Helensburgh & District Highland Association

Dancing, Music and Song

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MonthlyFunction Friday 29th March 2024

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Dance held at the Commodore Hotel on Friday 29th March 2024

Dance Report

 

Everyone was welcomed to the dance by Honorary President Neil MacLeod who introduced

the Wayne Robertson Scottish Dance Band from Perth, comprising Wayne Robertson on

accordion and Callum Wallace on percussion. The duo provided excellent traditional music

with their complementary playing on drums and accordion.

There were 39 members plus 16 non-members and 2 juveniles in attendance, making a

healthy total of 57 attendees. It was great to see so many new, enthusiastic dancers. Again

the round tables allowed for better freedom of movement to and from the dance floor.

The programme began with the ‘Gay Gordons Two-Step’ and dances thereafter were well

spaced and paced, varying from the vigorous ‘Swedish Masquerade’ to the more sedate

‘Lomond Waltz’ and the jaunty ‘Shiftin’ Bobbins’.

The first half of the evening was concluded in time for a welcome break for tea, coffee and

biscuits. The regular raffle was drawn during the interval raising the sum of £161.00. Thanks

go as usual both to ticket buyers and to everyone who provided the prizes.

Dancing resumed after the interval with the ‘Pride of Erin Waltz’. The energetic ‘Canadian

Barn Dance’ was enjoyed near the programme’s end as was the elegant ‘Valeta Waltz’.

The visitors in particular gave their views about the evening’s entertainment and their

responses were encouragingly positive. They hailed from various ‘airts and pairts’ including

Manchester and London as well as Dumbarton and Helensburgh. One visitor was originally

from Sri Lanka (see footnote) and another from Dublin.

The Honorary President concluded the evening by thanking everyone for attending what

proved to be a very rewarding and entertaining night in terms of both music quality and

increased attendances. The band concluded with the traditional ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

There was a satisfying profit of £204.20 after the usual accounting for venue hire, ceilidh

band and associated running costs.

The next dance will again take place in the Commodore Hotel on Friday 26th April 2024 at

8.00pm with music by the Ewan Galloway Scottish Dance Band

Did you know?

The national dance in Sri Lanka is the Kandyan Dance which has costumes that are very

striking. For example, male dancers dress in a skirt-like garment with naked chest and silver

regalia and wearing spectacular headgear. The distinctive content behind the dance relates

to drama or stories of kings and heroes.

Bob McCafferty

 

 Wayne Robertson on accordion and Callum Wallace on percussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well Done All the Dancers! 

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2024 16:32
 

Monthly Function Friday 23rd February 2024

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Dance held at the Commodore Hotel on Friday 23rd February 2024

 

Dance Report

 

 

Honorary President Neil MacLeod welcomed everyone to the dance and introduced the Gavin Piper Scottish Dance Band, who provided excellent music for the evening with their distinctive drive and rhythm on drums and accordion.

 

There were 36 people in attendance, including 4 non-members. It was noted that the preferred round tables were in place allowing for more space to take to the floor and better social mixing and chat, not as easily afforded by the usual long tables.

 

The first dance began with the ‘Lomond Waltz’ rather than the “Gay Gordons” as per programme but nonetheless gave the promise of an enjoyable evening ahead including the more vigorous pace of the ‘Canadian Barn Dance’ and ‘Virginian Reel’.

 

The first half of the evening was concluded just after 9pm due to the early arrival of the tea and coffee. The popular raffle was drawn during the interval which raised the sum of £120.00. Thanks to ticket buyers and to everyone who generously provided the prizes.

 

After the interval the programme continued to include the gentler rhythms of the ‘Square Tango’ and ‘Southern Rose Waltz’, the latter replacing the ‘Hesitation Waltz’.

 

The ‘Waltz Catherine’ was danced at the usual steady pace although the ‘Mayfair Quickstep’ would have been more suited to a brisker tune such as “Whisky in the Jar” as may have been anticipated. However, the dancers keenly took to the floor.

 

The general views of dancers were that the evening was a great success musically with the following positive endorsements for the band:- The band was “Excellent”; “Terrific”; “Great”; “Fantastic”; “Played to the dancers” and “Played to the Ceilidh standard”.

 

The Honorary President concluded the evening by thanking everyone for attending what proved to be a most entertaining night concluding with the traditional ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

 

There was a small loss of £0.80 after deductions for venue hire, ceilidh band and other associated costs were taken into account.

 

The next dance will again take place in the Commodore Hotel on Friday 29th March 2024 at 8.00pm with music by the Wayne Robertson Scottish Dance Band

 

Did you know?

The Romans apparently had something to say about dancing (they called it ‘saltatio’) which could well have applied to the evening’s Ceilidh.

" … … dancing is the companion of a seasoned party, a pleasant place, and many delights" - Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

Bob McCafferty

 

Gavin Piper Scottish Dance Band 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 11:25
 

Monthly Function Friday 26th January 2024

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Photos from the Function held on 

Friday 26th January 

featuring The Susan MacFadyen duo…

 

Dance report to follow

 

 Susan MacFadyen Duo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 11:52
 

Hogmanay Dance 2023

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Hogmanay Party Dance held at Geilston Hall Cardross 31 December 2023

 

After a fall of snow on the 29th of December followed by rain, the 31st dawned bright, dry and

chilly. As a result, the car park outside the Geilston Hall in Cardross was not too muddy. 104 tickets

were issued for the dance – to 32 members. 66 non-members and 16 juveniles.

