Ceilidh Dance newsletter – Next Ceilidh Dance – August 1, 2012 in Stanley Park

April in Glen Doll

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

Are you 30ish or under? If so have you registered or checked out the 2012 Youth West Workshop website –www.youthweekendwest.com/ See more info on our webpage under events – www.vancouverceilidh.org

“A lion will not cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood”


About 70 or so came along to the last Ceilidh Dance of the season last Friday including two wedding couples who came to practise for some Ceilidh dancing they have asked me to lead at their receptions.   Yes I do do weddings and other events.   I can be reached at ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org   It was another successful dance and there were a lot of laughs and everyone had a good time.  My grateful thanks to the members of Calanais who played during the 8 dances this past season including Cathy, Kate, Carole, Cathrine, Duncan, Louise & Alma as well as the many volunteer helpers such as Bonnie, Richard, Gill, Francis & others.   I could not continue to run the Ceilidh dances without all the help and the live music.   My sincere thanks to you all.

And a big thank you to all those who came out to dance.   I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and that you will be back again next season bringing friends, etc. along for evenings of good fun and sociability.

The hall has been booked for the next season and the first Ceilidh dance will be on Friday September 28, 2012.   There is a Ceilidh night in the Park again – August 1 – see below for more details of Dancing in the Park.

Classes are pretty well over for the season although there are a few more dances still to come – Bellingham, White Rock and Fort Langley – plus there are workshops and dances  elsewhere. The Tam O’Shanter Dancers had a great time performing at a Dance Festival in Cuba.   We were very well received and were great ambassadors for Canada as well as Scottish Country Dancing.

Alabama  state motto:  
At least we’re not Mississippi


Fraserburgh Harbour

The latest survey shows that three out of four people make up 75% of the population

NOTE:- the BC Highland Games is to be held on Saturday June 23, 2012 in Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam. This is a week earlier than normal so please help us by passing this information along.
The BC Highland Games Organizing Committee still needs more volunteers.
50 to 75 volunteers are 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).

The Vancouver Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) have put on a mass display of Scottish Country dancing each year and this year is no exception.   Practices are to be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre on Wednesday evenings June 6, 13 & 30 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Participation entitles you to a discounted entry into the Games but more importantly you can join in the fun and the thrill of performing at centre stage as part of a great display.   The programme is devised by Mary Murray and everyone is welcome to join in.   Call or e-mail Jean for info and to register – 604-464-8103 tac@rscdsvancouver.org – or come on the first night and sign up then.  Note none of the dances will be difficult!!

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.

The Celtic Treasure Chest have a sale of all their 2011 inventory in their three stores. Check our webpage for contact info – www.vancouverceilidh.org   You can get refunded for 1 hours parking at the White Rock store with minimum purchase.

The Tam O’Shanter’s trip to Cuba had an early start as we had to be at the airport by 6 a.m. to catch the 8 a.m. flight to Toronto.   Our son was kind enough to pick us up at 5:15 (we got up about 4:15 after getting to bed near midnight!).  The 5 hour flight allowed some rest and we got a bite to eat at Toronto before catching the plane to Havana where we arrived about 9 p.m. their time.   After clearing immigration we were met by a tour guide who directed us to a 24 seat bus – there were 18 of us plus we had gathered a fiddler from the Maritimes.   With our luggage all safely packed aboard – well all but one case which had gone missing and was nor recovered for 2 days – we drove into the city.  It was dark, of course, so we did not see too much.  Our guide, Conradi, spoke good English but always had “something to tell us.”

We checked into the Hotel Plaza which had been built in 1909 and after a toasted sandwich it was off to our rooms and bed.   Our room on the 2nd floor had a sitting room as well as a bedroom and bathroom (shower – no bath.)   It turned out to be a very noisy room as it was right on the corner of two fairly bust streets so our first thing the next morning was to ask if we could change rooms which they obliging agreed to do.   Breakfast was served buffet style on the 5th floor.   The Hotel Plaza is a big hotel with about 300 rooms so breakfast was busy.   Fresh omelettes, make your own toast (butter every now and then) fresh squeezed orange juice and many varieties of bread and rolls and some fruit.   There was also potatoes and other hot dishes which I did not try.   Coffee and tea for those that wanted but made by a machine – you pushed a button to choose black, cafe latte, hot chocolate, hot water, etc. so I gather it was not the best!

