I started life in Germany, but decided to make a new start and move to this country after redundancy and after my husband’s suicide. I found a job as a Tour Guide at Blair Castle and in February 1999 was offered the flat in Auchterarder, where I still live.
I was introduced to circle dancing some months later, when a therapist mentioned it. She told me a bit about it and gave me Keryn’s phone number. I liked the sound of this circle dancing and also that you didn’t need to bring a partner. . .
I was introduced to circle dance in the summer of 1994. It was a beautiful day, we danced outside at least some of the time and I felt I had at last found a type of dance I was at ease with. The dances that day were taught by Caroline Cuthbert and Patrick MacManaway.
I continued to dance with both of them in Balfron and Strathmiglo respectively over the next few years. During that time Patrick started a three weekly class in Auchterarder and Caroline organised for Anna Barton to come down from Findhorn, taking a small group of us deeper into the dance over several weekends. . .
Wow! How things have changed since I wrote my first blog.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of becoming a circle dance teacher, but hey! These things happen, and boy am I glad it did!
When the Kinross class first started, I was team teaching, but after a while I took complete ownership of the group, and this has been amazing. Was it challenging? Yes. Was it scary? Yes. Do I regret it? No. Not for one minute. I have a lovely circle of dancers, and I am touched by their friendship, loyalty and support. . . .
I have been participating in Circle Dance for over 13 years after being introduced to it by my then reflexologist, Sylvia Hollingworth, who had started a group in Sauchie, near Alloa. I wondered at first what I was letting myself in for, never having heard of Circle Dance before, but found my dancing feet very quickly and the class soon became my regular Wednesday afternoon activity.
I have been teaching Circle Dance now for 7 of those years after attending Judy King’s Teacher Training Course in 2008. I lead a weekly group in Sauchie, a monthly group in Fintry or Gartmore, & attend Circle Dance events whenever and wherever I can, including an annual pilgrimage to St. Andrews to dance with Mandy de Winter. . .
I first came across Circle Dance when I attended a conference at a Quaker study centre in Birmingham. There was a Circle Dance weekend going on at the same time and chatting to some of the dancers I became curious. This was a type of dancing that I hadn't heard of, never mind tried.
When I got home I searched on the internet, watched a few videos and found the CSCD website. There were groups all across Central Scotland but unfortunately I couldn't find any groups near me in Stonehaven.
For some reason though I kept coming back to CSCD until I discovered that I could get to Cupar by train, direct from Stonehaven, arriving just 8 minutes (all being well) before the class started. So I emailed Rose Cross the teacher to express an interest. She was so welcoming that off I went to Cupar Circle Dancing where, to my relief, I found the other dancers friendly and welcoming too. And the dancing? Well it just hit the spot that no other dancing had reached! . . .
Quoting from my CSCD biography in 2015:
"My biggest wish now is that I might be able to teach someone else to start another Circle Dance group, so that the small seed I planted of wanting to share Circle Dancing will grow even bigger and spread even further."
I am delighted to say my biggest wish came true. Very soon after writing that last sentence in 2015, I started to work with Lynne Barlow helping her along the path to becoming a teacher.
Together we started a new group in Kinross, and after a year of co-teaching, I was delighted to be able to hand over the reins completely to Lynne. I have been rewarded so many times since, to see how she has fully blossomed and embraced her new role. My tiny seed has indeed grown and not only spread further but has brought much joy, laughter and happiness to even more people than I could ever have imagined. . .