Getting reel at Tittensor

Step we gaily: Stone Scottish Country Group practising a Strathspey at Tittensor.Village Hall
Step we gaily: Stone Scottish Country Group practising a Strathspey at Tittensor.Village Hall
Christine Conlin put her best foot forward in a Scottish dance
It was 60 years ago this October that John Moseley, 91 and six others met up at Walton Community Centre to introduce Scottish Dancing to Staffordshire.  As John, still an active member, remembers, the caretaker Alec Kirkwood who was originally from Glasgow, waived the room hire fee and made their numbers up to eight!

Six decades later, Stone Scottish Country Dancing Group will be celebrating the club’s diamond anniversary next month with a buffet and dance at Newcastle-under-Lyme School.

The event has already sold out with tickets being snapped up by other Scottish Dancing Groups in Staffordshire and South Cheshire.

At Tittensor Village Hall, where the groups meet every second Tuesday evening, Stone Group members practise their steps for the jigs, reels and Strathspeys they will be dancing to music by the Marion Anderson orchestra.

On July 16th, yours truly briefly joined them for some “setting”, figures of eight” and Petronella turns to get a feel for the experience.  My verdict?  Scottish dancing really keeps you on your toes!   While the movements are not in themselves strenuous, remembering all those sequences really keeps your brain cells ticking over.

Nifty footwork: Stone members at a Scottish Country Dancing event at Shugborough
Nifty footwork: Stone members at a Scottish Country Dancing event at Shugborough

Meetings start with a half-hour beginners’ session, all dances are walked through beforehand and caller Phil Brassington makes sure everyone is confident about what they’re doing and ends up they’re supposed to be.

You don’t need to bring a partner – in fact you might meet one there as the Group has resulted in four marriages over the years.  For the practice evenings, you just need ballet pumps or Scottish Dancing shoes and for the Group’s two annual formal occasions, a kilt and black tie (for men) and a long dress or skirt (for women).

The Group celebrates St Andrew’s Day on or around November 30th with a sit-down Haggis dinner followed by whisky and dancing. In March, they hold an annual get-together with other Scottish Dancing Groups.

New members are always welcome and to find out more, phone Secretary Liz Porteous on 01902 850349