Want to form a set?

Today we again highlight the branch demonstration team in 2012 at Tartan day on the Parliament Hill dancing one of many peoples favourite dances – Ian Powrie’s Farewell to Auchterarder

Also today we have David Queen from his home in Southport England on the weekly online class.  As well as warm-ups, David does very good footwork transitions in both reel and strathspey time. The second reel time video feature some more advanced transitions. I have also included the dance that he finished the online class with that he dances solo.

Next is the link for the RSCDS podcast for this week.

Finally, if you are dancing at home for exercise, and I hope you are, I have a video just to remind you that you should be careful!

Warm-up marches

Warm-up waltz

Footwork transitions – reel 1

Footwork transitions – reel 2

Footwork transitions – Strathspey

Dance – Jig to the Music

All the dance warm-ups etc in one place

There have been several requests to have all the videos you can participate in shown in one post so here it is!

As you probable already know, what I have made available from the RSCDS Online classes is the material I thought was appropriate for all levels of dancers.  Some of the teachers in the online class have covered more advanced topics such as highland dance steps and step dances.  I have included the links to the full classes if you have interest in those topics.

At the end I have also included our own Marion Hamilton and her dancing at home videos.

Week 1 –  Angela Young (Scotland) – Warm ups       Full video

Week 2 –  Mervyn Short (England) – Aerobic Warm ups, Joint Loosening, Muscle Stretching and Cool downs.       Full Video

Week 3 –  David Hall (Austria) – Strathspey Warm ups, Strathspey Steps, Petronella figure.    Full Video

Week 4 –  Diana Hastie (Australia) – Warm ups.    Full video

Week 5 –  William Williamson (Scotland) – Warm ups marches, Warm ups waltzes, Cool downs.   Full video

Week 6 –  Ron Wallace and Garry Thomas(USA) – Step dance.    Full Video

Week 7 –  Graham Donald (Canary Islands) – Warm-ups, Stretches and Pas de bas.    Full Video.

Week 8 –  Atsuko Clement (Japan) – Warm-ups, Cool downs.   Full Video

Week 9 –  Fiona Mackie (Scotland) – Warm-ups, Pas de Bas, Poussette, Petronella   Full Video

Dancing at home –  Marion Hamilton (Ottawa) – Reels, Figures of Eight, More Reels, Poussette

Don’t forget your mask if you go out

Today’s dance is Shiftin’ Bobbins from a beginners class for about 10 years ago. This is followed by a rehearsal of a ceilidh item (sans tutus) based on the Nutcracker ballet. For any of you who happened to stockpile toilet rolls (I hope none of you did!) here is a use for your surplus. And finally some thoughts on how you should look after your face masks.

Why don’t we go to Dundee

Today we highlight the branch demonstration team in 2012 at St. Stephens Presbyterian church dancing a medley of Deil Amang the Tailors / Joie de Vivre

Also today we have Fiona Mackie from from her home in Dundee in Perthshire, Scotland. Fiona is the next in line of  great teachers in the RSCDS online class . As well as warm-ups, she does very good breakdowns of both the pas de bas step as well as the possette and petronella figures.

And finally, the latest RSCDS weekly podcast and a bit of fun from the 2015 Royal Variety Performance.

Warm-up marches

Warm-up waltz

Pas de Bas


Petronella figure and dance

Round the world on Friday

Again today we travel the world.

We start in Osgoode for a July 1st event, then to Japan where the RSCDS online class came from this week.  There are excerpts from warm-up and cool downs from the video. The rest of the video covers some simple highland steps if you are interested the link is here.

Then London, UK where Judith Jones has devised a jig for people and pandas called ‘Wuhan Woo-Hoo’. (thanks the Lydia Hedge from Halifax for forwarding this)

The Society’s weekly podcast has a reference our own Phyllis MacCulloch starting around 12 minutes into the podcast.

Finally we have some signs of the times from the U.S.


















































Friday fun

It’s Friday again…I think.

Today, the first video highlights the demonstration team dancing at the NAC.  See how many people you recognize.  The dance is a choreographed dance named ‘Royal Deeside’ but it starts with a dance you should be familiar with.  What is that dance? Send answers to danceaday@rscdsottawa.ca

The next three videos are taken from the RSCDS online class last Wednesday. The teacher is Graham Donald who is originally from Edinburgh but now lives in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands..lucky him. I’ve extracted warms-ups, stretching exercises and a breakdown of the pas de bas.

This is followed by a link to the weekly podcast from RSCDS HQ.

Finally, we have two non-dance pieces, one video to remind you of the safety announcement on the planes you’re not flying right now and another virtual choir.

Dancing to the Carillon

Four years ago tomorrow many members of the Branch participated in a 50th Anniversary event on Parliament Hill.  We had the privilege of dancing to the music of the carillon. 

This event repeated an event held for the branch’s 40th Anniversary.

