DST - Youth Branch's weekend in Bologna
November 30, 2022
Youth Branch finally hosted their Weekend Away after a delay of two years - read all about it here...
In October 2022 the Youth Branch were delighted to host our Weekend Away in Bologna. On Friday evening we welcomed our dancers with an apéro including typical Italian snacks and, as a surprise, the wonderful Keith Smith and Anne-Laure Latour delighted our dancers with bagpipe, fiddle, and piano music so our dancers could enjoy some fun dances – with a lot of “playing” in the sets – and get to know each other before the weekend began in earnest.
On Saturday morning the classes began, in two groups, in the Villagio del Fanciullo, and Faye Mather and Samuele Graziani kept us busy with interesting and unusual dances, including a very fun and just slightly chaotic 9 couple dance!
As the sun was shining brightly we enjoyed lunch outside sitting on the grass, in the beautiful gardens of the Villagio. In the afternoon we had another class, followed by Faye’s “Fun, birl, & twirl” and Samuele’s “XIX century dances” speciality classes.
After a much-needed break after so much dancing we prepared for the evening Ball and enjoyed pizzas and wine outside the Hostel, under the trees.
For the evening Ball we were delighted to team up with the International Branch, who had just ended their week-long dancing tour of Italy. We were around 150 dancers altogether, and the dance floor was full of joy and enthusiasm! Keith Smith and Anne-Laure Latour played for us and their music offered a wonderful energy to the room. Elke Baker, who did the tour with the International Branch, gave us the pleasure of joining our musicians for several dances.
On Sunday morning Samuele Graziani, from the Northern Italy Branch, once again offered his energy and talent to us by leading the group on a walking tour of Bologna. We saw the beautiful architecture of the Basilica, the impressionable Statue of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore, and learned about the arrows stuck in the arcade of Casa Isolani. Bologna is known as the food capital of Italy, and for good reason! After enjoying some local specialties it was time for our dancers to make the journey home, catch up on some much-needed rest, or, for a few enthusiastic individuals, do even more sightseeing in Bologna.
After two years of delay it was somewhat surreal to travel to Italy and be able to welcome so many young dancers from across the world to our dance event, and we appreciated it all the more as a result!
From beautiful culture, to wonderful dancing and memories created with new and old friends - we are so grateful to everyone who came and helped make this trip so incredible!