Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

November Party

A good turn out for the party.

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Be sure to be here…

…on Saturday June 13th for the last monthly party until fall. Bring some food, an act or two to perform between the dances and your dancing shoes. It all happens of course at the YLI 27th and N streets in Sacramento.

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The Ball

We had forty-four people registered for the workshop and ball May 16. Dispite the twenty degree higher than normal for the season temperature everyone danced and had a good time. Carol La Russa and John Hamilton did the Grand Marshall duties. We raffled off another hiking staff, and an afghan crocheted for the branch by Karen Hamilton who also helped in the kitchen.

We can now start practicing dances for the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon. We will be dancing there on Saturday August 1st.

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…Reel of the Royal Scots for performance at the Festival of Trees at Mickey Grove Sat. 12/6.

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October Party

We had a good turn out for the October party this evening. Twenty people (counting the musicians) had a great time dancing and socializing.

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As the half-dozen people who made it to the September Party already know, we didn’t have enough people attending to actually dance.  While the time spent talking and sharing the munchies we had brought was pleasant, we would rather not spend the money on renting the hall if we aren’t going to dance.   We have had similar situations at several parties during the last year — enough to dance, but just barely.  We have begun to wonder if we could get better attendance if it wasn’t a monthly event, but about every 2-3 months, giving us more time to prepare the dances in class, and giving all of us with busy schedules a chance to reserve those times to come dance.

The suggestion is to cancel the November party, as it falls on or near Veteran’s day and people often go away for the long weekend.  That would mean that we would just have the two most popular fall parties, October and December, dates when we will have live music.

For spring the suggestion is a mock ball, with recorded music and the upcoming ball program, in either March or April, the ball in May and the Ceilidh in June, skipping January and February which are usually poorly attended.

We need to have some discussion of this.  We don’t want to deprive people of opportunities to dance, but we need to have enough people at the parties to make rent.  We will have to be making the decision fairly soon, so we can release the hall if we aren’t using it, and make sure we get the word out to everybody about whatever changes are made in the schedule.

Please use the comments to express your opinion on this.  The branch committee wants your point of view, and we won’t get it if you don’t tell us.


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The group that will be dancing at the Pleasanton adjudication has met to practice once, and will be meeting again this Saturday 9 August, then taking a week off and meet the last time on 23 August. It is a group with great diversity in age, so we are classed as a family class. We will be dancing on Saturday 30 August at 14:30 on the Jordanhill stage. That’s the high stage directly in front of where the branch tent is usually set up. Come by and watch the group dance, and spend some time staffing the tent. It’s a nice shady place to sit down and rest after walking all over the fairgrounds.

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The Pleasanton Games are coming up at the end of August, the weekend of the 30-31. We will be participating with a set in the adjudication, and a tent in the Celtic Heritage area. If you are going to be at the games, come by to watch us dance, and staff the tent for a while. I will post again when I have a specific time we will be dancing.

The Jean Patrick Memorial Dance is the Saturday evening of the Games. Jean Patrick was the dancer/dance teacher most responsible for the founding of the Sacramento Branch. She was killed in a light plane accident before I started dancing. In fact I’m not sure any of us currently dancing in Sacramento knew her, but the event on Saturday night is a way to honor her, and her role in the founding of our branch. The program and information on location and registration are available here. Cost is $12.00 for youth, and $18.00 for adults if you get your registration in before 20 Aug. You can register and pay using PayPal at the above link. Several of us are getting a motel suite in Pleasanton for Friday and Saturday nights. Depending on how many people decide to join us, we may not be able to offer more than floor space to for your sleeping bag, but if you need crash space, let me know.

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Saturday evening found me at the dance portion of the Truckee Weekend.  I had been called upon to be a last minute replacement (I saw the music for the first time at rehearsal that afternoon) for Sherryl, who was dealing with a kitty emergency.  I could certainly sympathize with this, and was happy, though a bit nervous, to step in and attempt to fill her very (metaphorically)large shoes.

We arrived just as dinner was in full swing, and after a quick trip through the buffet, it was time for sound check.  Before long, the first dance was called, and we launched into Pelorous Jack.

The hall was packed.  Neither the heat nor the gas prices nor the smoke seemed to have put a damper on things, as there was an abundance of dancers and no shortage of energy.  Sacramento was ably represented by Theresa, Rick Cervin, and Ed Johnston.  Janet created some super tune arrangements, and the promise of a fun, noisy evening was easily fulfilled. 

We were provided hospitality at the lovely home of Barbara, a local dancer.  First on the agenda: a step onto the balcony where the sight of the stars (including the Milky Way) kept us all enthralled despite the chill.  We gazed, chatted, and noshed until our respective beds called us in.  In the morning over breakfast we discussed our introduction to music and dance, and their relationship with each other. 

All too soon it was time to pack up the cars and head back into the smoke filled valley.  As the tree line was replaced by the blue/brown haze we’ve been living with for what feels like forever, I reflected on the incredible talent we have in our branch – from dancers, to musicians, to teachers.  We are so, so fortunate to be able to call these talented folks “ours”, and even more so to be able to call them “friends.”

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Children’s Ball

There were 74 dancers at the children’s ball today, and a higher percentage than in previous years were quite young. Lynne was pulled away from her teacherly duties to play her flute in the band, and I joined the children’s class teachers and some young adult children’s class alumni to help point confused young dancers in the right direction, and fill out sets when needed.

The last dance of the afternoon was, as usual, Petronella, a favorite of the young dancers, who consider 24 out of 32 bars being pas de basque a good thing. And as usual, they encored it — another 8 times through, not just once and to the bottom. Following the dancing we all filled up with a proper afternoon tea — fresh fruit, tea sandwiches, scones, sausage roles, cookies (biscuits if we really want to be English) and of course, tea.

The music was wonderful, and the kids were excited, and exciting to watch. A fun, if tiring, afternoon.

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