Today’s the video shows a combination of the dances that were performed on the Hill at both events. We were accompanied in 2006 by Gordon Slater and in 2016 by Dr Andrea McCrady, Dominion Carilloners of Canada

Also there is a video of one of the participation dances held after the demonstration and a slide show of pictures taken at the 2016 event.

And finally a couple of humourous items about you know what.

Day 46 of isolation

That’s the nosey cow from next door

We’re back again

Today we have another memory from the 50th anniversary ceilidh so we can see ourselves without social distancing in 4BC (Before Corona). This time its the Dashing White Sargeant.

Another well known and talented SCD teacher is featured in the RSCDS online class this week.  It’s Ron Wallace from Santa Rosa, California  I’ve edited down the original video. 

I was wondering if you would like me to consolidate  all the exercise videos on to one page so if you feel in the mood for some SCD exercise there will be a one-stop place for them.  Let me know by adding a comment below or sending an email to danceaday@rscdsottawa.ca .

The latest RSCDS weekly podcast with its weekly offering of SCD music interesting facts and interviews follows.

And finally two corona related pieces looking at the funny side of things.



Working from home

Ooooh, did I miss Mother’s Day

A day late but I hope you won’t mind.

Firstly we have a bouquet of flowers for all the mothers out there – three dances with flowers in the name.

That is followed by a set dance I devised for my mother, Caroline Inglis,  a strathspey named ‘Caroline’s Fancy’ danced by the demonstration team.

Then a few definitions from a mother’s vocabulary.

Lastly,  staying on the theme of flowers,  we have two posters created by Mary Bridson for the beginners afternoon tea dance in May 2018.

The Vocabulary of a Mother

Full Name: What you call your child when you’re angry with him.

Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right

Whodunit: None of the children who live in your house.

Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.

Independent: How we want our children to be for as long as they do everything we say.

Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into.

Dumbwaiter: One who asks if the children would care to order a dessert.

Remembering Brenda

As you have probably already heard through the class convenors, Brenda Mackintosh passed away yesterday. Many of the long time members of the branch remember Brenda fondly for her kindly manner and Jordie sense of humour.

In fact she may have been the first teacher you had in the branch.

Today we are devoting the blog to her.

I believe Brenda would have wanted us to think of the good times so I have included excerpts of some of her favourite dances and a rehearsal of “that poem”.

You are invited to add your own memories of Brenda in the comments at the bottom of the blog.

I would like to thank her close friend Eileen Black for contributing to the write-up below and the photos of Brenda.

 Brenda Mackintosh

Brenda emigrated from her native Newcastle to Canada in centennial year, 1967, with her friend Vida and they stayed for a short while with Brenda’s uncle, Alex Macwaters and his wife Margaret.

Both girls started dancing at the Macwaters by acting as stooges for prospective teachers at the teacher candidate class that Margaret taught in her basement .  That lead to Brenda attending a SCD workshop weekend in Niagara . On the Monday after her return she was asked by a colleague why she was limping a bit and she explained why and said her colleague should join SCD.  That colleague was Eileen Black.

Brenda decided she wanted to teach and she and Eileen started their training, but before they even got their certificate they started Children’s classes which they both enjoyed.  Once they got their 1st Certificate they started Beginners classes, teaching together and eventually starting their own classes and the Branch began to grow significantly.

Brenda’s talents were endless as she learned to play the guitar and delighted her friends with some of her funny “Jordie” songs.  She was a talented quilter and was still quilting until illness overtook her.  Brenda was also an avid reader; she loved to knit and sew (not just quilts) and enjoyed walking and exercise classes.

She was also a dedicated volunteer and an all-round wonderful friend to many of us  –   Eileen Black

AGM and some great warm ups

Today would have been our Annual General Meeting but thanks to Todd’s great management its all done and dusted by email.

Our new Chair, Wayne Greer, has a video message for you. If you use your imagination you can picture Todd at Parkdale United  congratulating Wayne on his election, passing the branch chain of office to Wayne and then Wayne giving this address.


Your Executive 2020/21.

Wayne Greer


Gillian  Mandell


Phil Worthington


Richard Hatherill


Brian Mackintosh

 Excerpts from the commendation 

Brian Mackintosh, Scottish by birth? No! He was born in Oxford, England. Then his father, bearing that strong Scottish name was born in Scotland. No! He was born in Southern Rhodesia. Thankfully Brian’s Scottish heritage comes from his grandfather and his mother, Jessie Davidson, who was born in Rothes, Scotland.

The 1970’s saw Brian moving into SCD teacher training and he was fortunate to study under Margaret Macwaters. In 1973 he obtained his Teacher Certificate and began with a beginner class at Gloucester High School in the east end of the city.

Brian has continued to be involved in demonstration and entertainment dancing for events such as Canada Day up to the present day.

Brian’s teaching career to date has included all levels of dance. At one time he taught a Social Programme class which featured dances for up-coming socials. 

