Scottish Country dancing holiday near Grenoble,
16 -- 23 June 2003
"The Thistle of Dauphiné" organized a week of dancing
in picturesque Castel Montjoie in the hills west of Grenoble.
We welcomed dancers from nine different countries,
all of whom turned out to be wonderful friendly people ready to make the best of less than ideal conditions and enjoy themselves and each other's company.
They joined in the dancing with remarkable energy, in spite of the incredible heat-wave -- temperatures such as I have never even heard of in France! -- and accepted being herded around the countryside to see as much as possible in a short time. Perhaps we shall try to make it a little more restful next time.
Ken and Barbara provided excelent music, giving wings to our weary feet with a great range of sound and a huge collection of different tunes -- some composed for the occasion.
On the ceilidh evening, we were treated to French
songs and dances, Swedish mid-summer rituals,
a German rendition of Biszet's Carmen, some Scottish music and recitation,
and Malcolm Brown showed us that he was not only the perfect Scottish teacher,
he also knew how to dance with an English broomstick.
These people were all so nice, they did not even complain (aloud), when I had them dancing on hot tarmac near the park in Echirolles.
Scottish Country dancing is a wonderful pastime
that gives you an excuse to travel the world
and meet so many nice friendly people.
The enthusiasm was such, that I felt well rewarded for the time spent in preparation for the holiday,
and am quite ready to start again
In fact, a hotel has already been booked for 2004, and, to make sure no-one will complain of the heat next time, the holiday will take place at 1300 metres in the green forests of the Chartreuse mountains.
Scottish Country dancing, Grenoble.
(translation of the article that appeared in the newspaper 24 June 2003)
"The Scots have reached Echirolles!
For the yearly music festival, one of the locals had a new idea; Martin Sheffield and his club, the Thistle of Dauphiné, decided to invite 50 dancers from all corners of Scotland ( ! ) to come and dance in France. On the open ground new the newly renovated market hall, the amazed members of the public were treated to an excessively festive evening ( ! ) with musicians providing the traditional rhythms of the our Scottish cousins.
As one lady said: "What a surprise! I came to listen to the choir singing gospel songs, and found all these men in kilts
A great idea."
A true Scot, over here from Great Britain specially for the occasion, allowed us to ask him the question that was on everyone's minds: What were they wearing underneath?
"The ladies can come and find out for themselves," he answered, before rushing off to join in the dancing with his fellow countrymen."
Was it the fault of that hard tarmac, if the kilts were not swinging much that day?
Had we been dancing on a good floor, the journalist would not have had to ask the question; he would have seen for himself.
In fact, I wonder if he asked any questions at all. I had hardly had time to get out of Ken's car, when the pimply youth pounced on me, but he he did not get much of my attention, as it was more important to get the musical equipment set up.
The above article (with my own ( ! ) added) appeared 24 June with a nice black&white photo of the open-air dancing, but it was not good enough to scan.
Dancing at Castel Montjoie also appeared on television, though I did not see it.
My own photos are not worth passing on to you, I'm afraid, but Anselm has given us a pretty good selection on his web site.
. . . but replace (AT) by @
A selection of my modern country dances in the Scottish tradition