Class at 7 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. all for the amazing price of $10 (students$8) – what a bargain!! I would truly love to have a really big crowd.

Don’t forget the extra Ceilidh dance on March 23 with the proceeds going to help an operating room nurse at Children’s Hospital provide the necessary medical aid to his chil

My son, Ian, has signed up to take part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this June. To donate and help Ian make his goal go to


Thank you to all who have donated so far.

Ian’s update:-

Many of you may not know that I have drastically increased me target, setting it at $15,000. That’s a very big number and thanks to your donation, I am now past the $9,000 mark. My goal is to get a polka dot jersey – this is new this year. They only give out 10 of them, to the first 10 people to cross the $15,000 fundraising threshold. They have already awarded five. I am closing in on the target, with 5 people in front of me. I think I can do it – I have been harassing all those that haven’t donated yet and those that promised to donate. It is getting close. I am in 11th place on the fundraising list and I think numbers 8 and 9 are going nowhere, so it’s possible.

So the deal I made with everyone is this. If I get a polka dot jersey (which is wonderfully garish and ugly), I’ll wear it as often is practical for all to see. But, the big thing is, if I get the jersey I will ride the Challenge Ride. This is new this year, they offer the traditional routing to Seattle as done in my previous two years, or the Challenge Ride. This one is further, hillier and all round nastier. If I can raise the money, as a thanks to all of you who have supported me, I will take on this epic feat of craziness and ride the Challenge Ride.

If you know of someone who hasn’t donated, and they’re looking to donate, let me know and I’ll harass them. Or, if you really want me to do the Challenge Ride, contribute a little bit more, push me over the top!

Thanks for helping fight cancer, helping search for the cure, and thanks for helping me out on my ride.


Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Man who eats many prunes get good run for money.

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Note that there is another Fund raising Ceilidh on Friday, March 23 at the Scottish Cultural Centre. This is a great cause for a great Children’s Hospital Operating Room nurse whose 5 year old daughter has had to go to Boston for surgery for a bone cancer in her face.

The family is in great need of financial help. This nurse is an exceptional part of our staff and we are looking for many ways to support him and his family through this very difficult time. So plan and all coming along to lend your support.


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 30, 2012 – that is one week on Friday.

Please help spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms

The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 — 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 — 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through. The price is only – $10 or $8 for students which, for what you get is a super bargain — everyone is welcome. No partner is required and you should wear FLAT, comfy shoes and loose clothing. Children are also welcome but should be prepared to dance with other people as some of the dances require a change or partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.

The schedule for the 2011/12 season shapes up as follows:

All on Fridays of course —

March 30
April 27

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. This month we are working on improving the strength of the smile muscles. Please do your best to assist us in letting as many people know as possible. Use Face-book, e-mail, telephone or even word of mouth and tell everyone you know what a fun night it is. We need to attract students from UBC, SFU and all the other colleges and universities. Somehow we have to get word out to these students. Please do all you can to help us. Come one, come all to the same place (Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver) and the same time (7 p.m. for the class and 8 – 11 p.m. for the dance) and the same amazing price ($10 or $8 for students.)

You should check the website – www.vancouverceilidh.org – from time to time as you can find various pages listing “Ceilidhs and Events;” Classes:” Duncan’s List;” etc. On these pages you can check all the upcoming events, where all the classes are located, times, etc. and some places to find Scottish things or some local trades, etc. I will continue to highlight the more current events in each week’s newsletter but, as stated, the calendar of all events will be available on the website. You should also have a look at the Vancouver Branch website from time to time – www.rscdsvancouver.org – as there is always useful information on it and it is a very good looking site.

For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try www.andysceilidh.co.uk/ this is a radio programme that you can get sent to you and listen any time you want.

The Branch has opened a Facebook Page at “RSCDS-Vancouver” – check it out there are some good pictures etc. www.facebook.com/rscdsvancouver. There is a link on both our website www.vancouverceilidh.org and the Branch website www.rscdsvancouver.org

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and NOW is a great time to do it. You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class next week. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO!

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime which is super exercise for body and mind. SCD is, naturally, rooted in Scotland but there are groups in almost every country so you can learn here and then dance with other groups when you vacation or travel. SCD is not to be confused with Highland Dancing which is more solo dancing. SCD is usually done with a partner in groups or sets however you do not need to come with a partner. It is more akin to Square Dancing. It takes a year or two of classes, workshops, etc. to get the basics learnt then you can hone your skills in advanced classes. You start by learning the steps and formations. Dances (of which there are over 13,000) are made up of these formations so a good grounding will give you the ability to learn a new dance fairly quickly. SCD has its HQ in Scotland and is known as the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) and there is a Vancouver Branch of the RSCDS under which there are many clubs throughout the Province (there also are Branches in Victoria and Seattle). There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed below. Come along — check us out — the first night is usually free and thereafter it will average about $6 a night and that’s for a 2 hour class! You will find many friendly people who will be eager to help you and welcome you to their club. You never know you actually might like it!!

