Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sneak Peak

Yes, Peak. This weekend I went to Youlgreave (or grave, or a number of other spellings) in the Peak District.

Yours for around £1m...
The countryside is spectacular and the village quite charming. There is one rather lovely house for sale - now where is my lottery ticket? I think it would make a rather good folk music and dance retreat. Ah, wishes and dreams!

The weekend was not about walking, though we did some of that; it was about something that I've not really done before, and not a lot of people I know do it either. I got my 'sneak peek' into the world of Circle Dance.

I had been to a small circle dance before, in the deep wilds of Norfolk, but this was very different. This was communal living for four days, sharing food, dancing together, sometimes walking together and generally being very sociable.  OK, we stayed in a B&B at the local pub which wasn't very communal (some folks stayed and slept on the floor in the basement of the village hall), but it was very pleasant indeed.

I'm not much of a dancer, to corrupt a line from one of my own songs, 'I'd rather be playing' - but if you can't play, then dancing is good too!

What I like about circle dance is that you don't have to be an expert dancer, you don't have to do the fast ones, and you don't have to have a partner. It's like line dancing, only joined up (well, not exactly, but there are similarities). Everyone dances together, no gender differentiation, and 'no mistakes, only variations'.

At the end of a dance, the circle continues to hold hands and just 'enjoys' the sense of community that dancing together brings. It could border on the spiritual, and at the end of a dance session we came together in more of a circle 'hug' and - despite my cautious, skeptical nature, I found it very relaxing and pleasant.

We didn't dance non-stop - afternoons were free and we chose to walk the wonderful countryside nearby, especially enjoying walks along the Bradford river which was a stroll from the village hall where we were
dancing. The weather was mostly good and I was delighted to see grey wagtail, dippers and even a kingfisher.

They were good people, and I made new friends and learned how do to many of the moves that are repeated in different dances. There were dances from Turkey, Russia, Israel, Greece, the Balkans and many more. An international, harmonic, sociable, relaxing yet sometimes energet
A dipper, dipping!
ic way to spend a long weekend.

My friend who invited me is keen to go again - well, I think I just might!