Saturday was a free day which we used to orientate ourselves and look around Havana.  Our hotel was in the centre of the city which was great.  Some had to go and meet the Festival organisers and to scout out the performance venues.   We caught a Hop on Hop Off bus for a tour of new Havana.   It was an open topped double-decker and we basked on the back seat in the sun enjoying the sights although we could not understand the commentator mainly due to the poor PA system.   Havana has obviously had a very long history and been a very rich city in its heyday.  There is a big effort to try to restore may of the wonderful buildings but many have fallen too far into decay that they will have to be knocked down.

Havana is known as the place to see vintage American cars and there are certainly lots of them.  Some are in very good condition while many are falling apart.  many are used as taxis and you can also travel by horse and buggy, by cube car which is a motorbike with a 2 or 3 set fixed trailer or by pedicab ( a bicycle rickshaw).  While we were offered taxi or other rides many times no one pushed it.   Almost everyone was very friendly.   A few times we would be asked to give something to someone who looked as if they needed help but we were warned by Conradi that many of these so called “beggars” were no worse than the rest of the Cubans.

After a better night’s sleep we were up early as a tour to Pinar del Rio (which is to the west of Havana) had been arranged for Sunday and Conradi had our bus ready at 9 a.m.   Conradi regaled us with some history, many anecdotes and stories on our trip.   Whenever he rose with the microphone it was “I have something to tell you.”   He was very helpful though.   We had various stops including a small cigar plantation where a cigar was rolled and those who wanted were allowed a drag or two (if that is the right expression).  The leaves had already been harvested and were stored in a thatch roof barn to dry.   Cigars were also for sale!!

We also visited a place where the cliff had been painted and where, according to Conradi, the best Pina Coladas were made.   The mix was prepared for you and a glass filled to the brim then the bottle of rum was provided for you to add as much as you wanted.   Some of us did not understand this and thought the drink without the rum was very good!!!   Of course the idea is to drink some of the mix to make room for the rum.

Then we went to to see some caves into which we could walk, sometimes having to duck quite low down, eventually coming to a river where we boarded a boat which took us even further into the cave and then eventually back out into the glowing sunshine.   Lunch was late at a small restaurant where we were served black beans and white rice as well as tomatoes etc.   We were all hungry so there was no leftovers!   On the way home we were trying to get a photo of one of the horse and carts that were travelling along the road so Conradi stopped the bus to let us get a good picture.   It was a long day as we did not get back until well after it was dark.

Monday we had our first practise – we created space by moving tables and chairs in the dining room and the staff and some late breakfasters enjoyed watching us being put through our paces.   No performance that day so another day to tour the city.    As we  walked past the Gran Teatro de la Habana which was very near our hotel  we saw that a ballet performance was scheduled for the 16th.  We reported this to everyone and a number of bought tickets at $25 each.   They were “rush” seats so we were advised to be there at 8 for the 8:30 performance.

It was a super performance starting with the young children showing how they were trained and moving up the age groups.   The second half was the prima ballerinas and their partners performing excerpts from various ballets.   They were fabulous.   We had seen the Cuban ballet in Vancouver so knew how good they were.   It was a grand old theatre with 2 or 3 balconies but the top one was now full of electrical lights etc. and that night the second balcony was not open.   A few of us got seated upstairs while the rest of us were in the stalls but still good seats.   Lots of kids and parents so lots of coming and going and chatter.   The music was canned and VERY loud!

