June eUpdate 
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Chair Chat

Dear dancers,

I write to you on a sunny first of June and with a special hello to the Thursday afternoon class in Ilkley. It must be beautiful in your part of the world. You gave me such a warm welcome when I made it to the lovely hall at St Margaret’s that I was sure I would be back, but that will have to wait.

I did have one trip to St Margaret’s just before the lockdown, not to dance but to a choral concert. I was there to support my husband singing in the choir and was not particularly looking forward to sitting on my own. I needn’t have worried, though. I was not the only dancer in the audience! Can you guess whom I met?

The final strand to my Ilkley tale is that Jennifer Sterling, the talented young musical director from that concert, is spending lockdown in Scotland and is uploading Scottish Songs from a Scottish Sofa on to YouTube.  Wild Mountain Thyme is an old favourite of mine.

All of which is just to say that there are as many surprises in Ilkley as there are in Don’s wonderfully inventive classes. How I miss them. Oh, and it was Jean at the concert.

All the best,
Committee Activity
Coronavirus Lockdown - but the work of the RSCDS Leeds Branch goes on.  Your Branch Committee has not just been idly sunbathing, but has also been carrying out business (not quite) as usual on your behalf!

Our first meeting after lockdown was by email and we expected it would take days rather than hours; in fact it opened on 25th March at 17.25 and closed on 17th April at 17.02.  An epic duration, even by our standards!  However, all the business was successfully concluded with items fully discussed and voted on.

Our last meeting (24th May) was by Zoom; another chance to further upgrade and hone our IT skills!  This proved to be very efficient, certainly compared to the March/April meeting, although admittedly with a deliberately reduced but crucial agenda, and owed much to careful planning and sharing of key information beforehand.  Marion is to be congratulated on a successful first in chairing a virtual Branch Committee meeting and dealing with all the planned items in under an hour in a calm and unhurried way.  Brilliant!  And it was lovely to see other committee members again after so many weeks of lockdown. 

After careful deliberation, we sadly decided to cancel the September Day School, our usual big bang start to the dancing year and have postponed the planned session with Ramona Zohm until 2021.  However, the decision on whether the evening dance will go ahead has been deferred until the next meeting in July.  This also applies to the restart of classes, the AGM and the November Ball.

Alan Horsfall has been keeping in touch with the bands, several of whom have now been without gigs, and thus income, for months now.  Do please support them on YouTube and elsewhere online.

Evelyn and Christine have been in touch with our regular and prospective venues for classes, ceilidhs and dances; they too have been closed for all social and group events.

We have committed to keeping in touch with Branch members through Facebook (thank you Nicola!) and our eUpdate with links to online SCD events where appropriate.  We are endeavouring to keep in touch with those members who do not have email or internet access by posting printed versions of eUpdate.  Head Office also knows who those members are and are planning a retrospective mailing of printouts of their weekly eNewsletter. 

As explained last month, we will review how and when to renew membership (normally due on1st July) as the summer (and the Covid virus!) progress.  Head Office are suggesting that we be ‘flexible’ about this. 

The next Committee meeting will also take place by Zoom in July.

The Monday class has a What's App group and also organised a Zoom Meeting one week. They are wondering whether to have a lesson over Zoom but that is for the future.  

What have the rest of you been doing during lockdown? Any stories you would like to share? Any reviews of the online dance tutorials?  As you can see this eUpdate is rather short of copy, so we would love to hear from the rest of the dancers. 

I know a number of you are doing quizzes and wondered if you had seen this one based on 30 Popular Dances - It is harder when you only see one or two dancers!
Keep safe and keep dancing  - pas de basque only needs a small space, and with music is way more fun than skipping for aerobic exercise! If you are looking for something more challenging, try Scottish Step dancing. It is one of the few forms of Scottish Dance you can do on your own. For those of you who found Diane Hastie teaching the six steps of the Maid of Islay too challenging, she has also done series of tutorials Come Ashore Jolly Tar - a much simpler dance by Derek Haynes. Give it a try and let us know how you get on, with or with out the arms.  And just what did you do with the furniture? Deb Lees has also started doing a series of Step Dance Tutorials if you are a complete beginner.

Best Wishes
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