Once again all Wigtownshire Primary Schools were invited to take part in the Scottish Country ‘Days of Dance’ and for many it was their first opportunity to experience dancing to live music.
Nearly four hundred children from primary one to primary seven were involved at some point over the two days. During the four day-time sessions the children performed ‘The Dhoon’ (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. The first dance, called ‘Galloway Lads and Lassies’, had been written especially for the Days of Dance by Mr Willie Little a few years ago and although it involved some tricky formations for some of the younger children they rose to the occasion admirably. The second dance was ‘The Ferry Louper’ and once again the children responded well and took everything on board.
On the Tuesday evening, ten teams took part in this year’s Festival Competition, held at the Douglas Ewart High School, before a packed 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 the teams had to choose from were ‘Lamb Skinnet’, ‘The Honeymoon’, and ‘The Haggis’. At the end of the competition it was the team from Whithorn Primary School who took home the trophy with a lively performance of ‘Lamb Skinnet’. Second place went to Port William dancing ‘The Haggis’, another of Mr Little’s own compositions, and in third place was Wigtown A also dancing ‘Lamb Skinnet’.
Mr Little commented on how smartly the children were turned out and how well they had all done in their dancing. The live music over the two days was, this year, provided by Mr George Meikle, Dumfries, owing to Mr Ian Kirkpatrick thr usual accordionist, having taken ill recently. The organisers wish him a speedy recovery.
‘Days of Dance’ celebrates thirty years in its current form this year and in honour of Mr Little’s support and dedication to the event in all that time he was presented with a gift to commemorate the occasion. For twenty four of those years he taught on both days and also adjudicated on the evening in between. He celebrates his 93rd birthday this year!
Organiser Cilla Strain said: “Our thanks once again to Mr Little for his continued support of the event and to Mrs Hart for scribing. A huge thank you 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. Thanks also to the staff of the DEHS. and Stranraer Academy who were most helpful. Once again we are indebted to our main sponsors, The Machars Lions Club and The Newton Stewart & District Round Table who, along with all the local Scottish Country Dance classes have supported us in this event for many years and without whom the Days of Dance could not take place.”