Madison Scottish Country Dancers
- The "Demo from Hell" at the Civic Center in 1983 --The piper led us in the wrong direction as we circled on to the big stage, and we all ended up with unexpected partners. Then he began to play a jig instead of the strathspey we were counting on, so we took a collective deep breath and began dancing skip-change-of-step, only to have the piper stop after a few bars and start over with a strathspey. Later in the demo my sporran flew across the stage when its chain broke. Finally the elastic of Rosemary's panty hose snapped, requiring her to do some very strange footwork to keep the hose above her knees.
- Jay and Phyllis found Laurium Manor, an Upper Peninsula B&B, and made all the arrangements for us to stay the weekend there in 19th-century copper baron splendor. We drove through a blizzard to get there, danced in the third floor ballroom, and dined by candlelight in a room paneled with elephant hide.
- The first Madison Ball I attended was in 1980. I remember gasping when I saw The Great Hall, filled with the ghosts of Glenn
Miller and Benny Goodman. So enormous.
- 1980 was the year that the Statue of Liberty was moved to Madison, but the ice on the lake could not hold up the Statue, and it
sank so that only the head and the torch were visible.
- Lois New kept a blanket on the back seat of her car after so many of her kilted passengers complained about how chilly the seat felt.
- I enjoyed staying with Mark and Ruth Passolt, and I still remember the aroma in their apartment. They lived directly behind Bagels
- The Madison Ball used to be called the Midwinter ball - because it was usually held in February. The first year it was moved to
April, it was still called "The Midwinter Ball." This caused me great worry because I usually expected winter to end in April.
- Over the years, the Madison dance programs became renowned for the very challenging dances they contained. Up in
Minneapolis, "Madison" became a synonym for "challenging." When I was teaching in Minneapolis and said "Please take a partner
for the next dance," the class would look at me suspiciously and say, "This isn't a Madison dance, is it?"
Faith & Bob
- We hosted a deck initiation dance party around 1987. Our house at the time was pretty much surrounded
by trees, and our distant neighbors were always invisible during the summer
time. Mike was providing recorded music for our dancing, and at one point
when the music stopped we could hear disembodied applause through the
woods--from some distant neighbor who was obviously enjoying the music (and
may have thought it was live).
- Walking to Union South for Sunday evening class dressed in my kilt at 30 below.
I remember standing backstage at the Civic Center in 2000 with the children,
waiting as the adults did a dance. And just so that we wouldn't get bored,
I started them off doing "The Macarena" in time to the music.....it was
pretty funny, especially when the kids had turned halfway around and had to
look over their shoulders at me to make sure they were doing the arm
- There was also the time that Janice and Lois and I were driving back from
Iowa, when suddenly Lois slammed on the brakes and said, "Oh my God! We've
been going the wrong direction for 45 minutes!" Seriously, all of Iowa
looks exactly the same...
Mike & Norma
- Dancing barefoot in the mud at the Minnesota Renfest, and closely
following the elephant in the Renfest procession . . .
- Dancing in the State Capitol on a hard terrazzo floor to an inadequate
sound system . . .
How welcoming Gregor and Vickery were the first time we tried SCD . . .
- Strong men lifting a piano on to the Great Hall stage and the group's
catching unmitigated hell from the Memorial Union for doing it . . .
- Loch Michigan summer workshops at Lake Geneva . . .
- Naked bodies in Chuck and Ann's pool after dance parties . . .
- The fiddlers finally deciding about 7:00 a.m. one year at our house
after the ball that they'd made enough music for one night and heading
in a bunch for the IHOP . . .
- Steve Hickman dancing an Irish jig while playing his fiddle . .
- Waiting in the Baraboo Theater dressing room for our cue to go on as
wedding guests/dancers in "Brigadoon."
- Learning schiehallion reels in Lois Bernbeck's garage...without a crib sheet.
- Watching Alasdair Fraser's kilt sway back and forth in time to his
fiddle in the Briggs' living room. (He must have changed at this point, or it was his previous visit that I'm remembering!)
- Dancing to my favorites while my family and friends watched at my
surprise 40th birthday party.
- Taking a boat cruise down the Mississippi in our petticoats after a
hot day of performing at McGregor, Iowa's sesquicentennial celebration.
- Dancing CAREFULLY after the beautiful braided-tail "Budweiser" horses at the Wisconsin State Fair.
- The excitement of being the first U.S. Scottish country dancing group with its own Web site. Here's a portion of the announcement from my email of July 26, 1995: "Many thanks to Mike Mudrey...who announced the Madison Contra Dance page on the folk dance list...which was seen by John Stott....who forwarded it to me...who commented to Clint Sprott on how handy it was....who offered to put up our pages!"
Earliest available rendition of our Web site (January 1997), courtesy of the Internet Archive.
- One the ball weekend, kilted dancers went to the "Whad 'Ya Know" radio program. Michael Feldman joked about meeting men with purses in the restroom.
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- THROWING UP backstage in the Ringling Theatre waiting to go on for Brigadoon (too much dessert!). Rachel Popowich was
also queesy, but that was because she was pregnant with Nicholas!
- Sona Melcher and I doing our Highland choreography "The Cheesehead Hornpipe" at a ball in the Great Hall. As we stood there waiting for the music in our cheesehead hats, members of the audience started to moo...
- The country dancers coming over to my parent's house to dance in the backyard for my high school (?) graduation party...
- The first time I saw the country dancers, at the Monroe Street Festival, dancing in front of the Scottish-Irish House. I was 15 or
16, and I started dancing that next autumn.
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Last update March 9, 2003
This page created and maintained by Nancy McClements.
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