Tuesday 10 a.m practice, afternoon off then our first performance at the Plaza de Armas where we dance on wooden cobblestones which were not too uneven.   There was quite a large crowd and we received lots of applause.   We had enthusiastic response to asking them up to dance some “ceilidh dances” which Maureen taught with the help of an interpreter.   We had to push the crowd well back to accommodate everyone some very young ones as well as their parents etc.

Wednesday was another free day and many off us headed for the beach a short bus ride to the west of the city which is where all the locals go.  It was a beautiful white sand beach and the sea was a lovely green colour.  The waves were quite small but the water was a lot colder than I expected for a tropical location.   Still it was refreshing.  We rented some chairs and umbrellas and got a bit toasty before returning to our hotel and dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Thursday back to the 10 a.m. practise then we rushed back to the beach as we had forgotten our camera the day before.   Unfortunately it was cloudy and there was thunder rolling overhead so it was not so picturesque as before.   A short siesta then marching down to the plaza where we were performing at 6 p.m. but we had to wait around for over an hour before we danced once more before an appreciative audience.   Then we had to rush back and get changed then onto our bus for an evening of entertainment at the Tropicana which is a huge outdoor “theatre” with many stages, platforms, stairs up into the trees, etc.  We were entertained by a large and very loud band as well as a multitude of dancers in very colourful costumes (some very skimpy) and some with huge headgear such as a large candelabra.   It certainly was very colourful and loud.   I am glad we went but I wouldn’t rush back!!   There had been a shower just before we arrived but it stayed dry for our performance though we had to try and dry our seats and table,   Drinks and some cheese and something were served during the performance.   It is a huge amphitheatre with a large crowd who were not very enthusiastic.

Friday dawned to a very heavy downpour with more thunder.   We had our practise and the rain stopped so we were able to go to some museums etc.   We had another performance at night and a number of us bought tickets to see the ballet Carmen on Saturday.   This time reserved seating but still $25.   The Cubans could buy tickets for less than $1.   At night a group of us went to one of the higher end hotels for dinner and lucked out as there was a special event on.   There were 4 or was it 5 tenors and two soprano’s performing operatic and light opera/musical songs so we had a great meal and a wonderful evening.

Saturday had some very heavy thunder showers and it seemed very unlikely that we would be able to dance but I got ready none-the-less and found out we had been moved indoors so we were still able to dance on a large stage to a theatre full of cheering and clapping people.   We rushed back to change and get to the ballet.  It was not a traditional ballet but a flamenco version of Carmen – very enjoyable even so.   Our seats were down near the front while the others were all up in the balcony.   There were actually no seats in our spot.   The seat backs were there but no seat so we sat along a bit and it did not seem to matter.   At the intermission we went up to join the others in the balcony where there was lots of room although we had been told there were no tickets left up there!

Sunday was dry but cloudy – we had our last practise and our last performance in Plaza Vieja – no stage, no cardboard just the cobbles to dance on.   A big crowd who were very enthusiastic and we had them up to dance then when we ended we nearly filled the huge plaza with a massive circle for Auld Lang Syne which was unfamiliar to the Cubans but they happily joined in anyway.

Monday and half of us up early to get to the airport for the trip home.   The others stayed on for a few extra days.   A very interesting and enjoyable time.


Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)

Invented Telephone

The Edinburgh teacher of deaf children experimented with electronic devices to help them communicate. His invention was patented in 1876. His many inventions include the biplane, which made it’s first public flight in the USA in 1908.

