Dancing Weekend



We danced the night away !

Scottish dancers from Glasgow, Dublin, Inverness, the Netherlands, and Toronto all joined with the Belfast Branch of the RSCDS to celebrate World Day of Dance 2005.

From the first beat of the drum from the Marian Anderson Scottish Dance band to the last gasp on the Orkadian Strip the Willow we danced the night away. Eric Finlay led over 100 dancers through old favourites the Gay Gordons and Eva Three-Step into new to us dances Waltz of the Bells and Chicago Swing. The supper at the Ceilidh was a delight to the eye and in tune with world day of dance with a selection of colourful and tempting dips and dishes from many countries.

Lucy and her team of helpers didn’t have to spend much time on clearing up as every morsel, as far as I could see, was devoured by the appreciative partygoers.

After supper the band produced some wonderful tunes to continue the dancing; their delivery of the Gary Strathspey was superb. Although we knew to expect high quality music from a Scottish Champion accordionist it really was an encouragement to all the people involved with playing Scottish music – inspiring!

The music added to the dancers’ enthusiasm and to share a little of it with you I believe you can have a look at a video clip here on the website.


Saturday morning dawned and Friday night’s Ceilidh had to end – down to the serious work of the Day School, taught by Eric Finlay with musical accompaniment from Peter Shand. The first class covered basic steps and movements: e.g. setting step (pas de basque), corners and travelling step and soon beginners were confidently dancing in their sets while not so new dancers had polished up their timing and footwork. The Branch Shop did a roaring trade during and after the coffee break - but what a selection of CDs: who could resist? The second class introduced more steps and formations and experienced dancers fell in love with the new formation the Gypsy pousette.
At the end of the classes everyone was brimming with excitement and confidence and ready for the Saturday Night Scottish Dance.

The Saturday Night Dance fired up with “Nice to see You” and it was fantastic to see everyone from classes all over N. Ireland as well as our new friends from the Ceilidh. As the evening went on the programme was a popular one: I saw very few people sitting out, there were over 90 dancers on the floor all evening.

At last the busy bees (Brian P, Aileen, & Brian C)

who had manned the door and kept everyone in step throughout the event were able to start packing up their responsibilities and join in the dance.

The dances were energetic: Ayr Promenade and Machine without Horses so we all were ready for the delicious meal provided by the catering staff at Coleraine High School. The White Heather Jig soon burned off some of the calories.

Reluctant for the evening to end but aware that it soon would we were all appreciative of the work done by the Belfast Branch chairperson Ruth, the branch committee and everyone who had assisted them in organising the weekend. I hope they can do it again. See you there!

From your Roving Reporter at Coleraine World Day of Dance Ceilidh and RSCDS Belfast Branch Scottish Country Dancing Weekend School 2005.


© Colin Barnes, 2003

Last updated on 20 May, 2005