"BETWEEN TIPS" is the official bulletin of the
SQUARE & ROUND DANCE FEDERATION OF NOVA SCOTIA
Alex Ritchie, Editor, 58 Oakdale Crescent, Dartmouth, NS B3A 2L8
phone (902) 469-1492 email: email@example.com
(Back Issues) (Return to Home Index)
You may download this February 2004 issue as a PDF file.
The Highland Capers Square Dance Club in Sydney Mines was formed in1974 with Charlie (Chuck) Flemingand his wife Elsie. Chuck had called in Ontario but when he retired from the Navy, they returned to Sydney Mines,Elsie's home town.
Four couples, Cliff and Yvonne Farnsworth, Leonard and Jean Finney, John and Chrissie MacLean, and Tomand Gwen Gardner, met at Trinity Church Hall to learn what modern western square dancing was all about. This wasthe fall of 1974. The next fall we received our badges and chose the name. Chuck wanted to call at MCCA and had tobe a club caller.
We danced in various places! upstairs at the "Old Post Office" now the Municipal Building, in the hall atSydney Mines High School, and at the S.O.B.I. Hall, now the Sydney Mines Food Bank. It was here that Chuck hadus all "Route Marching" to learn Wheel and Deal. Chuck and Elsie were living in Sydney Mines but wintered inFlorida. He taught us in the fall and then would leave us tapes and instructions which we diligently worked at allwinter in the basement of John and Chrissie's house. We were finally stumped and frustrated by the call Half TagTrade and Roll.
When the Flemings returned to Ontario to live and work, Tom and Leonard took the plunge and went toCaller's School at Acadia University. Under the great leadership of John and Fran Essex, Jack and DeloresMacArthur, and Jim and Pat Alguire they started their careers as Square Dance Callers. Tom continued as the callerfor the Highland Capers Square Dance Club. We danced in the common room at the Memorial High School and thenat the Recreation Center under their banner for a number of years. New dancers came and went and many coupleswere exposed to the Fun and Fellowship of Square Dancing. The last ten years we have been dancing in Trinity Hall,where we first started almost 30 years ago.
We have had Wendell and Bev Carroll as members of our club and they have been cueing rounds at our clubdances. The last two years we have danced PLUS, but the numbers are down and as the church is closing the hall wehave decided to retire our banner and close the club. We have had many faithful dancers over the years Cliff andYvonne have been with us since the beginning. The dancers have been good to take offices; bring lunch and help dragthe equipment over the stairs. Thanks to all of you for your support and help over the years. Keep dancingsomewhere. We hope you all support the Sydney club, Town and Country Dancers, who dance on Wednesday night inChrist Church Hall in Sydney.
Tom and Gwen Gardner, Sydney Mines, N.S. -- December 6, 2003
Many of you have enjoyed dancing with and have fond memories of Club Members who are now deceased. Alist of deceased dancers that are fondly remembered is being compiled and about to be added to our website.
The information needed for the list is:
Full NamePlease send information to our webmaster & editor,Alex Ritchie, (address above)to have your fondly remembered dancer added to the list.
Nick Name (if commonly known and used)
Club or clubs regularly danced
Following two days of snowy weather, Dec 4th saw the sunshine return to Pictou County in time for theHighland Squares Christmas Party. This year's theme was Christmas hats. Nearly 50 dancers from the CobequidTwirlers of Truro and the Maple Leaf Whirlaways of Antigonish joined the host club to "Share that ChristmasFeeling". Most brought along their personally designed hats. The many unique and varied designs attested to thecreativity of these dancers. More decorated hats adorned the NSCC cafeteria with Santa looking down from the wall.A small Christmas tree stood aglow with lights in the corner and several legends of Christmas stories (from the originof Christmas pudding to the creation of Silent Night) were displayed around the room. Then the Dance and the funbegan.
Club caller Ed Giles ably led the dancers from class to plus level in many Christmas songs. At intermission,Joy MacDonald, in her special way, gave a reading entitled "Sharing". Then Anna Mae Thompson brought forthgales of laughter with her version of grandchildren praying to Santa for toys or was it to Grandma. Everyone took partin a Christmas movie quiz, covering movies like "Miracle on 34th Street", "White Christmas", "Home Alone", andothers. Joy & Lloyd MacDonald took the prize for the quiz a supply of popcorn and hot chocolate for their nexthome movie night.
