In July we held our third annual pool party at the Hobgood's. While it wasn't as hot this year as it was in 1997, we still had a good time swimming and dancing in the pool and the potluck dinner afterwards was very enjoyable.
We had a very nice day in September for dancing at the Sunken Gardens at Allerton Park near Monticello, IL. There was a very good turnout of dancers and spectators. We've had some discussion about possibly holding an costumed event at Allerton at some time in the future. When this would be and whether it would be outdoors or indoors is uncertain. If you have any thoughts about this and would like to help plan such an event let myself, Jane or one of the other principal members of our group know.
In November an evening of Irish dance was held by a coalition of the International Folk Dance Society, the Urbana Country Dancers and the Central Illinois English Country Dancers. Brian O'Broin taught us several dances for an evening of enjoyable and energetic dancing. We hope to do more of these sorts of events with an evening of Scottish or Scandinavian dances and perhaps a mixed evening of dances from the British Isles (English, Scottish and Irish). Once again we would be open to ideas and suggestions for special events such as these.
Our Christmas Ball in 1998 was dedicated to the memory of Norm Peters. Norm played the mandolin with the Flatland Consort and passed away in the spring of 1998. Attendance at the ball was about the same as in previous years and we were able to get through all but one of the dances on the program. Our attempt at presenting a mummers' play this year was much more successful than last year. While we didn't exactly hold a rehearsal we did get the various actors their lines in advance, all that is except for Georgine Paris, who agreed at the last minute to play St. Georgine, filling in for Brian Jewett who was to have played St. George, but fell ill. Another major enhancement to the play were the costumes and props provided by John and Susan Hanson. Thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas Ball a success.
Like any other small, non-profit organization, money is always a concern in our group. If you are on our mailing list and are no longer interested in receiving our mailings, please let me know so we can save the costs of printing and postage.
In the past we have attempted to alternate between Sunday afternoons and Saturday evenings for our monthly dances. This hasn't always worked out due to other conflicts, but we would be interested in knowing if there is any preference between the two times. Another possibility might be to hold dances on Friday evenings occasionally since the Urbana Country Dancers don't have dances scheduled for every Friday anymore. Let us know if you have any thoughts about this.
Our spring schedule is listed below. There are also some out-of-town events that you might want to consider this spring. In March there is the Nashville Playford Ball which is supposed to be quite wonderful and in May the St. Louis English Country Dancers usually hold their annual Playford Ball. I've attended the ball in St. Louis for the past several years and it is always an enjoyable time. There will be announcements of details on these and other events at our monthly dances.
Sunday, January 24: Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Sunday, February 21: George Washington's Birthday Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center. This dance will feature early American dances from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras.
Sunday, March 28: Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Saturday, April 17: Dance from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Sunday, May 23: Dance from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Springer Cultural Center.
Saturday, June 5: Our Playford Ball from 7:00-11:00 p.m. at a location to be announced.