Events generally in Northern California
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English and Scottish Country Dance Workshop and Party with David Newitt and Alan Thwigg
April 14 @ 2:30 pm - 8:30 pm$16
The Moveable Feet group features an English and Scottish country dance workshop with the charismic, fun-loving David Hewitt and Alan Twhigg. Live music for dancing by Susan Worland, strings, and Lyle Ramshaw, piano.
|2:30 pm||Doors open, chatting, warm ups/stretching|
|3 – 6 pm||Workshop, alternating English and Scottish dances at all levels
For the Workshop, teachers David Newitt and Alan Twhigg plan to teach, as time permits, from the following list of dances:
English: Jack’s Health, Knole Park, Red and All Red, The De’il’s Awa wi’ the Exciseman, The Homecoming, When Laura Smiles, and Wibsey Roundabout
Scottish: Cranberry Tart, Granville Market, Memories of Lyon, Orpington Caledonians, and Red House
|6 – 7 pm||Potluck dinner, bring your favorite dishes. Snacks for the workshop also appreciated. No oven but refrigerator and microwave oven available|
|7 – 8:30 pm||Dancing to our English and Scottish favorites.
For the Evening Party, David and Alan plan to do quick talk-throughs for many of our favorites and any of the workshop dances, as time permits:
English Party: Emma’s Commencement, Good Man of Cambridge, Levi Jackson Rag, Sapphire Sea, Turning by Threes, and Winter Solstice
Scottish Party: Belle o’Bon Accord, Bratach Bana, Broadway, Shiftin Bobbins, Terrace Loggers Jig, and Welcome
For both the Workshop and Evening Party dances, there are some easier and some harder dances so there are options for everyone. Most of the dances can be viewed, and descriptions are available, online. Come for the whole or part of the event:
Send your requests for both the workshop and party dances to Lucy or Karen. No partners needed. We change partners after each dance. All dancers welcome however basic knowledge of English and Scottish dance fundamentals is beneficial.
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David arrived at Swarthmore College in 1976 and was shocked and dismayed to discover a two year physical education requirement. Faced with the alternatives of football and “folk and square dancing” the choice was clear, and he has been dancing international folk dance, English and Scottish Country, Morris and sword teams, and contra dancing ever since. All are wonderful community activities and sharing them has been his passion for over 40 years.
Along with his fiddling wife Heather MacKay, David also loves playing music for English and Scottish dancing. They are founding members of the Humuhumumkunuku Apua’a and Strathspey Society Band—the world’s best Hawaiian-themed Scottish and English Country Dance band.
When not dancing, David studies pictures of people’s insides, doing research utilizing MRI,and specializing in body parts that start with “b.”
With Scottish heritage on both sides of his family, Alan developed a love for Scottish traditional music at an early age. His parents danced with the Reel & Strathspey Club that preceded the formation of the San Francisco Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. They often took him to the Highland games and pipe band concerts as a child.
Alan discovered Scottish Country Dancing as a college student, amongst other dance forms such as ballroom and international folk. The music resonated with some early memories, and the intricate patterns of SCD stood out from the other styles. He soon sought out a weekly class, then two…
Alan passed both of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society teaching exams at St. Andrews in the 1980s, and has been teaching regular weekly classes at various levels ever since. He has served as a guest instructor at weekend workshops across North America and tutored candidates for teaching exams. He also continues to participate in Scottish Country Dance performances, chiefly with the Red Thistle Dancers. Favorite memories include choreographing and performing a sword dance for the San Francisco Opera as well as teaching and performing in Norway, the Czech Republic, and Russia.
In addition to Scottish country dancing, Alan is an accomplished Highland dancer and performs frequently in public. He does both Scottish country dance and Highland dance with the Red Thistle Dancers, a performance group based in Palo Alto. Alan frequently travels to Scotland to attend dance training schools, and broaden his knowledge of the culture.
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