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Teachers & Musicians
Bob Anderson (Teacher)
Bob grew up in a small town in the in the interior of British Columbia where he enjoyed fishing, skiing and golfing. He has worked for a trucking firm, a mine, a smelter and a bus company. He attended the university of Victoria became a high school teacher. He retired in 2000 after spending 28 years in the classroom.
Bob and his wife, Alice, went to a Burns’ Night, and decided that this was a great activity, and they should learn some of the dances. They started with the Victoria Branch in 1985 and the Vancouver Island Scottish Country Dance society in 1986. One of
the teachers of VISCDS had to leave and they asked Bob to cover the class. Bob was hooked. He got his preliminary certificate two years later and his teacher’s certificate in 1998 in Vancouver.
Bob has taught all levels of classes, and is currently teaching the social class for VISCDS. In addition to teaching regular classes, he has organized and run the Victoria summer dancing at St. Martin in the fields for the last 28 years and taught workshops in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba and California.
Bob has devised a number of new dances, which have been published in three books of dances called “The St. Martin Collection of New Scottish Country Dances”.
Elaine Brunken (Teacher)
Elaine was born in Falkirk, Scotland, then moved to Uphall, West Lothian when she was four. She learned to dance in her mum’s class in a wee hall in Pumpherston, as she happily danced up and down the hall by herself, till she was tall enough to dance with the grown-ups.
Elaine has been dancing for more than 50 years, teaching for 40 years, 30 years with her RSCDS certificate, tutoring for 25 years and examining for a few years now. This fabulous pastime has taken her to Australia, back to the UK, France, and all over North America. It has introduced her to many wonderful people, some who have become dear friends. She was a PE teacher, focusing on dance, in Ayr for four years, prior to her emigration to the USA in 1978.
Elaine now works with banking mainframe systems and recently moved to Kansas City to begin a new job. She has two adult children, whom many of her dancing friends have watched grow up, and though neither do SCD, they both love ceilidh dancing. She enjoys a nice dry red wine, a nice cold G and T, a good book, a good sing song, good music, good conversation.......sounds like a dance weekend!
Elizabeth Miller (Step Dance Workshop Teacher)
I was born in Scotland shortly after the dawn of time and started Scottish Country Dancing in elementary school. My parents sent me to ballet and tap classes at an early age and I continued with ballet into my 30s. Much later I attended Highland dance classes with my daughter in Seattle.
I was introduced to Step Dancing by Steve Woodruff of the Seattle Branch and continued learning from Iris Woodruff. Back in the days of cheap plane fares, I would make a day trip to San Francisco every two months or so to take a class from Ron Wallace.
I have taught Step Dance classes in Seattle for the past 25 years and have taught workshops at Fort Worden, in British Columbia, California, Georgia, and Oregon and have introduced my own dances at some of these events.
Step Dancing is a solo endeavour, visually appealing, mentally and physically challenging, and requiring a desire to “get it right”. I love it, and believe the grace, skill, intricacy, and romance are the features which have appealed to so many people throughout the past 250 years.
Rachel Pusey (Teacher)
In addition to the rigor and technical challenges that RSCDS classes offer, Rachel enjoys the distinct charms of English Country Dance (ECD) and contra, and loves introducing people to the fun and sociability of folk dance at ceilidhs.
Rachel went to barn dances in her teens, then discovered ECD as an undergraduate (think Jane Austen, but with less witty repartee). It was disappointing to find no English group back home in Oxford, but a friend persuaded her to overcome her prejudices and give Scottish Country Dance (SCD) a try and it took. She danced with the student group for several years, where she met her husband, Dilip. On moving to St Louis, MO they danced twice a month with the Highland Mist group, but that just didn't feel like enough dancing so they started an additional session on the “off-weeks."
A career move to Seattle was perfectly timed to allow Rachel to join the RSCDS teacher training program in 2006, and she taught a beginner class for a year as part of her training. At the time there wasn't a class in Seattle itself, so she began exploring options and ended up starting a class in the University district that is still running. Although not specifically aimed at students, the relatively high energy class has attracted younger dancers over the years. Rachel tends to think that one's early 20's is a great age to take up this energetic dance form, but acknowledges that she's biased by her own experience and is delighted to share the joys of dancing with all ages! "It was inspiring when I started SCD to see that I could look forward to dancing throughout my life."
By day she is an accountant; her math background probably also explains her love of the patterns and symmetry in SCD. From the age of 10 she followed her father into English-style change bellringing (that's the big bells, not the little ones) which is a great excuse for visiting English villages (and pubs). Javanese gamelan music took her further afield, including two years at an arts institute in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Jan Begg (Piper - Saturday Ball)
Jan is Pipe Sergeant of The Elliot Bay Pipe Band and has been piping for Seattle Branch events since 1987. She also pipes for the dance group Bonnie Dundee.
She began piping in Jr. High when she was recruited by the Shorecrest Highlanders and taught by Don Mackay.