Music was provided by the Stuart McKeown duo with the man himself on the box, ably assisted by

Ian Armstrong on drums. The band provided fantastic music and Stuart was in good form with great

banter when supporting dancers with clear instructions for a number of dancers so that those new to

ceilidh dancing could join in.

The evening commenced with the traditional greeting by President Neil MacLeod followed by the

Gay Gordons which filled the hall with dancers. It was pleasing to note the floor was full for most

of the evening. Association members got up on the floor to demonstrate couple dances so that

everyone else could follow behind. Stuart McKeown gave instructions for the Circassian Circle, the

Virginia Reel, the Dashing White Sergeant and Strip the Willow. The Orcadian Strip the Willow was

a particular favourite with attendees especially those under 16.

Tea, coffee and juice was served at 10.30 and attendees brought out their own supper to enjoy. The

raffle was also held just after the interval and raised the superb sum of £296. Once again the raffle

money helped defray expenses not covered by ticket income.

At midnight after the countdown to the “bells”, the ever popular balloon drop took place whilst

attendees wished each other a “Happy New Year.”

Just after the bells the hall had its “first foot” (Association Secretary Anne Thorn) who told some

Scottish jokes which were suitable for the audience. Whilst she circulated the hall offering whisky

and Irn Bru to attendees, piper Tam Gray from Dumbarton Pipe Band played some superb tunes

including Highland Cathedral. He was resplendent in his highland dress as he marched up and down

the hall. During one tune Lily and Georgia Dennett, who attend the Margaret Rose School of Dance,

took to the floor to dance an impromptu highland fling.

The dancing continued for another hour and a half punctuated by an impromptu performance from

attendee Gordon Adamson who played a few tunes on his bagpipes. The Hogmanay Party Dance

ended just before 2a.m with closing remarks by the President followed by the last waltz and Auld

Lang Syne.

Grateful thanks to committee members and Association members who helped to set up the hall in

the afternoon and clear up after the dance. Thanks also to those who sold raffle tickets and helped

serve tea, coffee and juice at the interval. A number of non-members have commented on how much

they enjoyed the event and hope that the Association will hold a Hogmanay Party Dance next year.

 

The next dance will take place on Friday 26th January 2024 In the Osprey Suite with music

provided by the Susan MacFadyen Duo.

 

Photos from Hogmanay 2023

 

Stuart McKeown duo with the man himself on the box, ably assisted by Ian Armstrong on drums. 

 

Tam Gray, Dumbarton Pipe Band  

 

Anne Brings in the New Year As First Foot 

 

 

 

And on with the night - Well Done the Dancers! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like a great night had by all,

***Here's Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year*** 

 

We're No Awa' Tae Bide Awa! 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 January 2024 12:22
 

Christmas Supper Dance 25 Dec 2023

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Christmas Supper Dance Held at the Commodore Hotel on 15 December 2023 

 

A drizzly Helensburgh evening (no surprise there) welcomed the attendees to the 2023 Christmas supper dance. 52 members and 2 guests were present on the night. 

The evening began at the earlier time of 7.30 with the traditional welcome by President Neil MacLeod and the introduction of the musicians for the evening, the inimitable Charlie Kirkpatrick and his band, long standing providers of terpsichorean accompaniment at the Association's annual Christmas celebration. 

The evening's dancing commenced to time with the floor filling for the Gay Gordons followed by a few more dances before a pause for supper. The single course meal provided by the Commodore was enjoyed by all and was followed by tea and coffee with traditional mince pie being distributed by committee members. On this occasion mini apple pies and gluten free mince pies were also available. The raffle followed the meal and, save for a little initial difficulty with the microphone and occasional blue/green confusion with the tickets by the caller, went smoothly with the distribution of a large number of prizes generously donated by members. The raffle raised the not inconsiderable sum of £158 on the night. Thereafter Santa and his assistant elf made their traditional appearance heralded by the band's rendition of Jingle Bells and accompanied by the tintinnabulation of Santa's hand bell, with gift wrapped sweeties being distributed to the tables. 

Dancing after the interval got off to a slightly slow start, due no doubt to the digestive process, but soon picked up and continued thereafter, with a couple of spot dances mixed in, for the rest of the evening until the usual closing with remarks and thanks by the President before the last waltz and Auld Lang Syne. 

Thanks are due to the Commodore bar and serving staff for excellent service over the evening. Regrettably, however, that excellence did not extend to the state of the floor which was somewhat tacky, although not as bad as on some past occasions. 

The next dance will be the Hogmanay Dance with the Stuart McKeown SDB at Geilston Hall, Cardross. The next regular monthly dance will be on Friday 26th January in the Osprey Suite at the Commodore as always with music provided by the Susan MacFadyen SDB. 


 
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