visitors from Connecticut, Jim and Ellen McRanor, first met the group.
When the McRanors decided to relocate to Florida, Ellen--who for several years had been teaching 5 classes a week in Connecticut and badly needed a rest--was persuaded to become dance mistress for the Sarasota dancers on the promise that we'd only ask her to teach one class a week, give one ball a year, and get a demo team together to meet occasional requests. This arrangement has worked out quite well for all concerned. Ellen's considerable ability to slide newcomers without prior experience into even intermediate dances has enabled those with interest and tenacity to gradually pick up the dance forms and join our ranks of regular dancers, replacing those retiring.
Efforts to establish a beginner class have never borne fruit in Sarasota. Blame it on the laid-back, holiday aspect of the tropics--very few people have been willing to commit long enough to learn the basics, so our more tenacious younger members have been thrown in the deep end, gradually catching on to what they were doing over the succeeding many months.
Although dancers from the early '90s are falling by the wayside, dancers from Dunedin now attend regularly and more visiting Scottish Country Dancers are discovering our year-round program, so sets are kept filled and we meet throughout the year at the Bayfront Community Center. We welcome visitors from everywhere and look forward to swapping stories. Perhaps you, as have others, will decide to come back on a regular basis, enjoying Florida beaches as well as dancing with the Sarasota Scottish Country Dancers. We do hope so. Of course, beginners and locals are heartily welcome, as well. We look forward to meeting you!