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RSCDS London branch eUpdate 4 April 2020

Dear fellow dancers

Since our last eUpdate we've had some great ideas from London branch members for things to do whilst not dancing.  

Many of you have been enjoying the content available via the RSCDS London Facebook page and the regularly updated content on the RSCDS Dance Scottish pages?

Lockdown has certainly unleashed a wave of creativity. Many of us will have seen, and maybe enacted, the Pandemic Reel in our own homes and enjoyed the Toilet Roll Reel (whilst reflecting that there is clearly less of a toilet roll shortage in Lyon).The Pandemic Set of dances  is arguably an early contender for unofficial Scottish Country dance book of 2020!

Many musicians are sharing content via Facebook and elsewhere on the internet. if you haven't already, look up Ian Robertson who has been posting some fabulous music on his Facebook page.  Also good to look up are Tunes in the Hoose plus Ewan Galloway who has been streaming live music each evening. Thanks also to Ian Cutts who provided this link to Scottish tunes Charles d'Albert: Edinburgh Quadrille foot pump Melodeon

Elsewhere in this eUpdate we include the solution to last week's crossword, a new Word-Search puzzle and a second Scottish dance video from the archives  

There is lots more out there - please send your recommendations to share with fellow London dancers. Quizzes, favourite dance videos and memories of dancing in times past - all welcomed.  Tell us about your favourite dance - its history, music, how to dance it,  share your experiences of  Summer/Winter school or of dancing around the world!   

We miss you and we look forward to hearing from you

RSCDS Dance Scottish at Home. 

RSCDS has been sending out an excellent weekly newsletter packed with interesting and engaging content. In case you have not received this directly via email we're linking to the first 2 weeks here  - they are too good not to share!
Week 2                          Week 1

'Three Favourite Dances' - Simon Wales
Last week we suggested that people might write to tell us about their favourite dances.  London branch treasurer, Simon Wales, shares his 3 favourites below.  What would YOUR choice be?
Email to tell us about them.

Three of my favourite dances - impossible to say if they are my most favourite!
Jig - The Dancing Master
Strathspey - Autumn in Appin
Reel - John of Bon Accord
Dancing for me is all about the associations - not just how that dance fits with its tune but also the people who come to mind when dancing particular dances.
The Dancing Master is not only a very clever dance written by John Drewry, equally good for dancers and spectators, with plenty of good covering, but of course it commemorates Bill Ireland who was one of the greats of SCD. Superb tune as well.
Autumn in Appin will always remind me of the lovely Ruth Morgan with whom I danced this in a competition in Tunbridge Wells. We ended up on the wrong side of each other after the half men's chain (who hasn't!) but recovered during the spiral, so the judge never noticed! I love the way this dance changes orientation, and who can fail to love the music.
John of Bon Accord again has a cracking tune, always expertly played by Sandra Smith on the piano when we danced this in dem class. The dance flows so well, but has enough technical points to make it difficult to master.
Simon Wales
Scottish Dance Videos
The second in our series of Scottish dance videos is "Scotland Dances" from 1957. 
This 13 minute film was produced in collaboration with the RSCDS and shows a wide variety of Scottish dances, danced in different places such as castles, Highland Games and grand Balls. For example Corn Rigs (RSCDS Book 4:12) is danced around actual corn rigs in a field.
Thanks to Peter Knight and to Meryl and Ian Thomson for sourcing and making available these lovely films.
Remember to check out the special Scottish Dancing at Home page on the London branch website. It can be found under the Branch Activities menu - do keep an eye on this page for more information on future plans.
Jim's crossword solution!
Well done to everyone who worked their way through London branch chair,  Jim Cook's cross word from last week. It seems to have had a number of people scratching their heads so we're delighted to provide the solution here.  Look further down this eUpdate for another puzzle - this time courtesy of Thelma-Jane Robb.

In answer to the question 'is there a prize' ?  Not at the moment but if you'd like to offer a puzzle to tax the brains of your fellow dancers in a future eUpdate, please send along to 

Grand Autumn Ball word-search
London branch members will be familiar with the distinctive appearance of the flyers advertising our dances and other events.  These are designed by the talented Thelma-Jane Robb who, with no current dances to promote has used her skills to create a word-search based around the programme for our Autumn ball.  Something for us all to enjoy during this enforced break from dancing.
If the word-search has whetted your appetite for the actual dances, click here for the SCDDB website dance list  and start preparing now for a wonderful October celebration! 

NHS advice on keeping yourself well:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Government advice here:
RSCDS Blog here:

We look forward to dancing with you soon.
Copyright © 2020 RSCDS London Branch, All rights reserved.

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