I find that folk-dancing is a great form of social activity, especially for naturally
introvert types like me. What's more, dancing (some forms more than others) gives your body a similar good
general workout to that given by sport, without the element of competition and with less risk of injury.
I've been a member of following three dance groups for a number of years:
- I first made acquaintance with Vodawiko back in 1984. This gave me the opportunity to once again do English and American dances
which I had missed since leaving England a few years earlier.
I also learnt some Scottish Country dancing, which was quite different
and more challenging than the Ceilidh-style Scottish dancing I'd known before.
- Some years later, having got a real taste for Scottish dancing
(I even bought the special shoes!), I joined the Thistle Club of Scottish Country dancing of which I have been a member of ever since, including a spell of two years
as chairman, which passed without serious damage to the group or myself.
- More recently, via Gill's musical connections, I came into contact with Het Kempisch volksorkest en dansers who really keep the 'folk' element in their dancing (anyone can join in their
dances at Postel) and music (always live!). They are also genuinely 'Kempisch'.
literally transcending the Dutch-Belgian border.
Even more recently, during our voluntary exile in West Flanders,
Gill and I had the good fortune to make contact with - and be warmly welcomed by - Volkskunstgroep De Sloepe in Knokke-Heist. They are a thriving group with members of all ages, which makes it all the
more fun, even though it makes me feel like an old-timer. Their repertoire is
more broady international than I'm used to, requiring more brain-to-foot
co-ordination. Luckily, both the dancers and the teacher are very patient.
We went back to West Flanders to take part in their activities for the Ascension day weekend, 2009.
deSloepe members can view the manyphotos we took.
I rather conslusively proved in the past year that my singing ability is at best
severely limited. I will draw a veil over the details.
A couple of new opportunities arose during my second 'volutary exile' in West Flanders:
- The drum corps of
De Sloepe gave me beginner's lessons on the snare drum. I had some difficulty with the quicker rythms
but coped well enough to give me an appetite for more drumming...
- I regularly sit in on Gill's rehearsals with music group
Poldergalm in Duddele. Their conductor
Erwin_ Swimbergheinvited me to join their drum corps and to learn the tenor drum...
- Perhaps when we return to Eindhoven shortly, I'll find an opportunity to continue drumming there.
My computer-related and song-and-dance-related hobbies are gradually - too gradually,
given the amount of time I have had available recently - coming together in the terpsichore project.