Shall we Dance?

I used to be able to do Scottish Country Dancing. But I used to love to dance. I can’t now but I can shookle behind my rollator or trampoline.

My elder brother and I first learned from a scary lady called Mrs Grant. She paired the pupils whose parents weren’t there with someone whose parents were there so she could always blame the person without parents. My parents never stayed. So we were paired with endless people whose parents were there. We did learn to dance though.

So why did we keep going? We enjoyed Heinz tomato soup in the car before going home which we adored. Plus we didn’t have a choice. One day Alasdair was dancing with Mrs Grant. At least that was something I escaped. Alasdair was just below her very full bosom. Mrs Grant kept saying to look up. Alasdair stared fixedly at his feet, Would you have looked up?

So we learned to dance reels and things like ‘The Dashing White Sergeant’

As we grew up so we got invited to reel parties. It started with the 9 to 90s That was at the Station Hotel in Inverness. My friend Gina was always popular as a partner. I was too tall and gangly but because I chatted to Gina I was like a second choice. Not for the Dashing white sergeant though as you could have two boys and one girl or two girls and one boy.

I had Moritz, a really old friend who I had I known since we were both 10 visit. It felt very good to see him. He reminded that my father had sent him instructions aged 16 for foursome, eightsome and sixteensome and a dance I had forgotten I knew called ‘The Machine Without Horses’

Of course I still have MND and can’t really dance but it is fun to look back on what I could do. I know I am slowing down. I fell over a couple of days ago but David caught me so I fell very slowly. He is always poised to help a lot of the time. It can’t be fun for him, but he does it.

Sometimes I can write more and sometimes I can write less. This is one of those times. i am very slow at typing now. But I can’t go without a song. I am going with Reet Petite as I have found a very odd video. I hope you enjoy it.

About Susan

I am a middle aged woman wondering where all the normal middle aged people are. I don't want to regain my lost youth but nor am I ready to rush headlong into old age. I realise I am oldish rather than youngish but surely not actually old yet. So this is my chance to muse on my middle aged existence. This will save my teenage children from the horror of me musing on age spots or deteriorating eyesight which is surely a kindness. Now that I have been diagnosed with MND (ALS) this blog will have to change a bit, but I AM still middle aged too.

{13} Thoughts on “Shall we Dance?

  1. Remember the video very well – good to be reminded of it.

    Having never met in person I didn’t see you as tall and gangly at all! Strange what Skype does to your perception of people isn’t it? Learned a new word – shookle. Presume that is Scottish slang or your own creation. Like it and might use it in future!

    Love the fact that you could be bought with a tin of Heinz tomato soup!

    Best wishes.

    • That may well be my own word. I am told the links didn’t carry across which is sad as James worked hard to get them. Oh and I am missing the picture of the Swinging Sporran. Do look for the links. We were very easily bribed.

  2. Gosh, brings back memories.
    We learned the “Gay Gordon” at school and I always seemed to have to dance as a man as I was taller than most of the other girls and the boys refused!! Also had a go at ballroom dancing a couple of times in my early 20’s but that was similar. Eventually about 5 years ago husband and I did a charity “Strictly” type thing. 10 lessons, 2 dances: waltz and chahchachaa and then had to perform. I would like to say it was a pleasure but the performance was terrifying. At least I got to dance as a woman but oddly I did have trouble allowing him to lead, hahahahaha.

    Great post as always. I do remember the video, Sledge Hammer and a few others of the time were a bit odd like this too. keep blogging and making up words. xx

    • That was seriously brave. How dare your husband not lead you. I am not impressed that you had to be a man at school but at least the Gay Gordòns was fun.

  3. We went to a New Year’s Eve party and were the only ones who didn’t know how to reel! I had no idea what I was doing and ended up paired with a scornful seven year old. Poor thing. Your dances sound more fun.

    • That sounds grim. But Mrs Grant was very scary. We learned well although Alasdair has confessed that he never mastered the foursome.

  4. Isn’t it funny the things that stick in your mind from your childhood. We used to ‘dance’ in the school gym – segregated of course! As I was tall (for my age group and time) I always took the male lead. Subsequent male partners in my life always complained about me steering them around a dance floor! Thank goodness for rock n’ roll!

    • It makes me laugh that you and Kate were playing males. I am grateful to Mrs Grant that I always was paired with males who were shorter than me. Thank goodness for modern music.

  5. Ah, you’ve brought back some memories for me today. For some reason, Scottish and Irish dancing was very big in primary schools in Harrow in the 70s and we had to do dance every Tuesday afternoon. I dreaded the whole choosing a partner thing as I was very, very shy in those days. In the final year of Juniors there was a big dancing competition across the whole borough. We had to get all dressed up with white dresses and tartan sashes. Can’t remember what the boys wore. I actually enjoyed it but I can’t remember how our school scored!

    I remember the Reet Petite video from 1987. A little peculiar. I was doing my PGCE at the time – over 30 years ago! I also used to sing it to Laura when she was a very tiny baby. Whenever I hear it I can remember dancing around the kitchen while she chuckled in her baby seat. The words are quite cute when you sing them to a little baby girl!

    • I am amazed that Irish and Scottish dancing was popular in Harrow in the 70s. I am amazed. But glad you enjoyed the white dress and tartan sash. And I had never seen the reet petite video before but it made me very happy.

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