Artificial Intelligence

Yesterday I used ChatGPT to write a Scottish Country Dance lesson plan. I conclude that SCD teachers are not going to be under threat any time soon! It suggested The Duke of Perth as a simple dance for a mixed ability group and wanted it to be repeated at a faster and faster tempo over a 20 minute period. All this was written in very plausible language but SCD is clearly a niche in the dance world that the model will take a while to get right – it wanted figures of eight to take 16 bars and reels of three 32 bars (and included some highly improbable geography). Despite correcting it, it also kept referring to a couple finishing a formation in “first position” rather than in “first place” – though it did amend this to “first position (first place)”. The nonsense content is obviously drawing on the wide world of dance and that also provided some good content – a comprehensive list of what the teacher and the dancers need to bring for example and a strong warm up part of the lesson, devoting much more time to that than usually happens for SCD.

A few days earlier, while visiting Auckland I attended the nearest SCD club, that meant a 20 minute brisk walk to get there and I arrived just in time to join in the10 minute warm up routine. That combination would be good every club night.

Dancing Season 2023

We are back to dancing every week (unless otherwise posted).

2023 marks 100 years since the formation of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society in November 2023.

One of the ways that this is being marked in New Zealand is “Pick up 52”: clubs and dance groups were invited to video a dance from one of the RSCDS published dance books and these videos are being uploaded to a dedicated YouTube channel. Pick up 52

The idea is to reflect Scottish Country Dance as it is happening week by week at clubs throughout the country (rather than a set of demonstration videos). Lawrence is taking part in this and the video clip will be put up shortly, in addition here is the whole video of the dance being danced eight times through in a three couple set – there were a lot of people away that night Knit the Pocky

Strathspey Pousette

For Lawrence dancers wanting to do some homework on the Strathspey Pousette (“diamond pousette”), it was taught in the RSCDS On-line Class last week by Robert McOwen, here is the link to the recording of the class, he starts teaching the pousette at about 40 minutes in (00:40:00 on the timer bottom left) On-line Class 22 July

It was also recapped (particularly the phrasing) by Gary Coull in the Summer Celebration session Wednesday 29th July (UK time) Summer Celebration 29 July  at about 00:39:40, and covered once again and then danced by Duncan Brown (and family) at about 01:23:29. Duncan also covers the rondel starting at about 01:19:20.