Check the list of classes at either at www.vancouverceilidh.org or www.rscdsvancouver.org. Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations

as well there are classes all up and down Vancouver Island, a number of the Gulf Islands, the Cariboo, Okanagan, etc. etc. and there are various groups all over this great Province, Country, World and who knows where else! Check the Branch website for all these details – www.rscdsvancouver.org

Also the Inverary Step Dance class on Wednesdays in the French School, 1555 West 7th Ave., Vancouver- info b_campbell@dccnet.com


Riddles (answer next week)

Last week’s answer:

The third room. Lions that haven’t eaten in three years are dead. That one was easy, right?

This week’s

A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?
For upcoming events see www.vancouverceilidh.org and www.rscdsvancouver.org.

Other announcements etc:

Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org

Our last Challenge Class of the season will meet on Friday, April 13 at the Phinney Neighborhood Association – Room #7 (6532 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle).  We have the room from 7:00, and because we need time to set up, class will meet from 7:25 – 9:25pm. Fee $7 for RSCDS members and $9 for others.   Music this month by Brian & Bill

Note that the classes are on the second Friday of the month.

Following up on requests, the plan is do much more technique, We will do fewer dances most weeks and spend more time on improving personal technique – steps and formations. As in any class, team work and sociability will be a major focus. We will be delving into old books and also bringing in new dances to complement the programme. If you have dances you specially would like to do let me know.


Starts this week!!!!

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, March 30, 2012 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver. We need everyone to help us get as many new comers (as well as former Ceilidh Dancers) as possible to come and join us. WE Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! What a nice thoughtful gift it could be if you gave your friends admission to the Ceilidh Dance. They don’t need to know it only costs $10 – it is worth so much more in fun, exercise and camaraderie. Use any access to free adverts etc. You can also use things like the Youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh2HV3OPBgw or the Face-book page

https://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=116203315&k=Z5C5Y4TZPT6G6BD1PKZZTWQQQ6BAW26L34AV&oid=164741310207760 Suggestions to improve our advertising are always welcome. Don’t forget to tell them about the website www.vancouverceilidh.org and get them to “subscribe” to the newsletter.

The cost is still the amazingly low price of $10 or $8 for students and we provide refreshments although we do ask for your donations towards their cost. We always need your support both by coming along and by helping us to advertise these dances by whatever means you use to communicate with your friends be it e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter, Text or even telephone! Most of you have been to at least one Ceilidh Dance so you know how it goes. You don’t need a partner; you don’t need any experience; you should wear FLAT soft soled shoes; we walk, talk, and call every dance and you should come to have fun and have a good evening on exercise and entertainment and maybe even to learn!

There is a FREE class from 7 — 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 — 11 p.m. with music by Calanais. Remember to bring some extra cash so you can make a donation towards the cost of the refreshments. Without these donations we will have to increase the price of admission again!!

If you have any questions regarding the Ceilidh Dances send them to me at ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Please check the website – www.rscdsvancouver.org for updates, pictures and news. Dance — it is good for your health.


Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together.  One night the 96-year-old draws a bath.  She puts her foot in and pauses.  She yells to the other sisters, ‘Was I getting in or out of the bath?’ 

The 94-year-old yells back, ‘I don’t know.  I’ll come up and see.’  She starts up the stairs and pauses, ‘Was I going up the stairs or down? 

The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters, she shakes her head and says, ‘I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood.’  She then yells, ‘I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door’

Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at www.vancouverceilidh.org

If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – www.vancouverceilidh.org and ask them to subscribe. I am delighted that we have gone over 350 so the next goal is 400 before the end of the season. If anyone has good pictures from the Ceilidh Dances please send them to me so I can put them on the web page.

If you have any announcements please send them to me preferably in Word; Times New Roman 12pt format with a layout similar to the one used in this newsletter. I occasionally hear of an event somewhere in our beautiful Province, on the Island or in the Interior, but don’t know all the details. This newsletter reaches out to some 363 subscribers all over the Province, Country and to many other countries as well, so please send me the details of your event and I will only be too happy to include them. Note- I normally compose the newsletters on Sundays.

Uig Isle of Lewis

Thanks hope to see you at a dance class, a Ceilidh Dance or somewhere nice. Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for you never know you just might …..!

Duncan ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org