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

Apr 30 Branch Monday Night End of Term Ceilidh 7:30 — 10:00 p.m. at the Cultural Centre — Everyone Welcome — Drop in $6
May  2 3rd annual “Courtly” Dance Evening at the Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby.   7:30 — 10:00 p.m. – $8
May  3 White Rock Ceilidh at the Elks Club, White Rock featuring Jim Lindsay and many other great performers.
May 4 — 6 Youth West Workshop — this year, for the first time, Seattle will be the hosts for the annual Youth Scottish Country Dance get together.   Teachers are Linda Mae Dennis, WA; Terry Harvey, PA and Jim Maiolo, WA with musicians David Knight, DC on fiddle and Andy Imbrie, CA on piano.  Info & registration at www.youthweekendwest.com/registration.html
May  5 Gaelic Society Ceilidh — info to come
May  5 White Rock SCDC Dance — note this is not a Tea Dance this year.   Musicians are Jim Lindsay, accordionist  from Scotland and Bill O’Donnell on drums.  Star of the Sea Hall, 15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock 7 p.m. with a late buffet to follow the dance.   Tickets and info: Gerda 604-531-4595 gerdab@shaw.ca or www.wrscdc.org
May 6-11 Scottish Dance Masters Conference
More information from Nora Sutherland – 905-276-2602 Irene Paterson – 425-438-8977
Email scotdancemasters@gmail.com
May  7 Burnaby Spring session 7:30 — 9:30 p.m. Edmonds Community Centre, 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby – $5 drop in.   marie Disiewicz will be teaching a programme of Derek Haynes dances.
May 11 Delta Police Pipe Band concert — www.deltapolicepipeband.com South Delta Baptist Church — Tickets $25 (group of 15 or more $20 each) — volunteers needed call Bill 604-580-6876 or e-mail cathbill@telus.net — volunteers get free admission!!
May 12 Bellingham monthly dance YMCA, 1026 North Forest Street — 7:30 p.m. $10
May 14 Burnaby Spring session 7:30 — 9:30 p.m. Edmonds Community Centre, 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby – $5 drop in.   This week featuring teacher Katherine Shearman.
May 27 Fort Langley Whisky Tea Dance at 2 p.m. in Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley with music by Lisa Scott and Ryan McKasson — Tickets $15

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

Sanna Bay


As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.

Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77.

Please be careful!”

“Heck,” said Herman, “It’s not just one car.  It’s hundreds of them! ”

A shark  is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

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

A snail  can sleep for three years.

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

Mellon Udrigle

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, April 27, 2012 – that is the last Friday of the month. This will be the last dance for the season unless … see the note earlier in the newsletter.

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 of partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.

Melvich Beach

The schedule for the 2012/13 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

September 28
October 26
November 30
January 4
February 1
February 22
March 29
April 26

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We are still working on improving the strength of the smile muscles as well as the bows and curtsies! 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.

New Abbey

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


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 letter e, which is the most common letter used in the English language, does not appear even once in the paragraph.

This week’s:

It is greater than God and more evil than the devil. The poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it you’ll die. What is it?



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 to 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.


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, September 28, 2012 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver, BUT. there is a Ceilidh Night in the Park on Monday, August 1st – see www.vancouverceilidh.org for info.  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.

Recently, during a routine patrol, an OPP Patrol man parked down the street outside the Legion Hall just off the main Street in Coldwater, Ontario.

After last call, the Local OPP Officer observed a man leaving the Legion Hall. The  gentleman was so intoxicated that he could barely walk. He then stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing.  After what seemed an eternity and trying his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car, which he fell into.

He sat there for a few minutes and then threw a hook and line out the window and seemed to be trying to catch a fish.. A number of other patrons paid no attention to this crazy drunk as they left the bar and drove off.

Finally the drunk started the car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a fine, dry summer night) flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn, and switched on the headlights.
He then pulled in the hook and line and moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes  as some more of the other patron vehicles left..

At last, the parking lot empty; he pulled out of the parking lot and
started to drive slowly down the road. The officer, having patiently waited all this time, now started up the patrol car, put on the flashing lights, and promptly pulled the man over.

He performed a breathalyzer test on the gentleman who cooperated fully, and to his amazement the breathalyser indicated no evidence of the man having consumed any alcohol at all!

Dumbfounded, the officer said, ‘I’ll have to ask you to accompany me to Headquarters. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken.”

“I doubt it,” said the truly proud Legionnaire, “Tonight I’m the designated decoy.”

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.  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 366 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.

Mellon Charles

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