It was through her leadership of a Catholic youth group that Franziska first came into contact with folk dance, which she came to love. She made her debut as a (folk) dance instructor totally unpreparedly when the teacher who was due to run a workshop for 110 participants in Eltville suddenly fell ill, so Franziska had to take over at a few hours' notice – without a microphone and accompanied by a pianist who was equally unprepared – and stood the test, earning deafening applause at the end.
She had been a member of the Frankfurter Tanzkreis since 1936 and for many years ran the FSCDC jointly with the various dance teachers, found the gymnasium of the Herderschule for us for our weekly meetings, helped beginners outside the weekly Tuesday SCD meetings and later looked after Hannelore's daughter on Tuesdays so that Hannelore could go dancing. Franziska also gave the group financial support (for example, paying for a new cassette/CD player in 1998).
About Franziska: »patient with beginners« (H.L.), »strict«, »a grande dame of Scottish dancing« (K.W.), »had immeasurable joy in the growth and well-being of the FSCDC and supported dancers generously wherever she could« (L.O.)
David worked at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, at first as a lecturer and later as Professor of English literature and so was able to obtain use of a cellar at the university where he got some students interested in Scottish Country Dancing. However, he only spoke English when teaching and Franziska was the only one of the original six dancers who could speak that language! David did not dance when he was teaching but did so when other people were giving instruction.
About David: »easy-going type who mostly didn't dance but taught, until James took over the instruction«, »often came in a suit – probably directly from work« (G.J.)
At that period it was difficult to get hold of teaching materials such as music and descriptions of Scottish country dances so James always used notes he had typed out himself. He began to visit the RSCDS summer school in St. Andrew's on a regular basis from 1966 on; there is a legend that he once had a difference of opinion with Miss Milligan. He taught Scottish country dancing in Frankfurt from 1974 and in Darmstadt from 1981 until well in the 1990s. James did not have a teacher's certificate from the RSCDS but was a good experienced teacher who favoured the »Edinburgh-style«.
About James: »Great authority«, »considered the kilt ›not lady-like‹«, »once James had to dance as a lady, which he didn't do so well – we liked to think back on that with a smile …«, »knew a lot about dances and their history and stories from the SCD world«, »strict, but very competent teacher«, »very involved – arranged to dance during the holidays at the Anglican church near the Botanic Garden« (G.J.), »greatly enjoyed highland dancing and selected many country dances with highland steps (about 30% of the class was highland dancing)« (G.J., L.O., U.K. et al.)
Jack came from Pennsylvania (USA) and was originally a High school language teacher (he could speak German, Spanish, Russian, Italian …) but did have a grandfather of Scottish ancestry in South Tyrol. Later he became an aerobic teacher in Frankfurt and training director and honorary president of the German Aerobic Association (now known as DFAV), which he had founded. In addition to that he was a judge and presenter at Aerobic World championships. Outside SCD dance circles he gained some public fame through his participation in the television sport series »Tele-Gym« produced by the Bavarian TV and Radio station. In this he demonstrated stretching and also participated in some of the other programmes.
He taught Scottish country dancing in Frankfurt on Tuesdays, his one free evening in the week, but was also in great demand as a teacher at workshops. One example is his work in training folk dance teachers for the LAG Lower Saxony over many years. We have not forgotten his nonchalant manner and charisma, or his modesty; he was asked to teach at the highly regarded summer course in Pinewoods (Massachusetts) on several occasions but always declined because he thought he was not good enough. Jack possessed the RSCDS Teachers' Certificate, devised dances himself and also taught highland dancing (his courses »Highland Dance and Aerobics« were especially popular).
About Jack: »The best teacher I ever had«, »very lively class«, »whirlwind«, »unbelievable how much energy he had«, »the best MC far and wide«, »great dancer«, »wonderfully improvised warmups«, »enjoyed placing men and women alternately during warmups and always tried to ensure this as far as possible«, »fascinating how spontaneous he was«, »rousing and motivating«, »Highland dancing and stretching, his workshops were the best«, »really a splendid chap«, »he cannot be replaced« (L.O., G.J., H.L., U.K., K.W., E.S. etc.)Scroll of Honour of the RSCDS, for founding and running the »Strathspey« web server and the Strathspey discussion list on the internet.
Other dance teachers
Various other people have also taught for the Frankfurt Scottish Country Dance Club, including – in no particular order:
- Ulrike Köppler
- Ulrike holds the RSCDS certificate and is the official teacher for the Darmstadt Scottish dance group as successor to James Alexander.
- Johanna Leithoff
- Frankfurt dancer of long standing and, by now, co-teacher of the »Narhalla Dancers« of Mayence (with an RSCDS certificate); also occasional stand-in for Anselm and Dagmar.
- Hannelore Mansky
- She assisted Jack in the 1980s and 1990s, and took the preliminary examination for RSCDS teachers.
- Dagmar Salzmann
- A graphic designer who has now moved to Canada but comes back to visit every few years and brings over some interesting dances for us.
- Dagmar Suhm
- A qualified kindergarten teacher and, as possessor of the Teachers' Certificate, »number 2« on the current Frankfurt Scottish dancing »teaching staff«.
- Norbert Benz
- A former teacher at one of the last one room village schools in Hesse (in Kerbersdorf near Bad Sonden-Salmünster) and a passionate folk dancer. He occasionally helped out during Jack's »reign«.
- Ralf Bolte
- By now really official teacher in the Darmstadt group, but also frequently seen in Frankfurt – he occasionally takes the class when both Anselm and Dagmar can't make it.
- Hans-Georg »Schorsch« Lusky
- In addition to a hundred other functions he used to act as a teacher when needed.