Deby Benton Grosjean (Musician - fiddle)
Deby is an resplendent fiddler, successfully melding the virtuosity of classical technique with the spontaneity of Celtic folk. Deby is delighted to perform for dancers at Port Townsend! She is a multifaceted musician expanding the dimensions as a workshop clinician, conductor, orchestrator and producer.
Deby loves to play for Scottish country dancers since mid-1990’s. She performed for TAC 2009, 2012 and is equally excited to perform at TAC 2017! Deby has played at RSCDS-SF’s Asilomar Dance Retreat for many years as a soloist and with the band “Reel of Seven”; she’s on all four of Ro7 live recordings Dance for Joy, Encore!, Gotta Dance and the new Magic of Summer School. Deby performed and taught in New Zealand’s summer school 2016 with Ro7. Besides teaming with Andy Imbrie, she’s performed with pianists David Weisler, Muriel Johnstone, and Lisa Scott at last year's workshop.
A talented independent artist, Deby has appeared on over forty recordings including Gourd Music’s Jefferson’s Fiddle and Windham Hill’s Celtic Requiem. Her CD productions include Healing Well, Beyond the Shore and O’er the Moor. Among Deby’s film score credits include Ken Burns’ Not For Ourselves Alone. A teacher of distinction, Deby’s on faculty at several music camps including Alasdair Fraser’s Scottish Fiddling School and Sierra Fiddle Camp for over 20 years. Besides NZ, Deby performs abroad spanning Taiwan, Canada, Ireland, Scotland and throughout the USA including Alaska and her hometown of Santa Cruz, California. She’s opened for Scotland’s singer Jim Malcom, England’s Maddy Prior, Ireland’s author Frank McCourt.
Since starting her formal classical training at age eight, Deby has received awards in national and regional fiddle championships. She received honors in music at college. Connection Magazine notes, “Her recordings will capture your heart and dance your feet.”
Frank Brown (Sound)
Frank has been running sound systems since 1996 after training at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland. He works hard to provide the audience and the band the best possible sound reproduction. His digital Yamaha sound board and KV2 speakers were chosen for their exceptional clarity and light weight. Recent clients in the Northwest include NW Dance Network, Dance 'til Dusk, Town Hall Seattle, and of course the RSCDS at Ft Worden for the past 3 years.
Andy Imbrie (Musician - piano)
Andy began studying classical piano as a child, and started playing for Scottish Country Dancing in 1984 with the encouragement of Kim McGarrity and Barbara McOwen. He plays regularly for dances throughout the US and Canada with Calum MacKinnon, and has also played for dance tours and workshops in Scotland, Shetland, Orkney, and New Zealand with fiddler John Taylor. Andy is featured on several albums of SCD music, including "Steppin' Out" and "LIVE" with John Taylor, "March Hare" with Susan Worland, "The San Francisco Collection, Vol. 2" with many local musicians, and "The Devil's Quandary" with Deby Benton Grosjean. He has recently been on music staff at Pinewoods and is honored to have been invited to teach piano accompaniment at the Valley of the Moon Scottish fiddling school for several years.
Andy leads the "Reel of Seven" Scottish dance band, and is the music coordinator for the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS. Andrew began Scottish Country Dancing in Berkeley in 1977 and earned his preliminary pass teacher's certificate in 1984, and one day hopes to find time to train for the full certificate. Andrew is married to Sherryl Fawx (also a dancer and musician); they live in Santa Clara, California. In his free time, he works as an aerospace engineer specializing in simulation, guidance, and control design of flight vehicles.
Calum MacKinnon (Musician - fiddle)
Calum needs no introduction to Fort Worden dancers, having been part of the music scene here for the last twenty-four years performing with the bands Schiehallion, Barley Bree, Cairngorm, Skerryvore and Music of Spey. In the last few years, Calum has assembled phenomenal Fort Worden bands that have included such great musicians as Muriel Johnstone, Andy Imbrie, Lisa Scott, Elke Baker, Keith Smith, Laura Risk, Deby Grosjean, John Taylor, Mike Saunders, Ginny Snowe, Ralph Gordon, Ryan and Cali McKasson and John Denyes. Calum is also “instrumental” in finding and training new, young fiddlers in his role as chief guru and leader of the Northwest Scottish Fiddlers.
Steve and Julie Wyrick (Class Musicians - fiddle and piano)
Steve and Julie Wyrick are both originally from the Seattle area but met about 18 years ago while dancing with the New World Scottish Dancers performance group in the San Francisco Bay area.
Steve has played violin since the age of 9, began Scottish country dancing in the late 1980s, and became interested in combining the two hobbies after hearing Alasdair Fraser play at the first SCD ball he attended.
Julie is a long-time Scottish country dancer who began dancing with Elinor Vandegrift’s Seattle class in the 1970s and continued to dance after moving to France and later to California. About a decade ago she began reviving her childhood piano skills to accompany Steve and others for dancing. Julie and Steve now frequently play together for classes, workshops and dances in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Pacific Northwest areas.
Steve is also the fiddler for the trio Hood, Wink and Swagger with Ron Wallace and Gary Thomas who have recorded “Dancers Dream”, an album of music for Scottish step dance.