Just before the pandemic, the Berkhamsted Strathspey and Reel Club committee asked Jane and Brian Rose to write a dance to mark the club’s Platinum Anniversary in 2022. They gladly accepted the invitation and started to work on a dance. Experimenting with formations to devise a new dance during Covid Lockdowns was an interesting experience but they finally managed to produce, “The Berkhamsted Medley”.
It is a four couple medley, danced twice in strathspey and then twice in reel time. A medley seemed appropriate to reflect the club’s name; a four couple dance recognises the four Bateson brothers who founded the club, Fergus, George, Robert and Simon. It starts with one couple dancing (i.e. Fergus going off to university and discovering Scottish Country Dancing) and building up to finish with all four couples dancing together. Jane and Brian decided to use two simple and common formations at the start and end of the dance (lead down and up and a circle for eight hands) and separating these are two lesser used formations, the elegant set and rotate for three couples followed by petronella and set, petronella and cross involving all four couples.
The music, Jane Rose’s Strathspey and Brian Rose’s Reel have been specially written by Sandy Nixon (who also suggested the name of the dance). Sandy has long been a friend of the club with his band often playing for the club’s Highland Balls. In 2012, Sandy and his band recorded the Berkhamsted Diamond Collection CD (still a few copies available, see https://berkhamstedreelclub.org/shop/).
Brian, Jane and Sandy
The dance and its accompanying tunes were demonstrated at the club’s Valentine dance on 12th February 2022 (picture above is from the demonstration) and will feature in the club’s Platinum Ball programme, to be held on 21st May 2022 (see calendar for more details) and other future events.
The local Herts and Borders branch of the RSCDS selected the dance as one of its submissions for possible entry into the RSCDS Centenary Book 53.
We hope you enjoy dancing our club’s celebratory dance, The Berkhamsted Medley.
For more about the events during the Platinum Anniversary year please read the previous post.