REVIEW – Ripponden Village Dance 29 September 2017

The Ryburn 3 Step dance programme got under way on Friday September 29th with a Village Dance at the Victoria Hall in Ripponden. Some years ago, Ryburn 3 Step ran monthly dances in the Central Hall which were well-attended and fondly remembered by many in the village. A dance at the Ripponden Victoria Hall in March this year, organised by Ryburn Longsword,  was successful and justified setting up a couple more dances; this one on 20 September and another on December 9th. We hope you will come along and join us there.

The band was a trio of young musicians sporting the name “Posthumous Curtain” which comprised James Tween on melodeon, Michael Beeke on English bagpipes, recorder and tuba, and Alice Jones on piano and whistle. The caller was Pauline Jones who helped to organise the event. Pauline called a variety of dances with different configurations (lines, squares, circles) and varying levels of difficulty. One or two dances seemed to cause collective issues of numeracy and orientation; for example in Lucky Seven the instruction to chain past six dancers and swing the seventh was interpreted in a variety of ways and mild chaos ensued. However, on the whole, the good people of Ripponden displayed sufficient dancing prowess to complete most of the dances as called and all credit to them for that.

Ripponden Village Dance Sep 2017. Photo: Steve Jones

The organisers had hoped that the dance would appeal to a range of ages and abilities and, to their delight, there were family groups with young children, groups of friends, couples and people who came on their own. Pauline stressed that the English Country Dance etiquette was relaxed and that it was OK for would-be dancers without a partner to ask any of those sitting out to dance. Equally, if, after being asked, the request is declined, that is OK too and should not be taken as personal rejection.

A full dance floor and bright smiles of enjoyment indicated that a good time was being had by one and all and the most common reaction of those leaving was to say how much they had enjoyed themselves and to ask when will the next dance be held.

The next Ripponden Village Dance is on Saturday December 9th in the Victoria Hall and it starts at 7:30 p.m. The band will be members of Offcuts (the Ryburn Longsword band) and the caller will be John Brown from Sheffield. Tea and coffee will again be available along with a selection of cakes baked by Ryburn Longsword dancers, and the bar will be open from about 7:00 p.m.

Steve Jones

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