Dances like my mum did

Dancer: Alison

Dance Location: Halls in Plymouth, Bristol and Garstang

This is a dance that... is the first I can remember doing.

I started Scottish country dancing when I was a little girl. My mother was Scottish. I was born in Glasgow, but I grew up in the South West because my father was in the Navy. I’d go with my mum to Plymouth, our nearest big town, to gatherings of Scottish people. In my memory it was a big hall and it was absolutely packed with men in kilts and women in white dresses with sashes. They took their Scottishness very seriously.

My mother was a beautiful dancer. Small, light, and easy, like the ones on the Edinburgh Tattoo. I was always more heavy footed. I still have her sash, in the Cameron clan tartan, and the brooch that she pinned it with.

My favourite dance is to Marie’s Wedding. It’s a great tune. There were never enough women in our group, so I danced it as the man a few times, then, when I went back to dancing it as a woman, I always got my corners wrong. After that, there was a certain amount of groaning from anyone who had to dance it with me. I remember vividly the one evening when I danced it without any mistakes. Everyone cheered.

It was after I was married, in Bristol, in my thirties, where I did most of my Scottish Country Dancing. I was working full time as a nurse in the Royal Infirmary and I’d come in after my shift absolutely exhausted and not feel like going back out, but my husband would persuade me. He knew I always felt brilliant afterwards. That’s why I wanted to talk about it today - because I enjoyed it so much. I loved the adrenaline rush.