Your ears can be busy too!

What might your ears be doing while your feet are busy dancing … or when you’re sitting out a dance?

Wellington contingent at the ceilidh: Natalie, Gaylia, Pat, Elaine, James, Lynne, Michele and Lee

I was lucky enough to attend the recent Queen’s Birthday Weekend Scottish Country Dancing school at Katikati, where we heard a talk by our local musician Lynne Scott, who has often played for Johnsonville dances.

Lynne was accompanied by Auckland keyboard player Sharlene Penman, and her talk covered such topics as ‘lead’ tunes, styles and structure.

I was made aware of the many hours of preparation which go into choosing the best tunes for a dance. Lynne and other musicians try to match the phrasing of a tune to the formations of each dance, making it easier for us to remember ‘what comes next’.

The ceilidh band

We had a ceilidh evening at the school, and Lynne and Sharlene’s item showed just how versatile they are. They played Puttin’ on the Ritz; the rhythmic patterns of this 1920s Irving Berlin number are said to be incredibly complex.

‘Nibbles’ at the ceilidh!

The name Katikati refers to ‘nibbles’ and many ceilidh costumes reflected this theme. Lynne’s husband James became a red hot pepper.

Scottish Country Dancing weekend schools are well worthwhile; I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Katikati.

Besides classes, a Saturday night ball and the ceilidh, there was time for a dip in the warm thermal waters of Sapphire Springs. I wish we had them in Wellington!

From Pat Reesby

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