Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Come for the Scenery; Stay for the Dancing

Most people when they think of the Highlands think first of stunning scenery --well, maybe the Clearances or tragic history comes first to mind, but scenery certainly is right up there. As well it should be because each season offers spectacular views both on a giant scale of double rainbows arching over the sky and shimmering above the water or golden light exposing tiny clusters of red beads or the last gorse blossoms of late summer. Within an easy walk of my home I can find stunning vistas that even a duffer with a point and shoot camera can make look like art.

I like sharing the scenery with my visitors, but perhaps more interesting is what we get up to here when the visitors go home. Dancing. I have always loved dancing. I had childish notions of being a prima ballerina and folk danced my way through high school and college as well as rock and roll. Opportunities got fewer as I got older, but there was always some dancing.

Here country dancing or Scottish dancing is an integral part of the social life. The dances are simple enough that just about anyone can do them, and good dancers can make them into an art form that is a joy to watch.

I was reminded of this last week at a charity fund raiser dinner dance. The local WRI--my WRI now--put on the dance so the food was wonderful and the organisation was military in its precision and magical in its apparent ease. It takes a lot of work to makes thing look easy, so before we could line up for Strip the Willow--a genuine crowd pleaser of a dance that basically involves a lot of whirling and waiting to be whirled--a lot of work had gone into it.

One friend from the States visited in October a couple years ago so she had a chance to join us in a ceilidh--a Gaelic word now used loosely to mean any get together, but it almost always involves music and music almost always involves dancing. So if you happen to come this way out of season, you had better be a dancer.

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At 11:55 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

oh that sounds delightful! it makes me sad that people don't like to dance here... or those I meet, don't. dancing, singing, making art... these are things we were each born to do, and we give that power away to 'experts' so easily.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Let's try to go dancing when I come. And when you come over here. I don't dance enough--thanks for the reminder.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hayden, good to hear from you. Yes, I love the democracy of dancing.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Amy, that's a date. We'll find dancing or make our own on both sides of the pond.


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