The TAC Virtual Summer School will be held via Zoom from

 July 28 - July 31, 2021

 Join us for Scottish Country dance lessons from these world-class teachers:

Ron Wallace, California, USA   

Geoffrey Selling, Pennsylvania     Alan Twhigg, California, USA
 
And we present two interactive sessions from:
 
Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minnesota, USA and Marjorie McLaughlin, California, USA
 
 
   

Dance Teachers - Virtual Summer School 2021

Ron Wallace, California, USA

 

 

Some of my earliest memories include watching my parents performing Scottish dance at a Burns Night celebration in Mapleton, Minnesota, where my mother grew up. The organization was started by her uncle and over the years twelve of my relatives were involved. Many of the Scots who settled this area arrived before the SCDS was formed. Their dance style hadn’t evolved with the times as it did in Scotland. For example, dance pumps as we know them today were worn for performance, but not social dancing.

This was a very fertile ground to “grow up with it” and produced dreams of teaching it. When my parents bought a restaurant and my mother couldn’t continue teaching, I had the opportunity to take over. So, at a very early age, that’s exactly what I did. 51 years later I reflect on how little I knew then and how little I know now! The more I learn, the more I want to know.

In 1981, teaching Scottish dance and music became a full-time endeavor with classes in highland, step dance, Cape Breton step, country dance, and piping. Teaching these forms has taken me around the world and provided many an adventure. What better life than to share traditions old and new with all who love to dance!

 

Alan Twhigg, California, USA

 

   

With Scottish heritage on both sides of his family, Alan Twhigg developed a love for traditional music at an early age. His parents danced with the Reel & Strathspey Club that preceded the formation of the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS and often took him to Highland Games and pipe-band concerts as a child.

Alan discovered Scottish Country Dancing as a college student, amongst other dance forms such as ballroom and international folk. The music resonated with some early memories, and the intricate patterns of SCD stood out from the other styles. He soon sought out a weekly class, then two…

Alan passed both of the RSCDS teaching exams at St. Andrews in the 1980s and has been teaching regular weekly classes at various levels ever since. He has served as a guest instructor at weekend workshops across North America and tutored candidates for teaching exams. He also continues to participate in SCD performances, chiefly with the Red Thistle Dancers. Favorite memories include choreographing and performing a sword dance for the San Francisco Opera as well as teaching and performing in Norway, the Czech Republic, and Russia.

To support his dance hobbies, Alan makes his living as a technical writer/editor in the computer industry. He shares a townhouse with two cats and too many books. Recent projects include expanding the audience for SCD among the international folk dance and contra dance communities.

“SCD is a great activity for keeping body and mind engaged, for sociability, and for responding physically to the wealth and variety of music in the Scottish tradition. It has helped me connect with diverse people across the world and led to experiences and long-term friendships I never expected.”

     

Geoffrey Selling, Pennsylvania, USA

  For over 50 years, Geoffrey Selling has been one of North America’s most sought-after Scottish country dance guest teachers – providing all levels of classes as well as workshops for new and experienced teachers.  These classes have taken him to such faraway places as Japan, and the RSCDS Summer School at St. Andrews, as well as the USA and Canada. 

Geoffrey has danced and taught in the Delaware Valley Branch since 1969.  On 18 occasions, he tutored teacher candidates for their certification exams, both in the Branch and at the TAC Summer School.  In l980, he and his wife, Cecily, wrote the Handbook for Scottish Country Dance Teachers (now in its third edition), which is used in candidate classes worldwide.  Geoffrey is the author of numerous articles in TACTalk, the publication of the Teachers Association of Canada, as well as in the RSCDS’s Scottish Country Dancer magazine. 

In l998, Geoffrey was appointed an RSCDS Examiner and is now completing his 23rd year examining RSCDS teacher candidates, as well as training new North American examiners.   

Geoffrey was awarded the Society’s Scroll of Honor in 2009, and in 2013, he trained 10 North American teachers as tutors in a course at the TAC Summer School at Mt. Allison College.  Geoffrey feels it is important to keep the Society’s focus on the traditional dances and style of Scottish country dancing, all bound together by an emphasis on dancing socially.  As the Society necessarily modernizes, he works to keep the old-world graciousness in his students’ dancing.

Now retired from his professional life as an elementary school science teacher, Geoffrey volunteers with watershed organizations, teaching adults about stream health and water quality.  His hobbies are hiking, baking, gardening, and dancing (Scottish and Polish).  His wife, Cecily, is an accomplished Scottish country dance teacher and tutor in her own right.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Minnesota, USA

 

 Lara Friedman-Shedlov

 

 

After absolutely refusing to learn to dance as a child, Lara accidentally fell in with the New Scotland Country Dance Society while a student at Edinburgh University. They became a confirmed addict in a matter of months. With Scottish country dancing as their gateway drug, they soon found themself Highland and Scottish step dancing as well. Their current repertoire also includes Morris, rapper sword, English clog, and Cape Breton step dancing, but they still swear by Scottish country dance when looking for an exhilarating time. Lara lives in Minneapolis with their husband Dan and two pet rats named Pansy and Daisy. They earned their RSCDS teaching certificate at TAC in 2000 and are currently serving as Chair of the TAC Teacher Conference Weekend. They are a member of the Twin Cities and the International Branches. 

Marjorie McLaughlin, California, USA

   

Marjorie was born in Glasgow.  Her family emigrated to the United States when she was 9 years old and she began dancing in a class started in Cleveland by her father, Tom Easton. In 1973, after moving to California, she became active in the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS.  She earned her Teacher's Certificate at St. Andrews in 1987. In 1992 she married fellow dancer Richard McLaughlin and moved to San Diego where she still teaches Branch classes. She has actively supported TAC as editor of TACTalk, on staff for several Summer Schools, and as Registrar for Summer Events for the last three years.

She has taught many weekend workshops and enjoys the opportunity to teach, and to learn from, dancers in other areas. Dance teaching has taken her all over the US and Canada as well as to New Zealand, Japan, the U.K., Austria, and Greece. She says, “It’s the best hobby I can imagine”.

Her interest and research into the history of SCD have resulted in a number of presentations and reconstructions of old dances comparing the original descriptions with how they are danced today.  She has also contributed articles to the Scottish Country Dancer Magazine.  Of particular interest to her is the remarkable influence of 19th-century Dancing Master, Thomas Wilson.