‘Reeling’ at Villa Rica

LISBON’S Villa Rica Hotel resounded with Scottish dance music and the skirl of the pipes recently, when 160 Scottish country dancers from the Algarve, Spain, Scotland, England, France, Monaco, Switzerland and Germany gathered for the 11th Iberian Weekend.

Organisation of this year’s event fell to the Lisbon Country Dancing Group. Live music was provided by popular “family” band, The Dave Hall Dance Band. Their line-up was Dave Hall and his father Ian on the accordion, mother Heulwyn on the piano and fiddler Paul Jordan. Dave and Ian also acted as Masters of Ceremony, ably assisted by Grace Chidlow, Roger Picken and Malcolm Guild of the Lisbon Group.

The highlight of the weekend was the spectacular Grand March. To the ring of rousing Scottish marches, the dancers filed into the dancehall, under the guidance of Jane Fernandes, Lisbon Group leader.

At the end of the evening’s set programme of 17 dances, all joined hands in a circle of friendship, in true Scottish tradition, to sing “Auld Lang Syne”. To round off the evening, fine oatcakes flown in direct from the Orkney Islands, courtesy of Stockan & Gardens, were served.

During the course of the weekend, Jane Fernandes was presented with a Pulsar watch, inscribed “Lisbon 2005”, in recognition of her 50-year involvement with Scottish country dancing. Simon and Margaret Whitfield, who learned to dance with Jane, thanked her for having shared her love of Scottish country dancing with so many people over the years.

For information on Scottish country dancing in Lisbon, contact Roger Picken ([email protected]), Grace Chidlow ([email protected]) or Jane Fernandes ([email protected] or Tel. 214 180 148). Or come along to the Lisbon Casuals’ Clubhouse, in the grounds of St. Julian’s School at Carcavelos, on Thursday evenings, from 8pm.