November 10, 2018

Toronto Workshop
& Afternoon Dance

The 2018 Toronto Workshop: Epilogue

Workshop Convenor, Christy Barber, writes:

Thanks to the many dancers who attended Toronto’s annual Workshop and Afternoon Dance in November.

This opportunity to bring together a variety of fine and fun teachers and musicians feeds our passion for Scottish country dancing. After the Workshop, we received so many positive comments, including: “such a friendly event” and “always a pleasure.” We worked hard to ensure a satisfying day for everyone.

This year’s guest teachers, Andrew Smith from Kansas; Sara Posen from St Catharines, and David Booz from Toronto, brought enthusiasm for the dancing, and dances to challenge our skills. Both newer and experienced dancers found something to “take away” from the variety of approaches offered.

Each class was enhanced by the musical skills of Laird Brown and Don Wood, Don Bartlett and Fred Moyes.

Scotch Mist filled the spacious bright gym with great tunes for the Afternoon Dance, with a welcoming program devised by Deirdre MacCuish Bark.

The Intro Class led by Moira Korus was an initiative which captured the interest of a number of people who expressed intentions to enrol in classes in January.

The popular sale of gently used donated items, renamed Dancewear Bazaar, was a shoppers’ paradise, and the proceeds will support RSCDS Toronto activities. 

The generosity of Toronto members who provide overnight hospitality and transportation support was appreciated by out of towners.

It takes a team to coordinate the details of this major event.  I was pleased to work with these interested and interesting Workshop Committee members:
Jane Robinson, Anne and Kevin Moloney,  Susan and Andy Lipchak, Bill Barber, Pat Brown, Louise and Phil Buddle, and Anne Bishop.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the Workshop Committee for the last 7 years. My wish is to engage with someone who would like to be mentored with myself and our Committee for the 2019 Workshop, and then assume the role of Convenor the following year.

H.I.S.C.D.*  Christy Barber, Workshop Convenor

*Happiness Is Scottish Country Dancing  


Andrew Smith

Andrew started dancing in his native Scotland and has now been dancing longer than he cares to remember. He has taught in Europe, the USA and Canada, and has conducted many workshops, has coached demonstration and competitive teams, and for many years he taught the Leafmore Class in Atlanta.

    He is a great believer in technique, particularly of the upper body; not as an end in itself, but as a pathway to easier dancing and more elegance and fun on the dance floor. He has a passion for the neglected RSCDS dances, particularly those from the early books, and enjoys exploring older “new” dances from the 50s and 60s.

    When not dancing, he participates in many varieties of music making, and is a voracious reader. He currently teaches library science in Kansas.

Typical schedule for the day:

8:30 - 9:05_____Registration, light breakfast,
______________ welcome and introductions

9:15 – 10:30     Classes*

10:30 – 10:45    Break  (Dancewear Bazaar starts)

10:45 – 12:00    Classes*

12:00 – 12:50    Lunch

12:50 – 2:05     Classes

2:05 – 2:30       Break (Bazaar closes 2:30)

2:30 – 3:30       Afternoon Dance

3:30 – 4:00       Interval: Tea/coffee, treats

4:00 – 5:00        Dance continues

* Wondering which Level to apply for?

Download: Class-Selector.pdf  

Questions?  Please ask: Christy Barber

NB: The Workshop is scent-free, please.
If you bring a water bottle, have your name on it.


   Workshop Navigation:  Workshop •  Workshop Sign-Up  • Musicians  •   Directions to Branksome Hall  •  Evaluation Form  •  Workshop Committee

Sara Posen

Sara first learned Scottish Country dancing as a child in Grace Harris’ classes at St. Clement’s Church in Toronto.  She re-learned Scottish dancing as an adult in Pat Coyle’s classes in St Catharines, and achieved her full Teacher’s Certificate in 2013.  

    Since then she has taught both adult and children’s classes in St Catharines (the children’s enthusiasm is delightful, but the adults are less wiggly!).  Sara loves the joyful energy of Scottish Country dancing when you’re on the dance floor, you can’t think about anything else.  

    Away from the dance floor, Sara teaches courses about Canadian Popular Culture at Brock University.  She and her husband, Russell, have an 11-year old daughter, Hannah, who also loves to dance.

David Booz

David began Scottish Country Dancing as a child in Toronto with Betty Thompson of Newtonbrook. He returned to dancing in 1985 and performed in countless demonstrations with the Finlay Scottish Country Dancers locally and in Florida and Scotland. He has attended many workshops and weekends, including TAC Summer School and RSCDS Summer School in St Andrews. He earned his Teacher’s Certificate in 1999 with Jean Noble as Tutor. 

    David has taught the Woodglen group and Branch Classes in Toronto, and workshops in Picton, Toronto, Kingston, Lethbridge, Red Deer, London ON, Winnipeg, and Medicine Hat, and has been a guest teacher at TAC Summer School.  He currently teaches the Trinity Scottish Country Dancers in Toronto. 

    He also regularly dons his pants and enjoys ballroom dancing with his favourite partner Suzanne. 

    David likes to emphasize the pleasure of dancing, but he believes that SCD is most enjoyable when it is done well, with particular attention paid to phrasing, covering, handing, and interacting with the other dancers.