For two days last week the sound of Scottish Country dance music could be heard at the Douglas Ewart High School and Stranraer Academy, respectively, as the 2015 Days of Dance took place.
Once again over 400 children from the region’s primary schools had the opportunity to dance to live music. During the four day-time sessions the children performed “Antarctica Bound” (one they had prepared at school) followed by some step practice. On both the Tuesday and the Wednesday Mrs Strain then taught the children two new dances “Dunnet Head” and “Off to Speyside”. The children were quick to pick up the dances and performed them very enthusiastically!
On the evening of Tuesday, March 24, twelve teams took part in this year’s Festival Competition, held at the Douglas Ewart High School, before a very appreciative audience. Once again, Mr Willie Little, RSCDS, Castle Douglas had very kindly agreed to adjudicate with Mrs Rachel Hart as his scribe for the evening.
The three dances teams had to choose from were “St Andrew’s Fair”, “Galloway House”, and “A Jig for Mrs Dunn”. At the end of the competition it was the team from Sheuchan Primary School who took home the trophy with a lively performance of “St Andrew’s Fair”. A close second came Wigtown “A” dancing “A Jig for Mrs Dunn”.
The organsiers were delighted to see Creetown and Penninghame put forward teams for the first time and like all the other dancers the children were a credit to their schools. The live music was provided by Ian Kirkpatrick, Dumfries, during the daytime sessions and he was once again joined by his daughter Karen for the evening festival. For many years Ian played for the Days of Dance with his friend Ewan McGowan, who sadly died earlier this after a short illness. He will be missed.
The organisers thanked Mr Little for adjudicating the competition and Mrs Hart for scribing. They expressed their “huge thanks” to all the teachers and staff who helped and worked so hard with the children both on and prior to the days and to the children who danced so well making the Days of Dance so successful. Thank were also forwarded to the staff of the DEHS and Stranraer Academy who were most helpful.
Once again the Days of Dance are indebted to their main sponsors, The Machars Lions Club and The Newton Stewart and District Round Table. The organisers are also grateful to all the local Scottish Country Dance classes and businesses that have supported them in this event for many years, without whom the Days of Dance could not take place.