The highlight of the evening was the Christmas hat fashion show. As their names were announced, eachdancer expertly navigated the 'cat walk' to show off their creations. A descriptive commentary, given by LolaPatterson, added to the fun of the seasonal fashion parade. Judged expertly by Kitty Giles of Great Village and ViMacintosh of Tatamagouche, the following folks received prizes for their efforts to Share that Christmas Feeling. Best Hat Couple were Minnie & Alex Burke, Antigonish, wearing ball caps where upon sat two loveable snow peoplestraight from a winter wonderland, whose outfits matched their dancing creators. Most Original Hat Couple wereSandra & Robert Partington, Westville. Theirs was a salute to our feathered friends in winter, Sandra in an openweave tall hat reminiscent of a basket, and Robert in a low-set hat with a nest to comfort our birds in winter. WallyMacKay, Truro, captured a prize for the best Christmas feeling with the least decoration, a Christmas red, foreignlegion type hat, long tail in back with peaked front, reminding us of the red cardinal that visit our yards in winter. Bestrepresenting Scrooge's Christmas feeling went to Betty Strople, Truro, for wearing no hat at all. A child's feeling ofChristmas was a snow covered hat by Lola Patterson, trimmed with toy drum, a Christmas stocking, toy soldier andtrain. The Prettiest Hat Couple were our newest class couple of the Highland Squares, Crystal & Lionel, with a pair ofcountry straw hats, adorned with ribbons, bows and flowers. Lila Sutherland, New Glasgow, received the prize for thesmallest hat. She wore a Christmas red "Haida of the Alps" hat with long white braids and bells on top. We couldalmost hear the bells ringing across the alpine meadows. Most commercial prize was won by Hilton MacIntosh, in asporty wee black number wearing a tag that guaranteed it to be a genuine, laid-back, good old age survival andcombat kit. The hat that most shared the Christmas feeling went to Audrey Weatherbie. Her creation made us smileand wish we were kids again with her version of the loveable Frosty the Snowman. Prizes for the most patient coupleno matter what the season went (without a doubt) to our Caller and Taw. Ed received Tylenol for all the headaches wecause when we can't figure out which is left or right. Kitty received a crying towel with a Christmas motif, for thetimes we test her patience beyond the pale.
Next on the program was a medley of special Christmas songs called by Jack MacArthur that soon had one andall up on the floor with toes a-tapping.
The closing tips were by caller Ed as he called to club and class dancers in his unique, up beat style some of theold Christmas favourites.
Under the direction of Paula Dunn, the ladies of Antigonish and Stellarton served a tasty buffet of sweets andsandwiches. Gerald Patterson poured the tea and Marshall Dunn replenished.
In the midst of laughter and joyous Christmas wishes, our friends departed for their homes, taking some of thatspecial Christmas feeling with each and everyone. And leaving us feeling that warm glow of having shared thatChristmas feeling with our friends.
Lola Patterson ( Highland Squares)
On November 1st, at the Michelin Sports and Social Club in Waterville, friends, students, and acquaintancesgathered together to recognize Mary Dunlop for having reached a milestone in her career. Reid Harrison, on behalf ofDance Nova Scotia, presented Mary with the Recognition of Service Award for thirty years of teaching. In hispresentation to Mary, Mr. Harrison spoke of her leadership and professionalism and how, over the years, she hasexhibited patience, sincerity and love for what she does and for the children she teaches. She has taught her studentsthat there is a whole new world of possibilities waiting for them. A world filled with confidence, pride, and selfesteem.
As a teen Mary ( a native of Cape Breton) enjoyed Cape Breton Square Dancing, Scottish Country, StepDancing and Highland. Her particular style of Cape Breton Step Dancing has won her numerous awards and accoladesacross the Maritimes. Over the years, Mary attended Dance and Choreography classes in PET, Ontario, Winnipeg,South Carolina, and attended callers school in Massachusetts. Today she runs four dance schools, one in Paradise,Greenwood, Berwick, and one in Kentville where her students learn a multitude of dance disciplines which includeClogging, Scottish Country, Square Dancing, Tap, Hip Hop, Acadian Step Dancing, Highland, Line Dancing, andIrish. Mary also calls for two Square Dance Clubs in the Annapolis Valley, Hightide Twirlers in Hantsport and theTartan Twirlers in Torbrook, and has guest called as far away as British Columbia.
Mary has taught at elementary and secondary schools,recreational facilities, parks, exhibitions, guide camps,universities, malls and camp grounds. Her expertise in a widevariety of disciplines has afforded her the opportunity to judgeand adjudicate at several competitions. She works withnumerous communities across the Valley, volunteering her timeand that of her dancers to perform at seniors homes, hospitals,and fundraises for the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and StrokeFoundations, countless community fundraises, ChristmasDaddies, Family Shelters, Food Banks, and Palliative Care Units.
Mary has encouraged her students to share their love ofmusic and dance and as a result has turned out seven very capabledance instructors. Under her leadership, her dancers have gainedunparalleled popularity and recognition through theirperformances at Disney World, the Kennedy Space Centre,Rhythms of the World in Toronto, Ontario Place, The CN Tower,Fiddlers and Followers in PEI, the 24th Newfoundland andLabrador Folk Festival, Port Aux Basque Viking Days, Multicultural performances from Halifax to Ottawa, and July4th celebrations in the USA to mention only a few.
Dance Nova Scotia has recognized Mary on two previous occasions. In 1997 Mary received a Recognition ofService Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance, and in 1998 was awarded the John Essex Award for Excellencein Teaching Dance.
When asked to what she attributes her energy and longevity of teaching she said, "I believe that all teachers (nomatter what they teach) must never lose their own enthusiasm to learn. Through the children and my peers, I learnsomething every day. Over the past thirty years I have endeavoured to instill and promote fun and fitness by usingdance as the tool. I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach and touch the lives of so many children. Today Iteach the children of the children I once taught".
Following Mr. Harrison's presentation, Brenda Vidito, on behalf of the parents support group presented Marywith a beautiful bouquet of flowers as everyone in the hall gave her a well deserved standing ovation.
Congratulations are indeed in order for Mary as she celebrates her thirty years of dance in our communities -well done Mary.
Submitted by Brenda Vidito, 902-825-6791
Registered with the
Square & Round Dance Federation of Nova Scotia
For 2003/2004 as of January 24, 2004