June eUpdate
View this email in your browser
A view of the Northumberland coast - see Jane's Mighty Hike

Chair Chat

Many thanks to everyone who joined me at the Ceilidh on the 16th. I am so impressed by the varied talents of our members and friends.

To those suffering from Zoom-fatigue, opportunities to meet in the flesh are getting closer. No more setbacks, please! We start with a picnic on July 10th and a programme of summer dancing. All our regular classes are prepared to recommence in September. See below for details.

Leeds Scottish Country Dance Club is holding its final dance in June 2022, as many of you already know. Let’s all do our best to create a fitting end to the Club’s long history in Leeds by turning up to as many dances as possible.

The schedule of dances for the 2021/22 season will include one dance per month at St Chad’s. Some dances will be run by the Club and others, of course, by our Branch. We hope that this arrangement will increase numbers at dances, creating an electric atmosphere and bringing out the best in our musicians.

Don’t worry – “You shall go to the Ball!” Favourite events like the Joint Ball, the Musicians' Course and the fabulous White Rose Festival are all part of our plans.

See you in the summer,


Our Online Ceilidh - 16th May

Another great ceilidh was held on the 16th May - many thanks to all who organised it and participated. Both quizzes were thoroughly enjoyed and we were asked to provide the text for the poem read by Margaret Garvie - CANEDOLIA by Edwin Morgan . Well done for getting round all those tongue twisters. 

Click on the link for the full text - you might need to scroll down to see it. 

Committee News 

 At our Committee meeting on 23rd May we firmed up some dates for meeting up in the Summer. Add them to your diaries now, and keep you fingers crossed that things continue to improve and they are able to go ahead.

First off, Picnic in the Park - 10th July. No White Rose Festival, but a social afternoon picnic instead. Venue to be decided upon. and the time will be 1:30 to 4:00. Obviously a weather dependent event - unlike the Festival, there is no wet weather plan. It will be wonderful just to meet up and chat with you all again!
Following on, (Covid restrictions and regulations permitting - so keep your fingers crossed) we have booked the usual venues for our two Thursday evening classes over the summer, both starting on the 15th July.  In addition, Don Andrews will be teaching a 'one off' Thursday afternoon class at St Margaret's, Ilkley on July 15th.  These "welcome back" social classes are open to anyone and though the teachers and format might change a bit to accommodate holidays etc, the welcome will always be warm. Come along to ease the return to dancing proper.  Email us, if you are interested in coming and we will make sure you are contacted once the bookings and details are finally confirmed.  
Ceilidh classes - we are really keen to increase the number of regular dancers in Leeds. With that in mind  we are running a six week course of Ceilidh dancing with a Scottish Accent over the summer, starting on Tuesday, 10th August. The venue is The Welcome In Community Centre, in Cookridge, in their recently refurbished hall. This is a new venue for us, but the Tuesday evening Adel class will be resuming their class there in September. If you know anyone who might be interested in starting dancing and would like to give us a try, please let them know about this introductory 6-week class.

We are now quite hopeful that our autumn term events can go ahead more or less as planned, with classes starting back in the week beginning 6th September and an afternoon School held on Saturday 17th September taught by David Queen, followed by the first Branch dance of the new season, both to the music of Ian Slater at St Chad's. 

Leeds SCD Club are also running a social dance at St Chad's on Saturday August 28th 2021.
The next Committee meeting is on the 27th June - Let us know how we are doing. Send us your bouquets, brickbats or suggestions. 

Meet your Committee

We thought you might like to know a bit more about your committee members and how they got into dancing. So, this month ...

Marion Walbank - Branch Chair

My experiences of dancing started with Highland Dancing as a child. I can still remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck when the pipes played at dance competitions and the thrill when our teacher (only 17 years old) joined the Scottish Country Dancers on the White Heather Club as a last-minute replacement.

Jump ten years and I am at Moray House for the one-year graduate teacher training course. Discovering that Wednesday afternoon sport was compulsory, I was relieved to find Scottish Country Dancing (Preliminary Certificate) on the list. Our dancing lecturer recommended Summer School as a means of gaining the Full Teaching Certificate, but I had other holiday plans. Had I registered for the summer immediately after teacher training, my first visit to Summer School would have coincided with Miss Milligan’s last. I did not make it to St Andrews until the year 2000.

Much of my teaching career was in English boarding schools: beautiful locations but never within striking distance of an RSCDS class. Thus, I became part of a great swathe of dancers who benefit from RSCDS-trained teachers and RSCDS publications, but who are not members. I didn’t realise how indebted I was to the society. I attended friendly local classes – very much social dancing – where a dance with live musicians was a big event at the end of term. Getting time off on a Saturday evening was difficult and once I only made it to the dance because my headmistress volunteered to cover house duties for me.

When I eventually returned to Scotland, there were several local clubs within a ten-mile radius and I attended two classes weekly. I could even get to some RSCDS events (only 17 miles away).  Dancing differed from what I experience today. Recaps were rare and sets were smaller because dance floors were packed – it may well have been the same here in Leeds. There was more birling. A friend from Aberdeen says that the further north you go, the more dancers birl.

As you can see, my entire life prior to moving to Leeds in 2008 was a preparation for all the dancing opportunities in this area. Our dancing pasts may be very varied, but we come together and have a great time. I feel very lucky to be here.

Macmillan Mighty Hike

As some of you will know, Jane Walford is doing a Macmillan Mighty Hike on July 17th, walking 26 miles along the coast of Northumberland in memory of Robin Walford and to raise funds for Macmillan.  If you would like to find out more, support her or make a donation you can do so at: 
Jane has promised to let us know how she gets on in a future newsletter, so here's hoping for good weather for the walk.

 Future Dates

  • Saturday 10th July - Picnic in the Park - (Fine weather only)
    Time: 1:30 - 4:00
    Venue to be announced. 
  • Tuesday, 10th August - 14th September - Ceilidh classes
    Time 7:45 - 9:45
    Venues: OPAL Welcome-in Community Centre
    Teachers: Various
    Aimed at beginners who might like to try Scottish Dancing - tell your friends. 
  • Week beginning 6th September - Branch classes resume
    Time See website for details
    Venues: Various - but note that the Tuesday evening (formerly Adel) class with Irene Dracup will now be at the Welcome In (Opal), in Tinshill, and will recommence on September 21st.
  • Saturday,  18th September - Half-day School and Branch Dance
    Time: School - 2:00 - 4:30   Dance - 7:00 - 10:00
    Venue:  St Chad's Parish Centre 
    Teacher: David Queen         Musician: Ian Slater      MC: TBA

Name the dance

Following on from Jill's quizzes for the ceilidhs, she has volunteered to do some for the eUpdate. Answers next month.... 
Dance 1





Dance 2             

And finally...volunteers wanted !

Thank you to those who have offered to help with the ceilidhs in the autumn - it is not too late to volunteer, the more the merrier. We are also looking for a volunteer to help produce the "Back page" of this newsletter, now things are hopefully opening up again and we can dance again. No previous technical skills required. 

 We're also looking for helpers at the ceilidh classes we're running in the summer (see above), both to join in with the dancing and to encourage the newcomers to continue with our regular classes. You don't, of course, have to be on the Committee to help!

Please let  me, or a Committee member know if you are willing to have a specific role with beginners, classes and ceilidhs, or dances generally.  

Best Wishes, 
Copyright © 2021 Leeds Branch RSCDS, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp