John Homes: Afternoon dancing
The sessions would be for experienced dancers, taught in the first instance by Catherine McCutcheon, on two Tuesday afternoons a month, at St John’s Church Hall, Johnsonville.
I was able to attend three of the four sessions last year. The first session was straightforward enough, with dances well within the capabilities of most dancers with a couple of years’ experience. But this was just Catherine’s evil plan to lull us all into a false sense of security.
From the second session, the gloves were off. Some of these dances were hard. They were good, enjoyable dances once you could get them down and going, but it was a tough time getting there.
Catherine told us that she would not be looking at what our feet were doing, presumably as long as they got us to where we were supposed to be. This was just as well, because often we were using all our brain power to work out where we needed to go, leaving none to consider the manner of our going.
There have been two sessions so far this year. Catherine has not attempted to break us in gently, but has thrown us into some really difficult dances from the beginning. When I say that the dances have been hard, this is in the sense of ‘Ensure-Brain-Is-In-Gear-Before-Engaging-Feet’.
They have not been more physically demanding than a lot of the dances popular at Saturday night events, and none of them have been prolonged memory tests.
With all these mentally demanding dances, one might expect a fair number of mistakes. Mistakes were made, some of them by me. However, a good sense of humour on everybody’s part has meant that the mistakes could be laughed about, and then onwards, to the next mistake.
If you are wondering whether these sessions might be for you, what would you need? You will need a fair amount of dancing experience. For most people, about four years minimum would be needed, and that is, of course, four years of dancing regularly, not just time since you started. It would pay to check with Catherine and your club tutor.
Although the dances are not (usually) very physically demanding, you will need a certain level of physical fitness to get through them. While footwork is not an issue as long as you can get to where you need to be, you will be expected to show a good understanding of phrasing and covering, and to dance fast or slow as the dance requires.
Last but not least, you will need a sense of humour. Mistakes will be made, some of them by you, and you will need to able to laugh at them.
From John Homes (dancing Foxhill Court in the photo above on 11 June). Originally published in Harbour City Happenings Volume 22 No. 1 March 2019
Daytime Dancing: Tuesday 11 June
Seven Johnsonville Club members – John H, Désirée, Pat, Maureen, Moira B, Hilary and Loralee (photographer) – took part in the daytime session for experienced dancers on 11 June at St John’s Church Hall in Johnsonville.
Led by Maureen Robson, we danced four interesting John Drewry dances with lots of fun and laughter (along with a few mistakes as mentioned in John’s article above)!
- Bon Accord
- The Clootie Well
- Foxhill Court
- Dunblane Drummer (alternative name is Alex Doig’s Jig)