Oh my goodness! Today was just too hot. I spent the day under a fan in a darkened room. Emerged out, like a vampire, when the cool breezes of the evening wafted in to bring cool refreshing air. The neighbours and I all gathered, gladly in the back garden under the shade of the trees, to drink gin and sip cooling mint and lime cordial.
On the prom, families have packed up the barbies, sun lotion, and gone home. To bathe grizzly babies and toddlers, sooth sunburn and show off tan lines. They are replaced by the night time revellers who congregate with guitars and beer. Not going be easy to sleep tonight. But who can blame people for wanting to get together and be with friends.
Which brings me to my project. A few months ago I applied for a small grant of £200 from the Traditional Dance Forum Scotland. Which I am happy to say we got. There were five different groups awarded money for various events, all really diverse. This money was to be used in planning events that would begin to wake up traditional dance in Scotland after Covid. The plan is simple. I want to put on a ceilidh in Portobello Town Hall that would not only waken up traditional dance and music, but also celebrate the reopening of our beloved Town Hall. The dates of this ceilidh will depend on being free of restrictions. And so I am looking at Autumn 2022.
We have so much talent in Portobello. Home of Oi Musica, run by my neighbours Olivia and Marcus. We have Rosie Nimmo aka Rosie Blue and the wonderful Mairi Campbell. We also have ‘Fun Fiddle’ which is a group of young musicians. Taught by another local, Gica Loening, who herself is an excellent fiddle player. And of course many more.
My plan is to bring people together in a celebration of traditional dance, music and singing. Creating this ceilidh/performance event is an opportunity to showcase traditional music and dance and get people, and especially children motivated, and also introduce people to lesser known traditional dance e.g.: step dance, which had all but disappeared in Scotland 30 years ago, but is making a come back. In fact we are lucky to have Alison Carlyle living locally. Alison is a performer and teacher of Scottish step dance.
Did you know that we have four traditional dance forms? They are Highland dance, country dancing, Scottish step dance and ceilidh dance. We have all been whirled round the dance floor doing a Gay Gordons or a Dashing White Sergeant. Some of us have done Highland. Not so many have seen step dancing. It went to Nova Scotia with immigrants and ironically survived over there and died out back here. Thankfully it has been slowly reviving thanks to enthusiasts like Alison and thankfully back home.
So get out your kilts lads and iron these ceilidh dresses girls because this ceilidh will raise the roof off Porty Town Hall.
(Oh dear! Could have worded that better. A lot of money being spent on the roof)
Tell me below what you think? Are you coming?
2 Replies to “Raising the Roof with Dance”
I am a teacher with the Debra-Ann dance school, we teach Highland Dancing, I’m sure we could bring a few dancers along to do a little dance display.
That would be lovely. E.mail me on
email@example.com so I have your e mail.
How are you managing during covid with your classes?
Let’s hope by next year we can return to a bit of normality.