Sometime in the 1980’s Brian became involved in providing recorded music for classes. The variety and selection of available SCD music was limited and commercially produced tapes had 6 to 10 tracks per side, with Branch favourites often not available. The length of time it took to find or change to specific tracks made tapes unsuitable for a teaching class. Brian, Eric Clyde and Phil Campbell undertook a lengthy project that facilitated the transition from LP records to sets of Master cassette tapes.

At some time in the 1990’s, Brian’s interest in and vast knowledge of SCD music led to him taking charge of setting up and running the sound system for monthly Social dances. He selected most of the music which often included all-time favourites, if not already selected by the teacher who had devised the programme

Brian continues to be an active, dedicated member of RSCDS Ottawa. The Branch is richer for his love of SCD and music. His long-time service and commitment to the Branch, has been taken to HQ Scotland and recognized with the Branch Award for the 2019/2020 dancing year.

Congratulations, Brian. Well done! Thank-you, from the RSCDS Ottawa Branch.

Also today we have William Williamson from from his home in Amisfield in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. William not only is a great teacher but he also has a wicked sense of humour so I think you will enjoy his warm-ups and cool downs.

He does have some footwork exercises and a dance on the original tape but he wore dark stockings so the footwork is difficult to see on the video.

And finally, the latest RSCDS weekly podcast. It includes music from Don Bartlett , one of the well known Canadian Scottish Country Dance band leaders

Warm-up marches

Warm-up waltz

Cool-down marches

Lets all go to the park now we can

Well, today would have been the last dance class of the 2019/20 season and the honour would have gone to the Level 2 class under the expert tutelage to Phyllis MacCulloch.

It was announced yesterday the we have more freedom in the parks but not quite the freedom that we use to have when dancing in Andrew Haydon Park years ago. The video is curtesy of John Bottriell. Todays quiz is – Can you identify those dancers in the clips? Send your answers to danceaday@rscdsottawa.ca.

More park dancing follows. This time in Major’s Hill park at the Tulip Festival and the demonstration team performing the ‘Weaving Lilt’.

Lastly some COVID-19 thoughts sent in the Ian Fraser.

Covid-19 thoughts

Breaking News:  Wearing a mask inside your home is now highly recommended.  Not so  much to stop COVID-19, but to stop eating.

When this quarantine is over, let’s not tell some people

I stepped on my scale this morning.  It said “Please practice social distancing.  Only one person at a time.”

Not to brag, but I haven’t been late to anything in over 10 weeks.

The dumbest thing I’ve ever bought was a 2020 planner …

Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.

Putting a drink in each room of my house today and calling it a pub crawl.

Level 2 class

Old-time Wednesday

Today would have been the last class of the season for the Afternoon Social class.  I wasn’t able to find a group picture of the class but I did find a video of them dancing courtesy of Chris Thorp.  I know Eileen has had a ball teaching the class this year.

Today’s dance is from the 50th Anniversary ceilidh.  I chose this in part because of the fantastic music played live by Torridon.

Then for something(s) completely different. Firstly what happen when two ladies have to dance together as there are not enough men to go around – sounds familiar!

This is followed by an excerpt from a movie called ‘I know where I’m going’ set at the end of World War 2. It brought back a memory to Lorraine McKinnon were her father was based in Oban and these events were frequent.

Afternoon Social class

A slow Tuesday

Today would have been the last class of the season for the Level 1 class.  I don’t know if we’ve had such an involved level 1 class for a long time. One member, Phil, has joined the branch executive as secretary and another, Denise, will be your Bulletin editor next year.   I know Marion is proud of you all as are the rest of the branch.

On to the offerings for today.  The first is a “Jem” of a dance for a very special person.  The dance was recorded a while ago at the Billings Estate where for many years Hugh Reekie organized a Scottish afternoon in the summer.  Many of the branch were involved in the event

The second is another very creative COVID dance – ‘All Shall Be Well’ with no hands and the same person (the devisor Murrough Landon)  dancing all positions!!!

And for all those of you who follow the Society weekly podcast there is a link to that. As well as dance music, Helen Greenwood from New Zealand tells the story behind ‘Best Set in the Hall’.

Level 1 class
Missing from the photo are:
Roseanne McLennon, Gen Carr, Christian Collins, Eminé Nearey, Krista Lyn, Sue Morton, Constance McLeese, Joyce Richens, Diane Robinson, Rebecca Robinson, Jean Scott, Marc Raymond

May the fourth be with you!

Well this would have been the last week of classes for the 2019/2020 season and the AGM.

The virtual AGM is over and this year’s  Branch Award was awarded to Brian Mackintosh for all his work over many years for the branch. Congratulations to Brian.

The branch flash mob at the Senator’s game in 2018 is featured along with a new take on the Sound of Music thanks the John Bottriell for sending the link to me and to Lorrraine McKinnon for the graphic.

The Monday night Level 3 class