RSCDS Twin Cities Branch 41st Annual Ball
In Celebration of the Auld Alliance
1 April 2017


Dance music by Susan Worland Bentley and Lyle Ramshaw
Schedule | Registration | Accommodations | Contact | Program

This year's ball will be held at the beautiful Columbia Manor in northeast Minneapolis, and will feature a music workshop on Saturday morning. More details coming soon!

Susan Worland Bentley is a California-based Scottish dance fiddler, with a past in the New England area, and an even further past as a student at Carleton College, so she is extra tickled to be back to play in Minnesota! Ah, if only she'd known about country dancing back in her student days!

Susan has played classical music all her life, starting on the piano at age three and the violin at nine, but didn't go beyond the classical realm until she was in her 20s. Post-college, living in Boston, she joined a folk dance performing group as a musician, which turned out to be a major turning point in life -- she met so many great musicians, including Barbara McOwen, who had just recently moved to Boston. Susan's first music trip to California was at Barbara's instigation, she brought the whole band Tullochgorum, of which Susan was a member by then, to play at Asilomar. Susan played a lot of Polish music back in her east coast days, and maintains an interest in various forms of Eastern European music, including seven stints as band leader at the prestigious Stockton Folk Dance Camp. She also teaches violin in after school programs, and plays in the Santa Cruz Symphony.

The Red Thistle Dance Group, based in Palo Alto, California, had a pivotal role in the big life changes that brought Susan to the west. She was recruited to play for the dance group's tour to Norway in 1998, where she met bodhran player Michael Bentley. The rest is now history, they were married in 1999. And one of the perks is she gets to play with Lyle Ramshaw many times a year!

Lyle Ramshaw has an identical twin brother Lance, and this seems worth mentioning because confusion sometimes results. They both enjoy Scottish country dancing (SCD) and play backup piano for SCD, but Lance also teaches SCD and plays fiddle. While Lance lives near Boston, Lyle lives near San Francisco, where he plays piano in the bands Red Thistle Music and Fiddlesticks & Ivory, backing up the fine fiddling of Susan Worland-Bentley in both cases. Lyle strives for dance music with spirit, in the Scottish idiom. He and Susan have played at many events of the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS since Susan moved to the Bay Area early in the new millennium, including the Valentine's Ball, the Jean Patrick Memorial Dance, and the Kim McGarrity Memorial Ball at Asilomar. They have also played for events in southern California and as far away as Maine. Check out their recordings at Red Thistle Music.

Schedule of Events:



Coming soon!

Ball registrar: Mieux Williamsen, e-mail: registrar [at]


Hospitality may be available for out of town guests in the homes of local dancers. Please indicate your needs on the registration form or, if you are registering online, email Sharon Stephens: sharonstephens [at]


Sharon Stephens, e-mail: sharonstephens [at]

Grand Ball Program:

Printable dance notes coming Soon!

1. The Machine without Horses J32 3C Rutherford: RSCDS XII
2. Lord Elgin's Reel S32 3C RSCDS XXVI
3. Thornycroft R32 2C Goldring Gr2
4. Napier's Index J40 3C Charlton: RSCDS XLV
5. The Lammermuir Hills S32 2C Goldring: Wells House
6. Maxwell's Rant R32 3C Rutherford: RSCDS XVIII
7. The Lady Wynd J32 3C Goldring Gr2
8. Argyll Strathspey S32 3C Goldring: RSCDS XXXV
9. Falls of Feugh R32 3CS Watt: 9 for 90
10. Christine M Phillips J32 3C Brenchley: RSCDS XLVI
11. Delvine Side S32 3C Campbell: RSCDS II
12. The Montgomeries' Rant R32 3C Castle Menzies (18C): RSCDS X
13. The Shetland Shepherdess J32 3C Wallace: RSCDS Graded 3
14. The Falls of Rogie R32 3C Attwood: Alexander 1
15. Mrs Milne of Kinneff S32 4CSq Macpherson: RSCDS Leaflets
16. Rodney's Rant J32 3C Dix: QE Diamond Jubilee
17. Moment Of Truth S32 3C Sigg: RSCDS XXXVII
18. The Deil amang the Tailors R32 3C RSCDS XIV

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Last updated 17 November 2016 | info [at]