18 Mar 2009

Oh to dance until midnight

I had planned a number of posts this week on things I'd done over the weekend but fell foul to a stomach bug (that my little brother and sister were recovering from when I went to visit!) - consequently I've been bedridden with a yellow bucket and copious pillows for the last two days. But I'm definitely on the mend now and can finally tell you about the dance I went to on Saturday night with my dad!
Every second Saturday of the month they hold a "bush dance" in a scout hall near where he lives. Australian bush dances are a combination of Irish, Scottish and English folk dancing but also incorporate other folk styles from around the world while having a distinctly Australian character - especially in the names of dances! Its a fairly even mix of jigs, reels, waltzes, polkas - dances for couples, circles, threes, squares, octets and so on...

Still, whenever I tell friends about this kind of dancing they laugh at me (and wrongly) assume its silly and boring. But let me tell you it is NEVER boring, always always a great deal of fun and you're bound to work up a sweat! I guess you do have to get over all the long-bearded gentlemen...
Its just that when I hear a good fiddle playing or guitars strumming - my feet begin in tap, my skirt swishes, my heart flutters and beckons me to twirl... I love dancing of all kinds but there's something very special about folk dancing - I'm sure its in my blood.

And at the end of May, Dad and I are going to a Heritage Ball - where we'll have to dress in full Colonial do, have dance cards to record who we're dancing with and they'll be a full brass band.
Not long ago my grandma gave me a collection of dancing books from countries around the world. They have short but fascinating histories of dancing in that country as well as colourful illustrations of costumes, maps, music, and dance instructions.

I shall leave you with some of favourite illustrations:
(Oh I particularly love that last one!)


  1. Oh dearest Emily! I'm ever so glad to hear you're on the mend, and very much looking forward to seeing you next Thursday. ^_^ Your dancing adventures sound wonderful! I truly do love to dance, even though I'm not particularly good...and even if it's usually to the boring music played in most bars... Give me a lively fiddle any day. ^_^

  2. These dances look great Emily! You look like you're loving them as well. :D

  3. awe, looks like so much fun to me!

  4. That looks like such fun! Did you do the Gay Gordons? Hope you post your dress for the upcoming ball!!!

  5. awesome! it really does not sound boring at all! i would love to own those books they look so cool!

  6. I love a good bush dance too! I love your photos and the dance books look fantastic!! Doe see doe and around we go:)

  7. WOW thank you friends - I feel very warm and fuzzy knowing you'd all like to tap and twirl too!

    Jess - I'm definitely taking you to the next dance at Balmain if you're up for it!

    And Amy - we didn't do Gay Gordons but we usually do and its a lot of fun! My favourites are "The Cozy Waltz" "Posties Jig" "Love em and Leave em" " Pride of Erin" and "Virginia Reel"!

  8. That would be unbelievably fantastic. ^_^ I can promise much enthusiasm, if not precision!

  9. Love dancing! Love singing with 'The Tullys' when we do folk dance gigs! Nothing lifts the spirits like a dance. Loved this post. ...Love words like, jig & fiddle!



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