Welcome to the new year. I hope you are all back upright and raring to go for a new season after the revels and revelations of the holidays? I’m not. Takes me until about February I think even with the current gales to spur me on the way. But the dancing has restarted already.
Rewinding a little… We had a successful, slightly windy and (ultimately) sunny Christmas danceout on 7th? December. The crowds came and went as they negotiated the usual pre-Christmas shopping chaos and left us their cash for our nominated charities. I even managed to film a bit of the dancing this year and put it up on YouTube.
Our Christmas party marks the end of the year’s events for us – we don’t partake of Boxing Day or New Year dancing as most of manage to disperse to the four corners of the country, if not the world. We invade a kind member’s home for the party – the spouses make a hasty departure to a quiet corner as the rest of us has another good blether. I’m afraid it’s one of the side-effects of ladies’ sides – lots of talking. But the up side is that there’s usually good food around as well. By some telepathic process we end up with just the right balance of food to nibble (we save the cakes for other meetings…).
We also swap Christmas cards. To save the hassle of writing so many, or the embarrassment of forgetting someone, we have a unique way of exchanging cards (well, unique in my experience). We all bring a cards for ourselves then send it round for everyone else to sign. It’s a great idea – we get the card that we want, and no-one is left out accidentally. At the same time we send round a bowl to take additional money to add to the collection from the Christmas danceout. This year we raised enough between the two collections to send a cheque for £165 to each of the nominated charities – Prostate Cancer UK and the Jessie May Trust.
And now our clogs are firmly in 2015 it’s back to the dancing. The first dance practice of the year always takes a bit of getting used to. Blowing the cobwebs from the brain to remember the figures and warming the muscles up to remember the steps. So maybe it wasn’t one of our best practices. But we enjoyed it, which is the point after all.
Now that we’re all warmed up, it’s time to get some more dancers in to the practice. Our New Starters/Beginners/Welcome evening is next week(never quite sure what the title of this event is – it’s really just an excuse for more tea and cakes 🙂 ), and I have to work out what we are going to dance. What we, as a side, find easy, is not necessarily easy to a beginner. And some dancers find some dances easier than others, just as they find single step easier than ranting (at least to start with). Do you start with interesting, but a little challenging, to keep them curious enough to return? Or do you start with simple but a little staid and boring to give them enough confidence to continue and think that they can do this. It all depends on the individual, and we don’t know who’s going to turn up yet….
So, if you are already a Morris dancer or musician, I hope you have a good 2015. I may even see you at the Morris Fed AGM and Day of Dance in September – yes, I will keep mentioning it for a while yet. If you aren’t yet a Morris dancer, then may I encourage you to give it a go? Great fun, good exercise, great craic, tasty buns and cakes, lots of pubs, new people and interesting places you never knew existed before. Even better… if you’re in the Bath area, why not come along and visit us one Thursday evening in Batheaston. Don’t worry if you can’t make the 15th January, we’re open to new dancers any time.