Jennifer began the session in the customary way, with a warm up exercise. Starting off with a Gay Gordons and following this with the introduction of a new dance, the Military Two Step, before revisiting the St Bernards Waltz and finishing up with a cool down exercise. Jennifer highlighted the health benefits of ceilidh dancing while paying attention to the importance of posture and any aches and pains indicating the need to ease up on demands being made on the body when engaging in this activity, especially to begin with.
The story of the Military Two Step begins with one of Manchester’s most important dance instructors, James Finnigan, at the end of the nineteenth century. Around the time, the term ‘military two step’ referred to a number of dances of a common type and James decided to bring them together in a regimented form. It was his daughter, Ethel Finnigan, however, who was credited with arranging the dance described in 1950 by the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing (which would later become the British Dance Council) who standarised many Old Time (a term used to describe things of the late 19th and early 20th centuries) dances, that included the Military Two Step.
See the links page for dance instructions and videos.
The last Ceilidh Dance Club session of 2019 is on December 10th and a new Spring/Summer programme is currently being prepared for 2020.