Another Happy Dance Discovery

As I mentioned in my previous article, when I introduced my good friend Carol Gremil to our Lakeside community, so many of us are writers, accountants, artists, teachers, forensic scientists, retirees, etc., all of whom dance.

I had the great pleasure of meeting and talking with a retiree who dances, Phyl Gaskell. She is the teacher and organizer of Scottish Country Dance Ajijic. As a community we have the distinction of having Phyl as the only certified teacher of Scottish dancing in Mexico. She is a professional member of The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Edinburgh, Scotland. Certified teaching members are scattered throughout the world, specific dances are taught. Consequently, anyone visiting almost any country in the world will be sure to find a Scottish Country Dance group, and even more importantly, a group that will be dancing the same dances learned at home in Ajijic, or Canada, the USA or Europe.

As Phyl writes:

It’s old…it’s new…it’s social…it’s FUN!

Scottish country dance is the traditional social dance of Scotland. It is based on ancient folk dances, mixed with elements of ballet, influences from the Royal court of France and some overlap with Highland dancing. Scottish Country dance was carried around the world by Scottish immigrants, workers, and Highland Regiments. It remains popular is such unlikely places as Holland, Japan, Africa, and anywhere the Scots went.

Some dances we do are over 300 years old, many are newly and cleverly devised to incorporate intricate formations. We dance lively jigs, i.e. “The Postie’s Jig” or Reels, such as or the “Reel of the 51st Division” created during the 2nd World War, or the distinctively Scottish, elegant, strathspey. Some people can pick it up on the fly, but the better way is to take lessons. It is challenging mentally and great aerobic exercise. Anyone who dances SCD will tell you “IT’S FUN.”

Another advantage to joining such a joyous group is that one does not have to have a partner. Many other social dance lessons are made easier when a pair joins such a group. With Scottish Country Dance, single or not, it does not matter one jot, all are welcome. No partner required.

The SCD group has danced to help raise funds for many charitable organizations Lakeside, including “Burn’s Night” on January 25th, a Gala Evening for Niños Incapacitados and for Los Cantantos del Lago, originally directed, by Tim Welch.

The group meets twice a week for an hour and a half, starting in October and continuing through March.

For further information please call Phyl Gaskell at 331 331 3070

P.S The group is looking for a suitable space to practice. If anyone can help find such a place, please call.

Helen Gallagher
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